Let’s Get Physical
Self-defense for the rest of us
Our goal is to teach you how to avoid danger and confrontation if at all possible. Often in spite of our best efforts, we are presented with a one to three second decision; will I become a victim and a statistic in the morning paper or will I use this one to three seconds to effect an escape or mount an assault on this lowlife?
Self-defense may at some time require a physical response from you. This may be a defensive action or an offensive action. When this time comes, you will have to react instantly like when your child runs toward a street full of speeding cars. You do not weigh the pros and cons of your actions. You do not consider any danger to yourself. You do everything necessary to remove your child from danger.
You can relax! We are not going to ask you to learn some complicated martial arts moves. These usually require years of dedicated training and can even put a weaker, smaller, or older person at a greater risk. Matrix Defense Solutions will teach you simple yet very effective ways of defending yourself.
“Self-defense is survival at all costs. Can you imagine an antelope formulating rules of appropriate behavior for self-defense while a hungry lion is poised to lunge at his throat? There can be only one rule in self-defense — SURVIVE!” — Steve Pearl
This 75-lb. ten-year-old does not stand a chance against this 265-lb. dirtbag, unless… well, unless she knows how to use the Surprise Escape!
This very simple maneuver is a defensive move. It does not require superior strength or skills but instead it uses the powerful weapon of leverage.
A favored method for a street punk or abductor to control you is to grab your wrist near the hand. There just aren’t any good handhold places on the human body except for the wrist. Where does a parent grab their child if they want to move them from A to B, that’s right, the wrist. A larger stronger person is usually able to lead or drag a smaller person merely by a tight grip on the wrist.
Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth was jogging with her swim team one day in a “good” neighbor in my city. As she ran toward a stop light, a car door swung open and a man jumped out of the passenger side of the car. He grabbed Elizabeth wrist and proceeded to try to drag her to the open car door where his accomplice waited. With a firm grip on her wrist, it became a battle of body weight and strength. Well friends, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth, my hero, held on for the duration of the stop light — 48 seconds! Of course Mr. Scumbag never expected such resistance from this young lady. He ran for his getaway car.
What if athletic sixteen-year-old Elizabeth had been a not-so-athletic ten-year-old or a sixty-eight-year-old grandmother with about half the body weight and strength of Mr. Scumbag? You guessed it! There would be no contest. Now is a good time to tell you this. Your self-defense does not depend on your physical strength or size. You will hear this many times from me. Please listen well. You are going to learn things from Matrix Defense Solutions that will empower you with knowledge, skill and confidence you never dreamed you would possess.
I taught a self-defense class to a group of kids ages 7 to 15. That’s right, this is pretty young to be learning such things. With a serial abductor in the neighborhood dragging young girls off into the woods, this little city church thought the class a good idea.
One of the things we taught the kids was this Surprise Escape move. They worked on it for about 10 minutes in the class. I received a message from the parent of one of the 8-year-old girls that was in the class. The mother said, “We could not believe it! Our daughter came home from the class and told us about what she had learned. She said, ‘Here, grab my wrist and try to drag me.’” To the mother’s shock, her young daughter was able to escape instantly. She did it again and again. The proud young girl stuck her hand out to her dad. To his amazement, his daughter escaped his grip too.
Strength vs. Leverage
No contest here. In Elizabeth’s battle, the positive outcome was the result of her athletic strength and courageous will power not to be a victim. What about the eight-year-old little girl or the sixty-eight-year-old grandmother? They can use the Surprise Escape and leave Mr. Scumbag standing there wondering if he just got Kung Fu’d or what. In the following maneuver, you will see how the use of leverage against a body joint can be used as a possible life-saver for you or your child.
How Does It Work?
Imagine the strongest person you have ever seen with their hand gripped around the small end of a baseball bat. Their arm is extended with the bat in front of them. Now let’s have that 104-lb. 68-year-old grandmother put both hands on the fat end of the bat and start to spin it like she were winding a clock. My friend, are you beginning to see the picture? The strongest man in the world just got humiliated by grandma. Strength cannot stand against the simple and powerful use of leverage.
Ok, ok, show me NOW!
Mr. Abductor grabs this lady’s wrist as she walks past an open alley on the street, or maybe a doorway in her apartment building. He knows he is bigger and stronger. No problem to drag this lady a few feet where he can control her.
For the Surprise Escape to be effective, you must always move in the direction toward his thumb. You can see that the young lady’s arm is like a baseball bat rotating in a circle. It is like a crowbar prying at the dirtbag’s thumb.
NOTE: All of the above movement should be in one fluid motion. As you step in to bend your arm, you also initiate an explosive arch of your forearm against the creep’s thumb. There is no struggle, there is no warning, there is only movement, release, and a Surprise Escape.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
I always encourage those in my classes to practice the Surprise Escape with someone around the house. Several times a week, have your husband, boyfriend, or brother grab your wrist in an ambush. You are caught totally off guard. That’s the point. At first, your mind turns to jello. I am not sure what flavor but it does. You are paralyzed. You cannot afford for this to happen on the street. After a little practice, muscle memory kicks in and your entire body responds with the Surprise Escape. There is no thinking. You just react instantly!
More good stuff, and it’s free!
Look at this sequence where you can add a sharp blow to the Surprise Escape just to add a little insult to injury. The dirtbag will no doubt be paralyzed with fear not knowing what you are going to do to him next. Never stand around and gloat after you have effected an escape. Move away quickly. You just let the street degenerate know that you are NOT going to be an easy target.
Remember to do this maneuver with fast and fluid motions. Note here that the lady’s right hand is following the motion of the captured hand. She will use the palm of the right hand to execute a blow to the scumbag’s wrist.
Note: While this is not essential to the Surprise Escape, it is a great idea to use and practice it. In the future, we will be encouraging the use of “compound moves” in self-defense. Simply, this means to do more than one thing in rapid succession. More on the later.
Often someone who is very close to you like in an elevator may put their hand on your upper arm. This is more to intimidate you than to try to control or move you. This is usually typical in the unwanted advances of a coworker in the copy room or maybe some jerk at a party.
Notice that the procedure for this escape is the same. You raise your arm in an arch pattern and move in the direction over the top of the thumb. In your practice, be sure to have your helper grabs you from different directions and from all sides.
This grasp on the upper arm is very easy to break. It requires almost no effort at all to free yourself. If someone has grabbed both of your arms, like when a person would be shaking you, you merely move both of your arms up through the center of his and then spread your arms out like in a swimming stroke.
Here you see where both hands will be once you are free. You must move away quickly. If you cannot escape the area and the situation is serious, you may have to take offensive actions. More on that later too.
The Two-Handed Attack!
It does not matter which direction you rotate your arms in this move. Both directions work equally well. Notice that the man’s thumbs are opposing each other. Whatever direction you go, move with commitment like your life depended on it. The lady’s arms and hands are locked together and make a formidable lever.
To successfully execute this escape, the move of the swinging arch must be fast and continuous. It will move as high as the top of your head. Keep it moving toward the opposite side of your body. Remember you are literally winding up the dirtbag’s arms and hands.
Our little heroin has effected an escape. Yea, for the good guys. I love it when our side wins. After the Surprise Escape, she will move away quickly. There will be plenty of time for bragging when she gets home safely to the family.
Now hear this!
Here is one more thing to add to the Surprise Escape. It is an imperative phrase. Ok, so it is a SHOUT. At the moment you are breaking free of the dirtbag’s grip, you shout. Now, not just any old shout. You SHOUT LOUD! Here are some good commands: NO! STOP! GO AWAY! MOVE BACK! Of course you do not need to use all of these at once. You must practice these while you are driving around in your car. Keep the windows rolled up while doing this. You do not want to offend the other drivers. Use your deepest, meanest, loudest voice. This should not be a request or suggestion. It is a command! The voice can be a powerful and very intimidating weapon. Do not underestimate its value. It sends a very clear signal; I am not a victim!
You should time your verbal command for the moment you break free. It all has a compounding effect. As you break free of the dirtbag’s grip and smack his wrist at the same time and on top of all that you are giving him a loud verbal command, well, you have just taken away his will to continue with his assault. All but the most harden and committed criminal will look for a victim that is far more cooperative.
One word of warning in using verbal commands. Do NOT use profanity. This often tends to escalate a confrontation. It also puts you on the same level with the dirtbag. He now feels more justified in his offense toward you. Another factor to consider is that you are wanting to enlist the support of other people close by. You do not want this incident to look like a cursing match between two irate “friends.” If it comes to the point where you must mount an assault to protect yourself, it is important that everyone nearby see you as the victim not the antagonist. This is usually fairly easy if the victim is a woman. For us men, it is often difficult to see “who started this fight anyway?” When the “victim” is using as much profanity as the assailant, it becomes more difficult for the onlooker to determine who is attacking who.
Let’s wrap it up.
Here are some thoughts, observations, and suggestions…
- We tend to teach like men are always the bad guys against women. Unfortunately statistics do support this idea. Sorry guys. We are the scumbags. Men, however, have a fair amount of crime against them too. We are confident that both men and women will benefit from these skills we have taught you here today.
- Never give a warning of what you are going to do in your self-defense. Move fast and deliberate. Do not telegraph your moves. Explode before they know what hit them. The best time for you to react is within the first one to two seconds of the confrontation.
- Practice your Surprise Escape with someone in your house. Be sure to add an imperative phrase to the practice maneuver. You will always do in “real life” what you do in practice. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect!
- The Surprise Escape works best when used on someone who is not prepared for it. You will not be able to use it on an abusive husband or boyfriend over and over with great success. If you know what is coming next, most self-defense moves can be defeated. If a person grabbed your wrist and jerked it up next to their body, it would neutralized the lever effect of your arm. You need the surprise part and the leverage part of this move for it to work.
- The Surprise Escape is only effective when it is done properly. Pay very close attention to where your attacker’s thumb is positioned on your arm. At first you will have to look at the hand in your practice sessions. Soon, the movement will be automatic. No thought process required.
- There could be a time when it would not be appropriate to use the Surprise Escape. Remember this move is strictly defensive. You do not hurt your assailant in any way. You humiliate him. You smack his arm. You shout at him. You shock him with your composure. The reason you do not do anything offensive is because you only want to effect an escape. If for some reason, you cannot escape. Maybe you are cornered in a stairwell in your parking garage by some dirtbag. Maybe it is very obvious that he intends on harming you in some way. The use of the Surprise Escape MAY only escalate the situation by embarrassing the crazy degenerate. After you break his grip, he may only come back with his hands around your neck. (that is another lesson) The point is, the Surprise Escape is a great tool when you are in a position to move out of the assault area quickly. If you cannot, the next step would be to use some very aggressive offensive moves to defend your life. You guessed it, that is another lesson too.
Not Rocket Science
Self-defense is not rocket science. It is not just reserved for those few willing to dedicate three nights a week to the martial arts. It is well within the grasp of the ordinary non-violent mom and dad and young person walking our streets. Your biggest battle is not with the dirtbag on the street but in your own mind! You cannot change your self-defense mindset in one article or one book. It is a process of learning and letting your mind think in a different manner. Not in fear! Not in paranoia! Not in denial! You will think and walk in confidence and safety. Matrix Defense Solutions is committed to helping you train your mind to defend your family.