Updated: Jan 16, 2019
Self Defense and Use of Force Considerations -- Sources of Information
How can I keep myself, and my loved ones, safe? Should I learn a martial art for self-defense? Should I get a concealed carry license so I can carry a gun for self defense? Should I carry a knife?
If you have considered taking a self-defense course and wondered how to get started you already know it can be a daunting task. Every martial arts school advertises self-defense and some even say that their art will help you “vanquish any opponent” or “walk anywhere without fear.” Sure, those marketing techniques might be appealing, but the truth is that it takes years of intense study in a martial art before the techniques of that art can be used for self-defense. And in most cases, the art itself was designed for fighting/combat rather than self-defense. And that is one of the first things you need to know: Self-defense isn’t just learning some physical techniques.
Not that learning a martial art is bad. Not at all. I’m only saying that, unless martial art training is something you are truly interested in, there are there are other ways to become adept at self-defense without having to commit to learning a martial art and spending years developing your skills.
Another roadblock to learning self-defense properly, and thus staying safe, is that there are so many charlatans and scam artists who market their particular system in order to take your money. A little research will go a long way in helping you to avoid this.
Related to the issue of practicing self-defense is the legal one: use of force considerations. Using force to protect yourself, even against someone who is attacking you, could put you at criminal/legal risk. Possible jail time, expensive court costs, law suits and related issues bring an aspect to self-defense and use of force that most instructors either gloss over or don’t want to talk about. I trained for years in a Filipino knife and stick system known as Arnis de Mano. Many of the techniques I learned and later taught, if actually used on an attacker, would be considered unusual and unnecessary use of force and a cause for arrest and/or lawsuit.
The truth is that real self-defense consists of awareness and avoidance techniques far more than physical techniques. In fact, some self-defense teachers say that if you actually have to use physical techniques or force, then you have failed in applying your awareness and avoidance training.
I have trained in the martial arts for over 40 years and have become interested and informed about self-defense and use of force issues through my associations and friendship with some top-flight experts in the field. The purpose of this blog post is not to put myself off as an expert. Rather, I want to introduce you to reputable experts who know the field in and out and can give you the answers to any questions you may have about protecting yourself.
Following is a list of sources, in no particular order, of the people I actually know, respect, and trust. I have trained with them and can personally vouch for these guys. They are experts in self-defense and use of force related issues. Please, if you are even the least bit curious, check out their web pages, their books, pod casts, and seminars. There is a wealth of information here that can save you time and money as well as your personal wellbeing. I would recommend beginning with Marc’s No Nonsense Self Defense page and go from there.
Happy research. Enjoy:
Marc MacYoung’s No-Nonsense Self Defense: http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com
Marc’s Safety Concepts:
Rory Miller and others in Conflict Resolution Group:
Terry Trahan, Clint Overland, and Edwin Voskamp—Masters of Mayhem: