Self-defense Technique & Tactic
As Judo techniques in general are
very diverse, not all of them can
be used as a self-defense technique.
specific requirements for any fighting technique to be used in
- it should be response
technique and not initiating
- it should be non-lethal
by design, not considering possible
or probable collateral damage
- it should be quick
act and not to take long struggle to be effective
- it should not trap you in struggle and allows quick unilateral
- it should not
- it should not
impair your mobility
should be response technique and not initiating
Leaving aside purely defensive
blocks, I’m talking about
ability to use technique in intuitive response to attack without
tactical preparation. All punches, low-level kicks, and vast majority of throws satisfy this requirement. Also in this category are arm/wrist locks as defense
against arm or clothing grabs and head/spine locks (not strangulations!)
as defense against
body or legs grabs.
The meaning of this requirement is
that only response technique could
be used in self-defense
as if technique requires preparation that means that fight already
moved beyond self-defense phase and
bi-lateral and you were on prepared
offense at that moment.
I need to address two categories of
techniques that I
omitted above: high-level kicks and non-defensive throws.
I excluded high-level kicks because
they applied on the long
distance (in hand-to-hand combat terms) and requires some preparation.
If, due to your excellent physical conditions, you can use them as intuitive response, do it!
Non-defensive throws is not a standard term. By this I mean
non-dynamic slow lift-n’-drop throws. Such throws more typical for low
Greek-Roman Wrestling then for even low quality Judo. However shoulder wheel (kata-guroma
a.k.a. windmill throw) can be executed in such manner.
should be non-lethal by design, not
considering possible or probable
You’re in self-defense.
You’re not planning to furbish to
that villain slow and painful death. Things can happen when you will throw him onto this wall that five yard away. He can break his head, but it’s all his fault as you just threw him away.
You got the picture? Right?
Strangulation became effective
by killing (it can’t even be used for motion control as joint locks where moderated pain threat
can be used as means of persuasion), but punch or throw not designed to kill.
If you using strangulation or eye
gauging you going for the kill or grave body injury without any option to stop midway without loosing the fight (presumably for your life). So, in this case you can’t clam self-defense
unless you have very special circumstances.
should be quick act and not to take
long struggle to be effective
In self-defense ideally you’re going
for quick hit-n’-run action. You
just want to get
out as soon as safely possible.
you don’t know if you were attacked by one
bastard or all his gang near by. Anyway, you don’t have much time to spend.
So, this is other reason why
strangulation is not self-defense technique:
besides of been designed to kill it takes three seconds (sic!) of oxygen block to
the brain to induce pass-out.
should not trap you in struggle and
allows quick unilateral abort
This is the issue with Brazilian
jiu-jitsu and other ne-waza oriented fighting styles as it
comes to self-defense technique: when you on the ground and performing effective arm-bar, or mounted chock, or you devastating ground-n’-pound attack on your enemy
you’re very susceptible for all
kind of beating that his friends can furbish for
Are you absolutely sure he has no friends? What, it is only your friends around? Then it’s probably not self-defense.
In self-defense you don’t
know what is going around! If you knew, you wouldn’t be here!
Your self-defense techniques
should make you available for the
next round of fight before current is over.
should not impair
As I said above, in self-defense you
don’t know what is
going around. This is another reason not to get trapped in ground fighting:
your field of vision will be limited by more obstacles and you’ll be last one to notice any changes on the ground, such arrival or leaving people, opening or
closing getaway roads, etc.
should not impair
In self-defense situation you should
keep yourself mobile as
you need to make and implement life-critical decisions momentarily. So, any technique that impair your mobility, such otherwise effective arm-lock, that you can’t
release without been attacked again, should not be used. In general, arm-locks used to control your enemy movement by moderated low-to-high threat of pain.
However, in real self-defense
scenario you better realize the threat by
dislocation his joint and disabling his arm than locking yourself in fine pain-control disposition, but make sure that risk to your live is real, otherwise you will have hard time to explain your actions in court (anyway, you
didn’t cause death but just moderate and, most certainly, reparable body injury, so, you most likely will be OK, however I’m not a lawyer to give such advise).
After saying that ground-fighting is
not suitable as self-defense technique, I have to make a clarification: It is not suitable to be
seen as primary mode of
self-defense technique. So, don’t
initiate ground fighting, but if you found yourself
on the ground
against your will, by all means fight back! Use all you ne-waza skills to get out of there!
As a conclusion, this is the list of
technical categories applicable for self-defense:
- blocks and disarming techniques
- punches and
- throws (when you
still in standing or can get into standing unobstructed at the
- joint-locks –
standing or semi-ground (you’re in standing or semi-knelled position)
Judo self-defense technique