No matter how much we think about personal defence and train our minds and bodies to respond to violence in daily life, we’ve got to remember that any attack will come as a surprise. Rob Pincus, a U.S. trainer, suggests we think about defence as counter-ambush.
Too often we forget this.
Someone will read about a bar brawl, a mugging or a home invasion and say, “If that happened to me, I would just … [punch his lights out, kick him in the nuts, shoot him between the eyes, etc.]” as if we saw the incident coming and would know how to respond. But that’s hindsight, and hindsight is 20/20.
If we’re dealing with the threat of imminent violence, or if the attack is already underway, it means we didn’t see it coming or that avoidance failed. Thinking about armed or unarmed personal defence as counter-ambush reminds us that an attack will be a surprise and that we will be caught off guard.
“Ultimately, defence is counter-ambush, because if you knew it was going to happen, you’d avoid it,” Pincus said in a video filmed in 2015 and posted on Twitter today. “You didn’t know it was going to happen, it was surprising, and that’s why you’re having to deal with it.”
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