Finding an Equalizer

Strategy can be defined as a plan .of action or a process by which a goal is achieved. Tactics are the physical elements of strategy utilized to carry out the process. When faced with a larger assailant, tactics and strategy work hand-in-hand and increase your chances of effectively defending yourself against an attacker who is physically stronger. In fact, it becomes the necessary equalizer when confronted with a much-larger attacker.

However, several considerations should be taken into account. First, if the attacker were indeed stronger, a response based on strength alone would not be a wise decision. Successfully defending yourself will depend upon your ability to place your assailant at a disadvantage. The physical tactics used must contain a delivery system that includes the mental as well as the physical.

Having the capacity and mindset to mentally fight back is as important as possessing the skills to respond physically. Strength and power can be neutralized if one becomes mentally paralyzed by fear. Therefore, preparing oneself mentally to respond to a violent encounter should be given as much importance when training as developing strong physical tactics. Today, more and more individuals are learning the martial arts take both mental and physical skills.

Can an individual be taught to not be afraid to fight back when assaulted, to develop a mindset for survival? Students can be guided to unleash the desire and mental strengdi to survive. However, diey must already posses, in the recesses of their mind and spirit, the will to survive.

For example, the will to survive and the mental fortitude and tenaciousness that drives a police officer to overcome great odds cannot be taught, only drawn out and cultivated.

How often have we heard about an individual who possessed a high rank in the martial arts, nothing less than a black belt, who froze when he was attacked? Conversely, there are those who have had no martial arts training yet conjured the courage to respond. Developing an equalizer through strategy and tactics may very well mean the difference between life and death.

Traditional techniques often taught at martial arts schools can be modified to include utilizing the strongest parts of the body, since the usual methods may not work against a larger individual. A rear roundhouse kick delivered with the instep to the midsection may hurt someone of equal size, yet, that same kick might be absorbed or simply bounce off of a much larger person. However, the move can become more effective by slightly adjusting the tool used to deliver the kick. For example, instead of making contact with the instep, your shin, which is stronger and more powerful, can be used. Secondly, the choice of target can be altered to aim at the knees or groin instead of the stomach. Once a retaliatory position has been assumed, hitting or striking to areas that are hypersensitive can be effective.

Therefore, one of your first considerations should be tool and target selection. When choosing a target to attack, it is wise to select one that requires less power to affect a reaction or stop the attacker. Attacking the throat requires less strength than attacking the midsection, which can absorb more trauma. Using the least amount of energy required to effectively defend yourself is always better.

It makes no sense to attack stronger parts of the body when you can be as effective attacking softer and more effective.

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