According to the FBI Crime Clock there’s a rape every six minutes in America. Punching, biting, violent penetration and complete loss of control for the victim. And some of the victims are murdered after the rape. Throats cut, shot in the forehead or strangled. These victims are moms, sisters, wives, girlfriends, and in some cases, men. Just regular folks like me and you. People with real hopes, real families and the desire to live and smile. Predators and users don’t give a damn though and take what they can from these people and shatter lives.
Women have taken self-defense lessons for eons trying to fight off the possibility of rape and murder. Sometimes what they have learned works. Sometimes, and in my view, most of the time, they have not worked.
Let me get to the chase. For years, women have been taught defensive moves which if done the way shown by many teachers, will not work when the crap hits the fan. Many techniques such as a strike or two to the face or a strike to the groin or perhaps several fancy slick moves that are said to be sure to take out an attacker, will get you one thing, and that’s an ass kicking, or worse, get you killed. As an example, when an enraged male breaks into a home and has violent intentions to overpower a woman he is ready to give it his all. He’s committed to going all-out for his nefarious needs and the only thing that will stop him is great force, great technique and bold focus. Let me give you several examples to explain what I mean.
One of the toughest people I’ve ever fought was a 17 year-old who was about 5’9’’ and weighed no more than 170 pounds. He was an escapee from a mental home and I was a policeman working the night shift. My partner and I found him at about three in the morning hiding in a doorway in a dark alley. We pointed our guns at him and told him to drop the weapon he had in his hand. He had a large dagger-like pointed bed-crank that he ripped off of a hospital bed which he used to dig his way out of the hospital. Guns pointing at him, he almost attacked us anyway. But at the last second he dropped his weapon and we handcuffed him.
However, when we took his cuffs off in the hospital the fight was on. I was using everything I had to control him. He was extremely strong and completely determined to get away and harm me and anyone near me. My partner and hospital staff joined in and he was restrained and sedated. At one time during the melee there were 5 large male’s working very hard on controlling this relatively small guy.
Now, let me ask you a question. Ladies first. What do you think would happen if this guy were to jump on you in an alley or break into your apartment and go to rape you? If he dove on you with all that rage, bad-intent, strength and determination. Could you fight him off? Men. How about you guys? Could you fight him off? Would a couple of punches stop this man? Could you prevail?
In the same vein, years ago, I arrested a convicted rapist who had recently been released from prison. He had threatened a fellow policeman’s wife and I had my eyes closely on him for a week or so. One day I saw him break the law and I pulled his car over to arrest him. Well, he wasn’t having any of being arrested, and again, the fight was on! Another policeman and I were giving it our all trying to control him. While I was fighting with him, I remember noticing that he was solid muscle—solid! I distinctly remember (during the fight) thinking that if this man were to go rape a woman that it would be curtains for her. He was just so strong and so determined that most women would simply crumble under his force.
We fought with him for about 30 seconds until I applied a neck restraint (police lingo) but let me call it what it is—a choke—and then I controlled him in two or three seconds. That stopped him in his tracks. But, and here me close when I say this—without being trained in a technique that works we would have had a huge battle on our hands. A battle that a person alone in an apartment or alley confronting him most likely would not have prevailed against.
Some predators are off-the charts determined and a human’s mind can make the human body extremely powerful. That is what some of these criminals have going for them and that is what we have going against us.
We must realize reality. We must be taught by people who know what real fighting is. What a real attack consists of. What really works. Students who are looking for self-defense classes need to look closely at the instructors. Have they seen what fighting is really about? Or, another positive, have they been taught by teachers who have instilled in them the ferocity, power and disabling moves really needed to prevail against attacks?
It’s tough to know who quality self-defense teachers really are. But for students looking for “good classes” look at the moves. Do they look intense and do they look like they will stop an enraged attacker? Don’t leave your common sense at the door. Bring it with you and ask yourself if the techniques will stop a bull like human being who may be attacking you. Mixed martial art classes are the rage now and they have done a great service in the realm of reality. We can see, with our own eyes what works in actual fights and in training too. It has brought reality out to the forefront in martial arts where for generations, in my view, many teachers taught “stuff” that simply would not work in similar situations to what I have chronicled here. Reality . . . look for it before you commit to a style of self-defense instruction.
And as for black belts or self-defense teachers; I humbly suggest that we examine what we have been taught and make sure they will work in situations such as I mention. Make sure that when you teach, your main goal is to teach techniques that will work to help a man or woman survive a brutal assault. Being a committed professional you are smart enough to analyze moves that will or will not work; perhaps even contrary to what you were originally taught. Make sure you keep your teaching eye on what will work in a life and death battle. You owe it to your students. You also owe it to your caring and professional self; to impart something that will truly save people.
Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer.
For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.
Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
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