When You’re Both Self-Defense Savvy

Most of the articles on this site focus on you defending yourself or a loved one who doesn’t practice martial arts.

It’s almost always a situation of you doing the protecting and your companion playing a non-participatory role in the altercation. He or she remains passive, while you to the work.

But what if … what if … you BOTH happened to be martial artists?

For example, my wife has also studied martial arts for a good portion of her life; I could be out and about with her.

Some of my best friends are also martial artists.

So, what happens if a bad guy decides to pick it with one or both of you?

How can you use this to your advantage? (No, we don’t fight fair, if it concerns our safety.)

Fun Situation

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a fun situation, yet there was one poor schmuck who picked when I had friends around, and ALL of my friends present were accomplished martial artists.

Imagine some raucous drunk deciding that he didn’t like my face. He approaches me in the parking lot of the pizza parlor, and … 6-7 of my fellow martial artists formed a half circle around him.

It was beautiful.

When he released that there were raised fists waiting to shush him,  he carefully backed up, swore at us, and then left.

I have to admit, that I got warm fuzzies seeing my “brethren” step up to protect me. Aww.

So, while self-defense emergencies aren’t “fun,” there is a certain camaraderie to having another martial artist there to help out.

As usual, I advise talking to your companion about hypothetical situations ahead of time. There is a lot that you can discuss now, that will give you a martial advantage later….

Who Engages First?

If someone picks on your buddy, do you let him handle it alone? Do you immediately step in to help? Do you step in to distract?

If there is an inevitable attack, does one of you hold back, so your martial knowledge comes as a surprise?

Do you allow the attacker to close the distance to one of you, so you or your companion can sneak behind and ambush his attempt to hurt?

Fair Fight Out the Door (Help, no matter what the image)

You also need to discuss the fact that if someone attacks one of you, then the concept of a fair fight goes out the door.

Your goal is to keep both of you safe, and there is nothing fair about it.

You will both use every sneaky tactic and tournament-prohibited move to ensure your safety. (Yes, Margaret, you might have to kick someone in the nuts.)

Two on One

You also should consider a two-on-one option. Someone grabs your wife, and both of you start in on him or her.

If there are two of you and two of them, you don’t have to fight one-on-one. Nobody says that’s the rule.

You can both gang up on one.

By the way, how will you decide which attacker to deal with first?

Agree on Closest, Worst, Easiest, Weapon Holder, etc.

If there are multiple attackers, is it agreed that you go for the closest first?

And that’s the closest to whom?

Or do you deal with the biggest potential threat first? And other than a weapon holder, how do you determine who’s the meanest of the meanies?

Note: Give some thought of not dealing with a knife holder or a stick wilder first. Sometimes, it’s better to pound the snot out of someone else, lock or arm bar that one, and use your locked enemy as a shield from the weapon. Just a thought … if you know how.

What Would a Witness Say?

Even though all rules are out the door if your life is threatened, you do have to discuss legal ramifications with your martial arts buddy.

It’s important that the two of you are perceived as the victims … the attackees, not the attackers.

So, no boasting or bragging, or bravado when there are witnesses.

Act afraid. Act like you’d do anything to prevent an altercation.

Do what it takes, so that afterwards, you both are described as the defenders.

I’m sure there is lots more that you and a self-defense partner could discuss … secret signals between the two of you, weapons that you both carry, how best to help each other, and more.

Simply make sure you discuss and agree now, before you need to.


You Are Super Vulnerable at Bus Stops … It’s Time to Do Something About It!

Apply these bus-stop safety tips to other areas of your life. Stay Safe …

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