Frank Tatulinski has studied the martial arts for over 45 years, and is the holder of a 6th degree black belt in Aikido, 3rd degee black belt in jiu-jitsu and aiki-jutsu, and a 1st degree black belt in Goshin Juysu Karate. He has also been trained in numerous other styes such as Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai-Chi, and all Japanese weapons.
Physical self-defense is the use of physical force to counter an immediate threat of violence. Such force can be either armed or unarmed. In either case, the chances of success depend on a large number of parameters, related to the severity of the threat on one hand, but also on the mental and physical preparedness of the defender.
Many styles of martial arts are practiced for self-defense or include self-defense techniques. Some styles train primarily for self-defense, while other martial or combat sports can be effectively applied for self-defense. Some martial arts train how to escape from a knife or gun situation, or how to break away from a punch, while others train how to attack. To provide more practical self-defense, many modern day martial arts schools now use a combination of martial arts styles and techniques, and will often customize self-defense training to suit the participants' lifestyles, occupations, age groups and gender, and physical and mental capabilities.
A wide variety of weapons can be used for self-defence. The most suitable depends on the threat presented, the victim or victims, and the experience of the defender. Legal restrictions also greatly influence self-defence options.
In many cases there are also legal restrictions. While in some jurisdictions firearms may be carried openly or concealed expressly for this purpose, there are more commonly tight restrictions on who can own firearms, and what types they can own. Knives, especially those categorized as switchblades may also be controlled, as may batons, pepper spray and personal stun guns and Tasers - although some may be legal to carry with a licence or for certain professions.
Everyday objects, such as flashlights, baseball bats, newspapers, keyrings with keys, kitchen utensils and other tools, and hair spray aerosol cans in combination with a lighter, can also be used as improvised weapons for self-defense. Tie-wraps double as an effective restraint. Weapons such as the Kubotan (pocket stick) have been built for ease of carry and to resemble everyday objects.Tactical flashlights and tactical pens are especially built as impact weapons that resemble everyday objects. Ballpoint pen knives, swordsticks, cane guns and modified umbrellas are similar categories of concealed self-defense weapons that serve a dual purpose.
Mental self-defense is the ability to get into the proper mindset for executing a physical self-defense technique. Many martial arts schools and self-defense classes focus primarily on the physical nature of self-defense and often neglect the mental aspect. If you are skilled in the physical aspects of a defensive technique, but lack the mental toughness and tenacity to execute it, you will not be able to perform - especially under duress. Controlled environments cannot easily mimic the stress and adrenaline dump which occurs during an attack. There is a very real need to be able to enter the proper "warrior mindset" if one is to have a realistic chance of surviving a potentially deadly encounter. This warrior mindset is the ability to focus purely on the successful outcome of a situation without becoming concerned with the consequences, even if they prove fatal in the dedicated pursuit of your desired outcome. The ability to go over, under, around or through any obstacle is the essence of this "never quit" mindset - similar to that of the Samurai of Japan. Self-preservation is a very powerful motivator and it is essential for ensuring that one has the mental toughness and proper mindset to emerge the victor in an encounter with one or more attackers/aggressors.
Other forms Avoidance
Being aware of and avoiding potentially dangerous situations is one useful technique of self-defense. Attackers will typically select victims they feel they have an advantage against, such as greater physical size, numerical superiority or sobriety versus intoxication. Additionally, any ambush situation inherently puts the defender at a large initiative disadvantage. These factors make fighting to defeat an attacker unlikely to succeed. When avoidance is impossible, one often has a better chance at fighting to escape, such methods have been referred to as 'break away' techniques. Understanding the 'mindset' of a potential attacker is essential if we are to avoid or escape a potentially life-threatening situation. Staying safe in any city in the world requires an alert mind. A mind that is attuned to potential dangers and threats. Of course we need to train our bodies in combat skills and self-defence techniques to be able to deal with violent individuals. But, firstly we should empower ourselves with an intellectual sharpness that lets us perceive a potential threat then remove ourselves and our loved ones from that threat.
Verbal Self Defense is defined as using one's words to prevent, de-escalate, or end an attempted assault. It is a way of using words as weapons or as a shield. This kind of 'conflict management' is the use of voice, tone, and body language to calm a potentially violent situation before violence actually ensues. This often involves techniques such as taking a time-out, and deflecting the conversation to individuals in the group who are less passionately involved, or simply entering into protected empathic position to understand the attacker better.