martial arts



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.

Strategic Self Defence

Strategic Self Defence

Many people get confused regarding the differences between strategy and tactics; Even people who are well versed in various combat arts and sciences.

This post examines exactly what strategy is and what it is not - from a self defence perspective.

Then we go deep and explore how we can approach self defence from a strategic perspective. This will get you thinking big picture and how the deliberate big picture decisions we make flow down to everything else.

Are Combat Sports a Waste of Time for Self Defence?

Are Combat Sports a Waste of Time for Self Defence?

There are broadly two camps.

The first camp, they love the combat sports and feel that unless you train against a 100% resisting opponent you are not close to simulating real violent encounters.

The second camp, they feel that there are too many restrictions when training in combat sports which generates bad habits.

There is a bit more to it than this and we go deep looking at whether or not the combat sports are a good method for developing effective self defence skills.

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 Warrior is Dead, Long Live the Warrior

The Warrior is Dead, Long Live the Warrior

What is a warrior? Is the term even relevant today?

Is a warrior only a soldier? What about a martial artist? What about an MMA champ? What about a cop? What about a mercenary? What about a cancer survivor? What about a sporting legend?

This post argues that most of the above are NOT a warrior. This post examines what a warrior actually is - in some detail.

Caution - some people may be offended.

Interview: Matthew Apsokardu on Traditional Martial Arts and Self Defence

Interview: Matthew Apsokardu on Traditional Martial Arts and Self Defence

Authentic interview with Matthew Apsokardu from Ikigai Way.

We go over a range of topics mostly linked in with the overall theme of how traditional martial artists train for self defence. We also talk a bit about how the rising trend in combat sports such as MMA have impacted on the evolution of traditional arts such as karate.

It's great to get an open minded traditionalist talking about contemporary self defence issues.

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.

Finally, the Differences Between Strategy and Tactics Explained

Finally, the Differences Between Strategy and Tactics Explained

We finally examine the key differences between strategy and tactics.

Having a clear understanding of the two very different meanings will aid in understanding how strategic thinking can drive everything in your life - including self defence understanding and training.

Aliveness: Common Sense or Controversial?

Aliveness. Although the term is linked to Matt Thornton (who is known for really promoting the concept), Aliveness can and should be associated with all types of self defence or combat related training and not just bjj.

In this post we look into this topic of Aliveness in some detail.