Know when to run? I can hear you now, “that’s not a very martial art thing to say is it?” – wrong, this is the most important advice any instructor can and should give. Martial arts of course are important in teaching self-defence strategies, however, one thing they are not so good at is teaching when to run.
There are many factors which play out when a situation or confrontation takes place and one of the skills of a martial artist is recognising when to run. In fact, most times, all you should be looking for is that 1 second gap, that opportunity where you may be able to distract your attacker enough to make your escape.
The problem however is ego. I have seen some very dangerous and stupid situations where people’s ego gets the better of them. In these moments common sense disappears all-together. Martial arts at times, do not help the situation as they can encourage a false sense of security and a mistaken belief that their ‘training’ will help them to win and this can be very dangerous.
We teach a weapons based martial art called Escrima. It would be suicidal however, and completely irresponsible for us to make you think that you can stand against a weapon completely unarmed and expect either to survive the attack or to survive unscathed. The moment it kicks off, there are many processes which occur. You will receive an instant adrenalin rush, brain freeze, slow nerve responses, insecurity – all this has an effect on how and what you will do. Even for the most skilled martial artist, the simplest processes will become difficult. If you feel that in a class environment you perform at 100% or your ability, in the street, this will likely reduce to around 20%. This is why when choosing a martial art, you choose one that requires absolute basic and bare minimum thought processes, something that is simple but effective.
Street confrontations are very different to the dojo. This is why and we can only reiterate, that the best self-defence strategy is to run. There are times of course when running is not an option i.e, you may be injured, you may have shopping with you or have a child with you and whatnot. In instances where you are not able to run then you should be using everything that you can, every last drop of knowledge and skill, to get out of the situation with your life. Do not hesitate, do not hold back. This is where we come in 🙂
We cover much of the above on our Personal Safety and Street Awareness Courses, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.