News source:

A beauty queen trained in self-defence fought off a mugger moments before her casting to take part in Miss Universe Great Britain.

She parked up on a side street close to the meeting place at Jurys Inn, Broad Street, but as she locked her car a man approached her.

The thug began to pull her and attempted to grab her handbag.

She fought him off.

As Kirsty Grace arrived at a Miss Universe casting, she parked down a side street. As she got out of her car in her high heels she was approached by a mugger who probably thought he had just identified an easy target.

Fortunately for her she is a practitioner of Krav Maga and is a blue belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

The 26 yr old said: “Self-defence has been an interest of mine for many years and I want to emphasise to other women that it’s imperative to learn how to look after ourselves".

“I really believe the mugger thought I would be an easy target, relying on catching somebody off-guard or vulnerable in high heels - I’m pleased I showed him otherwise".

“Awareness of what is going on around you is so important at all times. Timing is essential, responding quickly but keep as calm as possible, all these things you learn and drill in training classes which helps you act under pressure. I then went to re-adjust my hair in the ladies bathroom shortly before walking in for my casting.”

While this is a good news story I would like to tease out some self defense aspects to consider in light of this story.

The bad

She parked down a side street.

Side streets off busy areas are the hunting grounds for predators. Marc MacYoung calls these areas 'fringe areas'.

They are to be avoided whenever possible - especially if you are walking down them by yourself, especially if you are female and especially at night.

Going into these areas is high risk. You would want to be in condition yellow and on the ball.

However, life being what it is, sometimes we cannot avoid staying out of high risk areas for whatever reason. This seems to be the case here.

Secondly, it seems the mugger was onto her as she got out of her car. This implies she didn't see him as she was locking the car when he struck. If she was forced to park here she should have had a really good look around, with doors locked, prior to getting out of the car and maintained observation as she exited.

This act, looking for threats and appearing aware, can deter a mugger who wants to go for easy targets who they can strike using the element of surprise.

It is unclear if she did this or spotted him prior to getting out of the car.

The good

Kirsty was able to fight her way out of a bad situation.

That takes skill and luck. No doubt, her Krav Maga and Jiu Jitsu training helped her in a significant way.

She was lucky.

She was lucky there was just one attacker and not two or three or four. She was lucky he didn't use an edged weapon (or gun). She was lucky he wasn't bigger, stronger or faster, more skilled or more determined.

But she took full advantage of that luck by fighting back in a skilled and determined way.

Sometimes, events in our life can take centre stage and it can be so easy to forget all about our safety. That makes us human. Let this serve as a reminder to try and be more mindful when we are in high risk areas.

Kirsty's example here shows that when avoidance and awareness don't work and violence is inevitable, you better have a robust Plan B. That's where physical resolution skills are paramount.

And yes, she got through to the next round.



What is self defense? What is it really? What should it be? What is the state of the self defense industry?

Simple questions at face value but many important points can be drawn out from analysing them.

Firstly, we determine that existing definitions of self defense are seriously flawed. 

Secondly, we explore a new updated definition that is much more useful.

Thirdly, we identify that the self defense industry is doing a very poor job of teaching students useful self defense knowledge and skills. 

Fourthly, the martial arts industry is no better at teaching self defense skills. 

And finally, we realise that there is almost no serious consideration of the legal use of force. A massive oversight. 

We also cover much more ground. This is a long post - over 3000 words so get yourself a coffee before diving in.

Case Study: The unpredictable typical criminal

News story:

The Daily Record of Morris County reported on Monday that authorities allege in court documents that Hannah, before he was shot, pointed a loaded shotgun at an officer, and that the hammer had been pulled back. The newspaper, citing affidavits filed in Superior Court in Morristown, said he had been kicked out of his grandparents’ home because of heroin use and told his grandmother he wanted to end his life.

The court papers also reportedly say Hannah stole a Kate Spade designer purse from a car in Butler on the day he was shot, keeping the contents but discarding the purse. Kate Spade purses can be worth hundreds of dollars. Neighbors said that police had been looking for Hannah that day and neighbors called police to tell them that the man they wanted was walking through the neighborhood disguised as a woman and walking with a limp.

This, in some ways, is a typical low life criminal. He engages in crime to fund his hobbies. However if you stumble across his path he could be dangerous.

He doesn't appear to be especially capable but the willingness and readiness to use violence is probably there. He is also likely to be highly unpredictable.

If you were running scenario training what would you brief the aggressor role player if you were to use the above person as an attacker model? What techniques? What overall approach? Would he hit and move to keep distance and maybe eventually flee? Or would he charge in and end up in the clinch? How would he wield a weapon? Swing keeping distance or go for big knock out hits? What about if he was armed with an edged weapon?

It is interesting to consider this particular case - even if it is based on incomplete information. Thinking about what this person would do in a real attack can provide really useful insights into the sorts of skills you would need to develop to best counter him in a real self defence encounter.

It is worthwhile spending time considering pre attack indicators and knowledge you could draw on to avoid getting involved in a physical encounter at all.

This person could feasibly be a predator (mainly) and also an alpha male (especially if high or drunk).

The King Hit

The King Hit

The King Hit (or Sucker Punch) is causing a lot of problems in todays society. It is easy to hit someone with a cheap shot.

We explore this King Hit issue in this post. We look at the injuries and family suffering that King Hits cause. We look at some statistics. We look at the pettiness of the reasons people use these cheap attacks. We look at the culprits. We ask if King Hits are a reflection of a cheapening of life these days and dehumanisation more generally.

Regardless how much much of a cheap shot these sorts of attacks are, the threat posed by them is very real - especially if you are drunk (drunk=slow).

Let's get stuck into it.

The Human Combative Behaviour Presentation

This post contains a highly produced slide deck exploring the topic of Human Combative Behaviour.

It combines some fantastic imagery, statistical analysis and features many of the key points from the Manifesto aiming to educate people about human to human violence.

13 Commonly Believed Myths About Self Defence BUSTED!

13 Commonly Believed Myths About Self Defence BUSTED!

This post explores 13 commonly believed myths regarding self defence and we bust them wide open!

Some of these are sacred cows that need slaughtering. Some of them may be eye opening. Some not so obvious. 

Regardless you are sure to get something out of this one!

The 5 Best Improvised Weapons in the World

The 5 Best Improvised Weapons in the World

Improvised weapons can be a great equaliser.

But what makes a good improvised weapon? What commonly espoused improvised weapons are worse than using unarmed options?

That is exactly what we are looking for here as we drill down into the topic and identify the 5 best improvised weapons in the world.

5 Most Important Skills For Protecting Yourself

5 Most Important Skills For Protecting Yourself

A guest post from Jack Roberts from Black Eagle Martial Arts.

In this post Jack explores topics such as looking ahead and staying alert, walking confidently but not aggressively, knowing when to run, using quick and effective techniques and staying out of trouble by understanding your town or local part of your city.

Is Killing Someone Who Broke Into Your Home, Self Defence?

Is Killing Someone Who Broke Into Your Home, Self Defence?

In this post we explore some real home invasion case studies. Some of these cases saw the occupants of the homes respond to the intruders with lethal force. 

Some of them were found not guilty of any charges as they acted in self defence. In some, the occupant was found guilty of an offence and was sent to prison.

This is an important topic to explore. We highlight some of the key differences between the not guilty and guilty verdicts for your consideration.

Let's get into it.

Human Combative Behaviour Manifesto

Human Combative Behaviour Manifesto

Get your hands on the FREE Human Combative Behaviour Manifesto.

It explores the important topic of the two main types of human to human violence.

Alpha Male and Predatory violence.

This topic is possibly the most important material to understand in order to have a sound appreciation of human violence and therefore self defence.

Colour Codes of Awareness

Colour Codes of Awareness

The colour codes of awareness is essential learning.

It is one of those concepts that needs to be understood so you then know what rules you break and when (and if you should).

It is an excellent concept for appreciating how to apply awareness and how you can step up your awareness in higher risk times and ease it up in lower risk times.

What Does the 21 Foot Rule for Defending Against a Knife Mean For Non Mil/LE?

What Does the 21 Foot Rule for Defending Against a Knife Mean For Non Mil/LE?

Distance is a safety buffer. What will help us from a distance is awareness. Look for key indicators that someone is about to close that gap.

Already be looking for signs that the aggressor is hiding a knife somewhere. Can you see both palms?

Don't let them distract you. This could give them a split second to spring forward which will take you off guard and put them at the advantage. 

We explore these and other factors inside.

ISR Matrix: The Definitive Review and Interview

ISR Matrix: The Definitive Review and Interview

ISR Matrix is an excellent system for learning physical self defence skills. 

It is a contemporary system that considers legal use of force at every step.

This is quite a detailed post that explores the system and also includes an interview with one of the main instructors in the region.

Would You Have Fallen Prey to These Real Knife Attacks?

Would You Have Fallen Prey to These Real Knife Attacks?

In this post we examine some real case studies of knife attacks.

We look at the cases and then draw out the main lessons and points from a self defence perspective. What could we have done if we were in these situations? What actions, or inaction, could have changed the outcome of these incidents?