Clear’s Silat: Escape from Holds – Street Self Defense

Explosive Efficient Effective

Explosive Efficient Effective

Learn quick and effective self defense techniques from Kuntao Silat expert Richard Clear.

In this video you’ll learn to destroy the grabs tackles and holds that would otherwise prevent you from escaping a life threatening situation.

Also available online from Vimeo on Demand

How Much Of Your Training Time Is Wasted?

Silat12If you’re busy like me you only have a limited amount of training time each day.

So we need to use that time as effectively as possible.

We talk a lot here in the newsletter about how to find the most effective methods and ways to make our training as efficient as possible.

…but even the most efficient training is wasted if you don’t test it.

Without some drills, games and sparring to test our skills under pressure, we can’t be sure our training will be there when it matters.

Pressure testing and sparring is essential in making sure our skills will be there when we need them.

Sparring is also a great way to find our errors and fix them.

…and this makes our training even more efficient.

But sport martial art sparring methods wont do the job.

The Art of Sparring is a 2 disc DVD set that contains all the drills, games and types of sparring you need to properly train a reality based self defense art like Kuntao Silat, Tai Chi, Bagua or Xing Yi.

http://www.clearsilat.com/self-defense/the-art-of-sparring-how-to-pressure-test-your-art-12067.html

“So… When Will We See Silat & Tai Chi Competing In MMA?”

Silat17A couple years ago a Muay Thai player came to visit the school.

He hadn’t competed or trained in several years but he still had some very powerful kicks and his movement was deceptively light and agile.

He was quite friendly and we got to play and compare notes on Muay Thai and Kuntao

When he felt the power that Sigung Clear can produce his first reaction was:

“Man, You should go compete!”

This wasn’t the first or the last time we’ve heard this.

…and not just from sport martial artists.

Many Internal Martial Artist, who have felt what these arts can do, are waiting for the day when an internal artist will start cleaning up in MMA type competition.

I hate to disappoint them but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

Competition is just not what Tai Chi, Silat, Bagua & Xing Yi are designed for.

These arts are reality based self defense arts.

…and it’s very important to understand the difference between Competition & Competitive, when sparring with these arts.

Your sparring SHOULD be competitive. In that you are comparing your self to your training partners. and you are using these comparisons that come about in sparring to find holes in your skill and to fix those holes.

However, it should NOT become a competition.

When sparring becomes competition it becomes about winning the game.

…anything that doesn’t help you win the game is now a waste of valuable training time. So the more you try to win the further your training gets from what you need for self defense.

In reality based arts your sparring should always be about building skill.

You are not trying to beat your opponents. You are using them to help you find errors in yourself and you are helping them find their own errors.

Each sparring game focuses on a specific skill or group of skills.

Keep in mind which skills you are working on each time you spar.

Our new DVD: The Art of Sparring teaches you the games drills and sparring methods to build self defense skill with reality based marital arts for self defense.

You can save $103 on this 2 disc set if you order by Monday Feb 23

Details are here:

http://www.clearsilat.com/self-defense/the-art-of-sparring-how-to-pressure-test-your-art-12067.html

How do Self Defense Arts Spar?

Silat09Last time we talked about why MMA & Kickboxing sparring methods are ineffective ways to train for self defense.

…but we still need to pressure test our arts.

We need to practice our skills against opponents who are trying to beat us.

One way to do this is through real world experience.

Move to a dangerous area, do stupid things, put yourself in bad situations, etc…

Sigung Clear and many of his teachers learned a lot this way. However, this is very dangerous. Sigung Clear and his teachers didn’t seek out dangerous situations. They had the misfortune of living in dangerous areas.

I don’t recommend this method if you have a choice.

Even if you do have a dangerous job or live in a dangerous place, I recommend doing as much of your pressure testing in training as possible.

After all, our goal with these arts is long term survival and health.

So, How to do we spar…

…and get to practice all of our most lethal techniques..

..against a resisting opponents…

…without hurting our training partners?

The simple answer is: You Can’t.

There is no single way to do this.

Any sparring method, game or drill that is safe will be divorced from reality in a way that leaves holes in your skillset.

In today’s, take a pill to cure everything world, this is not a popular message.

It’s much more comforting to buy into the ‘single solution’ message of MMA & sport martial arts. “If it works in MMA it’s good, if it doesn’t it’s not.” Clear, simple, easy.

But we are Reality Based Martial Artists.

…and the real world is messy, nuanced and complicated.

So, we need a bunch of drills, games & sparring methods.

Each game has a specific purpose, providing pressure in different ways and helping us build different parts of our skillset.

The good news is: we have more fun games to play with our training partners.

In our new 2 disc DVD set, Sigung Clear teaches the primary games, drills & sparring methods we use to spar and develop the skills of Kuntao Silat, Tai Chi, Bagua & Xing Yi against resisting opponents.

This includes the core sparring method of our Kuntao Silat that builds superior positioning skills and, if you put in a lot of hard work, will teach you how to move slower than the opponent while beating them to the punch every time.

Included with this set is a section on how to use these arts in a sport sparring format.

Though sport sparring is ineffective in preparing for self defense, it is very popular and it can often be a useful way to play with martial artists of different styles in a context they are used to.

http://www.clearsilat.com/self-defense/the-art-of-sparring-how-to-pressure-test-your-art-12067.html

The Myth of Pressure Testing: How MMA has failed the martial arts.

Pressure-Testing-Martial-ArtsMixed Martial Arts was supposed to be the savior of martial arts.

It was billed as the ultimate proving ground where a martial artist could test their skills against any other style.

MMA was supposed to provide a nonrestrictive format where anyone could test their techniques under pressure and see what really works and what doesn’t.

To this day many folks consider MMA and Kickboxing style sparring to be an essential part of learning to use their art effectively.

Like any good myth this his half true.

Testing yourself under pressure is essential and training your skills against opponents who are trying to counter you is important.

MMA sparring is just a horribly ineffective way to do this.

Of course the first problem is the rules. The rules are there to prevent techniques that could maim or kill a fighter. Rules are also used to keep the fights entertaining and discourage fighting strategies that might lose the interest of the audience.

There are no weapons in MMA. You only fight a single opponent at a time. etc…

So MMA sparring is NOT preparing you for an attacker who wants to kill or maim you. You are not preparing for an opponent who uses a boring but effective strategy. You are not preparing for an attacker who is armed and you are not preparing for attackers that work together.

A reality based martial art is designed for self defense.

Tai Chi, Silat, Xing Yi, Bagua and many kung fu styles.

These arts where all built to help you survive a life and death situation.

…against opponentS who are most likely armed.

MMA has become a great success as a sport and as entertainment but it has failed completely as an effective means to pressure test the martial arts.

Of course we still need to pressure test our methods.

…and we need to be able to interact with other martial artists and play the training games they are accustomed to.

Our new DVD set The Art of Sparring teaches you the games, drills and sparring methods that reality based martial arts like Kuntao Silat, Tai Chi, Bagua & Xing Yi use to make sure the skills we’re building will be there when we need them most:

http://www.clearsilat.com/self-defense/the-art-of-sparring-how-to-pressure-test-your-art-12067.html

The Art of Sparring for Self Defense

How to Pressure Test Your Art

The Art of Sparring

Learn how to spar with reality based self defense arts like Kuntao Silat, Tai Chi, Bagua & Xing Yi.

 

Pressure testing is an essential part of reality based self defense arts like Kuntao Silat, Tai Chi, Bagua & Xing Yi.

Unfortunately, popular sparring methods like, Full Contact MMA, Kickboxing & Karate point sparring are horribly ineffective when preparing for the realities of self defense.

…and they outright ban many of the strategies and techniques of reality based arts like Silat, Tai Chi & others.

In this video Sigung Richard Clear takes an in depth look at the drills, games & sparring methods that are essential when training these arts for self defense.

  • You will learn how to spar safely
  • You will learn how to train the full range of techniques including eye, throat and groin strikes against a resisting opponents.
  • You will learn basic ‘Monkey Play’ for developing your ground and grappling skills
  • …and you will learn how to use your Kuntao & Silat skills in the popular sport sparring format.

3 Types of Surprise Attacks and how to prepare for them

Silat04

1. They came out of no where!

The attackers probably did not beam in from outer space. They were there and you just weren’t paying attention.

These are easy to prevent.

Simply practice awareness drills on a regular basis, plan ahead & use good judgment about what situations you put yourself into.

When good awareness skills aren’t enough, or you make a mistake, you’ll end up with one of the next two types of surprise attacks.

2. Sudden but you have time.

This is any attack where you see it coming. Maybe you catch the flash of a punch the instant before it lands or maybe the attackers engage you in conversation seconds or even minutes before the physical assault.

In either case the key is to not let suprise immobilize you.

Get moving.

Also, have a plan.

If you’re trying to make decisions in that type of situation you will freeze.

Have a simple plan of action that applies to most situations and practice, practice, practice.

3. Blindsided.

This is when the physical assault begins before you realize there’s a threat.

They are already hitting, grabbing or stabbing and you have to figure out what’s going on while that’s happening.

The solution is the same: have a plan of action and get moving.

The difference is that plan must be centered around training your body to instinctively slip and neutralize any incoming force.

This is also the focus of our new DVD.

Tactical Pen 2: Surprise Attacks & Knife Defense.

This DVD features step by step training to prepare you for surprise attacks. Including how to defend against surprise knife attacks.

You’ll learn how to prepare for the unexpected.

…and you’ll train your body and mind to respond instantly to attacks you don’t see coming.

You can save 25% on this new DVD until Friday Oct 24th.

http://www.clearsilat.com/self-defense/tactical-pen-2-surprise-attacks-knife-defense-10622.html

Tactical Pen 2: Surprise Attacks & Knife Defense

TacPen2

Even the best self defense techniques will fail if you are caught by surprise.

Don’t let that happen to you.

This DVD features step by step training to prepare you for surprise attacks. Including how to defend against surprise knife attacks.

You’ll learn how to prepare for the unexpected.

…and you’ll train your body and mind to respond instantly to attacks you don’t see coming.

Click Here to save $100 with the Clear’s Silat Weapons Package

Weapons Package

Weapons training is a vital part of any self defense training.

Learn how to defend yourself with these critical self defense tools.

  • Clear’s Silat Street Tactics – $50
  • Tactical Pen (DVD) – $40
  • Tactical Pen 2: Surprise Attacks & Knife Defense – $100
  • Knife Fighting & Defense – $100
  • Gun Tactics & situation Strategies- $50
  • Handgun Disarms – $50
  • Handgun Retention – $50
  • Magazine Street Self Defense Tactics – $50
    • Subtotal: $490
    • Package Discount: $100
    • Total: $390

The First Rule of Martial Arts

Silat07The first and most important rule of Martial Arts.

Rule 1) Survive.

Everything else is secondary.

…because if that first thing doesn’t happen, nothing else will either.

There are many great reasons to study martial arts.

  • Safety
  • Health
  • Peace of mind
  • Confidence
  • Longevity
  • Strength
  • Power
  • Friends
  • Fun
  • Stress Relief
  • Fitness

…and many more.

But short term survival is first.

  • You can survive several weeks without food.
  • You can survive several days without water.
  • You can survive a few minutes without air.

When a crazed maniac is swinging a machete at your head you only have a second…

…maybe less..

..to use your head and stay alive.

This is where we begin.

www.clearsilat.com/internal-combat-arts

Fist Fights VS Floods

The Weekend forecast for Nashville, TN…

(about 3hrs from our headquarters here in Maryville.)

…Called for two to four inches of rain.

By Saturday Afternoon May 1 2010 some of the city had seen more than six inches of rain.

By Saturday night the Cumberland had risen 15 feet, to 35 feet, and the Army Corps of Engineers were predicting it would crest at 42.

But the rain didn’t stop Sunday.

The river didn’t crest until Monday at 52 feet.

Nashville saw more than 13 inches of rain that weekend.

Twice the previous record (6.6 set in ‘79.) And over 3 times the original forecast.

So what does this have to do with a fist fight?

We’ll they have one thing in common and one very important difference.

First, the forecast. (what they have in common)

It was too low. If it had been higher folks could have been better prepared and a lot of damage and suffering could have been avoided.

But if it had been too high, say the forecast was 13 inches and only 2 inches fell, then you’d get the ‘cry wolf effect’ and people wouldn’t prepare next time there was extreme weather on the way.

In a fist fight, there is also a forecast.

  •  Is this a friendly boxing match with medium power?
  •  Are we going to end up wrestling around in the mud and gravel?
  •  Is this a knockdown drag out pound on each other ‘till we’re both exhausted kind of thing?
  •  Or is someone going to pull a knife and start cutting off pieces?

And you’d better be right.

The first time your forecast is too low, you’ll end up cut to pieces before you even realize they drew a knife.

If your forecast is too high you’ll end up in jail.

The problem with weather is that we’re stuck with it. (at least in the short term) We just have to learn as much about it as we can and get better and better at predicting it.

Fist fights are easy though:

Just don’t engage.

For a fist fight to occur you need at least two people who are willing to fight.

If you refuse to be drawn into a fight, that leaves only 2 options:

1. Nothing happens. 

This is great! Everybody lives, No injuries, no legal consequences or paperwork.

Or 2. The other guy attacks you.

This is not ideal.

But, there are no decisions to make. You don’t have to worry about which techniques are justified and which are not.

Your life is in immediate danger. Simply do whatever it takes to stay alive.

Of course you try to make sure option #1 is the only one available.

Unfortunately you don’t always get to pick. The other guy does.

What you CAN (and should) do is this:

  1. Make sure these are the only two options (no fist fights.)
  2. Make the attacker choose long before he gets close to you.
  3. Make the attacker announce his (or her) choice both to you and to anyone nearby.

It’s not as difficult as it sounds.

Of course you need to practice, but it can be learned in a day or two.

The tools you need are:

  •  Positioning skills. (where and how you position your body)
  •  A little bit of timing and a little bit of movement. (nothing refined or fancy though)
  •  Communication skills. (verbal and nonverbal)

Those 3 things allow you to take charge of a situation and keep you safe.

(legally, morally and physically.)

You can learn how to use them on our Street Tactics DVD.

http://www.clearsilat.com/silat-dvd/clears-silat-phase-1/street-tactics

When Martial Artists ATTACK!

A couple days ago, I mentioned that someone with training can be deadly enough empty handed that you must defend yourself as if they had a knife.

And that brought this response:

“Realistically, when will I ever be really attacked by a Martial Artist?“

“If we’re talking self defense aren’t we talking about your common thug, street criminal or gang member?”

The answer is:

Yes, we are talking about self defense.

Yes, we are talking about thugs, street criminals, gang members and whoever else.

and Yes, those are trained and skilled martial artists.

They may not have a belt, a uniform or a pair of Boxing gloves. They may not have a name for what they do.

But they most likely have more real world experience than you.

And they most likely have at least semi-formal training from folks with a lot of hands on practice.

In Clear’s Silat we always assume the attacker is skilled, armed & has friends.

Training is much more fun that way.

(and useful)

You can get started learning all this fun and useful stuff with our 16 week Internal Combat Arts Course:

http://www.clearsilat.com/internal-combat-arts

Squish like grape…

“Walk on the road
walk right side, safe
walk left side, safe
Walk middle, sooner or later
get squished just like grape.” – Mr. Miyagi

It’s true for Self defense.

  • Walk right side: End the situation without any violence 
  • Walk left side: Destroy the threat. 
  • Walk middle: You either use more force than is justified by the situation and end up in deep legal and moral trouble or you don’t use enough force and get killed. 
It’s true for distance. 
  • Walk right side: The attackers cannot reach you. 
  • Walk left side: You are so close the attacker is overwhelmed. 
  • Walk middle: You are in hamburger range and that is what you become. 

(good positioning and timing skills can make you appear to walk in the middle when in reality you are walking on both the left and right sides of the road)

It’s true for internal body states like Heavy & Light 

  • Walk right side: You are so heavy and solid the attacker will break their fist if the strike you. 
  • Walk left side: You are so elusive the attacker feels like they are punching the air. 
  • Walk middle: Your solid enough to be hit and soft enough to take the damage. 

(Heavy and Light can be combined. The key is to be extremely heavy and extremely light at the same time. Not to be somewhere in the middle.)

“Do or Do Not”

“The red pill or the blue one”

You’ll see these extremes throughout our programs.

Learn how the all or nothing approach to self defense can keep you not only physically safe but legally and morally safe as well:

http://www.clearsilat.com/silat-dvd/clears-silat-phase-1/street-tactics 

Take Care,
Ben Sterling

P.S. The workshop with Willem (Uncle Bill) DeThouars is only 4 days away!

5 important questions, & the only one that really matters.

Ask questions.

Asking good questions of your teachers, your peers, your students and most importantly yourself is absolutely critical to success in the martial arts.

…but there’s only one question that really matters.

First the top 5 runners up.

– How long is this going to take?
– Can I use this when I’m 90?
– Will this training help me reach 90? (and what condition will I be in when I get there?)
– Does this help me grow physically, mentally & spiritually?
– Is this fun?

These are important and I’m sure you can think of a few more.

But the most important question, the one that must be answered by all Martial Artists, is:

Can you fight?

This is first because without it none of the others really matter.

This survival first mindset is a big part why our training methods are so effective.

This is why the efficient & direct training methods we talked about yesterday are so important.

Training shouldn’t begin with long forms or tedious solo exercises.

To begin training with how to USE the art head on over and check out our Clear’s Silat starter package here:

http://www.clearsilat.com/m1

Take Care,
Ben Sterling
Ben@ClearSilat.com

Kung Fu Secrets of Bass Guitar.

My first class with Sigung Clear…

(We talked about that on Monday)

…was just like learning to play Bass.

I had decided I wanted to learn Bass Guitar. So, I made an appointment at the local music shop and went to meet their teacher.

He had a Celtics cap & was originally from the Boston area.

Here’s what he said,

“I could teach you to play a song each week. That’s what a lot of teachers do. And in a year you’ll be able to play 52 songs.

That may sound like a lot, but if you want to be a musician, you’ve got to know a lot more.

So instead I can teach you how this instrument works. I can teach you the skills you need, the principles and the theory behind it.

Once you understand that you won’t need to memorize a bunch of songs. You’ll be able to hear what’s going on and just jump in and play with anybody.”

The martial arts are plagued with teachers who only teach songs.

Their students learns form after form but when it comes time to play everything falls apart.

…because in self defense no two songs are ever the same.

With Clear’s Silat you learn how to play.

Sigung Clear breaks everything down, note by note, so you can understand the pieces.

You learn the theory behind it. And you learn how to listen. How to read your attackers & understand what’s happening around you.

So when the time comes to jam you just jump right in. You may not know this song but you know what’s going on.

You can improvise and take it wherever you need to.

We need more martial arts teachers like my Bass teacher.

Folks who want to teach people how to really use these arts instead of just teaching form after form. People who love to learn, to work hard and who love to play.

We need you. (Celtics cap is optional.) Your mind and body is your instrument.

Don’t just memorize more songs.

To learn how to really play go here:

http://www.clearsilat.com/clears-kun-tao-silat

Take Care,
Ben Sterling
Ben@ClearSilat.com

P.S. We’ll be in Peoria IL this coming weekend and Albany NY two weeks after that. Email me for details.

5 Self defense blades you must know inside & out

“Everything is a Knife.”

That’s the good news & the bad news.

First the bad news,

The opponent is always armed.

Even if they don’t realize it…

…they always have lethal weapons at their fingertips.

Do you trust your opponent not to use them?

The Good News!

You are always armed,

…If you understand how to use the tools at your disposal.

Here’s a quick checklist of self defense blades you should be familiar with:

1. Pocket Knife. – The obvious one.

2. Pens. – There is very little difference between a knife and a pen.

3. Fingers. – These are great for cutting, ripping and tearing. With a little work you’ll think about your fingers the same way you would a knife.

4. Elbows and Knees. – These are more great tools for slicing and dicing.

5. Corners & Edges. – You find these everywhere. Doorways, Counters, Benches etc And they’re great for. The only difference is you bring the opponent to the blade instead of bringing the blade to the opponent.

To use these weapons you must understand them.

To protect yourself from them you must understand them as well.

Learn how to use ALL the tools at your disposal with Clear’s Kun Tao Silat.

Get started here:

http://www.amazon.com/Internal-Combat-Arts/lm/R1UC5HE1OL0KAK/

 

Action Beats Reaction – Free Video Lesson

Here’s another free Silat lesson. This one is brought to you by Phase 1 Vol 7

http://youtu.be/rczmMMDk73M

5 Keys to Surviving Against Multiple Attackers

Training to survive against multiple attackers is an essential part of self defense training.

In Clear’s Silat we always assume there is more than one opponent.

Any time you see a principle being shown against one attacker this is only being done to keep the lesson simple so you can learn faster. As soon as you have a technique down begin training it against multiple opponents.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind while training for multiple attackers. [Read more…]

Action Beats Reaction Problem & Self Defense solution

The Action Beats Reaction Problem is actually on your side most of the time in a physical altercation if you are the attacker / offending party. But, as stated in my last post in America we are desirous of a self defense method where we have the legal, moral and ethical high ground as well as being able to competently defend ourselves.

This puts the average person at quite a disadvantage because it forces most of us to react to an action that has already been taken by an aggressor.

The reality of the Action Beats Reaction Problem is that it is only a problem for those who are stuck in a fist fighting mindset for self defense. If you are going to stand toe to toe with an attacker and they attack and you react then you are probably going to get hit first, second and most likely last because against a serious threat the fight is now over!

Ponder the next question for a moment before you read on. When does your self defense method kick in? If it is near the point of physical contact then you are almost always going to be late to the party and so will almost always lose in a serious confrontation. The reason for this is because a real criminal attacker will begin attacking as soon as they think they can reach you with as much suddenness and as viciously as they can with everything they have.

If you are not already attacking before the criminal can open fire on you then you are almost certainly going to lose the battle/war for your safety and maybe your life!

For a Clear’s Silat student self defense begins by applying Action beats Reaction and solving the physical Action Beats Reaction Problem. The first step is to keep as much distance between you and a potential attacker as humanly possible. Awareness is the first tool and the first Action. The second Action is avoidance. Keep distance between you and a possible attacker so that they can never physically reach you without it being obvious to you well in advance that they are trying to get close to you and may well be planning to attack. Awareness and avoidance are key.

Of course a serious attacker will continue to approach you and even if they are hiding their actions it will become more and more obvious what their intentions are.

This is where the Action Beats Reaction Problem becomes a little more crucial to understand. It is really important that you work to keep the potential attacker at a distance so that they are forced to reveal themselves before physically being able to reach you.

At this point you want to utilize deterrence skills. One type of deterrence is to throw your fists up. But, this simply communicates that you are willing or worse yet desiring to fight which, although possibly a good physical self defense tactic, fails to work within the desired legal and moral self defense constraints that our society tends to require opening you up to criminal and civil liability. (By the way, I am not a lawyer/attorney and I am not giving you legal advice here. Please seek out appropriate legal counsel from a certified attorney for such things.)

Instead of throwing our fists up Clear’s Silat stylists will tend to hold up our arms and Open Hands in a back off / stay away / what do you want / keep your distance sort of posture that we refer to as Clear’s Silat Welcoming Posture #1. This gives us a certain positional advantage and helps keep the distance including expanding the area that we can refer to as our personal space. We hold our hands up high enough that an attacker cannot reach our body without stepping underneath our hands and that our hands can not be easily reached either. This helps to make it very difficult for an attacker to attack and reach us with any force without telegraphing their intent from over several feet away.

Another part of solving the Action Beats Reaction Problem is that we are moving our arms a bit and we are also moving our body a bit in the same way that someone yelling get back would emphasize and punctuate their words with their body or in a slight swaying waving motion if you have had the benefit of physically training it.

Constant motion  is a key to solving the Action Beats Reaction Problem. So that we are in Action first even though we are not aggressively attacking we are ready in the same way that animals in nature are ready to strike before striking. Because our hands are up in the air with the hands open the communication of our bodies to the would be attacker is much more of a “Back Off / Get Away!” message than a “Come on let’s do it!” message. Come on and fight may not be easily defended in a court of law but “I do not want this get away from me” is typically considered an appropriate social response to unwanted aggression.

The good news is the same movement that communicates this message is also the same movement that really effectively puts you in constant motion and in a completely ready position for effective physical self defense.

Action Beats Reaction – Self Defense Principle

Action Beats Reaction is a fairly simple principle to understand and apply. If two people are within reach of one another, in a stationary position, the one who moves first wins.

Following is a drill that illustrates the Action Beats Reaction principle quite well.

Partner A holds a finger less than 3 inches from the chest of Partner B and demonstrates that they can easily touch Partner B without hindrance at full speed. Partner B holds an arm out to the side several feet away from Partner A’s hand but that is clearly visible to Partner A. Partner B gets to move first and has to traverse several feet to get to Partner A’s hand. As soon as Partner A can tell that Partner B is moving they touch Partner B’s chest as fast as they can. Partner A’ hand only has to travel 3 inches.

Partner B’s hand has to travel several feet but Partner B gets to act first.

Partner A only gets to react.

If I am Partner B I only move when Partner A is standing still.

It would seem that Partner A still has the advantage since they only have to move 3 inches but the vast majority of the time Partner B will win the contest and if Partner B moves well and when Partner A is least ready and most still then most of the time Partner A will not move at all.

Several feet to several inches is quite a contrast and illustrates why the Action Beats Reaction principle is so important to understand and apply.

In a self defense situation where you are already within reach Action Beats Reaction is a very important principle to know and apply because it can truly give you a serious advantage even when you start out at quite a disadvantage. If I stick my finger in a would be attacker’s eye before he even realizes I have moved then he is already hurt and I am on my way to my next move by the time he is responding. You can imagine the surprise and disorientation that the person who is playing catchup is feeling because they were caught before they could respond. Although this does not guarantee victory it certainly lends itself heavily to it.

Part of the reason that Action Beats Reaction works is that for most people it takes the mind the better part of half a second or longer to realize what has happened in a situation. In the jungle this principle is fairly simple to apply. Strike first with lethal intent. Kill or be Killed.

But, for self defense in America Action Beats Reaction must be used differently in order to follow the law of our civilized society as opposed to the law of the jungle. Responding to every situation with a strike first and kill or be killed manner will eventually cause you to be incarcerated without parole. In most places in the civilized world there is a civic duty to avoid conflict when possible and although the law allows for self defense it does not allow the defender to be aggressively proactively offensive. Essentially and unfortunately, the criminal gets the opportunity to attack us first and then we can respond in order for most self defense to be legal. In a real self defense situation this actually causes Action Beats Reaction to work against the law abiding person and makes it what I call the Action Beats Reaction Problem.

In my next post I will post our Clear’s Silat basic solution to this problem and how to legally use Action Beats Reaction for self defense. There is also some very nice video footage of our solution and approach to this problem on our Self Defense Tactics for the street video. Our approach to the self defense legal reality on American streets is really the primary difference between Clear’s Silat as it is practiced in the United States and Silat as it is practiced in its true form in the jungles from which it originates.