Abduction Defense

From a self-defense perspective, Abduction Defense looks like some physical things that you would do to the attacker. These physical things are typically taught from the perspective of “Stop him! No matter what it takes, you do it, otherwise you will end up dead, or worse!”

To most people that sounds like a reasonable statement. The reality is, that is not a reasonable statement. For many people the approach of “Stop him!” is not reasonable. If you take that approach, and live, you will probably end up with sever injuries and memories.

The reason I say that is because you cannot/should not assume that you can go toe-to-toe with some stranger on the street. You do not know what their training is. You may hit your attacker with everything you’ve got and have no effect what-so-ever. That is assuming that your attacker is about your same size. What do you think your chances are against someone much larger than you are? All of that does not even include those who are drunk or on drugs… They will not even feel it until tomorrow.

Those are the reasons why self-defense is not taught at Self-Protection Essentials. Shinyu Gushi, one of the Okinawan Karate masters (Uechi-ryu karate 9th degree blackbelt), taught that “If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, you have no one to blame but yourself…. Cheat!”

His main interest for his students was that we be able to “go home for dinner.” As a result of his influence in my life, I teach the same thing. I want you to “go home for dinner tonight.”

To that end, I want you to Get M.A.A.D.D.D.:

  1. Mindset;
  2. Awareness;
  3. Avoidance;
  4. Deterrence;
  5. De-Escalation;
  6. Defense.


  1. Mindset: have an orientation towards your own survival and vitality. This enables you to refuse to be a victim.
  2. Awareness: knowing what is in your environment and understanding the changing dynamics of the things going on around you.
  3. Avoidance: Everyone is aware that there are people and places that are “hazardous to your health”. Just like you cannot judge a book by it’s cover, that is also true about people and places. I’ll not tell you to not go to places or be with people that increase your risk. I do encourage you to take a moment to think thought a few “what-if’s”. Actually, it is the “What If’s” that Avoidance is all about.
  4. Deterrence: Doing things to encourage the bad guy to avoid you.
  5. De-Escalation: You could consider de-escalation to “making nothing out of something.”
  6. Defense: Doing whatever you need, to get the time you need, to get to safety.

Did you notice the difference? When it come time to physically defend yourself I am focusing on getting the time you need to get to safety. My #1 interest is your safety. As a result, I do not focusing on “Stop Him!”

Don’t get me wrong. The end result of “Stopping Him” and “Getting the time you need to get to safety”, may be exactly the same. However, to my way of thinking there is a huge psychological difference when in the midst of the fight.

If you are focusing on “Stopping Him”, and in the process he ends up on the ground because he tripped, you may think, “Just to make sure he can no longer hurt me, I need to give him one more kick in the balls.”

If you are focusing on “Getting the time you need to get to safety”, and in the process he ends up on the ground because he tripped, you may realize, “It will take him a while to get off the floor. I now have the time to get to someplace safe.”

In the first case you stay and take that one more kick.

In the other case you leave.

You may be asking yourself, “Why is that so important? Why is he harping on that?” The answer is simple, I am concerned for your safety and I see three inherent risks in  going for that “one more kick.”

  1. I don’t like kicking as a self-defense tactic. Almost every martial artist I have seen has fallen more than once when throwing a kick. If trained martial artists can fall when throwing a kick, I cannot expect someone who is untrained in the martial arts to do better, especially if the person on the ground bumps, hits or grabs the foot or leg you choose to do that one more kick with. If that happens then you may end up on the ground with your attacker, resulting in your losing any time advantage you had, or worse, being at the whim of your attacker by being incapacitated by landing wrong during the fall.
  2. You may lose the ability to claim self-defense if you ever ended up in court over the incident. The make a legal claim of self-defense, there are 5 elements that must be satisfied. If any of these are lacking, a claim of self-defense may not hold up in court.
    1. Innocence: you were not threatening the other person
    2. Imminence: The other person has begun the attack, even if physical contact has not yet been established
    3. Reasonableness: You could reasonably conclude that you may die or receive sever bodily harm
    4. Avoidance: You attempted (if required to do so by applicable law), to leave the location
    5. Proportionality: Your response was appropriate for the type of attack which you are facing
  3. Your main focus should be getting to safety. Whether your opportunity to get to safety occurs by your personal effort or by your attacker being a complete klutz, should not influence your decision to leave. I believe that if your orientation is to get to safety, then you will have a better chance of leaving when the opportunity presents itself. I also believe that if your orientation is to “Stop Him!”, that you will stay longer, just to make sure…

Self-Protection is, “lets not get attacked in the first place… But if you do end up there, it is having what you need,
to get the time,
to get to safety.”

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