“I know how to take care of myself.” “If someone attacked me, I’d kick them in the groin & poke them in the eye!” “I‘ll just give them whatever they ask for so they won‘t have to hurt me.” “If someone ever threatened my child, they’d be sorry because I’d tear them apart!”“I don’t frequent places where violence is likely to happen!” “It’ll never happen to me!”

One only has to read the paper or listen to the news to realize that crimes against persons can transpire anywhere and at anytime. From the unthinkable home invasion, to being confronted at the ATM or while entering your vehicle, to an assailant intent upon assault or rape. Sudden, inexplicable violence has become a sad reality of the world we all live in. Whether as a result of news reports or simply from watching movies, most people have pictured themselves in these sorts of situations and feel that they have some idea about how they’d respond in the event of a personal attack on themselves or loved one.

Unfortunately, the reality of your actual response & capability, under stress, is often far from what you’ve imagined.

Your attacker has the advantage of surprise. He is ready…you are probably not. What’s more, he isn’t playing by societal rules. That may seem obvious but, in truth, the initial response of the average, law-abiding citizen when confronted by unexpected violence is confusion, shock and disbelief. In many cases, the attack is so far beyond the realm of expected or acceptable behavior in one’s experience, that you will simply freeze…giving further advantage to your attacker.

Reality-based self defense operates on the premise that it is necessary to train your body to respond to “real-life” threat situations so that in moments of intense physical and mental stress muscle memory will kick in, allowing you to react decisively to survive and escape.

Muscle memory is where you have trained your body to learn specific actions and then perform those same actions without conscious thought. Without a conditioned response to fall back on, your body will revert to fear-driven responses of immobility, panic or potentially inappropriate action. It is not enough to think that in an attack situation you would strike him in the eyes or kick him in the groin. It must be an involuntary response to the attack. Your body has to know how to do it! Remember, we are talking about a situation of SELF-DEFENSE here. It happens fast and ugly, with no room for reasoning, negotiation or immediate outside assistance.

The Principles of HAGANAH are:

1. Avoid getting hit. Techniques will always have an element that minimizes the danger of you being hit, especially in your vulnerable areas.

2. Don’t be fancy. Techniques are simple and do not conflict with natural or instinctive body movements.

3. Defend yourself in the quickest, safest and most effective way. Most techniques include both defensive and offensive elements designed to protect you while inflicting maximum possible damage to your attacker to end the conflict quickly.

4. Use the attacker’s vulnerable and weak points. Techniques are designed to exploit the many, not so obvious weak points on the human body.

5. Don’t rely on strength. Techniques are designed to minimize your effort, enabling you to work effectively, even when at a size, weight or positional disadvantage.

6. Use available objects as weapons. The system is designed to teach you to effectively use improvised and ordinary weapons.

7. If forced to fight, no rules, no limits. If diplomacy fails, no hesitation, no holding back, anything goes.

Ultimately, it is all about your SURVIVAL! 

You owe it to yourself to put some bite behind that bark…and, to give yourself a fighting chance to survive when it really counts!