2 or 3 Things in 30 Minutes…

Through the years, and in just the last couple of interviews I have been asked this classic question, “If you had 30 minutes to teach someone some self-defense techniques, what 2-3 techniques would you show them?

     I guess it is some super self-defense, touchstone question. And I I know…I know… some people will say, "eye-jab," or "running away." I am not really an official "self defense instructor." I am not sure what I am really – maybe just a guy who has collected some tricks people are interested in – but inside what I teach is obviously some self-defense. I guess in some sense it is all about defending yourself, huh? But, I am certainly not one of these “Reality-Based, Self-Defense” people, as I find that title/term silly and redundant. Like ordering pizza with your pizza at a restaurant. Or, “I’ll have a cheeseburger, please, and oh…can I have a cheeseburger with that?” Self defense is just self defense. Is or it isn't.

     Anyway, I have no answer to that touchstone “2 or 3” question. No matter what one suggests, it may not apply to the situation. Suggestions would cause endless debate, because it is all situational whether the debaters realize it or not.

     Perhaps if you told me WHY I only had 30 minutes? It might help me figure out what to suggest? You know, like knowing what exactly was going to happen in 31 minutes?

Situation: “Zombies, who only die when decapitated, will finally break into the karate school in 31 minutes. What 2 or 3 things will you teach?”

Well, then, I guess…decapitation.

Otherwise? I got nothing.


A follow-up! This little essay, which I posted in several pages, has been shared, and re-shared about a hundred times in 48 hours with hundreds of comments. As I had feared, for many, it became a chance for them to list 3 things to be taught in 30 minute deadline. You have to understand the 30 minute context is a bit of a sarcastic joke and fallacy. It’s a ill concept for the great unwashed to ask experts and presumed experts what universal three things must be taught in this false time limit pretense. Why 30 minutes? Why just 3?

Many simply agreed with me. Many, offered a solution list (which I was trying to avoid collecting. I mean the whole original essay is about why you SHOULDN’T and CAN’T make such a list without knowing the situation).
The list included:
-running away
-walking away
-eye jab
-high line fake, lowline kick, highline strike
-get a pistol
-elbow strike, hand claw, shin kick
-de-escalation skill
-carry a knife
-balls kick
-avoid dangerous places
-teach awareness
-learn basics of Brazilian wrestling
-the Thompson Fence
-on and on….   
So, you have 30 minutes to teach a soldier how to survive, when in a mere 30-plus-1 minutes, he will be in the snowy mountains confronting ISIS? And you select…negotiation skills? See what I mean? You need a situation.

     Why I am bothering to respond to this, what I found as an interesting take-away from these many comments, is this! People’s definition of their “fight.” How they perceive “their fight” and how they would solve their idea of their pending fight. The fight is undefined in the original question, yet the comments are solutions to defined, pre-conceived notions of fights. Their notions. Their idea of their fights revealed! They conceive of a violent encounter where they can just run away, despite the fact that you can’t run from all fights – as bad guy or guys might chase you, or you can’t abandon your kid sister, or you’re cornered in a place where you can escape, or you’ll be shot in the back. Or, they conceived their fight to be a unarmed, stand-off duel, where they can bob, weave, probe with a jab, or just fake high, kick low… They conceive their fight to be walk-away-able, negotiated with diplomatic banter. (It’s hard to de-escalate a mugger – he just wants your watch). People quickly responded with solutions to their perceived fights. That’s interesting to me and a teaching point. What kind of fight to you think you are training for? Maybe this stupid little 30 minute question is somewhat revealing?

     I say “unwashed” above because…because…if you are savvy, experienced, if you understand the big picture, you understand that this is a hand, stick, knife, gun world…a mixed weapons world…and fights, crime and wars are in urban, suburban and rural areas, inside and outside of homes and businesses. The nature of the encounters and diversity of the situations are numerically vast…VAST. The architecture and geography in which they occur, big as a mountain, or as small as closest…VAST.

     The big picture solution is never quit working out with hand, sticks, knives and guns, with and against them, never quit your study and curiosity of the “who, what, where, when, how and why” questions to define high and low priorities, and build a certain, overall “fighting savvy” inside your brain and gut. I have zero problems with people creating baseline, need-to-know skills. Of course we need them. Then examine and experiment with skills to survive situations. Sure. 

     Just not in this 30 minute, clap-trap framework.


Hock's Email is HockHochheim@ForceNecessary.com

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