Today's Warrior Wednesday blog might ruffle a few feathers but I've never been known to shy away from that. If the truth "ruffles your feathers" then you are in the wrong place. I'm going to share 3 pervasive self-defense myths that most of you will probably have heard before. The problem with these myths is that they can actually cause you harm rather than work to your benefit. Let's dive in.
Myth number 1: Place your keys between your fingers so when you punch your attacker, you punch them with your keys.
Whoever started this myth obviously never applied it in real situations against committed attackers. The problems with this myth are many. For starters, when will you ever have time to place all your keys in between your fingers once attacked? You would have to prep by placing them in between before you were attacked because it will not happen once the fight is on.
Second, how natural is it to have the keys between all your fingers? Is this something you have ever trained? Have you ever actually punched anything while in this position just to test it out? Don't do it because the keys can slide back into your own hand causing major tissue and tendon damage if you punch too hard. What ways are the sharp sides of the keys facing? Likely, some will be towards your hand and some will be away.
Whenever I speak with people, I am amazed that I continue to hear this bit of advice still being touted as "conventional wisdom." This piece of advice is from charlatans who never actually applied it. If you want to trust your protection to unproven, untested and potentially harmful techniques such as this, that is your affair. My "advice", avoid this like the plague.
Myth number 2: The answer to all male aggressor encounters is to "knee 'im in the groin"
While this seems like good advice, it is not for several reasons. For starters, in combat and fighting, few things are certain other than chaos. Therefore, giving blanket advice is rarely a good thing. Telling people (especially women) that "kneein' 'im in the groin" will always work is a lie. It won't always work. Many times, your attacker is attacking you because they are under the influence of powerful drugs and/or alcohol. This can make many attackers very resilient to groin pain. Oh they'll feel that groin shot in the morning once their body has purged itself of the chemicals, but in the moment they may just laugh.
Again, real warriors look to the battleground for their "advice" and "conventional wisdom", not the opinions of wannabe's who have tested nothing. Real police encounters have occurred where men hyped up on drugs have taken point-blank, full power billy clubs to the groin and continued fighting as if nothing had happened.
Kneeing a man in the groin is not bad advice in and of itself as long as it not shared in a "this is the magic technique that will end all male aggressor encounters with no questions asked." It won't and there is no magic technique. If you want proof that nothing is for certain, Google some images of things people have survived being stabbed with and impaled with. It is grisly but people have survived hunting knives being plunged into their head, car accident victims have survived having their lower half completely severed by a pole or fence, etc. The human body can take enormous punishment especially when on drugs or in similarly altered states.
In summary, the groin is a great target to impact but do not assume that just because you hit them there one time that the fight will magically be over. Continue fighting until the threat is neutralized.
Myth number 3: Your height and weight are the most relevant factors in a fight.
I hear this myth a lot, especially from women but this applies to men as well. At first glance, me fighting John Cena or The Rock would seem to have me over-matched. They outweigh me by a lot and are at least 5 inches taller. I don't see it that way however and you shouldn't either. Impacting the appropriate targets will bring down anyone no matter how much smaller you are.
Your attitude is always one of survival, no matter how daunting the enemy. This resolve and total commitment to staying alive can sometimes stop a fight before it begins because other people can sense that determination and resolve. I am not sure how we do that or what exact signals we are picking up on (body language, chemical emissions) but we all know that we can do it and that we can perceive it in others.
One analogy we (myself and my colleagues) use is the 5 pound cat analogy. Have you ever tried to pick up or hold onto a cat that didn't want you to do that? A 300 pound WWE wrestler cannot hang on to a 5 pound cat that doesn't want to be held. Why not? He outweighs the thing by 295 pounds. Answer: the cat makes him miserable. It starts clawing, biting, writhing, flipping, climbing, and hissing like the devil possessed it, forcing you to drop it and let go. You need to visualize yourself as that 5 pound cat when cornered. When all the other options have failed, become the 5 pound cat. The cat isn't intimidated by the wrestler's size or weight, it just does what it does. It would do the same to a 5 year old child. It doesn't care about the person, it just deploys it's weapons until it is let go.
In conclusion, don't ever lace your keys in between your fingers, kneeing someone in the groin is not a magic bullet, and you are never too small to protect yourself.
As always, live in the battleground warriors.
Welcome to the Anatomy of a Warrior Blog!
National Speaker, author, blogger, and life-long student of warrior arts and science.