"What is defense? It is a ... to ... an act of ... from danger". -Robert Anthony ... than ever, women are afraid for their safety and are taking measures to conquer th
"What is defense? It is a countermeasure to aggression, an act of protection from danger". -Robert Anthony Bussey
More than ever, women are afraid for their safety and are taking measures to conquer their fears against the mounting problem of abuse and hostile threat. For over a quarter of a century, I've had the privilege of helping thousands of women to feel empowered by learning personal protection skills. In that time, I've been exposed to countless first hand accounts of some very emotional stories of violence, distress, rape, and life threatening survival. To look into the eyes of a person who's been victimized reminds me all too well of the awesome responsibility that every expert has to share only those methods that could guide an individual from a potentially brutal situation to a place of physical and emotional safety. To feel prepared and safe requires some work.
For females especially, training should encompass more than vital combat strategies, to include danger awareness skills and a devotion to safeguards. I am a strong advocate of programming the kinds of responses that deflect any possibility of physical contact. This is the best way to prevent injury and the most important skill a person can learn to remain free from harm. There are just too many dangers and variables in combat. "PreCautions", a Genuine Bussey Style protection program for women was titled as such because its name reflects my determination to limit the arena of hands-on conflict. Of course, we all know that there are no guarantees that violence won't occur; therefore, protective tools must be in place. These tools need to be effective, direct, and immediately useful or the victim runs the risk of making things worse by trying to defend herself with techniques that won't hold up. In its truest form, fighting is not secret, nor particularly complex.
I would like to share some thoughts, which come from our "Principals of Protection Intelligence for Women". When I formulated them, I asked myself what was really important for ladies to know before introducing them to actual defensive tactics. What would I say to my daughter or loved one about building a foundation that made sense and was easy to apply and remember? These are a few of them:
Violent crime is everywhere, happening every minute. It's random, and it can happen to you. The world is a violent shelling that can change life in an instant. Believe it.
Danger recognition skills help to reduce vulnerability. You can expect to prevent some threats by listening closely to your gut instincts and increasing your awareness of danger. With practice, these instincts will get better and better, helping you perceive and define danger. We've all had a 'gut feeling' about a certain person or situation. The way to sharpen this into a tool of defense is to acknowledge it as a helpful message and to realize that whatever emotions you may be feeling could be there for a reason. Without always assuming the worst or jumping to conclusions, we need to take as much time as the situation will allow to "observe" and "clarify" what is really going on. This will offer you an opportunity to guide your next move.
There is an invisible line that separates your fight or flight response. When faced with a life threatening encounter, this will be activated naturally in order to insure your survival. At the critical moment when the assailant crosses that line, you will need to commit to making split decisions. The choice to fight back may be inevitable. At that point, you must fight with everything you have to break any control the assailant has over you, then escape. The key to feeling better about your chances to pull this off is to prepare yourself physically and adopt simple yet powerful skills. Strikes such as the palm strike, elbow, and knee are common to martial arts and self-defense. However, in order to best perform these skills, you need to utilize what I call "hidden motion", that is, to hide behind every strike, block, and motion. This will help shield you from flailing strikes that can occur simultaneously when it's them against you.
Making the choice to either fight back or to run away can feel risky to you. You may feel afraid to try either one. However, the consequences of doing nothing are serious indeed. Fear will exist in extreme situations and can limit your capabilities unless you incorporate it into a mind-set that allows you to exceed its paralyzing force. Do not let fear or panic control you. Instead, let your fear and adrenaline motivate action.
The best timing you can have is when the opponent doesn't see it coming. Surprise attacks instill fear and confusion. If your assailant takes you by surprise, remain as calm as possible and take a quick assessment of the facts. This may require that you be thinking one thing and physically performing another.
Mistakes are inevitable because combat is continuous and ongoing. Fighting is not static or choreographed. Surviving an encounter often requires adaptability. So, prepare your mind and body to act, using whatever it takes, for however long it takes, to remain alive. If something isn't working, move on. Ride out any unsuccessful maneuvers without seizing up or panicking.
You cannot always control your surroundings or what is happening to you, so you must control your actions. Guide yourself through the crisis by going with the current as opposed to fighting it, until you can reach the shore. Sometimes, you can expect this process to be painful. Tell yourself ahead of time that, no matter how badly it might hurt, that you will never, never give up. This endurance mindset can save your life. To survive is not a matter of conquering, but of enduring. It is to outlast a given situation. In a word, persevere!
Serious conflict has a way of releasing in you a heightened sense of awareness. Yet it is possible that your energy may become misdirected and lead to a failed performance. By keeping energy in reserve (what I call the 90% Rule), you can maintain this heightened state and remain alert so that opportunities are not overlooked. If you strike a pad with 100% of your energy, then hit it again using only 90%, it would be very hard to tell the difference. In fact, a 90% energy strike is often more relaxed, powerful, and quick. Marshal your resources or no matter how skilled, you'll be defeated due to lack. Conflict, like many things in this world, contains a unique rhythm. Experts that find rhythm can pace themselves without haste and miscalculation.
Life itself is simplified in dangerous circumstances making less, enough. Anyone who has experienced and survived a life-threatening event can tell you what is really important in this world. If you can envision for a moment, what it must be like to be close to the edge of life and death, it is easy to see how ones priorities can change. The survivor is keenly aware of the possibility of a traumatic attack and the need to take precautions. In the end, every effort you make to discipline your physical and emotional reflexes will help to hone your intuition and keep you whole.
You can find out more about Robert Bussey and these concepts online at http://www.busseystyle.com
Robert Bussey is a pioneer of realistic personal protection skills. His lifelong commitment to his work has made a significant contribution to the stream of strategic practices throughout the world. He can be reached at: http://www.busseystyle.com