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Your body is the only means that you have to defend
yourself at all times.
Left: Working with a student on joint locks.
| Knowing how to use your "hands" (actually
your whole body), as a weapon
is extremely important. It's easy to feel powerful with a gun or
knife. People are fond of saying, "well if that happened to me, I'd just
shoot him", and then they draw their imaginary pistol and fire off a shot. I'm
fond of immediately asking them the obvious question: "Where is your gun right now?"
In the twenty years that I've been involved in the martial arts, only an
off duty police officer was able to produce a pistol... out of his
wife's purse! The truth is that the vast majority of gun owners are not
carrying their weapons on them all of the time. Even if they were, it is never enough to carry a gun, or knife, or
any other weapon. Law enforcement agents are killed every year by
contact weapons. It is a common dangerous mistake: when you have a gun, you want
to use the gun. In law enforcement the minimum distance to accurately
draw and fire is 21 feet, all this under extreme duress of having an
assailant surprise you and close towards you at maximum speed. What if
you round the corner and it is 5 feet? Can you draw and fire accurately before
he reaches you? Not likely. Sometimes you need to deal with the
threat. Create minimum safe distance. Then you can draw a superior weapon.
The key to combat is always tactics. Knowing when to apply what and
Left: Working with Master Ingersoll at our school in Seaside, California.
Left: Athletes use many of the same physics principles of weight, mass, speed, and force, in their sport.