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Self-Defence - Personal Safety Zones

Self-Defence - Personal Safety Zones – Two Arm lengths

Whether you are an adult or a child the safest possible self-defence in existence is to be nowhere near somewhere you are likely to be attacked.

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I know! That sounds incredibly patronising even though it was a very funny line in the original Karate Kid movie. But "best block, No be there" has become such a famous line simply because it is so obvious. Also, most martial artists know that it is simply a variation of the old sage's saying "If man throws spear at head, move head" Surprisingly however, most people don't apply it to close contact self-defence.

Consider this sinario. You are walking down the street and you detect someone walking up behind you. What do you do?

You could of course run and that may be the most appropriate action but what if is not. What if you are concerned that running will result in the situation being escalated?

It's simple, isn't it? Just turn and confront the situation. But it is really not that simple, is it? such a response could result in you being grabbed.

What to do, What to Do?

Well, one option is to turn and confront the situation but make sure you are keeping yourself at a safe distance from the one you are confronting. But what is a safe distance?

Well, the answer is two arms' distance plus a little bit.

That is the length of your arm and the person you are confronting plus a few centimetres.

At such a distance it is difficult to be grabbed from and easy to retreat quickly.

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This situation is obviously oversimplified. But being able to estimate what a safe distance is between you and a potential assailant is a critical skill.

 There is of course no way of proving a negative but this may be the single most effective self-defence that anyone can learn. It takes practice. I give plenty of that practice in my children's class and the Ladies' self-defence class called "Looking Out For Yourself" that I occasionally teach. It is so simple yet so few get taught it.

It is just another form of spacial awareness. It is a skill that boxers learn very well. Spacial Awareness is a skill that most Judoka particularly competitive Judoka learn instinctively. However, this type of spacial awareness is about keeping your distance and keeping it a safe distance rather than knowing where you are on a mat. It is surely hard to argue against the idea that it is a critical skill that everybody can and should learn.

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