How is Self Defence so different to Sport Combat?

The goal is different

  • In the streets, pacifying the attacker is the goal – aiming for maximum peace – this means it’s ok to step back a lot, making good use of space and deflections in an attempt to dishearten the attacker, using Aikido footwork and deflections for example.
  • In competition, disabling the attacker by any legal means is the goal (unless you have a purely point-scoring strategy). This may make back-foot fighting pointless unless you have a significant IQ, athletic or moral advantage and are setting traps.

Surprise is the best form of attack – the defender can utilise surprise better in the streets

  • In competition, if both guys are very fast, dynamic and powerful, the first to fire has an advantage of surprise especially if he has a non telegraphed first move or does a confusing combo.
  • In the streets, while the attacker has an advantage of surprise, the physical interaction is usually preceded by a social interaction – the build up – if you keep your cool in this time, and stay balanced and ready, there is a good chance the attacker will not expect your instant, effective counter attack, so you have a good chance of pulling off parries from Wing Chun for example, so long as you’re fast, focused and well trained. Therefore surprise is on your side, especially if you have clear focus, which is far easier in a serious situation where you’re compassionately minded and have goodness on your side.

First written: ~2019

Last updated: March 2024