In this article, you will discover why and how I got into martial arts and how Survival Fitness Plan Self-Defense came along.
The Need for Training
Self-Defense was the first Survival Fitness Plan subject that I got into and I got into it fairly young in the way of martial arts.
When I was a child, I grew up in Australia in the 80’s. My Dad’s Malay and my Mother’s Colombian. Back in those times, Australia was a fairly racist place. It still is, but I think it was much worse back then. For a bit of cultural context, you can check out the movie Romper Stomper with Russell Crowe.
Also, I was a tiny kid (not that I’m much bigger now…). I was literally 120 centimeters tall and about 25 kilograms from the ages of around 8 to 10 years old.
Long story short, I used to get bullied, so I started training…
Formal Training Begins
One day, my older brother started doing Jiu-Jitsu and I guess my parents thought it was a good idea for me also. I was about 8 at the time.
It wasn’t the ground based Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that’s famous today. It was Japanese Jiu-Jitsu under the school of ‘Jan De Jong’.
We would go there once a week just like any other extracurricular activity. Some kids go play football, or basketball, or scouts, etc. My brother and I went to martial arts training.
Of course, as kids, you don’t always want to go. Sometimes we’d get mum to take us there and we’d skip class. Then when it was time, we’d meet Mum to pick us back up.
After a couple of years my brother was old enough to join the teens/adult group which was immediately after the kids class. I would have to wait for an extra hour for my Mum to pick me up, so instead of waiting I’d join the adults, which was pretty cool.
Even in the kids class I was the smallest, and they would use me to demonstrate how the techniques could overcome a bigger assailant. I would give the Sensei a wrist twist or whatever other technique he was teaching and he would fall over in ‘pain’. He was definitely putting it on but we didn’t know that as kids.
Knowing How to Fight Gets You Out of Fighting
I was in grade four (8 or 9 years old) when I first realized the power of martial arts.
There was this kid and he was in grade seven and we were on the school oval (the athletic field).
He was bullying me because, well, that’s what happened to little Asian kids in Australia at that time. But then as he pushed me I got him and put him in a wrist twist. I didn’t even do it that hard, but he started crying. Then I ran.
That’s when I realized the power of martial arts and it filled me with confidence. Not that I was ever a bully, because at that stage I knew what it was like to be bullied. So I never did that to anyone else. Well, I’m sure I probably did at some stage once in a while, I mean, kids are kids. But I’ve never had the bully mentality.
A couple of years later when I was still in primary school, I saw this kid getting bullied by two other bigger kids. I remember just walking up and saying, “Hey, that’s not fair!” They just looked at me and walked away.
That’s when I realized that even just having the confidence of knowing that you can protect yourself or beat up someone else, just showing that confidence is usually enough to get people to go away.
Another time that happened was when I was about 18 or 19. I used to run with a bit of a rowdy crowd and we were on the train and there was an argument on the train between my friends and some other guys.
I remember that one of the people said to me, “Hey, you gotta do something!”. And all I did was walk up to whom seemed to be the leader of the other guys and said, “Listen, we don’t wanna fight you” and stared him straight in the eyes.
The guy just kind of looked at me and then he looked at his friend. You could see that he was just like, “ oh, we better not mess around”, and then they just left.
I think the main point of these stories is that a lot of attackers will automatically prey on the weak, but when you have training and know what to do, that projects outwardly and then people just kind of sense not to mess around.
Continuing to Train
After a while we moved to another area so we had to give up Jiu-Jitsu. My brother started doing Ninjutsu and I started Shaolin Kung Fu. We would fight each other (which usually ended with me in tears) and teach each other different stuff from the different disciplines.
Then we moved again. We were both teenagers at this stage and we started doing Muay Thai, then eventually as a young adult I started getting into MMA.
Due to all the moving, I never really excelled in any one discipline, but I think that turned out for the best as it gave me an open mind to learn from everything.
Some years later I joined the military and they teach you some self-defense. That’s when I got into simplifying my training, only using what is really useful for self-defense.
So with that in mind, I started going to training camps around the world with the aim of gathering the most useful techniques.
Creating SFP Self-Defense
All martial arts are cool to learn and so useful in life on many levels, but when studying them specifically for self-defense, you really only need core techniques.
That’s why in Survival Fitness Plan Self-Defense, it’s not about being the best martial artist. You only learn practical techniques and then practice them a lot.
There is a famous Bruce Lee Quote:
“I am not afraid of a person who knows 10000 kicks. But I am afraid of a person who knows one kick but practices it for 10000 times.”
It’s 100% true, and these days, I don’t do any traditional training. I’ve created ‘The Self-Defense Handbook’ and I follow that. Of course it gets tweaked every now and then, like when I learn new stuff which I think is better than what it is now.
For example, before it had some knife defense stuff from Kali Escrima, and I realized it wasn’t that practical so I changed it to military techniques.
In reality, all knife defense isn’t really that practical because you’re against a knife. It’s best to run.
The great thing about ‘The Self-Defense Handbook’ is that it concentrates on core techniques that are proven to be effective on the street. And because there aren’t any forms to master, or 100 different ways to escape a single hold, it is fast to learn and can be implemented instantly.
When I was developing ‘The Self-Defense Handbook’ I would test out the techniques by teaching live classes. By doing this, I was able to pinpoint the best things to include. The best things being those that are practical to use and the easiest to master.
By the end of it, I could teach a small group of people everything they needed to know to continue training themselves in just a couple of hours.
Teach yourself self-defense that works,
because this is one of the best street fighting books around!
People are often overwhelmed by everything the Survival Fitness Plan covers, and the main question I get is…
“Where do I start?”
My answer to that is,\
“Start with self-defense!”
There are 3 main reasons for this:
- It is one of the most useful skills to have to get you out of trouble in everyday life
- It is relatively easy to learn
- It’s possible to practice it alone in your home without any special equipment
So get your copy of ‘The Self-Defense Handbook’ now and start training!
You can teach yourself with it.
This is the reason why I developed a lot of these Survival Fitness Plan Training Manuals, because attending formal classes is not practical for a lot of people. Whether it be because you don’t have time, or money, or that there is nothing good in your area.
I do admit that live classes are better, but only if they are teaching the right thing. most traditional martial arts, they don’t work on the streets unless you spend years training in them. So even though teaching yourself is not ideal, if you want to learn effective self-defense then ‘The Self-Defense Handbook’ is a great place to start.
That’s it for now. the next article in this introduction gets into the flight subjects in SFP Fight and Flight training. Read it here: https://www.survivalfitnessplan.com/when-you-cant-fight-run
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