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Author Topic: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?  (Read 18004 times)

Offline Matt Emery

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Knowing a quick and effective way to protect oneself during an attack from another human could be life saving, and absolutely justified.  So, in the spirit of self defence, i'd like to ask you this:

If you were bare-handed and you had just one chance to disable an attacker, what move would you do?  A blow to the face? A kick to the groin?

My choice would be either; a front kick to the lower abdomen, or i'd drive the heel of my palm into their nose - my choice would depend upon my proximity to the assailant.

What would you do, if you had one chance?
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Tony Bondioli

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2008, 02:08:55 PM »
There are just too many possible variables to properly answer this question.  Where is the attacker, in relation to you?  Is the attacker armed?  If so, with what?  Is the attacker alone, or are there more than one of them?  What sort of terrain are you standing on?  Are you even standing, or are you sitting in a car, lying in bed, etc.?

I've been studying martial arts for 20 years, from the very strict and traditional, to the very eclectic and unusual.  For me, the discovery of the Russian martial art called Systema ("the system"), as taught by Vladimir Vasiliev, was like finding the place I knew I'd been looking for all along.  Check it out here:

www.russianmartialart.com

One thing that really sets Systema apart from the rest is the fact that it doesn't consist of techniques at all, but instead teaches the practitioner's body to simply react naturally and effectively to the reality of the moment.  The "four pillars" upon which its practice is founded are these:  Breathe.  Relax.  Move.  Maintain good (effective) form.  Philosophically, it's very much in line with what Bruce Lee espoused.  Basically, don't get so hung up on traditional/technical details that you miss the universal principles which underlie all of them.  Remain fluid.  Don't limit yourself to only thinking in terms of, "If A does this, then B does this."  Real life doesn't happen that way.

Modern MMA/cage-fighting also has a lot to offer in the way of learning to effectively defend oneself, albeit in a somewhat more limited fashion.  That is to say, the guys (and gals) who practice MMA definitely learn to kick ass, but practice doing so within the confines of certain, reliable rules and circumstances (i.e., it's all one-on-one, with no weapons, on level terrain, in a relatively well-lit area, barring the application of certain types of attacks, etc.).

Also, as far as being bare-handed goes, I'm a strong advocate of learning to find and use everyday objects as weapons.  I also carry a knife just about everywhere I go, plus a tomahawk in the car, guns in the closet... you get the idea.  The cavemen who survived to pass on their genetic material (your ancestors and mine) didn't do so by going about foolishly unarmed.  Remember this ancient Scandanavian wisdom:  "The knifeless man is a lifeless man."  Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

EDIT:  Now, all that said, I must confess that I love getting in close when there's no reason not to.  My grip strength is considerable, so when I can get hold of somebody, it's pretty easy for me to twist, snap, grind, tear, and rip up parts of the bad guy's anatomy.  I also have a hard head (literally and figuratively) and have been know to apply it with great effect to the bridges of undesirables' noses.

Hey, Big Khanz... I'm sure you've got some great stuff to contribute, here!   8)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2008, 02:36:21 PM by Tony Bondioli »
RN, B.Sc. Health Promotion and Wellness. Public Health Nurse serving a Great Lakes Native American tribe. Husband and father. Lousy at cards, but with a fair singing voice. Good to have around when the excrement hits the rotating cooling apparatus.

"I worshipped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong."  (Vita Sackville-West)

“I'm not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with the potential of a superman. I'm living on.”  (David Bowie)

"Man fears the beast within the wolf, because he does not understand the beast within himself."  (Turtle Island Alphabet)

"Seek not only to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek the things they sought."  (Basho)

"[Primal man] is of the soil... he fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings."  (paraphrasing Luther Standing Bear)

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2008, 05:13:34 PM »
Matt, Tony, this has been a topic that Ive been thinking about bringing up since joining the tribe. I haven't, because this topic usually brings up more arguments on a forum then religion or politics:P So I am going to just throw down my credentials on the subject and go from there:

I have about as much experience with hand-to-hand combat, self-defence, martial-arts, and and competitve fighting as a man can have. I am a 19-0 heavyweight MMA fighter. I own a company that contracts security to high-end clubs, bars, and pubs that I started while bouncing myself. I started bouncing when I was in high-school 10yrs ago. In that time I have broken up or been a part of at least 500 fights. I also spent time in the United States Marine Corps before spending 4 years in the US Navy where I was a hand-to-hand instructor, a weapons of opportunity instructor and an edged weapons instructor for the Special Operations Unit I was a part of. I also teach a reality based combat class, a womans self defense class, and a rape defense class. The first at the fight gym I train at and the latter two for free at whatever women's shelters will let me. There is very sad, tragic reason for my doing that last part and I will only talk about one-on-one, not over an open thread.

The point of all that is to show that I speak with authority on this subject. And I could talk all day about this, but Im gonna try to keep it short and sweet. Im gonna start with MINDSET

1st: you have to know that there is only one universal right in nature. The Right to Self-Defense. There is no right to life, liberty, joy, or oppurtunity in Nature. DEAL WITH IT.

2nd: the only rule in a real fight is "Win by whatever means necassary" Everything is fair. Rip, bite, tear, or pick up a brick. Just win.

3rd there are 3 things you need to assume whenever in a fight and let these things dictate your actions/reactions. Assume he is trying to kill or maim you. Assume he has a weapon or will aquire a weapon during the course of the fight. Assume he has friends. That last one is really important to people who think that they are going to triangle choke a guy on the ground because the took a littl jiu-jitsu.

4th the most ruthless, brutal actions are what win fights.

5th suprise, speed, and violence of action will beat technique and skill the majority of the time.

Now after saying the basics, Im going to say, Matt you are gonna get your self killed or mugged. A broke nose or a shot to the gut hurt like hell but they arent going to stop a really pissed, large, criminal.

In my experience, in a real fight, 99% of what is taught in your average dojo is useless.

I was taught as a child this concept that has saved my life and allowed me to end someone elses when it had to be done: Maximum Damage Minimum Effort.
It's take a bit of ruthlessness to really appreciate what my dad ment by this. But here are a few simple yet brutal examples:

Instead of a palm strike to the nose, aim for the collarbone. Fight's over in one hit.
I tell the girls to grab, squeeze, twist and pull. Throat or genitals. Fight's over with a quick turn of the wrist.
A big guy like Tony gets up close and you bite the nose as high up as you can. Fights over before you can spit it out.
Jab an eye with the thumb near the tear duct and turn. Yes there is a proper way to gouge the eye. That much pain and blindness and the fight's over.

There are as many responses as there are possible situations. But I have seen time and again that agression and brutality USUALLY WIN. >:(
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline Tony Bondioli

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2008, 06:12:30 PM »
Beautifully stated, BK.  I was a little worried that you might take offense at my mention of the limitations that a "cage-fighting" approach to real-life self-defense presents.  Now knowing a bit more about your authority on this topic, I think it's safe to say that you and I see eye to eye on this subject.  I completely agree with everything you have just written.  Perhaps someday you and I could do a bit of training together.

By the way, I'm not a small man, but compared to you, I'm really just a little fella.  Still, you know what they say:  "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that counts!"     ;)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2008, 06:15:12 PM by Tony Bondioli »
RN, B.Sc. Health Promotion and Wellness. Public Health Nurse serving a Great Lakes Native American tribe. Husband and father. Lousy at cards, but with a fair singing voice. Good to have around when the excrement hits the rotating cooling apparatus.

"I worshipped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong."  (Vita Sackville-West)

“I'm not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with the potential of a superman. I'm living on.”  (David Bowie)

"Man fears the beast within the wolf, because he does not understand the beast within himself."  (Turtle Island Alphabet)

"Seek not only to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek the things they sought."  (Basho)

"[Primal man] is of the soil... he fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings."  (paraphrasing Luther Standing Bear)

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2008, 07:40:08 PM »
No I totally agree about any competitve fighting, by its nature, is limited in its real world application. MMA (UFC style) fighting is a sport. They arent trying to hurt, they are trying to submit or knockout.

I actually have problems adjusting my mindset away from trying to physically destroy my opponent when in the cage.

Quote
Perhaps someday you and I could do a bit of training together
Where do you live? I travel all over the country on a regular basis. I seem to remember you talking about some hunting you do, and Im finally getting the chance to hunt again now that Im out of the service. Maybe we could get something set up.
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline Matt Emery

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2008, 07:59:45 PM »
Thanks Tony and BK, I appreciate your thorough (and quick) responses.  Violence is something that I may be running into soon, so i'm quite keen to learn a trick or two - in the name of self defence.

It's a privilege to have you guys on the forum.
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Tony Bondioli

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2008, 08:23:28 PM »
BK:
I live in northern Wisconsin, one of the greatest places on earth for white-tailed deer hunting.  Our regular (gun) season last 9 days, in the beginning of November.  Bow season starts earlier, and continues after gun season into January.  I have an 85-acre (former dairy, now hobby) farm, as well as, together with my brother and sister, another 80-acre parcel with a hunting shack on it.  If you're in the mood to hunt and hungry for venison this fall, feel free to email me and we'll see if we can work something out.

Matt:
Sorry to hear that trouble may be heading your way.  Whatever it's about, I hope it doesn't get physical.  If it does, I hope it's not too serious.  If it is, I hope you prevail.  BK's practical suggestions (and your level of fitness) will keep you in good stead.  Try to avoid fighting, but if you've gotta do it, DO IT.  Go nuts.  Tear 'em apart.  Make your enemy think he's fighting a wild animal.  Oh, and that hunting invitation goes out to you, as well, if you ever feeling like crossing the big pond.

 :)
RN, B.Sc. Health Promotion and Wellness. Public Health Nurse serving a Great Lakes Native American tribe. Husband and father. Lousy at cards, but with a fair singing voice. Good to have around when the excrement hits the rotating cooling apparatus.

"I worshipped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong."  (Vita Sackville-West)

“I'm not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with the potential of a superman. I'm living on.”  (David Bowie)

"Man fears the beast within the wolf, because he does not understand the beast within himself."  (Turtle Island Alphabet)

"Seek not only to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek the things they sought."  (Basho)

"[Primal man] is of the soil... he fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings."  (paraphrasing Luther Standing Bear)

Offline Phanatic

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2008, 08:31:11 PM »
What BigKhanz said about fighting is completely true. A lot of what you learn in the dojo isn't practical. I did Brazillian Jiu Jitsu which is pretty highly regarded, and only found a few good techniques to "take home" out of the multitude we learnt, for example the mighty "Guillotine". BigKhanz, that's an impressive list of qualifications.

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2008, 11:31:14 PM »
Quote
I did Brazillian Jiu Jitsu which is pretty highly regarded, and only found a few good techniques to "take home" out of the multitude we learnt, for example the mighty "Guillotine".
Using the guillotine in a real fight is a terrible idea. 1st: It is a air choke, which can take minutes to render someone unconscious, and it does no real damage yet can send the person into an adrenaline fueled panic. 2nd You leave yourself open to some nasty attacks without the ability to defend yourself at all. Think about this: an instep stomp, an eye gouge, a testicle grab and about 4 or 5 other things I can think of off the top of my head. 3rd every counter to that choke can seriously injure you on concrete or cement.

Quote
Violence is something that I may be running into soon, so I'm quite keen to learn a trick or two - in the name of self defence.
What are the circumstances of your problems? Email me personally, let me know whats up, and I can help you/teach you enough to handle whatever comes your way. If you are willing to follow my instructions and keep an open mind, I'll teach you things most people never realize about violence. Same goes for anyone else in the tribe who is interested.
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline Phanatic

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2008, 03:52:23 AM »
Really? Well, I'd be pretty interested in hearing what you have to say on the subject of self defense.

Offline HelderLuis

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2008, 11:31:43 AM »
I've practiced both kickboxing and aikido, my choice for a quick and discrete action, would be sticking my fingers in his throat, that would surely bring my attacker to the ground with a breathing problem. I totally agree with BigKhanz, we have the natural right to self defense. In my country the law is very different from the US law, here it's much harder to prove self defense in a court, the judges who never had a situation of danger in their lives, because they have police body guards, always think that someone who defends him/herself could always have avoided to hurt the attacker so hard (it makes me mad really). I can give you one example of the portuguese law, if someone tries to kill me with a knife, and if i have a gun, i can't shoot him, because the law says my reaction was too much. A friend of mine was sentenced in court because he broke an arm to a guy who tried to rob him, he had to pay for his treatments, and one month of salary because the robber, guess what? the robber had a job, and he couldn't work with a broken arm, the fact that he has tried to rob my friend with a knife, was completely forgotten in court. I love my country for many good things, but justice isn't one of them.

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2008, 02:18:43 PM »
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sticking my fingers in his throat, that would surely bring my attacker to the ground with a breathing problem

I have a friend named Vinny that I hope you never meet. I watched some little karate dude that had been training his entire life smack Vinny in the throat like that when we were throwing him out of the club for being an @$$hole. Vinny coughed once and then threw all 270lbs of his weight into a punch that shattered every bone in the front of the little karate dude's skull. Vinny was standing up for almost 4min before he blacked out. The lesson from this is that you never hit just once. There is a saying in the US military: anything worth shooting once is worth shooting 2or3 times, same goes for hand-to-hand. This is why you learn combos.

Im a huge fan of the "Trainwreck" concept. Throw things at them from all angles without warning. Think about the difference between your fingers to the throat and my jab to the throat,  left hook to the jaw, knee to the chest, instep stomp, to a hip throw then stomp on the solar plexus, neck or elbow. One right after the other in a series. Thats how you disable an attacker.

Quote
I can give you one example of the portuguese law, if someone tries to kill me with a knife, and if i have a gun, i can't shoot him, because the law says my reaction was too much.

I live in Texas. Ive actually used my hand gun in self-defense, and Ive had the local police shake my hand after stopping a guy with my bare hands who was trying to beat his wife to death.
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline HelderLuis

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2008, 04:38:07 PM »
That's a very good combination BigKhanz, and i like that saying from the US military :)  I said that i would use the fingers because i don't want to take the chance of killing someone, with the laws in my country i would be really screwed.

What do you think of Krav Maga? I'm getting a big fan, it seems very effective, most counter terrorism forces in the world use it. The "trainwreck" you described made me remember the videos i've seen of krav maga.

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2008, 05:02:20 PM »
Here's another one we used to say: better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6.

krav maga is one of about a dozen "reality based combat systems" I respect all of them.

The trainwreck is actually a concept from Hapkido
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Offline BigKhanz

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2008, 07:31:10 PM »
Well, it seems I'm replying to my own post, but there is something else important I have to touch on:
Weapons of Opportunity A weapon of opportunity is any object that will give you a tactical advantage in a combat situation. This was an actual class I took in US Marine Corps boot camp and showed up again while serving in the US Navy.

MCMAP(Marine Corps Martial Arts Program), SCARS, Krav Maga, and most other reality based fighting styles stress using anything you can get your hands on in order to survive and win.

When I went to the bar tonight, I had around a half dozen items on me that could be used as a weapon or survival tool. Here's a short list:

Ballpoint pen- throat or temple shot can kill. Rib shot can debilitate.
Credit cards- When broken in have you have a pair of razor blades.
Canvas belt-Too many uses to list.
Keychain and lanyard-bludgeon and ropetype weapon

add those to the sharp pointy things I hide about my person, and I nearly feel sorry for the fool who tries to mug me.

Quote
What would you do, if you had one chance?
I will share this too. (You'll like this one Tony) My father calls this the "conversation stopper". Reach up and grab someone by the center of the lower jaw and quickly twist  down and towards the thumb. The torque will shatter the bone almost instantly. My dad's a pretty scarey guy.
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline HelderLuis

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2008, 05:52:26 AM »
My Aikido instructor use to tell us the same thing, anything in your reach can be turned into a weapon and used to finish your attacker. His mentality at the time was very different from the typical martial arts instructor, he's also a military, he teaches the portuguese marines. He was always telling us, if you're attacked in a dark street with nobody watching, just kill them and go away, don't call the police, just go like if nothing had happened.  I'll never forget that in my second aikido class, he taught several different ways to break someones back and neck. There's someone i would never want to fight  :)

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2008, 10:37:08 AM »
Quote
he taught several different ways to break someones back and neck
That kinda thing is right up there with a death touch or quivering palm type attack. NOT GONNA HAPPEN OR WORK IN REAL LIFE Breaking the neck is not an easy task. It's the equivalent of breaking the handle of a sledge hammer by twisting it. One of my specialties in MMA and submission grappling are the various neck cranks. I love them because I can really bring my considerable strength to bear when applying them. Yet in the thousands of sparring matches I've been a part of or seen there has never been a single broken neck. And there isn't a single hand-to-hand course in any branch or unit with-in the US Department of Defense that Ive ever heard of, that teaches anything like that.
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline HelderLuis

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2008, 11:35:58 AM »
Breaking the back is much easier than breaking the neck, most people think it's the neck. The things he taught us were very practical, it had nothing to do with "magic" touches and other fictional stuff. Right i'm looking for a legit a serious place to learn Krav Maga, but in my city i didn't find yet.

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2008, 10:36:12 AM »
short of strikes directly to the spine, I have never seen a hold, lock, or throw thats likely to break the spinal column. Even if it's possible, you dont atempt low probablity attacks
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline HelderLuis

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2008, 01:29:42 PM »
There are simple ways to put someone in a vulnerable position to break, obviously it's always easier to make direct attacks, and that's what most of us end up doing when necessary.

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2008, 05:40:06 PM »
Once again:

MAXIMUM DAMAGE FOR MINIMUM EFFORT!!!

Quick, fast, and brutal. Thats how you end a violent confrontation, with you standing and him not breathing. In competition , it's ok to try to put someone in a "vunerable posistion". In real life, thats a good way to end up dead. And just because some instructor is teaching "ancient chinese secrets" doesn't mean that it really works. That has been the problem with eastern martial arts since they became popular. There has always been a sense of mystery associated that clouds better judgement. Bruce Lee was the 1st to really challange that kind of thinking. People always get caught up in the idea that some "master" has figured out all the secrets of fighting, and that there is nothing left to learn. It's just like the fitness world being caught up in the principles of bodybuilding as the end all, be all of personal fitness.


And yes, I know akidio is japanesse, not chinese.

Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline Matt Emery

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2008, 11:27:39 AM »
Matt:
Sorry to hear that trouble may be heading your way.  Whatever it's about, I hope it doesn't get physical.  If it does, I hope it's not too serious.  If it is, I hope you prevail.  BK's practical suggestions (and your level of fitness) will keep you in good stead.  Try to avoid fighting, but if you've gotta do it, DO IT.  Go nuts.  Tear 'em apart.  Make your enemy think he's fighting a wild animal.  Oh, and that hunting invitation goes out to you, as well, if you ever feeling like crossing the big pond.

Cheers Tony  I'm soaking up this thread!  And yeah, if I had to go primal, I would do it with every cell of my body... I wouldn't muck about.  Speed surprise and aggression would be my main tools (as you and BK have mentioned).

And i'd love to go hunting with you guys... perhaps one day i'll finish writing the book, make a few quid, and get on a plane to Texas :D

In fact, the more I hear about Texas, the more I am intrigued about it - it sounds like an epic place to live.
"Be true to your biology"

Offline HelderLuis

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2008, 04:38:56 PM »
BigKhanz i think you're right, though i think aikido is really good, but everytime i had to fight i always used direct atacks from kickboxing, and not much of aikido, i think that's because it's more instinctive to make brutal and direct attacks.

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2008, 06:24:18 PM »
Ive been to every continent except Antartica, been to around 70 countries and there is no place I would rather live.

Texas has definitely shaped the person I am today. My friends are always saying that Im not a real person, just a bad Texan stereotype. They may be right.
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline Asaahi

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Re: Self Defence - what is the most effective way to stop an attack?
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2008, 01:41:35 AM »
Hey Matt, I think if it comes to survival, all is fair. Your trying to save your life, so who cares about the judges and points right!
He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.