Developing Your Own Philosophy

The problem with self-defense training is what you need to learn depends on YOUR situation. I don’t know your situation so I use my philosophy and write about what I believe is the most likely scenario I have seen civilians face in a self-defense situation. I advocate an efficient way of learning that will quickly give you skills to help save your life for the average incident while at the same time allowing you to further develop those SAME skills over time to solve more non-average situations.

You might take some time to develop your self-defense philosophy. You can keep it in mind as you navigate the world of self-defense practice and training. What kind of fight you might get into? How does it usually develop? If your fight is not average, why? What do you believe will be the fastest way to learn to win that fight while still allowing for a few situations that are outside the average?

Two sayings to illustrate my philosophy:

“Just because a famous guru does it doesn’t mean we should do it”

“What we do right before we know we’re getting into a fight often decides if we win or lose”

Many students blindly follow gurus and think they are ready. But why a person advocates a certain skill is more important to you than the skill or the guru’s resume. Even if the skill is fantastic, you need to know why it’s important to use it properly or to discard it.

This applies to occupations as well. Many of the skills used by military and police do not translate in any way to civilian life and those that do often need changes for efficient application. They are often taught in classes as though they are the cutting edge you need to survive your gunfight. You might be better served thinking about these issues and deciding what specifics you need to learn. You can learn much of those specifics on your own. Later, if you decide to go take that class you’re better ready to learn.

The quote about what we did right before we knew we were in a gunfight is even more important. This might apply to everything we do in life. An example: it is amazing how many home invaders knock on the door and the victims open it. The invaders put a gun into the victim’s face pushing their way in. HOW the person answered the door went a long way in determining the outcome. If you talk through the door and they decide to kick it in, where you keep your pistol in the house will determine if you have time to get it. If it’s kicked in how much time will you have to get your pistol if you are standing by the door? Where you have your pistol  may determine winning or losing.

Another example from the police world: Someone shot police officers while they relaxed in a coffee shop.  Almost immediately police training commanders began requiring drills to survive this scenario. I told my lieutenant that the best way to survive it is to get your coffee to go. He thought I was kidding.

Keep your philosophy in mind while developing and editing your what if’s. This allows you to limit obvious actions that can get you hurt or killed. You can get new habits. It is amazing how much resistance I get to this idea. Almost everything we do is by habit. We buckle and unbuckle the seat belt by habit. We answer the door by habit. We park our car in the public lot by habit. It’s usually not a well thought out habit, but a habit never the less. Incorporating well thought out habits into our life can save our life and sometimes prevent the incident before it starts. The best gunfight is one you avoided.


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