Sensei Canna offers insight into the real world of self defense!

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Postby maurice richard libby » Sat Jun 26, 1999 10:25 pm


Don't get the wrong idea. The reason he wants the new gun registration law scrapped isn't because he's against it in principle, but rather because the way it's designed it's too complex and too expensive to administer. Canadian police organizations are mostly in favour of gun control, at least in public, but don't really want to be the ones who have to administer it.

Privately, a lot of cops have a lot of different takes on the issue. There's a lot of variation between east and west and between urban and rural, too, by the way.

I could tell you stories....

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Postby Jake Steinmann » Sun Jun 27, 1999 6:07 am

Van Sensei writes: "How would you have fared in his shoes [ the victim] ! Half asleep in bed , probably naked ,[think you could fight naked ?] caught unaware by a determined , ruthless killer!"

Answer: G-d only knows!
I would love to tell myself that I would do something effective. That all my training is not a waste, that even in a panic, I would be able to fight off my attacker. But the fact of the matter is, I'd have about half a second to get my sh** together before my brain shut down, and it was all over. Either I'd pull myself out of my panic, get lucky, or get dead.

The only thing I know for sure is that I am not ready to die yet, and I will do whatever it takes to keep that from happening. I'd like to think that would be enough to save me. Maybe it would. But I cannot honestly make claims about something I haven't experienced.

Tony Blauer says that "the mind navigates the body", meaning that if your mindset is out of wack, all the techniques in the world won't save you. I think the real question here is, how fast can you get your mind together?
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Postby david » Sun Jun 27, 1999 11:39 am


Good point and honest answer. That's why we keep training. When and if the time comes, we hopefully will find ourselves doing the right thing. Until then, it's all speculation!

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Postby David Elkins » Mon Jun 28, 1999 7:11 am

I hesitate to say this because it could be interpreted as nihilistic, but my feeling is that if someone wants you dead, that is, determined to kill you--not just take your money or car, but to terminate your existance, you're dammed lucky if you can do anything. This murder was primative in that the bad guy did it with his bare hands/feet, however, he did it, which in a way reinforces the point. Imagine the same situation with iron, wood, or steel. This leaves us with the option to despair and sink into a hopeless and helpless stupor or to do what we can. In this instance, I like the answers that address using the brain.

The stories of elder combat vets killed or maimed in street muggings make me sick. Any story like that makes me sick but to think of the guys who put their lives on the line to protect us being victims of a sick society is just too freakin' much. I remember hearing about a guy in, I think, Chicago who was a candy maker of all things who served honorably in WWII and was killed by a gang of punks in the street.

I think David's previous comment just about sums it up. Do what you can, have a life, and resolve that if you go, it won't be alone.

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Postby RickLiebespach » Tue Jun 29, 1999 4:50 am

Good thread...but then I can relate to the question.

I was on vacation a couple months ago and woke up in the middle of the night, nature calling. As I stumbled off, I realized, "wow, now I know what Van was talking way I could defend myself decently right now...not like this..."

I'd say it was a sobering thought...but actually I was groggy all the way back to bed/sleep/breakfast.

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Postby Cecil » Thu Jul 01, 1999 7:06 pm

Okay people,

Sorry I've been gone so long.

Now: question: should we practice NAKED?

I'm serious here. Mind you, not ALL OF US lined up in a dojo, but alone? And NOT with another person, either (unless....);-).

I've joked on my webpage about practicing high and/or drunk, but I've done it, and you'd be surprised at how it kinda helped: I had a dude "interview" me years ago when I was buzzing on some beer, and it help me straighten up and look confident so that he backed down.

And if you agree to practice naked, how do you explain that to your spouse? Huh?


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Postby RACastanet » Fri Jul 02, 1999 12:06 am

Surprised in bed? Well, I keep a metal flashlight on the nightstand, an escrima stick under the bed, a few edged weapons nearby and out of site, a Louiseville Slugger in the closet, ..... If I could buy some time, my wife would have the nearest handgun pointed at the ne'er do well.

Being naked does not mean you cannot swing the pendelum in your favor! If someone accosts me in my home, or anywhere for that matter, they better kill me, my wife, my son...... really fast or they will be faced with a very unfair counter attack. I would not be thinking 'empty hand' defense.

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Postby Mike Hurney » Fri Jul 02, 1999 1:02 pm

Have a Happy Fourth Dudes!
Several years ago in the average town I live in, a junkie robbed something like 250 houses in about 2 weeks. Mostly at night! The newspaper claimed he had the ability (from some martial art) to remain motionless for hours. This helped him in situations where someone awoke and checked around. He could stay in a closet undetected. As I am sure Van can atest(?) this is unusual that occupied homes are robbed at night and that a thief takes so long. Like most fights or home robberies they are usually over in seconds!
This junkie on at least two occaions was detected in someones house. He would tell them "I just want to rob you. I have a sawed off shotgun and I'll blow you away if I have to. Just tie your husband up with the phone cord. Lie on the floor and I'm out of here!" It was determined later, when he was caught, that he actually had no gun.
Would you have complied and been tied up?

[This message has been edited by Mike Hurney (edited 07-02-99).]
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Postby Gary Santaniello » Fri Jul 02, 1999 7:21 pm

To all,

Excellent thread here with great input from all. Certainly know one is foolish enough to opinionate what one would do in the situation that was presented. Know one can "honestly" say without only projecting ones "fantacies" of what they hope they would do.

Being naked in bed, half asleep or "pre-occuppied" when finding oneself under attack i am sure is the "worste case" example of vunurablity that one could be in. Certainly being alone in a house takng a shower with ones face covered in soap would be another extreme situation as one can speculate many other "undesirable" situations to be in while under attack.

Surely most of us will be fortunate enough to get through life without ever having experienced such a dramatc event. However i will agree with some of you regarding having a firearm within reach. Providing one is well skilled and trainned in "reacting" to using it.

Joe could have accidently shot his own mother due to "over reaction" in the way that he went in to the room. Good sensory perception to pick up on sounds not "normal" in the house? Yes, without a doubt. But what concerns me is the potential for "over reaction" to questionable danger were none may exsist? Can't happen ? Not me? I'm am sure that it has more often than we know.

I am not against guns and using them in self defense. I use to keep a loaded 12 gauge pump in reach myself. I still believe that they provide the fastest most effective means to protects ones life, providing you can get to it and use it in the short time that you may have. At close range one might get off a strike to the throat or eyes ect. ect. in less time than that of getting a gun unholstered. aimed and fired? Just a thought.

Surely there are many of you out there that i am sure if a person 3 to 5 feet away started to reach for a gun, he may suffer some serious consequences. Think about that situation and what you might do?

We can only protect ourselves to a certain point. Of course "awareness" is of uttmost importance and how we react to "potential" danger is yet another issue. These situations presented are ones that have no "warning" or time to "set up" a defense. Surely Sensei Van Canna makes an excellent point in bringing this "reality " check to light.

No Gi, no belt, no dojo! Just you, naked in the face of life and death. Certainly that is the ultimate of danger. How would i respond? Who knows. We only know when and if it happends to us. The "chemical cocktail" we speak of could cause a raging release of adrenal that may save ones life or it could cause one to freeze on the spot unable to do anything but cover up and pray.

I hope that most of us are never tested to the extreme situations that could happen to anyone. However, if and when they do, i hope that just one or two well executed "technics" will instictively work! As far as unjust laws that don't always work for the victims, protect yourself first and worry about it later!

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