Most people, including karate and so-called self-defense experts really don't know where to start when it comes to mastering the ability to protect yourself against a real-world violent attacker. This article takes a look at the two-fold approach that I suggest for clients who are serious about surviving a street assault.

To look at the conventional world of martial arts and self-defense instruction, the conventional approach seems to be to just get a few of skills, receive some cool-looking belt or maybe a certification of some sort, and presto, you're set. Right?

If that's the correct course, then why are so many so-called experts getting their butts kicked in the real world? Why, if everything works in the dojo or self-defense class, are these "unbeatable techniques" failing miserably on the street, when dealing with real-world attacks thrown by uncaring, real-world attackers?

There are lots of reasons but I think the main one is that, by and large, these courses are simply a case of the blind leading the blind. What I mean is that people, who lack the experience in dealing with violence, are attempting learn something from self-defense instructors who, themselves, lack the necessary real world experience in dealing with and surviving actual street attack situations.

So, what what's required to survive a real self-defense attack?

My take on the whole self-defense learning curve, and what I teach my students, is double sided.

Initially, be trained in as many options as you can so that you can act in different situations and against many different types of threats.

Also, in the moment, when an attack is occurring, the defender must be able to react to and deal with the violence itself - no matter where it comes from or what's behind it.

Like a double-edged sword, each side is critical if you are to be truly successful. The first area, your physical training should give you with not just physical skills, but an understanding of the critical principles and concepts that are being taught by the classroom examples. That way, you won't have to rely the taught techniques themselves, but you will be able to act during the attack, not against a official attack but, against the actual assault your attacker is throwing at you. Some of these foundational ideas include:

    1) Shielding

    2) Defensive angling and positioning

    3) Rhythm and flow

    4) Appropriate use of space

    5) among others

The second relates to attitude, or "heart." No matter how confident you are, or feel in class with your friends, peers, and junior students, what matters in a real self-defense situation is how you act and deal with the raw, animalistic aggression being thrown at you by a serious, angry, and violent human being who isn't pulling his attacks and doesn't care about your well-being at all. Will you do what you must or end up like every other victim? The only thing that matters right then is what no one else but you will do when that moment is on you.

This reminds me of the airplane ride I found myself on to the tiny island of Grenada when I was in the Army several years ago. While I sat there, focusing on the far side of the aircraft and going over what I would do when I was actually in a real combat zone (assuming we didn't get blown out of the sky first), I heard other guys farther back in the aircraft actually crying. Ironically, these were the same macho-men who, during practice field exercises where we "played" war, ran around as-if they were Arnold Schwartzenagger, acting tough and reminding everyone that they were ready to go to war right then and there. Well, here we were - on our way - and they were the least ready to deal with the shocking reality of the situation.

Your training must make sure that you can deal with both your attacker's physical attacks, whatever they may be, and you must have the ability to focus on winning by dealing with the rage and raw brutality that is a natural part of self-defense. Two sides to the same coin. Both critical for success.

So, take a look what you've learned up till now, and make sure that you do so with the eyes of a critic, not a blind follower. See what's in the news. Ask some law enforcement or security professionals, bouncers, or even military personnel who have seen combat what you'll experience inside a real situation with someone who wants to beat, break, or kill you. Then, all beliefs aside, begin to learn what you'll need to fill in the gaps to make sure that you'll get out in one piece, and not end up on the wrong side of the grass!

Do you want to learn the critical lessons needed to survive? Then I recommend that you get this brand new online e-course to self-defense proficiency, "Foundations of Self-Defense Mastery"

Author's Bio: 

Want to learn in hours, instead of months or years, more than the average karate or self-protection practitioner without all of the unnecessary lessons, robotic kata, or military-like atmosphere? How? By using this simple, proven formula for self defense success:

Jeffrey Miller empowers individuals, organizations, and martial arts teachers how to not die or become a victim in a real attack situation. Jeff says "If you really want to learn the critical lessons to be a self-defense expert, I can teach you how to get the skills needed to successfully defend yourself against any attacker, guaranteed"