Monday, October 4, 2010

Are You Leaving Out This Important Factor in Your Self Defense or Defensive Tactics Training?

Are You Leaving Out This Important Factor in Your Self Defense or Defensive Tactics Training?
Muscle Contraction and Limb Retraction and Defensive Tactics for Street Survival Self Defense

One of the more frequently made errors in DEFENSIVE TACTICS instruction for law enforcement (Police, Security, Corrections), Military and other SELF DEFENSE instruction is neglecting the retraction factor.  It leaves many officers wondering why their slick move they learned at the Academy didn't work.

The retraction factor is the bodies natural response that occurs when adapting to a perceived challenge in a fighting situation.  For example, if an officer attempts to apply an arm bar or similar lock, the natural reaction for the body is to tense up, resist and often pull the other way.  Try to grab the fingers, and they ball up in a fist and yank away.  Try to grab a knife weilding hand and they yank it back.  The body usually returns to center, or condenses itself when adapting and defending.  The muscles contract, stiffen and reinforce the limb and make it more difficult to articulate and manipulate.

Advanced martial artists and more skilled individuals count on this as part of their application of the tactic and gain a strategic advantage by persuading the individual to go in the direction they want.    They might for example push to get the subject to pull themselves into the technique the officer wants. 

In order to apply this tactic, it takes training with various types of bodies under stress and with dynamic adaptation (resistance and adaptation) in training.  It comes only with experience and lots of practice in training.  It becomes even more important if there is a disparity of size, structure or strength of the officer and subject. 

When fighting for your life, an officer's skills need to be highly adaptable.  In the military, the fighting principle is "combat flexibility".  The ability to adapt to the situation, terrain, conditions, and context of the enemy is critical to formulate an effective winning strategy.  This is why it is so critical to use scenario based training with resistance, adaptation and allowing subjects to counter the officer.  It forces the officer to problem solve and integrate and account for these reactions into the tactics of their training. 

Train smart, train strong and stay safe.

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