Our self-defense program (sometimes referred to as “combatives”, “self-preservation”, and other similar terms) is taught both as a stand-alone body of skills, and as methods integrated into our MMA (mixed martial arts) program. The goals are to be safer and more confident, but similar to our MMA and BJJ programs, most of us experience benefits in terms of dealing with adversity, improving fitness, building community, and more.
Many schools use hyperbolic language to convince potential students of the effectiveness of their material and teaching methods. Language like, “We focus on getting in, destroying our opponent, and getting out as quickly as possible using __________ (insert latest “elite” fighting method here).” In many cases though these schools overlook principles, empirical data, and training methods in favor of techniques or attitudes that appeal to ego, may only work with a cooperative “opponent”, and/or violate basic human instincts in a conflict.
At SBG So Cal, we endeavor to use combative ideas and teaching methods that while maybe not as attractive as what we see in films/TV, are rooted in principles. For instance: working from what is most likely, in context, to what is less likely. Focusing on not getting knocked out or knocked down. Consideration of natural human tendencies in fights. Use of “non attribute-based” methods (things like our opponents being faster, bigger, us seeing something late, the location a conflict occurs, and more).
Biomechanics of a good punch, covering ones’ head to stay in a fight, critical thinking skills, principles rather than techniques (as not to be overwhelmed by choice when under pressure), transcend martial art styles. These principles do come from places like MMA, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, JKD, Muay Thai, boxing, Kali and such, but are not to be confused with being the sole province of that system. In other words, when thinking about “street self-defense”, though there are principles and ideas to be derived from them, there is no such thing as an Aikido fight, a boxing fight, etc. Our effort at SBG So Cal has been to take the time to separate the “wheat from the chaff”, in an effort to not waste time on parts of these “styles” or “systems” that may be less relevant in self-defense situations.
We have organized a program where you will learn how to avoid fights/assaults to begin with using principles, “verbal jiu jitsu”, learning “pre-assault” cues, etc. You will of course learn “stand up”/kickboxing range fighting, clinch range fighting, ground fighting. We also cover edged weapons, impact tools, improvised weapons, dealing with different types of assaults, legal and ethical considerations, unequal initiative/armament (the “opponent” surprises or overwhelms us, or has a tool and we do not), and more. You will also learn an “epistemology”, a way of knowing, what will work and what will not. Our curriculum is available via classroom/gym environment, seminar-style, and private instruction.