Never Throw the First Punch

I can hear my father now. “Never throw the first punch.” This mantra has been drilled in your brain since you were a wee toddler. I can remember sitting in the principal’s office after one of my weekly playground scraps waiting for the question, “Who threw the first punch?” It is the quintessential deciding factor of guilt in use of force. The idea of waiting until you are physically attacked before you can defend yourself is the guideline by which all use of force and self defense cases are judged. Even in martial arts you are taught the martial arts are for defense only. This combined with “never throw the first punch” have put you at a dangerous disadvantage.

When I was working in my teens and older I noticed something incredible, the guy who threw the “first punch” usually won the fight. On the playground or in the neighborhood you can get away with not throwing the first punch simply because your attacker’s intent is not to seriously injure; rape or kill you. On the playground of on the block, the fights are usually to prove a point among people you see on a regular basis. In the outside world among grown men and women this is extremely dangerous.

In the outside world, the recipient of the first punch is usually the recipient of the second punch, the third punch, the first kick and the final stomp. Attackers or brutal and relentless and don’t think much of the consequences of their actions. My early training in martial arts NEVER prepared me for this reality.

I was trained to wait to be physically attacked; to wait for the grab, the punch or the stab. What I saw and what I experienced in my late teens and early twenties told me that it was too late to wait for that. The smart street fighters knew where to stand and when to attack. Most time, the fight was over before it started. Either someone was out cold or people were pulling the guy off before he kicked his skull in.

Never throw the first punch is some of the worst advice I ever received.

Now, I’m not a violent person. I am not one to start trouble (ending it is a different story). But the “never throw the first punch” or “martial arts are for self defense” are concepts that pertain to intentions and lifestyle not tactics. These ideas suggest that you don’t look for trouble, don’t seek to hurt or injure others and live a peaceful life. Your training IS FOR DEFENSE ONLY. You are not robbing old ladies and stealing candy from babies. You are living a law abiding life. You work, pay taxes and enjoy time with family and friends and you have the right to protect your life style and loved ones from harm.

So how can you do both, throw the first punch and live the lifestyle you want to live? In module 1 of the Self Defense Training System we show you how to establish distance and determine what your targets intentions are instantly, without question. This allows you to reveal your attackers true motives and let you get the upper hand and allow you to stop the fight before it starts. What you learn in 5 minutes took me 2 years to figure out. Hopefully you won’t have to accumulate so many knocks to the head.

Nicole Thomas

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