What Makes an Effective Self-Defense Technique?

All self-defense techniques are not created equal. Many techniques taught around the world will not work effectively against a real attacker who attacks with full force and in a realistic manner. Because training partners are often cooperate and respond in certain ways, techniques that are ineffective seem to work in a classroom situation.  Below is a summary of the key considerations on what makes an effective self-defense technique.

It’s Safe for the Self-Defender to Execute

Some techniques may injure you if you attempt to apply them with full power in a real environment. High kicks for example may cause you to slip and fall when done on uneven/slippery surfaces and it opens up the possibility that an attacker may grab your leg and take you down. Consider how your techniques will work when done with full power, no protective gear, in confined spaces in the real world.

It is uncomplicated

The more complicated a technique is to learn and execute, the higher the probability that it will fail in a real-life situation when victims fall prey to adrenalin dump due to the bodies’ natural reaction to danger. Generally speaking techniques that require many specific steps or precise movements tend not to work in stressful situations or situations where there are other variables at play.

It Can Be Applied In a Range of Situations

Defenses (blocks) against striking attacks that must be matched to a specific type of attack are more likely to fail. Real attacks are fast, chaotic and mostly unexpected. You won’t know if your opponent is throwing a straight right or a left hook. Effective counters are such that they work regardless of the particular attack being used.

 It Limits Your Opponent’s Options to Counter Attack

Your techniques need to limit your opponent’s ability to counter attack. Attacking with a textbook perfect punch and your face wide open is a recipe for disaster, as your opponent can punch you as you’re punching him. Effective self- defense techniques should work to your advantage and limit your opponent’s options while maximizing yours.

It Does Maximum Physical Damage

There’s no value in making a perfectly timed attack or counter attack using a technique that does nothing to stop your opponent. A good self-defense technique should cause maximum damage to targets irrespective of whether the attacker is small or big. Pain is not likely to be felt in the chaos of an attack. You need to do something that makes your opponent unable to continue.