Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Does your self defense training include Threat Assessment?

Threat assessment is an important part of reality based self defense training. While your reflex moves will stop the initial attack, your reaction moves (or follow-up moves) must consider the threat level at hand.

This means that your techniques and your training has to allow you to shift gears from a potentially high threat level to a low threat level situation or the other way around.

For example, if the initial assault was a knife thrust you may be trained to stop the attack and break a knee. However, what happens if the assailant drops the knife before you go for the knee break? Is the knee break still necessary? Does your skill-set allow you to shift to a response for an unarmed attacker?

Or, another example, maybe someone grabs you with one hand and waves the other hand in your face. This might seem like a lower threat, but what if he suddenly reaches for a knife or a gun. Can you switch modes and cause enough damage to stop the more serious assault?

What we are looking at here is the ability to injure to degree according to the perceived level of danger. Your techniques need to be kept simple to allow you to move easily between one mode and another.

Integrating threat assessment into your training will ensure that you are responding appropriately to save your life. You will force yourself to deal with the person, the complete and dynamic threat, not just that right punch coming at you. It will also ensure that you are adhering to use of force laws by always using reasonable force.

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