The Truth On Stun & Run Tactics For Self-Defense
My concern, especially since I deal (primarily) with women’s self-protection, is the level of safety revolving around the “attack response.” I teach that, when a confrontation is deemed a threat to your safety, pre-emptive striking (that is, striking before they do) is best. Remember, the situation dictates the response. Male or female, fear will be present. Our bodies will automatically transition to a heightened state of alertness. If a threat exists, and verbal communication/de-esculation fails – or is non-applicable to the situation, you must ACT! If it’s a true threat to your Life, I pray that you do!
A question that raises some eyebrows, even with highly-experienced teachers is, “Hit and Run or Hit, Follow-Up (and/or Finish Him) and then, Run?” This article was inspired after reading from Geoff Thompson’s book, The Art of Fighting Without Fighting. He writes:
If you are forced into an attack situation – this should be an absolute last resort – make it a telling blow to a vulnerable area. Explode into the opponent with every fibre of your being, then run!! Many defence gurus advocate a second strike, a finisher. If there is a choice in the matter, don’t do it. The few seconds you buy with your first strike could easily be lost if you linger for even a second.
On this one point, Geoff and I differ slightly. Although this is a “safe” answer, the situation must be defined. Is this a strong male with any martial art background, or is he talking specifically about a female, possibly with no experience at all? Does he/she have a route of escape or is he/she “boxed in?”
Just to make it clear – I teach both aspects: Stun & Run, AND Stun, Finish & Run. I believe that many (not all), but many of my female students could, if they properly employed the 3 Ts (Tools, Target Area & Tactics), ensure their chance of escape – They do this by exploiting the “aftershock”/time lag (The time between when the assailant gets “clocked” and the time it takes him to respond from the blow) following a quick, stunning shot.
As long as students (male & female) are taught to think & train realistically on “how they are to react” it prepares and offers greater flexibility when encountering a real-life violent encounter. Hit & Runs surely open up a window of opportunity, but has it been truly put to the test when a male attacker has the environmental variables (ex. no bystanders to intervene) to chase their victim down? Does a follow-up shot put the attacker at a greater disadvantage or does it do the opposite – which is, more time/distance to grab, restrain and continue with his initial plans?
The lines are open! Let everyone know your opinion.
Even better than your vote, is a detailed comment. Help your fellow students, and instructors by enlightening us on your thoughts on this very important topic.