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                                                                           Self Defense

              Inside this ebook are some    Read some of the best self    Watch some of our video
              quality striking techniques   protection related articles   demonstrations ranging
              that you can practice in      on the internet. Written by   from striking drills, solo
              the comfort of your own       instructors and coaches       training and partner drills.
              home. Follow along with       from all around the globe.    Perfecting these skills will
              these moves and hone                                        help you progress quickly
              your protection skills.       Read. Think. Learn.           and reach your goals.
                                                                                                   board; also your fingers can’t knock
                                                                                                   someone unconscious by hitting someone
                                                                                                   in the head.  In fact, you’d break your
                                                                                                   fingers instead.

                                                                                                         Not every tool you have is going to
                                                                                                   work for that certain job.  Not every tool you
                                                                                                   posses would be wise to use in defending
                                                                                                   yourself. When thinking of the right tools
                                                                                                   for the job, you need to also think of the
                                                                                                   proper way to train these tools and a proper
                                                                                                   system to train in for your specific needs.  If
                                                                                                   all you want is a kata, tournaments, full-
                                                                                                   contact fighting, point sparring, or even
                                                                                                   MMA, then visiting your local Martial Arts
                                                                                                   academy or MMA school would be your
                                                                                                   best approach.  These styles concentrate
                                                                                                   on training for “Sport” related scenarios,
                                                                                                   rather than street specific protection skills.  
                                                                                                         In the same manner, if you’re looking
                                                                                                   for street effective, pressure tested and
                                                                                                   sound self-defense, you should look into
                                                                                                   Close Quarters Combat training or Reality
“THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB”                    problems.  To take things apart or put things     Based Self-Defense schools.  If it’s not
                                                 back together.  Much like tools, we need the      scenario based training with resistance or
                                                 right method or technique for the situation.      real applications on what happens in a real
      In self-defense we all should know that
                                                 When you use tools you don’t have a kit           life situation, then you need to move on and
we need to be aware of everything around
                                                 with just one thing in it. For example, a         find a class that works for you.  Can places
us.  Our environment, conditions of the
                                                 hammer won’t turn screws, and a                   that teach traditional style martial arts also
streets and sidewalks, people hanging
                                                 screwdriver can’t properly drive a nail into      teach other things besides just this?  Yes,
around the ATM that you want to use, etc.  
                                                 the wall.  In some cases, why use a hammer        but you should always do your research and
We should also know to react as soon as
                                                 when you have a nail gun?  It’s quicker and       make sure the instructor has the proper
possible to a situation before it becomes
                                                 more effective than a hammer, which can            credentials to back this.  Some traditional
something a whole lot worse, by avoiding it
                                                 bust your finger if you’re not careful.            instructors claim that they teach “Self
all together, or by fighting our way to safety.
                                                                                                   Defense” as a marketing ploy in order to
                                                       The methods we use in self-defense          gain more students. But, they are really just
      I use the word tools rather than
                                                 are more like tools to me.  Awareness is a        taking their current traditional techniques
weapons, due to the fact that weapons are
                                                 tool.  This tool is a multipurpose battery that   and adding to a different class structure.
there to just hurt, destroy and kill.  I’m not
                                                 all of the self-defense tool box needs to         That’s why it’s important to look for a place
training soldiers (so to speak) I train mainly
                                                 ensure a better end product.  Does that           that will supply you with the right tools for
civilians who have to deal with everyday
                                                 mean awareness is always going to be              the job you need done.  You wouldn’t go to
violence and street attacks where the law
                                                 there?  No.  Even though we teach and             a plumber to fix your television would you?  
can be used against them in some cases.  
                                                 learn more and more about it, with the            Take your time when researching local
The phrase “collateral damage” doesn’t
                                                 chaotic world we live in, we need to be           instructors and schools, and make sure
exist for a civilian. Just phrases like
                                                 prepared for the time we’re caught sleeping       these places can provide you the proper
“manslaughter”, “assault and battery”, or
                                                 and we have to RE-ACT to the situation            TOOLS necessary in order to get the job
maybe even “murder one”.   These are not
                                                 rather than counter act.  No matter what the      done correctly.
phrases you want to hear in a court of law if

                                                 case is, your awareness tool is the one that
you are on the receiving end.
                                                 will save you at least 9 times out of 10.

      Tools on the other hand, work for
                                                       Just like the description above, a
civilians because tools have functions to fix
                                                 hammer can’t effectively put screws into a
      When people think of self defense,        you approach it, looking for
generally speaking, they think of hard skills   exits and escape routes, etc.
and techniques. Many instances, they think

karate, MMA, or some formal type of art. Is
that bad? No, but I think things need to go              ATTITUDE
deeper than a specific art or technique. In
                                                          Body language and self
this article, I am going to outline for you
                                                presentation can go along way.
some of the psychological and emotional
                                                In many instances, you may
attributes that we at CQCNY train which is
                                                never need to know a single
                                                                                        FOLLOW THE
the foundation of our curriculum. These are
                                                physical tactic except to walk          NUMBERS OF
called the 6 A’s of self defense. We use this                                             SURVIVAL
                                                around with your head held
block as part of our presentation that we
                                                high, shoulders back and a
give to EVERY student who walks in our
                                                confidence in your walk. That
doors. Understanding what goes on inside
                                                can be the difference between                      where the next 3 A’s are added to the
of you, is a very important component in
                                                you being left alone and a bad situation       equation.
your training. This is what sets CQCNY
                                                passing you by, or being caught in the mix

apart from the rest.
                                                of a violent encounter. What you are say
                                                through body language can make you a

         AWARENESS                              hard target or a soft target. Many people
                                                realize the importance of body language. It’s            When we talk about action, we
          This may seem like a no-brainer,      used as a tool in job interviewing,            talk about right now. The present. Action
but this can’t be stressed enough. Paying       psychology, and interrogation techniques.      means any moment YOU feel the time is
attention to your surroundings is key to        Many instances, the body speaks more than right to do something. There is no specific
starting your journey in self protection. How   words. Proper attitude coupled with the first right time as there are so many factors that
many times have you seen individuals            “A” and you have built a pillar of protection  come into play, as well as every scenario
walking through a parking lot texting and       without learning a single physical technique. being different. Scenarios can be similar,
almost get hit by a car, or totally walk                                                       but they are never the same. Keep in mind,

opposite of where their vehicle is parked? It                                                  the action you take may not necessarily be
happens all the time. People are just                    AVOIDANCE                             physical, it can be anything that can get you
oblivious to their environment at times. In                                                    out of harms way. Verbal de-escalation,
                                                          I will make this plain and simple.   running away, calling for help, or whatever
self protection, being tuned into your
                                                Stay away from bad situations. If something the specific scenario you are in calls for.
surroundings is critical in making yourself a
                                                goes off in disarray, you go opposite           Many instructors state that if you don’t fight
hard target and keeping yourself safe.
                                                direction. There is nothing worse than         back in the first 3-5 seconds you will lose
Focus on all the things around you to better
                                                seeing something bad happen to someone         the fight. Well, my philosophy is until you
prepare yourself for situations that may
                                                else, then because you became so curious       are six feet under, you always have a
arise. This ranges from watching others and
                                                of the situation, you put yourself in the      chance to act.
their body language/behavior, scanning the
                                                middle and you became a victim. I have

area, checking in and around your car as
                                                seen many instances where a fight broke
                                                out in a bar/club and everyone wants to                 AGGRESSION
                                                circle around and watch the ruckus. This
                                                only lead to someone in the crowd getting                Aggression is taking something by
                                                injured. If you can avoid a brewing situation, force. Again, please keep in mind that you
                                                by all means - LEAVE!                          can be aggressive without being physical.
                                                                                               For example, being aggressive in your mind
                                                Many martial arts and self defense             about a particular scenario can help talk
                                                instructors use the first 3 A’s in their        your way out of a bad situation.
                                                curriculum, but stop there. At CQCNY, we
                                                feel that road shouldn’t stop there. That is
                                                                     THE SIX A’S CONTINUED
                                                            preparation for an upcoming
                                                            event, making sure all the                Anger is an emotion fueled by a wrong.
                                                            details for an event are covered    If your insides feel this emotion the residual
                                                            and all your I’s dotted and T’s     effect of that anger is more passion for the
                                                            crossed. At CQCNY, we always        particular scenario. When a person does
                                                            stress that you can overcome        something that is fueled with an emotion,
                                                            most things in life by getting      there is a stronger, more dynamic effort put
                                                            aggressive. Fear, Pain, Adrenal     into the situation. For example, think of a
                                                            Response and Disorientation         relationship where one person betrayed the
                                                            can all be handled much easier      other. That anger builds up inside and
                                                            with aggression.                    people do things they never thought
                                                                                                possible. A great UK instructor Richard
                                                                                                Grannon states, “hit with hate”. This speaks

                                                                     ANGER                      volumes knowing that your whole being is
                                                                                                involved in the attack. Just remember that
                                                                       At CQCNY, we have a
                                                                                                uncontrolled anger can lose fights. Learn to
                                                                       philosophy and
                                                                                                build aggression, control that anger and use
                                                             company slogan “Anger Is A
                                                                                                it for your benefit when confronted with bad
                                                             Gift”. Many people ask me,
                                                             what this phrase really means.
                                                             They seem put off by it and
                                                                                                      To sum up, you can’t just train hard
                                                             think it sounds violent and
                                                                                                skills. You need to utilize psychology and
                                                             nasty. My motto is hit with all
                                                                                                emotions during your self defense training.
                                                             the anger you can. Anger and
                                                                                                Start following the 6 “A’s” of self defense
                                                             Aggression are your two best
                                                                                                today, for a better tomorrow.
                                                             friends during an attack. If you
                                                             don’t cause enough damage to
                                                             the attacker in order to get
                                                             away to safety, then you are in
                                                             a very bad situation. If you are
                                                             going to commit to an attack or
                                                             strike, you need to hit with              without skill
                                                             everything you have inside.
                                                             Strength, speed, precision,              equals Anxiety”
      Another example is being aggressive in                timing, aggression and last but
                                                                                                               ~ Tony Blauer
your preparation for an upcoming event,        not least ANGER. If this is a life an death
making sure all the details for an event are   situation, you need to understand that it’s
covered and all your I’s dotted and T’s        you or the bad guy. If you were confronted
crossed. At CQCNY, we always stress that       in a dark parking lot by a bad person trying
you can overcome most things in life by        to cause you harm, how that would make
getting aggressive. Fear, Pain, Adrenal        you feel? All your emotions and adrenaline
Response and Disorientation can all be         will be pumping through your body. This
handled much easier with aggression. Think     person is trying to take you away from
of it as taking something by force. Again,     everything that you love. This will cause a
please keep in mind that you can be            feeling of indignation and at this point you
aggressive without being physical. For         should be filled with anger. We then convert
example, being aggressive in your mind         this anger into our strikes so they are much
about a particular scenario can help talk      more powerful. If you don’t hit with anger
your way out of a bad situation. Another       and aggression, you might as well not fight
example is being aggressive in your            back at all.
When it comes to self defense, one of the best tools used to deliver a blow
to the attacker is the palm strike. Not only is this a very devastating strike,
it’s also a great weapon for being preemptive. Remember, whether it’s
physical or mental, the shot you don’t see coming is the one that will cause
the most damage. Being preemptive during a verbal assault keeps us one
step ahead of our attacker.

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The palm strike is also a great tool because you have less risk of injuring
yourself. I have been in many fights where I have used closed fist punching,
and when I didn’t connect with my target properly I ended up injuring my
hand, wrist or fingers. Unless you condition your hands and punching ability
on a regular basis, the risk can be far greater than the reward. Take Mike
Tyson for example. He was a professional boxer who trained day in and day
out his entire career. Do you feel that he can throw a proper punch? Of
course. But, during a street fight he was involved in, he broke his hand
throwing a punch. That speaks volumes.

With palm strikes, you can cover a larger target area. If the receiving end
flinches and turns away from danger, you can still drive through this and
connect with the side or rear of the head without causing damage to your
hand. You can also hit with the palm, remain in contact with the target using
an index, then convert the palm to a rake, grab, or even reposition yourself.

In the video above, I demonstrate how to properly administer and drill your
palm strike technique. Follow along, practice regularly and become
proficient at one of the best self defense tools you can acquire.

If you are going to learn just one strike for your weapon, the palm strike is
the leader of the pack!
                                                does this…then you do this to protect

                                                yourself. Fighting, as I see it, is scheduled.  
                                                By that, I mean that there is some mutual -
                                                conscious or sub-conscious - agreement             SPORT VS STREET
                                                between the parties that a verbal or
                                                physical conflict is about to take place
                                                between them.  Here, both parties are now
                                                mentally prepared to engage each other.  
                                                Now, the one with better skill, technique,
                                                mind-set, physical abilities, and experience
“Fighting VS. Self Defense”                     will more than likely be victorious.  
     Students new to reality-based self-             Where does this leave students that
defense & personal protection, too often        think they know how to fight but really do
come to a belief that learning to defend        not?  Hopefully, they will not end up in the
themselves equates having the ability to        hospital or the morgue.  How then can
fight.  This is usually due to pre-conceived     students identify their individual
notions, often based on inaccurate or even      weaknesses and improve them?  First,
false information.  Advertising and             students should have an understanding, at
marketing are designed specifically to gain      the basic level, of the differences between
the attention of prospective buyers to a        self-defense and fighting. This
particular product or service.  One does not    understanding should also include the
need to look far to find an ad claiming that     physiological as well as psychological
this system is the end all be all of self-      effects of each respectively. Next, any
defense – i.e. “Never be a victim again!” …     reputable system should have three basic
“Annihilate your attacker!”… “Secret Prison     components that give the student the
Techniques for Fighting!”… “Learn The           proper tools to help ensure a higher
Fighting Tactics of The World’s Deadliest       probability of survival:  stand-up/striking,
Super Secret Squirrel/SAS/Delta/Ranger/         weapon training and defense, and ground
Recon Forces!” …etc. etc…                       survival.  Cross training and cardio should
                                                also be emphasized.  Any reputable
     How then should “fighting” and “self-       instructor will encourage each one of these
defense” be defined?   Simply put, self-         aspects.  
defense is the act of defending one's                 
person when physically attacked by                   Finally, the student should fully
countering blows or overcoming an               understand that the most powerful weapon
assailant.  Fighting, on the other hand,        in their arsenal is the mind.  Without proper
generally refers to engaging in battle or in    mindset, techniques will be just that;
single combat; attempt to defend one‘s self     techniques.
against or to subdue, defeat, or destroy an          Author - Victor Sakalauskas
adversary. While it would be easy to debate
semantics over the definitions, the key to

                                                  “The biggest room
distinguishing the two for this article comes
down to two words: defending and
                                                    in the world is
     Taking it a bit further, defending, in a
survival sense, usually involves being
                                                     the room for
ambushed. When ambushed, you have to
first react to protect yourself from further
harm, then figure out a way to escape from                   ~ unknown author
the danger.  Many systems usually cover
the “what if” defenses:  What if my attacker
  WILL & PREPARATION                                                     me), but when they were told what to do, would ask for
                                                                         something else. Another way. A shortcut.
    "The will to win compares little to the will to prepare to win."
~ Bear Bryant                                                                 Kru Mark Dellagrotte once told me that his first day in
                                                                         Thailand, he spent HOURS just throwing a jab on the bag. His
     This is one of those quotes that I've seen/known for years,         instructor simply brought him to the heavy bag, told him to start
but somehow, it never entirely clicked until just now.                   jabbing, and walked away. Many students would have left the
                                                                         bag, quit, or sought a different coach. Kru Mark stayed there and
     I coach Muay Thai at Sityodtong Muay Thai in Boston, which          jabbed. His jab got a lot better.
has afforded me the opportunity to work with an amazing number
of aspiring competitors, and quite a few amateur and professional              Preparing to win requires CONSTANT effort. It requires
fighters to boot. Bear Bryant's quote gets to the heart of what           CONSTANT willpower. It requires the willingness to work on a
often separates the successful competitor from the unsuccessful          single tool for hours at a time. To keep grinding out reps of
one.                                                                     fundamental drills, instead of chasing after shiny new toys. I'm
                                                                         always shocked when I see someone come back for a second
     The will to win is, in my opinion, cheap. Everyone wants to         training session and complain about having to review the basic
win, and a reasonable number of people have (or can muster up)           drills. Imagine Mike Tyson complaining about having to work the
the will to do so (to a point...I'll get there). Many aspiring fighters   hook again, or Royce Gracie whining because he doesn't feel like
walk through Sityodtong's doors, talking about how they want to          working the triangle choke again.
dominate this weight class, or beat this fighter, or whatever. Some
of them are very, very, tough. Some are not quite as tough as they           Those people who are successful competitors are those who
think.                                                                   muster the will to prepare to win. To show up, day after day, and
                                                                         work on the things they NEED to work on, not the things they
     I see the same thing happen when discussing self-defense.           WANT to work on (jeez, I sound like a Batman movie). I have seen
While there is a part of the population that will admit to fear or       fighters from other gyms who were clearly just thrown in because
uncertainty about self-defense, there is also a part of the              they wanted to compete, but didn't have the will to prepare. They
population that will (despite lacking any training or experience)        usually do quite poorly.
pontificate about their willingness to do whatever it takes to
survive. On one of the S&C related podcasts I listen to (I've been             Self-defense is different from competition, but the same
scouring iTunes for them), I recently heard one of the hosts swear       principle applies. How many people choose to stay at home,
that they were willing to "do whatever it takes" if the situation        believing that bad things happen to other people, rather than
warranted it. I don't know if this person has ever trained or not,       actually seeking out some knowledge and information that might
but I get the impression they haven't.                                   make them safer? How many avoid doing scenarios, putting on
                                                                         high gear, or doing drills where they really get pushed because
     The will to win is a one-time event. It must be found DURING        it's "too hard." Hell, a huge part of the self-defense industry is
the contest (assault, whatever), but that's the only time it's there.    catered towards those who don't want to authentically prepare to
                                                                         win, but want to think they are.
      The will to prepare to win, by contrast, is much rarer, which is
the reason that most of the people who say they want to be a                 The Will to Win is a one shot deal. The Will to Prepare is
fighter never make it. Kru Eric Armington, a Sityodtong trainer           constant preparation. Harder, but it leads to more results.
who passed away several years ago, often observed that                   Author - Jake Steinmann
"Everyone Wants To Be A Fighter, But No One Wants To Train
Like One." In Easy Strength, Dan John notes that very
few people have the courage to actually follow a
workout program through to the end (I think this truth
ties into some of the power and success of Crossfit,
but that's for another post).                                  COURAGE &
     John Connors and I often talked about how
students would come and ask about how to improve a
particular aspect of their game (BJJ for him, Muay Thai for

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