Most important for successful self-defence is to learn the skills of awareness and prevention, which ultimately will help you avoid trouble. Most physical conflicts occur because the warning signs were not recognised before the situation got out of control. When you have learnt the ‘anatomy of violence’ and how it escalates, you can better understand how to avoid any potentially dangerous situations.
Learning how to effectively react under pressure is also important, because how we train is the way we will react. If we simply practise technique without keeping in mind the context of the situation we are training for, then we will not be prepared to handle all the mental and physical implications that are tied to the conflict.
Conflict resolution is an important factor in the process of de-escalating a potentially dangerous situation. Physical violence should always be the last resort to ending a conflict, but there is a step that can be taken just before that, which could end up being the most critical — and that is your ability to talk. Understanding the mind of an attacker, the physical cues that occur before an attack is made, what they want and why they do what they do, will help you in being able to talk to them, calm them down and defuse the situation.
Kurt Colpan has been teaching since 2007 and heads the Assertive Action Krav Maga self-defence school in Western Sydney. He is the director of the Australian branch of the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF), one of the largest governing bodies for Krav Maga that has branches all over the world. Colpan has travelled to Israel many times to study and is trained by several of Israel’s top Krav Maga masters, including IKMF head Master Avi Moyal, making him one of the most experienced instructors Down Under.
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