Just Say No To Rules

IN a self-defense emergency anything goes. Many will repeat that important point but relatively few truly understand its full meaning and implications; and few have internalized the admonition and have embedded it into their cells and into their subconscious. In short, few have made “anything goes” in self-defense their personal gut conviction and single guide to action in a life-threatening emergency (which, in most cases, they never really believe will ever come to them).

We have enormous sympathy and compassion for anyone who is victimized by any predatory member of the human species, whether a schoolyard bully or a murderous terrorist, home invader, mugger, rapist, kidnapper, thrill killer or “knockout puncher”, or other violent felon. However, when we look at how some people who have been trained in martial arts of one or another kind so often defend themselves (or try to) using contest skills or strict classical doctrine that was perhaps suitable to another age, we shake our head. We’re delighted when (fortunately) they succeed in defending themselves. Usually this is because, luckily, their attackers were stumblebums. Sometimes, indeed, attackers are just that. However, there has never been anyone yet who possessed the ability to read attackers’ minds and to determine the intention and the capability, let alone the criminal history, of any given violent type, as the monster approached and launched his attack. If the attacker is a cowardly, uselessly inept punk, that’s great! You can do with him what you will as soon as you scare him by letting him know that you intend to fight back and not be his victim.

But suppose he is not a cowardly, useless punk? Suppose he’s maimed and killed before, and he enjoys it? Suppose his boyish (or her girlish) face suggests innocence but masks a murderer? Suppose the two scumbags blocking your path have handguns or knives on them which —— in a moment —— they will pull on you; as they have on a dozen people before you? Suppose the vicious rat confronting you is literally intending to kill you; but he doesn’t “look” like he’d be a problem to take, and his initial gesture and approach suggest a “mere amateur”? And so on.

The plain truth is that you have no way of knowing what one or more violent assailants want and plan to do to you (and perhaps your child, wife, or other family member), and you are in effect helping these animals to succeed unless a sudden violent attack or assault against you triggers the WAR REACTION that their previous victims did not possess, and prompts you into actions that are beyond mere “ruthless” and “vicious”, and that disregard entirely the welfare of your enemies! These actions must be utterly decisive —— decisive for real, not within the parameters of “rules” or for the purpose of a contest! —— and give you every possible opportunity to destroy those who would destroy you and yours. Get this straight. Make it “take”. Never fail to remind yourself that this is what real self-defense requires. There is not one safety or sporting rule that merits even peripheral consideration when deciding to save an innocent life. FORGET THE RULES! In self-defense you are acting to protect your life and/or the life of someone dear to you. Anything —— absolutely anything —— goes.

Got it?

Concepts expressed in the common words “fairness”, “rules”, “decency”, “ethics”, “compassion”, “sportsmanship”, “humanity”, etc. have no place as far as serious training for self-defense against dangerous felons is concerned. Remember: The violent attackers have no regard for such concepts. If they did, they wouldn’t be violent attackers. Forget scruples, morality, and anything but Winning and surviving. Lie, cheat, deceive. Show the same compassion for the violent criminal that medical science shows for the AIDS virus.

Let the following influence and assist your training:

• In any encounter if you can mercilessly exploit any unfair advantage you might possess, do it. And do it with every ounce of your physical strength and psychological focus.

• Master lying and deceiving. This is psychological camouflage. “Please don’t hurt me, guys, I have a family. I’ll do whatever you say but please don’t . . .”  and then explode like a killing machine and drop one of the scum with a blow to his throat. Growl like a wild animal and yell! Followup! Go after each one of the filth and leave him in a broken, destroyed heap on the sidewalk —— right where they were going to leave you.

• Embrace whatever works in real combat. Modern weapons for modern times. You are not a samurai or a ninja. “Here fellas, here’s my wallet. No problem, I won’t give you a hard time” you stammer, “Just please don’t hurt us” you beg as you reach compliantly and passively for your wallet. The surprise is that you draw your licensed .38 revolver (or even better, your .45 automatic) and instead of your money the scum receive nice neat holes in their stomachs or chests; and you and your wife escape unharmed.

• See any attacker as a “target” —— an object —— not a “human being”. Assume that any violent predator has signed his resignation from the human race and now is nothing more than a predatory beast that needs to be stopped. After all, that is, despite politically correct gibberish and newthink, a completely correct assessment, by rational standards.

• Be an environmentalist! Use anything and everything in your environment at the time of an attack to assist you in your effort to defend yourself. Objects-at-hand as weapons. Staircases to throw opponents down. Windows to throw opponents out of. Traffic to throw opponents into. Lampposts, fire hydrants, mail boxes, store windows, parked vehicles, telephone poles, large public trash cans, park benches, garbage disposal bins, public statues, curbs, etc. to smash your attacker’s face or head into. When indoors use what is available.

• Carry a handful of aquarium gravel in your outer pocket. Take it in your hand if you feel trouble coming. Throw the gravel forcefully into your attacker’s face. Now break his knee with a side kick and escape the scene. Or —— if you cannot escape (trapped in elevator) —— stomp and smash him relentlessly until he is unable and unwilling to attempt to harm you again.

• If you are driving avoid entering any area where police lights are flashing. Never mind your “curiosity”. Avoid driving through unsavory or questionable areas of any neighborhood or park, etc. If caught in a riot DRIVE! Go right through the rioters. Remember what happened to motorists who stopped out of concern for the wild animals in the L.A. riots? Their vehicles were overturned and they were beaten mercilessly.

• Eye gouging, biting, ripping off ears, seizing/crushing/yanking the testicles should always be done with all of your speed and power, whenever your life or the life of a loved one hangs in the balance! Obviously these actions must be supported by good unarmed combat ability, and opportunity will dictate when one of them ought now be used. But burn them into your repertoire! They must be done instantly when needed to save a life.

• Adjust your own psychology so that you do not get sucked (read “suckered”) into listening to any crap about “humane self-defense”, “non-harmful” or “non-lethal” self-defense etc. When or if you ever need to defend yourself or your loved ones those jackasses who mouth and advocate this s—t will NOT be there to help you deal with the psycho(s) trying to murder you.

• Here is your “force continuum”:

—— Level 1: Keep your hands to yourself so long as

you do not feel that there is any real danger. Strive

mightily to avoid trouble as long as you can.

—— Level 2: Neutralize the threat! The moment you

realize that serious dangers threatens, go full bore and

eliminate the danger ASAP.

• Young children (both boys and girls), apparently “old” people, “nice looking” and “polite” and “nicely dressed” people. men and women —— ALL have been on occasion murderers, kidnappers, home invaders, rapists, thrill killers, brutal child molesters, and interesting combinations of these despicable things. Your solution? Be wary. Trust no one you do not know personally. Be polite and be respectful, but do not trust anyone you do not know, and know well.

• Just as a lethal attack may come from anyone, so it may erupt anywhere. Situational awareness —— constant vigilance —— is your key to not being caught by surprise. It’s probably not possible to be forewarned about every single attack; but it is possible to be forewarned about almost every possible incident if  you commit yourself to alertness as habit.

• Since anything can serve to assist you in self-defense, learn and practice how to use anything in an emergency. There is almost always something handy with which to stab, cut, jab, club, strangle, distract or simply smash someone into.

• Yell, growl, grimace, scream like a madman or insane wild beast when you trip the wire and go into your attack.

• When an enemy is down and you cannot safely escape the scene, use your feet ! A situation in which you must defend innocent life is not a boxing match. Do not step back when you’ve decked your attacker!

• Cultivate resentment, hatred, malice, and the most ferocious kind of animosity toward all criminal violence and toward all who are criminally violent. Unleash it when and if you are ever forced to defend yourself.

• Deliberately break all of the rules.

Way back in the early 1970’s when we were forming the doctrine that was to become American Combato in 1975, we gave ourself an interesting exercise: We got hold of the rules of all of the combat sports. Then we went through them and broke every rule, systematically and deliberately. We then considered how this best might affect the use of the skills in each combat sport for application in close combat. It was a good experience. you might try it.

                                In Conclusion

We have presented a skeletal outline of many of those tactical and strategic considerations that we teach our personal students as they progress through the techniques and skills of American Combato.

We (Prof. Mark Bryans and ourself) have had numerous cases over the decades when Combato techniques coupled with these tactical and strategic considerations of our System have saved student lives.

We hope that if the time ever comes when you must protect yourself and your family against a murderer’s attack, these precepts will save your lives.