Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Martial Arts, Unarmed Self Defense, Hand To Hand Combat, and Physical Fitness




The following is not an exhaustive survey of the non-kinetic aspects of any given self defense framework, but a starting point for the individual to begin to study and scrutinize some of the more academic issues related to violence and conflict management that are in play past direct skill at arms.

Consider the following when developing your self defense framework and sharpening your strategies…

As potential combatants, we are constantly seeking leverage and advantage over our opponents. The following are some ideas, concepts, and components that are crucial to directly handling conflict and it's outcomes…


A student of self defense should be keenly pursuing an understanding of conflict through the experiences and lessons learned by others involved in combat that are brought into being through history, literature, and other documented accounts.

Digesting written accounts can give the student a detailed perspective of what may be in store if violence is encountered. While situations, time periods, and the tools used may change, strategies and relative approaches to applying force and managing the outcomes of combat stay fairly constant.

Glean what you can from the past and other’s experiences and apply them accordingly to your situation as called for. Always be looking to apply the lessons of history to secure your best outcome.


Being the first to respond in combat often settles the “debate.”

Everyone is seeking an advantage over their opponent. A smart and celebrated fighter pilot, Colonel John Boyd, identified an important process we all go through when acting and making decisions that are crucial to a fight’s outcome. His theory and important contribution is known as the OODA Loop.

OODA stands for- Observe Orient, Decide, and Act. It is the process we all go through before finally acting on the information given in our environment. The faster we can move through the loop, the quicker we can generate an appropriate response to the threat(s) we encounter.

The OODA loop is where training pays off. The more deliberate, calculated, and trained a response that can be developed, the more likely it is for a successful outcome to be had in combat. You will simply move faster through the loop than your opponent giving you a needed advantage in bringing force to bear. This is where drills, practice, and training resonate.

Here’s a related site on the OODA LOOP:


The fight/battle cycle can be broken into roughly three fundamental components- Pre-conflict, Active conflict, and Post conflict.

People tend to just focus on the alarm and din of battle and often don’t break a fight down into its basic components. To be a more examined and effective actor on the battlefield, the individual should not focus solely on the battle itself, but also on what precedes and follows a direct engagement.

Pre-Conflict. Prior to being engaged in battle, an effective combatant will study and research the threats they face by looking into the expected adversary’s historical employment of tactics, the weapons and other tools they often employ, as well as the environmental conditions in the locales where engagements have taken place that may come into play.

In the pre-conflict stage, the combatant should not only study the tactics, techniques, and procedures of their opponents, but also dedicate time to drill and achieve a fundamental mastery of the common skills they need to insure their safety through avoidance, de-escalation, or the necessary application of appropriate force.
In addition, the pre-conflict phase is the time to diligently review your equipment, and insure its operational status.

Active Conflict. This is the “moment of truth”. You or those under your charge are confronted by an opponent that means you bodily harm and it’s time to take appropriate action and apply a trained response. Countermeasures and violence of action are carried out as is appropriate.

Post Conflict. Your immediate threat has been rendered “passive”, and you have the opportunity to tactically prepare for any other threats that may present themselves. If no other threats arise, it is time to move to another position of advantage, and/or render 1st AID as called for, seek the assistance of the authorities, and put into motion any legal precautions that need to be made; insure that you contact your lawyer and/or command at your first sensible opportunity.

Examine these stages without fail- Pre-conflict, Active conflict, and Post conflict; build your plans, strategies, and skill sets accordingly.


When the smoke clears, there will often be injuries and possibly life threatening wounds to tend to. Make sure you do not dismiss the very real chance of having to deal with the wounded; this may include your attacker too.

If you see violence as a possibility in your scenario, then seek medical training as well as weapons training. These two should be inseparable from each other for obvious reasons. Remember, to always have on you or near you in your vehicle or a designated home location the necessary trauma kit(s) to handle gunshot wounds and lacerations and the like.


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