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The Art Of Combat For Noncombatants

Updated on February 22, 2022
jpcmc profile image

I'm a dad, husband, and Christian first. Second, I'm an educator and organizational development professional.

Do you know how to protect yourself or your loved one in a life or death situation? I am not talking about disasters situations here. I am talking about physical assault, home intrusions or similar situations. Self-defense techniques can be both simple and complicated depending on your skill level. Some train in martial arts for years before perfecting or even have skills that are street ready. Furthermore, some opt to arm themselves with self-defense weapons from batons, knives, guns and even assault rifles. But how would you fare in a combat situation knowing that you may not be combat ready? The art of combat for non-combatants is tricky but this may just save lives. Remember, you have the right to protect yourself!

Can you defend your self?
Can you defend your self? | Source

The right to live and protect yourself

We have the right to protect ourselves. However, our right to live and be secure is challenged by scums of the society. In these cases, we must assert our right to protect ourselves. Would you fight back or not? I have seen home invasion videos where parents remained passive so as not to put their children in greater danger. A woman was badly beaten and simply took on the blows of the intruder so that her daughter will not wake up and get hurt. She actually passed out several times during the beating. Just remember that you have the right to live and be safe.

Startling Stats:

In 2012, 74.5% of burglaries occurred in residences

Practical self-defense for non-combatants 1:

Avoid physical confrontation whenever possible

If the threat can be mitigated by giving up material possession, then by all means, give them up. It is never worth taking the risk to get hurt or worse get killed for your phone or money. Many associate learning self-defense and combat skills with high kicks and fast punches and even MMA takedowns. That is a huge misconception. Instead, learn to pick your battles.

First, there is always someone bigger and faster than us. Don’t be too cocky to go into a fight to “defend” yourself. When there is a way to avoid it, do so and save your self from pain or death. Second, choosing your battles also include understanding ways to get out of the situation. This includes assessing whether giving up your iPad or iPhone is worth it to save your life – I think it is.

So the secret in surviving a life-threatening situation is not just jumping into a fight but using your head properly.

2012 Crime Stats From the FBI

Reported cases
Motor Vehicle Theft
Property Crimes

Have you experienced physical assault?

See results

Practical self-defense for non-combatants 2:

Assume a defensive stance but be ready for the offensive

Most people who get pummeled are those who blindly step in harm’s way. Whether it is adrenalin, or just honest to goodness stupidity, either way, it can kill you. Defensive stance can mean different things from different martial arts style. But remember, you’re not trained. So let’s break this down in a more practical way for non-combatants:

Manage the distance between you and the assailant – this means keeping a safe distance from the assailant. Knife attacks warrant a larger space between you and this psycho dude. Guns on the other hand are trickier. Managing the distance also includes putting something between you and the attacker. This can be a chair, a bag, another person in the area (not really nice to this though) or something else that can delay or deter further aggressive behavior. I personally know someone who actually opened an umbrella in front of the knife wielding dude and she survived without a scratch. Her umbrella did not make it.

Protect your body. Keep a tight posture by keeping your arms close to your body and hands protecting your face. If you have items to help secure your body use it. You can wrap a scarf or jacket around your arms so knife slashes won’t be as damaging. If you have an item to shield you then use it.

Would you consider learning to defend yourself?
Would you consider learning to defend yourself? | Source

Practical self-defense for non-combatants 3:

Commit to surviving the attack

Don’t just wait for the assailant to strike or hurt you. When it is life or death situation, do something. The simplified version of this is MOVE. Evasive maneuvers can help you. Duck, jump, parry, twirl, just do something and not wait to get killed.

What to attack

I’m pretty sure you’ve seen movies where the good guy makes amazing combinations with their feet and hands. And most if not all the attacks land perfectly on the bad guy. Here’s the reality, this is not Hollywood! But it is the story of your life. For maximum efficacy, don’t target large muscle groups. Instead, target soft tissues and vital points. This includes, groin (for guys), eyes, neck, nose, throat, and solar plexus.

How to attack

For the untrained body, a punch to the head may cause your hand more pain than damage to the assailant. How you attack is critical. When attacking the head, it is more effective for untrained people to use the heel of the palm instead of clenching the fist and striking with it. Your fingers may not have enough strength. Plus, the wrong angle can break your hand.

In addition, remember that this is not MMA fight where you can get disqualified. So throw in some cheap shots. Yup, you heard me right. Gouge the eyes, bite, scratch, go psycho on the person as well. You can do this with matching screams. Although howling may be too much, you’re welcome to howl.

Here is another trick that I’ve learned through the years. Why risk injuring your hands or legs to strike when you can use dependable objects like bottles, umbrellas, bags, or even the wall behind you? Attacking the assailant means being aware of the possible weapons that you can use around you. Remember, you can get killed so don’t be too shy to use the rock on the pavement. I once threw an umbrella at a knife wielding maniac and I managed to distract him enough so I can run away. Yup, when you get the chance to escape by all means take it. Remember practical tip #1.

Survival Mindset

A survival mindset will help protect you from turning into an ordinary person into a victim or worse – a dead person.

No one wants to be in this dreadful situation. But when you are in one, you can choose to die or survive. I think the second choice seems more appealing. But so what if you are not trained in martial arts? Self-defense is an automatic response but we need to be more aware of what we are doing. Even if you don’t have the skills of Bruce Lee, Royce Gracie or GSP, you can still survive an attack.

Self-defense is not some ancient secret method to kill people. Self-defense is your right to protect yourself!

© 2014 JP Carlos


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