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Adrenal Decay
Adrenal Stress
Aftermath of Violence
Alpha Behavior
Aliveness and Other Nonsense
Attack Range
Disneyland State of Mind
Distance (range)
Economy & Stress Violence
Effective Movement
Failure To Perform
Five Stages of Violent Crime
High Risk Behavior
How NOT To Get Shot
Kinds of Violence
Krav Mag
Mental Preparation
Mushy Movement
Normal, Abnormal, Dangerous
Power Generation
Problem Neighbors
Provoking An Attack
Pyramid Personal Safety
Receiving Force
Self-Defense Explained*
SD Training
Shadow Dancing
Shortcuts & Cheats
Survival Mindset
Unintended Consequences
Unnecessary Movement
Violence Geeks Blog
Weapon Disarms
Western Ethics and SD
What's With the *?
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Terry Trahan

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Beyond the Picket Fence
MacYoung, et al
(Social skills for survival)

Advanced Body Language
Bill Acheson,

(Non Verbal communication)

Warrior Mindset
Michael Asken, et al
(Mental toughness, Professional mindset)

Writing Violence Vol: III
Hitting and Getting Hit
Marc MacYoung




A lot of people in the self-defense world
will never have to use their training. This hub
is for people whose lives and professions make it
not if violence will happen, but WHEN.
That puts an entirely different spin on training.

MA/SD/DT Training

On this page:
Adrenal Stress Response | Alpha/Beta Behavior | Angles | Attack Range *| Bully Picking Victims*| Disneyland State Of Mind* | Distance | Effective Movement* | Failure To Perform | Fear | Five Stages of Violent Crime | Getting Attacked 101* | Grappling | High Risk Behavior | Mental Preparation | Mushy Movement | Normal, Abnormal, Dangerous* | Patching | Power | Pyramid of Personal Safety* | Receiving Force | Repercussions | Self-Defense* | Self -Defense Training* | Shadow Dancing | Short Cuts, Ultimate Fighting Systems and Cheats* | Stance | Technique | Unintended Consequences | Use of lethal force* | Violence Comes in Different Flavors | Western Ethics and Self-Defense

The biggest problems with a lot of training is not with the training itself. The biggest problem is actually a combination of three big problems.

The first problem is with the fact that people seem to forget that training is not the same as doing.

To the best of our knowledge there is no other field where this point is not only not understood, but intentionally ignored– as it is in the MA/SD/ RBSD/ WSD/ DT worlds. Just because you train in a ferocious martial art, a reality based fighting system of high speed low drag shooting does NOT mean you are a warrior. Training is training, doing is doing.

The second biggest problem is people forget that training is for specific situations; it is NOT an all encompassing cure-all.

Violence comes in countless different levels, degrees, manifestations, styles and strategies. There is NO one training system that addresses the myriad possibilities and problems that you can encounter. Just because you are trained to react effectively under certain circumstances does NOT mean that you can and will react effectively, or are even qualified to handle, others.

In order to figure out whether certain training would work for the circumstances you are likely to find yourself in, you need to know something about those circumstances. In other words, before you can get the right answers, you need to know the right questions to ask. And the first question you need to ask is what do you want to get out of your training?

The third big problem is instructors who want to get your money before they get you killed.

Okay, so that's unfair. What isn't unfair is they are intentionally muddying the waters and claiming that their training IS a Wunder-Tool that can handle any kind of situation that you may encounter. This is not only a bald faced lie that can get you killed, but it makes it harder for you to find the training that does work for your particular needs.

This section is a grab bag of concepts from other hubs. Concepts that whether you know it or not, will have major effect on you attempting to put your training to use in live fire situations.

Adrenal Stress Response How our minds and bodies function under the Adrenal Stress Response is a major factor whether we freeze or over react in a violent situation.

Establishing Alpha/Beta Status Humans are social animals. By this we don't just mean they like to be with one another, humans need each other in order to survive. This requires a social order, usually this organizes itself into a hierarchy. In this section we take a look at how not understanding what being an alpha really is can provoke a violent reaction. Often trouble arises from people not understanding what alpha behavior really is.

Angles Understanding slight directional changes in how you are applying force has a major effect on how much work you have to do and how effective you are. Learning how to correctly use angles is a critical step in improving how effective you are -- and if your opponent can keep on resisting you.

Bully Victim Selection Have you ever wondered why bullies, troublemakers and abusers choose some people but ignore others? There is an entire complex set of behaviors and signals that are going back and forth. The Bullies page is written for young men who are caught in a cycle of behavior -- usually involving both bullying and being bullied. NOTE: due to straight-talking to a particular audience, the content is raw, vulgar and politically incorrect. Still the information is useful for anyone who is being routinely harassed.

The Disneyland State of Mind and entitlement violence
They're too young to know any better, but too big not to be taken seriously. How youth, entitlement, binge drinking, excitement, self-righteousness and the inability to handle the frustration of being told "No" can turn both men and women into violent berserks.

Distance Where you are standing has major influence on whether at technique is going to work or not. Notice we didn't say 'whether or not you can do the technique' we said whether it is going to work or not. Unfortunately many people try to make a technique work from the wrong distance, in doing so they rob themselves of power and effectiveness. This introduction to the importance of distance (range) will help you understand why so often things aren't working.

Effective Movement The importance of effective movement cannot be understated, it is a fundamental. Unfortunately, it is a fundamental that's significance has been lost to many people -- including most instructors. This page not only addresses the standards of effective movement, but the tactical and strategic implications and applications.

Failure To Perform Have you ever considered that perhaps the reason the techniques you're trying are failing, is not because of what you are doing. In other words, there's a good chance the problem that YOU aren't doing them right, there's a good chance that parts are missing.

Fear Fear is one of the major issues that hinders personal safety. Believe it or not, this is more a problem of not understanding the nature of fear (and its purpose and benefits) than it is a problem with fear itself. Fear is your ally, not your enemy. You don't want to get rid of it.

Five Stages of Violent Crime What are the predictable - and easily identified stages a violent crime MUST go through in order to happen? How to identify when you are being set up for a violent crime

Getting Attacked 101 Unfortunately, in trying to either establish control and dominance over a situation or warn away a potential attacker, there are core mistakes a person can make. These mistakes will escalate the situation to physical violence. Here is a handy set of guidelines on ways not to provoke an attack.

Grappling It's not that I am against ground fighting. Through some brutally earned experiences I have some seriously controversial views on the subject of grappling and submission fighting in the streets. While it is a good sport system, the commonly held and wildly misguided belief that it is the ultimate fighting system is a dangerous delusion. While grappling has its time and place, trying to use it in a serious altercation can and will result in grave injury

High Risk Behavior Let us start by stating our definition of High Risk Behavior isn't based in moralizing. The simple fact is that a wild party girl (who knows the rules) can be safer among bikers than a 'good girl' on a date with a 'Prince Charming' (who isn't). We define High Risk Behavior as: Any behavior that puts you into circumstances where violence is probable. It's what you do in those circumstances that will determine whether or not you will be attacked.

Mental Preparation Violence is an extreme. That means you are operating in an arena that you do not normally function. A lot of things that you didn't think about previously will become a matter of life or death. This page introduces you to the factors that WILL be present in a violent encounter. Factors that you need have addressed before you try to function in that environment.

Mushy Movement The challenge is not how to generate more force, the challenge is how not to waste the force you are already generating. Unfortunately, many people -- by not understanding the significance of their system's movement -- fail at this challenge. Worse, many martial artists -- in trying to solve this problem, by cross training -- end up creating more problems. Over and above the tendency to incorrectly move within their own system, quite often, cross trained individuals end up attempting to execute moves from other systems based on their original style's body mechanics. This results in additional loss of power. This page addresses the fundamentals of power generation through body movement.

Normal, Abnormal, and Dangerous
A sad reality of violence is odds are you're going to end up on the witness stand facing hostile counsel. One of the ways attorneys operate is, like computer hackers pinging for computers without firewalls, the lawyer is going to ping for weaknesses in what you say and know. After you say "He was..." a common strategy is "How do you know he wasn't...?" (For example, you say, "I saw him do a witness check before approaching." The attorney responds with "Is is not possible he was looking for a friend?") Do you know how to answer such a question? The Normal, Abnormal, Dangerous model gives you a way to answer such questions.

Patching How are you going to fix something if you don't know how it's broken?

Power Many people mistakenly believe that effective fighting is about how much power you generate. We disagree. We feel that being able to effectively deliver power into you opponent is more about what you don't do to lose power. And while the list long of what people don't know about power generation, it is even longer with how they lose power.

Pyramid of personal Safety The Pyramid of Personal Safety is a multi-level system designed to both discourage and foil criminals from preying on you. It is a blanket protection against several kinds of crime ranging from burglary, robbery and stalking. The more levels you include the safer you will be.

Receiving Force Although written for law enforcement officers, this page may prove useful to martial artists in its explanation on how to take the force your opponent is generating without losing the ability to operate tactically.

Repercussions of "Winning" Contrary to what you may think a fight doesn't end with a body hitting the floor. That's usually only the beginning of the repercussions your victory will bring you.

Self-Defense Even though they are promoted as such ... and in many cases can be used for defensive actions, martial arts are NOT self-defense. Even though there is some overlap, Self-Defense is an independent subject unto itself -- including the fact that it is legally defined term.

Self-Defense Training What needs to be included in a fully rounded SD program?

Shadow Dancing Shadow Dancing is the term we use to describe the subtle, but potentially lethal, dance dangerous people play while jockeying for attack position -- while pretending to be innocent. Although written for cop, recognize your ability to calmly perform this dance is going to determine if you are going to be attacked or not.

Shortcuts, Ultimate Fighting Systems and Cheats There are a lot of instructors out there willing to sell you some kind of wonder system that will make a "Master of Disaster" or "Master Martial Artist" in an astoundingly short time. There exists a symbiotic relationship between these hucksters and people who are looking for quick, simplistic, easy fantasy answers. One's willing to pay for tripe, the other is willing to sell it.

Stance This page is to get to rethinking the use of martial arts techniques in self-defense situations. Often the problem isn't with the 'martial arts' but what is being taught as the martial arts. On this page we address what is NOT being taught about something as fundamental as stance in training. Whether it is traditional MA, combatives or some supposed reality based self-defense system, if these elements aren't being taught about how you are standing, then you won't be able to deliver power.

Survival Mindset There are many internet-gurus who offer to teach you the Warrior Mindset. Unfortunately too many people have bought into this nonsense and believe training is the same as doing. When it comes to a Survival Mindset we prefer to use 'Larry the Cable Guy' as our model, "GIT-R-DONE!" This section explains why that is a more functional attitude.

Technique It's time to take a long hard look at what you think a technique is. What does a technique do, what doesn't it do? And what do you need to be focusing on when you teach a technique?

Unintended Consequences Why is it so traumatic when things go violent? A huge part of the problem is that most people were not only not mentally prepared for violence to occur, but because of how they were thinking that option wasn't even considered. As such they face both the shock and trauma of the violence, but also the psychological fall into unintended consequences.

Unnecessary Movement There is a BIG (did we mention big?) difference between what generates power and what you think generates power. Unfortunately, what you think makes for a powerful move plays way too big of a part in how you move. Many people, in attempting to add in more power actually are robbing themselves of power by putting in extra and unnecessary movement.

Violence Comes in Different Flavors Many people don't know what 'self-defense' is because they don't understand there are different kinds of violence. Not only do different kinds of violence have different goals, but your actions have significant influence on whether or not the situation goes physical. If you blindly react to any threat as though it demands you to unleash your self-defense training you are seriously increasing the chances of the situation escalating into the most dangerous kind of violence -- an event you may not survive.

Weapons Disarms

Weapon disarms/Facing a Weapon Unfortunately there are many people who have never faced a weapon in their lives telling you what works to 'save your life' when weapons are involved. The problem is that most of these techniques will get you killed. Or, if you're extremely lucky, merely hospitalized and maimed for the rest of your life. We take a hard look at the fantasies and the realities of weapon disarms.

Western Ethics and Self-Defense Often popular Western philosophy is diametrically opposite to what you have to do to survive. Before you can reconcile these differences you need to take a look at what they are and where they come from.

Return to top

What You Don't Know Can Kill You
(How your SD training will put you into prison or the ground)

Survive a Shooting
Alain Burrese
(Active shooters)

Scaling Force
Rory Miller
(Threat assessment, force decision making)

Writing Violence
Vol: IV  Defense
Marc MacYoung

(Defensive action and failure)

Five Essential People Skills
Dale Carnegie
(Developing social skills)

Marc MacYoung
(Crime recognition/avoidance)

Good Manners For People Who Sometimes Say F*ck
Amy Alkon
(How not to accidentally piss people off)

In the Name of Self-Defense
Marc MacYoung
(Violence, crime & aftermath)
Read AFTER "What You Don'tKnow..."

Explosive People
Albert Bernstein

Massad Ayoob
(Shooting while adrenalized)

Law of Self-Defense
Andrew Branca
(Legal issues of SD)

Logic of violence
Rory Miller
(How violence and crime happen)

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