During the summer of 2016, I spent two intense days learning, practicing, and applying principles of real-world self-defense through the MovNat Combatives Course. My eyes were opened to the ways we are vulnerable to predators who would do our bodies or our property harm and to the ways I can defend myself and others without any formal martial arts or fighting technique training.
In this course, I learned the principles of environmental awareness, situational readiness, self-defense against one or multiple attackers, self-defense against an attacker with a blunt object/sharp object/firearm, how to regulate the "fight-or-flight" response during a fight, how to fall when being pushed down, how to get off the ground when being attacked by one or multiple attackers, how to fight when you're being choked, de-escalating a potential physical attack through verbal confrontation, escaping gunfire, wrestling for a knife, and how to see the world through a predator's eyes (evaluating "hard" versus "soft" targets).
When reflecting on all that I learned over those 2 days, I came to a concerning realization:
You are not a fighter.
And that's a problem.
Why? Because the fight is most likely coming to you.
Don't believe me?
Here are the stats, provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.):
One property crime happens every 3 seconds
One burglary happens every 10 seconds
One violent crime occurs every 20 seconds
One aggravated assault happens every 35 seconds
One robbery occurs every 60 seconds
One forcible rape occurs every 2 minutes
One of every five homes will experience a break-in or home invasion
38% of assaults and 60% of rapes occur during home invasions
Burying your head in the sand is not going to solve this problem.
Buying a taser is not going to solve this problem (I was tasered multiple times and beaten by this man for over a minute, and the only thing it did was piss me off and make me fight harder).
Pepper spray is not going to solve this problem (pepper spray is fairly easy to wipe off your face, and doesn't even phase most would-be attackers).
A colored belt is not going to save you in a street fight.
You need a system designed to teach you a practical and applicable mindset and attitude, and the tactics and techniques necessary to defend yourself should one of these unfortunate scenarios begin to unfold in front of you.
The MovNat Combatives course is typically only offered once per year in North America, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who's interested in not becoming a victim of a violent encounter. I have used these techniques to teach my wife to defend herself. I have taught my children to defend themselves against a physically aggressive bully. The goal is not to turn you into a fighter, but rather open your eyes and empower you to become capable of defending yourself should the need arise.
If you are interested in learning more about these techniques or are looking for some practical self-defense coaching, you can contact us through the link in the top right of this page or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blog: Why We Train, by Dr. Tim Cummings
Blog: The Training Template, by Dr. Tim Cummings
Podcast: Episode #9 with Luke Denney
YouTube: How to Fall Well
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Tim Cummings is a strength coach, physical therapist, writer, speaker, and, along with his wife, Jess, the founder of Restore/Thrive. Tim splits his time between helping athletes, parents, and coaches fix acute and long-standing orthopedic injuries and programming post-rehab training programs for individuals looking to get back to their active lifestyles after an injury.
He received his Bachelors of Arts in Exercise Science from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2004, and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Southwest Baptist University in 2010. He was certified as a Titleist Performance Institute Certified Trainer in 2011. He was certified as an IMPACT Concussion Management Provider in 2012 he was the first physical therapist in Kansas City to earn recognition as a MovNat certified trainer in 2014. He was the first physical therapist in Kansas City designated as The Ready State Certified Practitioner in 2015. He earned the Power Athlete Block One Coach certification in 2020.
Tim’s background as an athlete includes a history of competitive baseball, basketball, cross-country running, and performance weightlifting. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Jess and their three children, Aiden, Evelyn, and Connor, their Cavachon puppy Coco, weightlifting, golfing, obstacle course racing, competitive eating, and wrestling with his kids.