Often, we think of training in Self Defense as a means to ensure my safety. In many schools, that is the only avenue addressed – what happens when someone attacks you. Usually, you’ll learn how to break some chokes, parry some punches, and kick someone in the groin, and that’s fine…I’m not saying it’s not. What I am saying, however, is that most people never stop to think about the possibility of running into someone else being attacked. What would you do then? Would you freeze? Would you run? Would you…help?
The fact is that most people will not. People are often stunned by violence or are filled with fear themselves. Both of these are normal reactions to a situation like this. The majority of the video footage we see of people being attacked is filmed by an onlooker. The majority of people don’t care to help, and I believe, as martial artists and Krav Maga practitioners, that’s what sets us apart.
Krav Maga taught me more than just what to do in a self defense situation, in terms of what strikes to apply and where. My Krav Maga instructors would often go deeper into how you might assess a situation first. I have continued to teach these same lessons, and I do wonder if these same lessons are sinking in with others, the way they did with me.
Still, the question remains, “What would you do?” For me, it would depend entirely on the situation at hand. If I saw two people of their own free will engaging in a fight in a bar, because both of them were intoxicated and one began to get the better of the other, I would not likely intervene – initially. Knowing that most untrained fighters are exhausted after less than 30 seconds of flailing fists, I wouldn’t worry myself too much, and if I did have to jump in, they would already be tired before I did anything.
If, however, I came across a woman, child, or even a defenseless man being assualted I would have found myself in a situation where I must intervene. In the best possible case, I could use verbal tactics to talk the attacker down, and get the victim to safety, but seeing as how we don’t live in an ideal society, my Krav Maga would be my tool! The Lord only knows my prayers would be with that poor attacker. Mind you, the main objective is to get the victim in this situation to safety and alert the authorities.
Please bear in mind that if you take the plunge to help someone who is being assaulted, you do two things: 1). You make the conscious decision to put yourself in harms way, and 2). You make the decision that you are to protect the victim with your own body – that their life is worth the harm you may sustain. This is all part of the mental training we should all go through. It is my job as a Krav Maga practitioner and Self Defense instructor to do everything within my power to help those around me. As a Krav Maga practitioner, remind yourself that everyone is safer when you enter the room!
I would like to hear from you – what your views are on Third Party Protection and Self Defense. What would you do if confronted with situations such as these?
A lot of people ask me, “What would you do if…?” and I’m not always sure how I should answer them. Obviously, they are looking for a lesson in a self defense technique, but that isn’t necessarily what they need. You see, the question they should be asking is, “What should I do?” Self defense is so unique to each individual; yes, there are techniques that are learned, regardless of size, gender, or age, but the truth is that something that might work for me, might not work for you.
I was teaching a class on defenses from the ground, and in the class, I covered general defenses that work for most people. I had a student, however, that was having a difficult time executing the technique on her much larger partner. I then had to modify the technique for her, to make sure that she had an answer for her problem. Everyone’s Krav Maga can be different, and that’s the beauty of it; it’s a core set of principles that, when followed, allow you to modify techniques to achieve the desired result – escape and safety.
This is why it is unbelievably important to have a teacher that understands these concepts and is ready and willing to work with you, to make sure that you will get home safely! I hope that you found this helpful, and I certainly hope you decide to take up Krav Maga, if you haven’t already.
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