The Element Of Surprise

ONE of the most critical principles in defeating an enemy in combat is to employ the element of surprise. And while this is hardly any kind of secret or mystery — just about everyone knows about it — the truth is that in the majority of martial arts or self-defense training programs the principle is neither utilized nor fully appreciated.

For example, no assailant in the street is taken by surprise when his intended victim assumes a fighting stance. Assuming such a stance is tantamount to announcing that you  a) Know how to fight, and  b) Fully intend to fight back when you are attacked. Congratulations. You just blew one of the finest opportunities to take that attacker 100% by surprise; and you did it by utilizing your “training”!

People who enroll for self-defense instruction feel themselves, correctly, to be in serious danger when they are attacked. Many have already been attacked, and the trauma of that experience has led them, wisely, to learn what to do so as to make sure such an event never befalls them again. But something crucial — and it is potentially an enormous confidence-builder when explained — that few if any “instructors” consider, explain, and then emphasize to their students is this:

“The low lives who prey upon others are, when they take action, virtually certain that they will be successful. This is obvious, since they have made the decision to attack. They would not attack if they believed that they were to encounter fierce opposition and serious danger to themselves when they moved on their target. Therefore, the intended victim of any attack enjoys the tremendous advantage of having the element of surprise working for him SIMPLY BY OFFERING FIERCE RESISTANCE AND BY ATTACKING HIS WOULD-BE TORMENTOR!

The above is true and easily understood, once explained. It is logical, obvious, and tends, when a student grasps it, to empower him immediately with a realization that YES, he really can defend himself, and YES, proper mindset and training will give him a huge advantage over any assailant.

This photo, from Fairbairn's SCIENTIFIC SELF-DEFENCE illustrates a classic Fairbairn strategy — taking full advantage of the critical element of surprise. When you realize that two troublemakers are following you and closing in behind you, TURN SUDDENLY and preempt their attack by smashing each one simultaneously with a powerful chinjab! Followup. The two will be in no condition to prevent you!

This photo, from Fairbairn's SCIENTIFIC SELF-DEFENCE illustrates a classic Fairbairn strategy — taking full advantage of the critical element of surprise. When you realize that two troublemakers are following you and closing in behind you, TURN SUDDENLY and preempt their attack by smashing each one simultaneously with a powerful chinjab! Followup. The two will be in no condition to prevent you!

One of the first and foremost rules that any neophyte must be indoctrinated with when he begins his training in self-defense is that there is only one rule he need bother with when defending himself. That rule is: win. No technique is too savage, no attitude too ruthless, no action is too destructive, and no measure, tactic, deception, or ploy “too unethical” or “too extreme” so long as the outcome is victory and the attacker (or attackers) is defeated.

Anyone who does not understand this simple principle does not understand the gravity of such situations as do occur with sickening regularity in otherwise semi-civilized societies when violent offenders decide to brutalize some hapless victim. Such creatures are the bacteria of our species and deserve no more consideration than a physician would give infectious bacilli. THAT is the proper attitude that a decent, worthwhile member of the human community should cultivate in regard to violent  troublemakers.

Seizing the element of surprise so as to properly defend himself is what the intended victim of any attack must learn to do. How he ought to do it is another matter.

First off, whenever possible, misleading signals should be given to any troublemaker. Feign great fear, feign illness, pretend complete submission and passivity, claim to be sick or to have just been released from the hospital, assure — by words and gestures — that you will do whatever he/they wants you to do “Just please don’t hurt me!”, etc. When interaction between yourself and your victimizer(s) enables you the time and opportunity to do so, use deceit and deception to lull the scum into a false sense of security, and convince him/them that mugging, robbing, beating, stomping, killing, or kidnapping you will be a piece of cake. No problem. They hardly will need to exert themselves. They’ve got a perfect victim!

Realize that the fear you feel during this interactive stage is LIFESAVING. Don’t be worried that you won’t be able to do anything. The more scared you feel the GREATER WILL BE THE EFFECTIVENESS AND POWER OF YOUR OWN AGGRESSION! Just hold back a moment. Let the fear reaction assist you in rendering a convincing performance of submission, inadequacy, and terror. Then . . .

When you see that your performance has “taken” (usually, the attacker will laugh at you, shout or say some offensive garbage, and then proceed with his intended action) ATTACK LIKE A MURDEROUS, WILD, INSANE ANIMAL WHO IS BENT UPON KILLING ANYTHING IN ITS PATH!

Ram your fingers into the eyes! Kick the testicles! Chop at the neck or throat! Break the knee with a vicious kick! Go! Go! GO! And keep on attacking like a madman, ignoring any injuries you sustain, and remaining fanatically driven in your determination to DESTROY YOUR ATTACKER.

There  are some excellent ways to increase the effectiveness of your surprise attack. GROWL, YELL, GRIMACE, AND EMIT FIERCE ANIMAL NOISES AS YOU GO AFTER YOUR ATTACKER! The louder and the wilder, and the more contorted your face, the better!

Throw something (anything that cannot be employed destructively as an improvised weapon, but that is in your hand at the time) into your attacker’s face. USE anything that can be employed against your attacker, to inflict injury upon him.

Always project yourself forward and advance into your enemy when you attack! The momentum you generate increases the power of your action and facilitates followup. The act of advancing provides a morale edge — increasing the psychological shock that your attacker will feel as he realizes that it is now himself that is under attack.

In any dangerous emergency you will have ONE AND ONLY ONE chance to utilize the element of surprise to defend yourself or to protect loved ones. Make the most of it. Waste no mercy, sympathy, compassion, or humanity on any predator. Do whatever it takes, do it right away, and do it with every ounce of savagery, strength, skill, and intensity of HATRED and DETERMINATION that you can muster.

No one can guarantee you success in defending yourself, and only a charlatan “guarantees” that the techniques which he teaches are 100% certain to drop an enemy every time, right away. However, those principles that have won for fighting men in actual war and in dangerous combat are known. One of them is, certainly, the use of the element of surprise. So, if serious physical danger ever comes to you and yours, make full use of this crucial principle to destroy the garbage that has chosen to attack you. Combined with ferocity, merciless brutality, solid war-proven physical combat skills, and relentless, determined followup, use of the element of surprise will indeed make you hard to beat and will stack the odds heavily in your favor.

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