Lesson 1 – The basics of self-defense


In this chapter, we will start to describe the foundations of a serious martial preparation for self-defense. We will try to be as much as possible:

  • Serious – We do not like to cheat / deceive people, especially when life comes to risk
  • Practical – No absurd situations that never happen outside a predetermined context
  • Simple – The most complex and risky cases will be the subject of the last chapters of this course

We have chosen to speak already from now of a topic so complex because it is precisely those who take the first steps in the martial arts to risk being a victim of illusions and/or untrustworthy instructors (read Recognize a good / bad master: 5 characteristics).

Personal defense: learn from everyone not trust anyone

90% of self-defense courses are purely useless and dangerous (read Why martial arts do not work: 5 reasons):

  • They teach to abuse of violence (illuding you to do not receive it back)
  • They mix personal defense and martial arts (read Best martial arts for self-defense)
  • They do not teach prevention (they always start when the situation has reached the peak of danger)
  • They do not teach negotiation (they teach you to do things that can force you to pass your life in prison)
  • They do not teach to train seriously (they say to you that doing the magic technique even a child can beat a mountain of muscles)
  • They show didactical techniques that you will never use (they are only a possibility to learn from, not the way)
  • They show techniques apparently simple but in reality too complex (for a not daily advanced practitioner)
  • Worst than everything they do not tell you the limits of their methods (the use of violence must be avoided because on the street no fight ends without damages and normally is the attacker to prevail, not the defender, he has done all its valuations before assaulting you, you are caught by surprise)

A note by Master Kongling – One of the reasons why in this course (and in general on the official website of 6 Dragons Kung Fu) we have shown so few techniques of struggle is connected to this: the risk of focusing on a pre-packaged mechanics instead of on training, on learning tricks rather than on building real skills. In this course, we will also look at the techniques but it is not only on this that you have to rely on. The understanding and absorption of a principle are worth 100 poorly studied techniques of struggle. It is no coincidence that the Shaolin monks spent years studying basic positions, fortifying body and spirit before moving on to the study of applications (when the technical phase arrived the less determined were already skimmed and the rest already became strong and combative as tigers).

At the base of self-defense

For a martial artist to be able to face the adversity of any type of personal defense scenario (from the quarrel to the clash without rules), it is necessary to:

  • Learn what must be avoided – In most cases critical situations can and must be managed through prevention; with the right attitudes we can avoid 90% of the dangers (and their consequences) without having to start even a verbal comparison
  • Learn what must be done – Both before and during the occurrence of a dangerous situation it is vitally important to have a ready-made (but adaptable) mental scheme that can help us make quick and consistent decisions that can save our lives
  • Learn to manage stress – One thing that many “courses” of self-defense only mention is the psychological aspect; the events related to self-defense occur at the least appropriate moments (in full sleep, while you go back home and think back to the problems of work / school, etc.) and panic is the most common reaction, everything you learned (or thought you learned) fades
  • Learn how to negotiate – Who creates problems or disorder is often a person with little acumen and / or a lack of concentration, the clever use of the word (or gestures) can get us out of the way again without having to resort to violence
  • Learn how to escape safely – The ability to escape from a possible aggressor is not only linked to a question of psychological (pride, preservation of one’s own goods, etc.) but also and above all to the physical ability to reach (unharmed) a (truly) safe place
  • Learn how to do not hurt yourself – In the street, when you face (or try to escape) attackers you must always count one more opponent to face, you; in many of the cases that the news reports it is not who threatens to provide the greatest damage but rather the inattention and inability of the victim managing the scenario of struggle (eg slipping and beating the head)

Only when you have made this baggage of knowledge yours, you will be ready to learn how to fight on the street (physical confrontation is always the last option, read The 6DKF’s diagram about the use of violence).

In-depth articles

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Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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