The IF is always that one word that transcends understanding of what it would and does mean to defend or protect ourselves in life. SD can be verbal at home or work, it can be a chance encounter in our cars, it can be some natural phenomena. Yet I would once again narrow the field down to personal/physical self protection against another person/physical threat. One who is possibly bent on doing you physical harm.
I have been discussing/posting/practicing self defense stuff for a few years now and the one absolute I have found is that to truly learn how to defend ourselves is one that takes a lot of effort and a very long time. It just does not happen in one three day seminar or one of those two week self defense courses regardless of advertisement and the ads language.
I am absolutely convinced beyond any doubt that you do not learn self defense by the instruction of a person does this technique and you do this in response type technique. I taught that way and called it self defense classes - ops, I fu@# that one up. How did your reality gap handle that sentence?
I am most positive that what is needed BEFORE you do any physical practice and/or training takes a considerable time span and a continuous one so it remains accessible to our brains in a crises. You only hurt yourself and your students if you fail to get all of it and instruct/teach all of it to them. You can fool them with rhetoric and platitudes but that will depend a lot on the fact that almost all of them will never have to call what your providing up in a live fire situation.
I spend an exorbitant amount of time reviewing and posting on definitions, semantics, and other such things because I am finding, daily now, just how important communications are and that a lack of knowledge and awareness widens that reality gap by a huge amount. The bigger the chasm - the easier it is to fall in.
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Today we still travel a potentially dangerous uncharted land of violence so why should we dismiss all that it takes to cross it safely and securely?