911 was a perfect example of an asymmetrical attack, which is how most attacks against humans occur. The terrorists were devious, used stealth and surprise, intimidation, and were able to commit one of the biggest atrocities in History, a small group bringing the greatest country in the world to its knees.
This has direct relevance to self defense because this is how most predators operate. Look at a lion, one of the most successful predators on earth. Lions must use stealth and surprise to ambush their victims. They don’t fight fair. They attack in an asymmetrical manner. If they didn’t they all would have died off long ago. Even the mighty crocodile slithers in unseen beneath the water surface to snap at his unwary prey before dragging it down in a vicious death roll.
It is amazing and even quite sad how in this advanced age of communication, something as important as self defense is still so vastly misunderstood. Think about it: Ask 100 people what they think self defense is and you will get all manner of responses. The typical response is filled with images of cinematic flashy moves, breaking boards and bricks, and deadly secret death touches. Yet for the most part, these have little or nothing to do with how real people could or should try to defend themselves.
And perhaps more to the point, these misconceptions create false fear and denial that keep so many people from ever taking a self defense course, even though it is a subject that everyone needs to know in our ever increasingly violent world!
There are currently a number of self defense and martial arts organizations that have transcended the stereotypes of self defense and actually do provide very effective state of the art self protection.
Most fights are won or lost before the first punch is ever thrown.
Yet, most Self Defense courses devote a great deal if not all of their training to physical techniques. This is because most Self-Defense courses are derived from the Martial Arts. The Martial Arts are technique-based systems where one begins slowly and after many years eventually masters various “Martial” movements and forms. These techniques require a high level of physical dexterity and fine motor skills.
The standard Self-Defense course is based on applying various martial arts movements to defend against the myriad of ways an attacker may carry out an assault. Unfortunately, arming students with only physical skills leaves out huge chunks of information that are crucial in effectively stopping a fight before it occurs. Add to that the fact that much of the physical skill training taught is too complex to work in a real encounter and the harsh truth is that most self-defense training can actually be setting the student up for failure, sometimes with catastrophic results. Sadly, stories abound of an experienced martial artist getting beaten up by a seasoned street fighter who knows how to verbally intimidate and hit with one or two techniques really hard.