You train hard and you practice a lot. But are you actually “ready” for a real life physical confrontation? Maybe so, maybe not… There is really only one way to know for sure, right? Just find yourself in a situation where you have to actually use your knowledge and skills. None of us truly want that – but at the end of the day, if you are serious about using your martial arts skills for self-defense, it’s all about being prepared. One way to train specifically to defend ourselves is to organize your training to ensure you are as prepared as possible to defend yourself against the most probable (or common) attacks. That is exactly what the GMAU Krav Maga program does – it teaches you how to defend yourself against the most common attacks. Want to know more? Then keep reading!
“Whether it is learned the easy way or the hard way, the truth remains that your safety is yours. It is not the responsibility of the police, the government, industry, the apartment building manager, or the security company.”
― Gavin de Becker
Goshin Jutsu is Japanese for self-defense method or technique. When someone refers to attacks that happen “on the street”, they are talking about self-defense. Other terms you may see are: reality based self defense, situational defensive training, or combatives. In all cases, these learning systems are concerned with teaching practitioners to effectively respond to common attacks. Luckily for us, there are uber intelligent (and very experienced) martial artists who have taken the time to do extensive research on “common attacks”, a sub-field of the scientific field of study of martial arts (that particular academic endeavor is called hoplology, by the way). There are many individuals to highlight in this field of study. Allow me to highlight just one…
Enter: 9th Dan Black Belt, Hanshi Patrick McCarthy
Patrick McCarthy began his training in the 1960s and was recognized as a major kata, kihon and kumite competitor in the 1970s. After becoming disillusioned by (what he describes as) the lack of reality in the tournament scene, he traveled to Okinawa, Japan and China to find (again, in his words) “real” karate. His journey in the 1980s – 1990s led to the development of a theory of self-defense which he called the “habitual acts of physical violence” (or HAPV, for short). Subsequently, he has written many books and articles on the subject and has developed two person drills designed to address training against these common attacks. Below is his complete list of the 36 HAPVs:
“The only defense against evil, violent people is good people who are more skilled at violence.”
― Rory Miller
Others have organized this list in additional meaningful ways. Using crime statistics and circumstantial details, for instance, it is known that when men attack men, they strike half the time and grab half the time. This is not usually a surprise attack and often results from some type of initial verbal confrontation combined with lots of posturing, e.g., puffed up/chest out. This what Rory Miller, a former corrections officer and tactical team member with training in psychology, who writes and lectures on the topic of violence, calls the “monkey dance”.
“It’s better to avoid than to run; better to run than to de-escalate; better to de-escalate than to fight; better to fight than to die. The very essence of self-defense is a thin list of things that might get you out alive when you are already screwed.” ― Rory Miller
“Men commit 80 % of all violent crimes and are twice as likely to become the victims of aggressive behavior.”
― Lawrence Kane & Kris Wilder
When men attack women, they almost always grab in some way and there can often incorporate and element of surprise.
“It is understandable that the perspectives of men and women on safety are so different–men and women live in different worlds…at core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them.” ― Gavin de Becker
Hanshi Patrick McCarthy also simplifies the list of 36 HAPVs by collapsing them into 3 basic categories:
If you think of them in this way, the list of 36 common attacks (a number large enough to potentially overwhelm those with little to no martial arts, combat or fighting experience) seems much more “manageable”. Now that we have divided the attacks into smaller groups we can get to work figuring out what to do in those situations and how to best respond to each specific threat.
The GMAU Krav Maga program addresses each of the 36 HAPVs (and more). Beginning at the white belt level, students learn to strike, kick, defense against a choke, and standing grappling. In other words, the curriculum addresses all “ranges” of combat from the beginning of the program. As one progresses through belt levels they will learn blocks and additional strikes and kicks (through the black belt level). More standing grappling and ground defense instruction is taught at the intermediate belt levels and continues through the black belt level. Defenses against weapons begins at the intermediate levels through black belt.
Are you looking for an affordable and convenient way to learn how to protect yourself and others? Do you have dreams of being a qualified self-defense instructor with access to hundreds of hours of lessons and classes? If so, you should look closely at the GMAU Krav Maga student or instructor certification programs. See the links below to learn more and try them out (for FREE) with no implied commitment. You won’t be sorry you did…
If you want to learn more about the nature and psychology of violence, below are three very highly recommended books on those topics: