Fighting the Bulletman
Why does everyone seem to think that complicated techniques are
best for self defense? Why do martial artists scoff at simple techniques?
Is there really a better way?
For years my goal was to simplify my self defense system. I knew
that only the most basic, direct and simple techniques would really
work on the street, when the heat was on. I spent years looking
for a better way. This search brought me to seminars, special classes,
bringing in guest master instructors and watching scores of videos.
I picked up a technique here and another one there. I found simpler,
more direct and easier techniques than what I was teaching. Slowly
I incorporated these changes and modifications into my system.
But it wasn’t until I had the chance to fight the
“Bulletman” that I really learned what would work on the street!
Let me explain. I was sitting in a national martial
arts convention. This guy was up on stage talking about adrenaline
stress response training. I had never heard about it at the time.
The instructor was talking about the effects of fear induced adrenaline
on the mind and body during an actual street attack. I was intrigued.
A little later in the demonstration they asked for
a few volunteers. Several men and a women were chosen to go up on
stage. The next thing that happened had most of us feeling the effects
of adrenaline, right in our seats.
Another instructor comes out in this weird looking
suit. He has football shoulder pads and some obvious groin protection.
On his head he wore a huge piece of headgear which I found out later
was a professional football helmet with four layers of special density
foam padding wrapped in silver tape.
They called this ‘monster’ the Bulletman, obviously
because of the silver round headgear that looked like the top of
a bullet. One of the volunteers was asked to come out. The instructions
were to try to maneuver around the Bulletman without getting too
close. If the Bulletman attacked they could strike him full force
into the groin and head.
The action began… The Bulletman starts screaming at
the guy. He shouts obscenities at him. He taunts him. He faints
attacks as he threatens the guy. I could feel my gut shaking just
sitting there. Then suddenly the Bulletman attacks. The poor guy
attempts some foolhardy kick which embarrassingly misses the mark
by about a foot. Next a punch that had less impact than my eight
year old grandson could muster. After a few more minutes of this
hideous display a women instructor blows a whistle and the whole
thing is over.
A few more volunteers and about the same result. Now
here is the interesting part. Everyone of these volunteers were
experienced black belts. Some were school owners with a dozen years
or so of experience. So whey did this happen?
They fell prey to the natural effects of adrenaline
on the mind and body. Adrenaline is the natural result of fear induced
aggression. It really can’t be stopped but it can be focused and
used. These black belt volunteers had tried to use their dojo (and
dojang) techniques. What they hadn’t anticipated was that the adrenaline
had dulled their senses. It minimized their fine motor skills, it
gave them tunnel vision and even affected their cognitive thinking.
Without taking this adrenal rush into account, effective
street self defense cannot be accomplished. To be effective, each
technique must be simple, direct and not require fine motor coordination
. Additionally the techniques should build, one upon another so
that a minimum number of total techniques (regardless of the type
of attack) need be learned and practiced.
Within a few months we brought this instructor and
his system into our school. We not only took the seminars but learned
to teach this technology. We had many chances to see what would
work against a fully armored, attacking opponent, that we could
wallop full power into his vital areas. Besides being a lot of fun
we sure learned a great deal.
Next we went to work to adapt, modify and overhaul
our system of self defense to employ this new found and proven knowledge.
The result is a new video based training program called… Street
Self Defense 101