Gun control is a hot topic on TV, talk radio, facebook walls and discussion groups. But, while lawmakers debate the finer points of use and sales of firearms, one Texas self defense expert focuses less on the right to bear arms, and more on the reason why: self protection.
Justin Everman of Richardson, Texas has taught self-defense to men and women for years. While he offers courses and seminars, he explains that guns are simply part of the equation.
“Everything about safety is about layers. For example, if you saw the President of the United States walking down the street he wouldn’t just be wearing a bulletproof vest. That’s the equivalent of just wearing a firearm. He would have Secret Service by him, there would be metal detectors, there would be plainclothes officers, and they’ve cleared the roads for twenty miles. Those are different layers.”
“Now we don’t get those as civilians, but it’s the same thing. Firearms are not the layer, but a layer [of protection].”
When the ultimate goal for a person is self-defense, they may have challenges looking for training. Martial Arts is a common service available in towns and cities across the United States. However, finding a school specifically for self-defense can be difficult.
Today, there are many martial arts programs available such as Fitness Kickboxing and Body Combat that focus on the fitness and wellness aspect of martial arts. Also, there are character-building programs, oftentimes targeted at children for discipline, focus, or confidence.
Everman recognizes the benefits of such programs, and makes a contrast between those and program that focus on self-defense.
“There is a difference between self-perfection and self-protection. You can perfect anything. You’re never done practicing shooting hoops, even when you’re in the NBA. You just get better, faster, and things get easier.” These kind of programs would include fitness or character developing classes.
Everman explains the benefit of a program specifically for self-protection. “When you use the right tactics and the right tools, and put it in the right context that you’re operating in, it’s less of a problem. Do you want to perfect a movement, so that it’s more of an art? Or do you want to know a movement to be able to use it?”
An important aspect of self-defense training is the mindset. According to Everman, this is the first step. People who start self-defense training from a mindset of, “I probably should do this,” or “this would be good for my wife,” will be less successful than the person who starts with a mindset of “I know I need this.”
With this key mindset shift, a person can become proficient in self-defense in a short period of time.
“When you do the things that are right, they solve so many problems simultaneously. Because of that, when efficiency increases, the amount of things you need to learn decreases.” Everman teaches his students that if you have one technique that has multiple applications, and that applies to different situations, it takes much less time to learn than you would need if you learned one separate technique for each situation.
For people looking to increase their level of self-protection, Everman offers these tips to help their search:
- Have awareness: know where you are, and what body language cues you’re giving off. Don’t be walking around with the “blinders on.” Don’t assume everyone out there is as nice as you are. Don’t set yourself up to be prey. A good self-protection academy will show you how to do this.
- Take responsibility for your own safety: don’t depend on the police or security guards to be there. Don’t assume somebody else will be there to help you. It’s not that you want to be paranoid, but you will do your part to make your part of the world a safer place to live.
- Choosing a self defense academy: know what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something reality based, you want to find something that’s close to fights you would see on the street. If you’re looking to fight in the cage, look for training specifically for that. If you’re looking for a family based program, make sure your program addresses that.
Justin J. Everman is a self-defense expert based in Richardson, Texas. His program, Academy of Combative Warrior Arts, teaches men and women the skills for personal protection. Everman also trains police departments in combative skills. For more information, visit: http://www.combativewarriorarts.com.