Teach Yourself Self-Defense (Bruce Lee’s handwritten essay dated 1962)
Teach Yourself Self-Defense
(Bruce Lee’s handwritten essay dated 1962)
What would you do if you were attacked by a thug? Would you stand your ground and fight it out? Or, if you will excuse me, would you say that you would run like hell? But what if your loved ones were with you? What then? That’s the all important question. You have only to pick up a newspaper to read of attacks made, not only on lonely commons, but also in built-up areas, to understand the need for self-defense. “To be forewarned is to be forearmed” is an old, reliable proverb, and the purpose of my notes on self-defense is to not only forewarn you, but to forearm you with practical knowledge about meeting any foe, regardless of his size and strength.
Some tips on Self-Defense
Self-defense is not fun. You are liable to find yourself fighting hard to avoid serious injury and so you must expect to be hurt. The method of self-defense I am going to describe will not prevent your being hurt, but it will give you a very good chance of emerging the victor without sustaining any severe injury. You will have to accept this, and should a blow from your opponent break through, it is essential, at least for the time being, to ignore the pain and, instead of giving up, use it as a spur to counterattack and victory. (Bear this in mind: when being attacked by a thug the fact is that he has but a one-track mind, which is bent on your destruction, rarely considering what you can do. If your acts show him that he is up against something he did not expect, it will cut down his attacking ego over 50 percent and will neutralize his attack, in which case you always have the psychological advantage on your side.)
This may not sound very encouraging, but the chances of attack can be very greatly reduced when you are walking, especially alone at night or in lonely places, if you are always alert. Keep an eye on any person who appears to be following you or who approaches. Keep to the outside of the path or in the middle of a lane.
Listen for approaching footsteps and watch shadows; that is to say, as you pass a street lamp you will see the shadow of anyone behind you thrown up on the ground in front of you. The same thing happens as a result of lights in houses and the headlights of passing cars. As soon as you see a shadow in these circumstances, immediately glance around and see who it is. Always, of course, avoid patches of deep shadow.
In made-up but quiet streets, I repeat, walk on the outside of the pavement. This obviates the chance of anyone jumping out of a house or garden entrance at you to snatch your purse, handbag, or briefcase or worse.
For exactly the same reason I suggest walking down the middle of a lane where there are no made-up paths and perhaps no street lamps. If you consider it advisable, you may even cross the road to avoid a person of whom you are suspicious. If he follows, he at least makes his intention fairly obvious.
Although I am again repeating myself, I must emphasize that the success of an assailant’s attack depends on surprise, and if you’re sufficiently alert to prevent a surprise, your counterattack is already halfway to being successful.
The main thing is to see the attack coming, which enables you to shout, scream, or just concentrate on dealing with the attacker. Make as much noise as possible as this naturally tends to frighten off lawbreakers.
I hope I have not frightened you and made you think it is not safe to walk along the streets. That is certainly not my intention, but newspaper reports lead one to believe that attacks on innocent people are increasing.
The Basis of Self-Defense
There is only one basic principle of self-defense: You must apply the most effective weapon as soon as possible to the most vulnerable point of your enemy. Although I say there is only one basic principle, it is better to break it into sections and look at it more thoroughly:
- 1. What is the most effective weapon
- 2. Speed
- 3. The point to attack or counterattack
Given a chance I would always choose the leg. It is longer than the arm and can deal a heavier blow, and it is much more powerful. So, should anyone approach you, your kick would make contact before his punch, if both commence at the same speed.
There is no time to consider the type of defense or weapon to use. Obviously, if your kick does not commence, his punch will land first, and your defense is useless. Only training can produce results (I can help you with this). If you do not consider a few minutes training worthwhile, and you think the chance of assault is small, you are one of those people who encourage thugs to attack, and no one can help you should an emergency arise.
The Point of Counterattack
Among the most vulnerable points for your counter if you are attacked by a man are the groin, eyes, abdomen, and knee.
I always found this article be very educational especially, because of it’s common sense approach to self defense. So I figured I’d share enjoy…
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