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Posted by on January 20, 2020

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. Confucious

The world is full of people who will help you manufacture tornadoes in order to blow out a match. Shau Hick.

From time to time we have students who like to add complexity to self-defense techniques. Some might try to deflect a punch and try to leverage the wrist or elbow to stop the attacker. Others casually look for pressure points like they are picking out ripened avocados at their local grocer, oblivious to the attacker’s flailing limbs.
For a variety of reasons, there is an appeal to complexity. We see it in movies and television – Black Widow from the Marvel movies or various characters in the Fast and Furious series. It can be elegant and it looks “cool”. The choreography is impressive.

The problem? Complex movements rarely work in real self-defense situations.

During actual assaults, an attacker, even an unfit attacker, is moving very fast. His limbs are in motion – punching, grabbing, stabbing, kicking.

Attackers are unpredictable and certainly not compliant. This is not a person you have been practicing twice a week at the dojo. To catch a limb then apply a lock or locate a pressure point is unlikely and dangerous. While you are grabbing their limb and recalling your anatomy lessons to find that elusive pressure point, the attacker is punching, stabbing, biting, throwing you to the ground.

Real fights and assaults happen at such speed and intensity that you cannot process everything the attacker does. Even the best boxers, for instance, get hit. If they don’t see everything coming then you won’t.

Focus on simple movements and precise technique and perform them with focused aggression. Leave the complexity to the movie studios. Keep it simple.

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