In many programs the physical realm is the one primarily focused on as it deals with the directness of an immediate aggressive conflict being faced in the moment. But what about other areas that potentially may have avoided the conflict altogether? Personal opinions vary but many times these topics are glossed over and addressed in conversation but paid little attention to after that when these areas serve as a greater importance to the day-to-day. We don’t fight/get attacked every day (although constant training prepares-once again preparing being substantially different than paranoia-for this event on a multitude of fronts) but we do interact with people every day. We do put ourselves at risk in some fashion every day. We do instintively/intuitively read body language and analyze phrase structures and word context every day. That being said I want to address the 7 (we’ll call them) “realms” of self-defence/personal preservation:
1-PHYSICAL-actual physical techniques, scenarios, weapons usage and defence (both external & natural body) and the application of the above, cardiovascular (both aerobic and anaerobic) and resistance training.
2-METAPHYSICAL/INTERNAL-what goes on inside your body: adrenaline dump & fear response and varying proactive strategies to address these natural body occurances: visualization, autogenic breathing (both from the chest during and from the abdomen before/after), meditation
3-INTUITIVE-senses, developed through trust over time/meditation, innate reaction to outside stimulus and our gut feeling towards the stimulus-people, situations, locations
4-IMPROVISATIONAL/SITUATIONAL-weapons of opportunity, escape routes, barricades, awareness of surroundings
5-INTERPERSONAL/BEHAVIOURIAL-body language of others and yourself, signs of escalating anger/confrontation, inevitably profiling of other people we interact with/allow into our spatial awareness
6-ANATOMICAL-quite simply, the study of human anatomy, what happens to the areas of the human body when attacked/damaged with empty hand, weapon or otherwise, muscles/nerves/tendons/ligaments/organs/arteries/veins/joints/bones, kinesiology (animation of motion)
7-TACTICAL-perhaps the most cryptic of the group in that it is situational-specific, submissive posturing, verbal dissuasion/distractions, tricks, subliminal motions, draw/carry points for defence weapons, mental deceptions to mislead and confound potential attacker
(For my curriculum, I compress these into 4 groups for learning and retention purposes: 1. PHYSICAL (including the anatomical), 2. METAPHYSICAL (includes the intuitive), 3. SITUATIONAL (entailing both improvisational and tactical) and 4. BEHAVIOURIAL.
It’s important for us as personal defence instructors/martial arts teachers/law enforcement/military to realize these realms all need addressing..none can be neglected or it is just that for your students…neglect. Personal preservation is more than just physical…we don’t fight or get assaulted every day but every day is a day we strive to be safe and take the necessary precautions to achieve this. This whole sphere of self-defence contributes on a daily basis to keeping us that way. These are all important and require attention so remember to incorporate all of these into your training if you haven’t already. Peace.
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