In This Hub:
Adrenal Decay
Adrenal Stress
Aftermath of Violence
Alpha Behavior
Distance (range)
Economy & Stress Violence
Effective Movement
Failure To Perform
Five Stages of Violent Crime
High Risk Behavior
How NOT To Get Shot
Kinds of Violence
Krav Maga
MA/SD/DT Training
Mental Preparation
Mushy Movement
Power Generation
Provoking An Attack
Pyramid Personal Safety
Receiving Force
SD Training
Shadow Dancing
Shortcuts & Cheats
Survival Mindset
Ultimate Fighting Styles, NOT
Unintended Consequences
Unnecessary Movement
Violence Geeks Blog
Weapon Disarms
Western Ethics and SD
LEO-Military Hub
Knife Fighting Hub
Legal Hub
Martial Arts Hub
Psychological Survival Hub
Rape Hub
Robbery Hub
Self-Defense Hub
Street Fighting Hub
NNSD Home Page

Search the Site

Marc MacYoung?
Dianna Gordon MacYoung?
Animal E-list
Crime Avoidance Lectures
Crime Blog
Colorado Classes
Contact Us
Hosting A Seminar
   Crime Prevention
   Expert Witness
   Knife Defense
   Law Enforcement
   Martial Arts
   Movie Consulting
   Women's Self-Defense
Our Linking Policy
On-line Store
Train with MacYoung
Terms of Use
Topics of Interest

The monkeys gathered on the terrace by the hundreds
and hundreds to listen to their own speakers
singing the praises of the Bandor-Log, and whenever
a speaker stopped for want of breath, they would
all shout together, "This is true: we all say so"
                     Rudyard Kipling
                    The Jungle Book

Overselling A System's Effectiveness

On this page:
The House Of Violence

I recently saw a bumper sticker: Ask your doctor if medical advice from a television commercial is right for you. That same night I walked into the bedroom where my wife was watching TV and a prescription drug commercial ended with the words "Now you know."

Right then and there something that I'd known -- but had been unable to articulate -- crystalized in my mind. That is: Most of what people know about 'self-defense' is not knowledge or facts, it's advertising.

And like that commercial wants people to believe, they're walking around saying "I know." That isn't knowledge, that's advertising.

What's worse is it is advertising that is not longer being paid for. Misconceptions about self-defense are now being promoted by a lot of monkeys on the internet dancing around chanting, "It is true because we say it is true" and singing the praises of their ultimate fighting system.

On this page we won't address the fallacy of there being such a thing as an 'ultimate fighting style.' Nor are we going to address  'what's the best martial art for self-defense' or 'Is Krav Maga as good as they say it is?'

What we are going to do is threefold:

  • One to give you an analogy to understand WHY there is no such thing as the ultimate system or tool when it comes to violence.
  • Two is to give you an idea of why -- while what these guys are promoting does work in certain circumstances -- it doesn't work in other circumstances.
  • Three is to help you learn to differentiate  between something said with conviction and accurate information.

The last one is particularly important because there are all kinds of dancing monkeys in internet forums who want to sell you on their One-Stop-Shopping ultimate fighting/training system (that will turn you into a He-Man in no time at all).

And I hate to say it, but they are the ones who are not only driving the market, but they're getting you to risk your life. Because IF you buy into their advertising and misrepresentation about what violence is, that is exactly what you are doing.

I originally wrote this about the popular 'Hey Diddle Diddle Straight Up The Middle' attitude towards fighting that is
   a) the easiest to teach
   b) is the default primate conflict behavior of humans
   c) is inherent in most sports-fighting systems
   d) is being promoted as self-defense training
But it can also be applied to understanding why there is no simplistic answer to what you need to be safe (as in this is the only fighting style you'll need for self-defense).

The House Of Violence
Think about building a house. To do that, you're going to need a lot of different tools, materials and skills. A very useful tool in this process is the hammer. Does that make it the "best" tool? Does it make it the ONLY tool?

No. You're going to need a lot of different tools for different jobs. You can't plumb a house or wire it electrically with just a hammer. That's why in situations involving nails, the hammer is the best tool for the job.

But even then, there are all kinds of DIFFERENT hammers. You don't do cabinet work with a framing hammer. Different nail sizes require different hammer sizes. And some jobs what you're hitting with a hammer isn't even a nail (ergo mallets). So even though a lot of jobs require the use of 'a hammer' there are different hammers and uses.

So while there IS a lot of hammering going on in building a house, unless you are just a framing monkey you'll need other tools. (You gotta be pretty low level if all they will let you do is hammer and carry stuff). But even framers use other tools.

I tell you this analogy because violence can be looked at like all the different jobs in building a house. Not everything is about driving nails. Lot of different jobs, challenges and the need for different 'tools' and different skills.
The charge up the middle attitude is like hammering. There's a lot of it going on and -- for certain jobs -- it IS what gets it done. So in THAT sense, an aggressive charge up the middle IS a good strategy. What's more, is it IS the easiest taught because it works with our default primate conflict patterns.

Most violence IS about social issues. In those circumstances being the one who charges up the middle most aggressively IS a 'winning' strategy. At least it will 'win' the fight. (Dealing with the cops because 'fighting' is illegal is another matter). But not all violence is about social issues.
Can this strategy work against an inexperienced mugger? Yes. But it can also get you shot or stabbed AS the mugger reacts out of 'self-defense.' People forget that a knife will cut you just as badly if it is a wild panicked slash as it will if is an intentional one.
Will this strategy get your brains blown out against an experienced mugger? YES! This is especially true because when they run in packs, what often happens is the most dangerous dude in the group is hanging back and letting the lesser ones serve as cannon fodder. You going ballistic on the smaller one, gives the more dangerous one time to draw his weapon.
These are examples of OTHER kinds of violence. These are the other jobs involved in building the house. These are the situations where you need OTHER tools than just a framing hammer.
But that's NOT what is being sold out there as self-defense. What is being peddled is 'This framing hammer is the only tool you will ever need!' When that is proven to be false, then it is added "Oh, but we also supply you with a measuring tape (grappling) and a wood saw (kicking) so you'll be ready for anything."

Well, that means you're no longer just the low-man-on-the-totem -pole framing monkey, but you're still a framer. You haven't learned how to handle the other jobs (or their requirements) that go into building a complete house.
Will that strategy win most 'fights?' YES. Well provided you aren't going up against a bigger, stronger and more aggressive opponent. But if you're the bigger, stronger and more aggressive, it will work -- especially if you cherry pick who you're going up against.
Will it win in ALL circumstances? No.
My issue has never been that the tools don't work. My issue is against the advertising and promoting of the idea that ALL you need is to know a particular style or mindset. And that that once you have it, it will work everywhere and for everything.

Return to top

(#) #) As we repeatedly state on this Website: Self-Defense is a legally defined term. It is up to YOU to conform to those standards. You do NOT get to define 'self-defense' to mean whatever you want it to mean. Unfortunately, marketing has done just that. Return to Text

(#) #) Return to Text

Fighting Dirty
Learn More >

Order Now!

Surviving Workplace Violence
Learn More >

Order Now!

Judicious Use of Deadly Force
Learn More >

Order Now!

Street Fighting Essentials
Learn More >
Order Now!

Psycho-Physiological Effects of Violent Encounters
Learn More >

Order Now!

The Missing Link: Self-Protection Through Awareness, Avoidance and De-Escalation
Learn More >
Order Now!

Post Shooting Trauma
Learn More >

Order Now!

Escape Combatives
Special Bonus Feature
Learn More >
Order Now!

Surviving Armed Assaults
Learn More >
Order Now!

Turning Fear Into Power
Learn More >
Order Now!

Ending Violence Quickly
Learn More >
Order Now!

About navigating this site | Animal List | Bibliography | Bullies | Burglary while on vacation | Classes in Colorado | Car Jacking | Children and Martial Arts | Child Safety | Criminal Mindset | Cults in MA/SD | De-Escalation | E-mail Dianna | E-mail Marc| FAQs | Have MacYoung speak about crime avoidance | Home Page | Home Defense | Hosting a Seminar | Fear | Five Stages of Crime | Knife Fighting | Legal Issues | LEO/Correctional Officer/EMS | Linking policy | Links | Martial Arts | Photo Gallery | Property Crime | Psychology | Rape | Robbery | Safe Dating | Self-Defense Training | Selling your books/DVDs on NNSD | Seminar Schedule | Stalking/Domestic Violence | Street Fighting | Terms of Use | Testimonials | Train with Marc MacYoung | Who is Dianna Gordon MacYoung? | Who is Marc "Animal" MacYoung? | Victimhood | Workplace Problems | Zero Tolerance