ARTICLE | WHY SELF DEFENCE, WHY NOW | by Orjan Pettersen
If there’s a lesson provided to us by 2020, it’s that the world is an uncertain place.
A global pandemic has changed how we live, work and spend our leisure time.
The final fallout is yet to emerge, but history shows us that pandemics tend to alter societies irrevocably.
Race relations are under strain in many places around the globe as minorities seek to find their rightful place and legacy consciously or subconsciously denied them in many countries.
The rise of global populism in politics has divided societies more than ever for generations, as proponents struggle for hegemony and control.
If you think, that’s nothing to do with self defence or fighting unsolicited violence, you’re wrong.
Socioeconomic and political history clearly shows a co-relation between crime and all the above.
For example, a sharp global rise in domestic violence is evident from Covid-19. Political unrest and race division is a recipe for societal group violence. Economic downturns and rise in poverty are probably the most significant indicators of future resource crime.
What does this mean for you and I? There are growing and compelling reasons why more people should learn and practice self defence in the UK and beyond.
Here’s three very good reasons for this year.
Firstly, crime involving weapons - especially knives - are rapidly increasing year on year in this country.
In the US, firearms sales rose rapidly as the pandemic started to spread, as fearful citizens prepare themselves.
Criminal threats apply to any gender, any age and across society. No one should feel helpless faced with a weapon in the hands of a perpetrator.
Resource crime is often conducted with weapons, maybe even simple ‘access instruments’ to properties, such as solid impact items or screwdrivers to break entry.
Facing such threats in property or person crime demands good self defence skills, even if the priority objective is compliance with demands.
Secondly, traditional minority groups are become increasingly aware and assertive about their place in society - and rightfully so.
Women have faced particular challenges from domestic abuse during the global lockdown with recorded crimes in this area going up by 40% in some countries.
This has generated racist, misogynistic or other bigoted reactions from a minority of people. All women and other groups should be able to assert their equal rights without fear and in knowledge that they can defend themselves beyond words if ever called upon.
Self defence will give them the mental confidence and physical abilities to meet the particular unfair and unjust circumstances they find themselves in.
Thirdly, and generally, we are becoming a more divided society; politically, economically and ethnically.
This has resulted in higher crime and more hate crimes specifically. A resource predator (after your possessions) or a predatory hate-criminal (looking to hurt you because of your race or minority background) are both a potential threat to life and limbs.
Every citizen - whatever their origin - are entitled to walk in peace and to know how to protect themselves against such criminals.
Three good reasons. They say the pandemic is ‘the great equaliser’. I don’t think that’s correct, looking at how is disproportionally affects different ages, ethnicities and economic backgrounds.
Being able to stand up for yourself, technically, tactically and thoughtfully with great self defence skills and the confidence and power it embeds in the beholder is a true equaliser, or more.
The uncertainty may yet prevail for some time. Making you trust yourself and who you are, whoever is unjustly against you, is the better leveller than anything against the uncertain and unpredictable world.
This is the key of Krav Maga and self defence in general.
If not now, when?