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Self Defense/Is it possible to learn a "technique" for first time just with common sense?


I never been interested in self defense before. Never took a martial arts class. I don't even watch action movies, WWF, play video games, and other action-packed entertainment.

However this strange incident happened. My sister ( who is quite aggressive and takes weekly boxing classes) was really looking to blow on someone. I just happened to be her target. So she started punching at me in a barrage. Out of nowhere I my arms suddenly  flail into a direction in which  I wrapped her head into my arms and then slammed my arms (while holding her head) into the couch.

BE SURE TO READ THIS. I never DID this technique before in my life. FUCK I never even knew it was called a headlock before (and because I don't watch action flicks  or play video games, etc I never even seen this thing I just did ever in my life). I only discovered that "wrapping your arms around someone's head" is called a headlock after someone yelled out to stop headlocking her and pushed me out of the way from holding her on the couch.

Note I didn't even use the word "pinned to the couch" and I keep using "wrap my arm around her head" in the above paragraphs? I purposely wrote in such manner just to PROVE how completely unaware I am with violence.

With the basic details put, I am curious if "sparring partners" and "training methods" are really important to be able to execute techniques effectively? I swear I didn't even think of headlocking her, my arms just flailed in such a way that suddenly I caught her  in my arm pit and instinctively I (as I now learned the terminology) used by bodyweight  to pin her to a couch so I can submit her and prevent further violence. I mean I heard of people learning how to execute techniques effectively by watching videos and reading books, I know those who learned by constant nonstop fighting (like I learned from your Cheap Shots). But I never heard of someone as sheltered and non-violent as myself executing a technique just in the "heat of the moment".

Am I just a bizarre outlier? Or is actually learning tricks you never heard of before in an unexpected violent encounter common? How effective is it to learn techniques just by common sense or random instinct such as how I headlocked my sister? People are going as far as calling my stories BS in a few forums I recently joined.

Let me reframe this into another question.

Did gravity exist before Isaac Newton "discovered" it?

The answer is 'yes.' The force we know today as gravity exists completely outside our having a name for it or creating a formula for how -- we think-- it works. So far the formula has held up from the big to the little. But although the ancients didn't have a name or a formula, they knew what happened when you let go of something or something is knocked off the table.

Same thing with 'fighting.' The martial arts didn't discover or invent it. They just made it formulaic.

Going back to science, the laws of physics don't suddenly cease because you're in a conflict. Motion is motion. Delivering the force of a motion or using it to do 'work' is just details. The same motion can be used to throw a track and field 'hammer,' do a pivot in any kind of dancing or throw your sister's head into the couch. So it's not a unique to the martial arts kind of thing.

Your action was more of a result of you goals.
A) keep her from hitting you.
B) stop this noise

Grabbing her and throwing her into the couch, was the fastest way to "Git R done" given the circumstances. It just happened to work in these circumstances.

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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Read "In the Name of Self-Defense" the streets don't give a Ph.D in scuffle.

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