Reality-Based Self Defense and Personal Protection Resources
Reality-Based Self Defense and Personal Protection Resources



I get inundated with emails pointing to different self-defense classes and training videos, all asking for my opinion on whether it’s the real deal or not. There are a lot of different flavors of Kool-Aid out there (ours included) – A veritable rainbow of “ultimate” and “unbeatable” systems.

But who has the real Kool-Aid?

Well, serial killers do.

They tend not to be the best physical specimens (so there goes bigger-faster-stronger), they tend not to be trained (so there goes belt-levels), and they tend not to practice (so there goes ring experience).

And yet, they get results.

They get results because results are all they care about. They’re unencumbered by rules of engagement, perceived threat levels, or worrying about closing distance. They don’t care if you fight back. Instead of backing up, blocking or countering, they’re going to go straight for the result and will keep hammering away at it until they get it.

And once they get it, they take full and immediate advantage of it.

That result is, of course, debilitating injury — injury that interferes with normal function. Injury works, and going straight for it is the only way to win in violence.

Now, does this mean I like, applaud or idolize serial killers? Of course not. They’re a sickening bunch and the strongest argument for maintaining the option of capital punishment.

What we have to admit is that they get results without all the things we’ve been lead to believe are necessary in self-defense classes: conditioning, training, practice; being a “good fighter”; and defensive tactics like waiting, blocking, countering.

This is why I caution clients at our seminars and self-defense classes to double-check any questions they might have about violence against the “would it matter to a serial killer” litmus. It takes care of an awful lot of things that we all worry about as sane, socialized people but that have absolutely no bearing on who wins or loses in life-or-death violence.

It’s not nice or comfortable to look at violence from this perspective, but we can either look at what the winners do to win (and most often those examples are going to come from the worst among us as criminal acts) or we can turn away, maintain the mindset of the victim and make it easier for the worst to do their vile work on us.

Tim Larkin

Tim Larkin is the creator of Target Focus Training, the #1 Self-Protection training system.

  • reply Dave ,

    This really article has nothing to do with being able to defend yourself. A serial killer seldom gives the victim any chance…they attack with surprise and the person is usually overpowered before they know what hit them.
    A person looking to learn self defense cannot just attack people by surprise.
    Alertness will offer you some hope of not being caught flatfooted/surprised. And since serial killers are weak, out of shape, and lack training they should be easy to overcome by anyone who’s in decent shape and has done some training.
    BUT people don’t fear serial killers. They fear random acts of violence by gangs, thugs, roid ragers, etc. In other words…people who (on a level playing field) could do you some serious harm. People who can harm you without needing to take you by surprise. People who have fight experience, and can shrug off a couple of decent strikes! People who are not going to fold and runaway because you’ve decided to fight back.

    • reply Noel ,

      thank you for using the serial killer illustration,probably one of most accurate and realistic points ever mentioned.
      It is unfortunate that many so called reality combat based instructor s lack the most important aspect of training
      REALITY! We are not robots and I have always believed that once you step out of the training hall,gym whatever .
      Chances are you maybe setting yourself up for a rude awakening Even death, I also believe that your greatest teacher is exposure to reality.

      • reply Ralston ,

        This is something that you taught me to do that has made a difference in my life. To look at the winner regardless of whether or not he was a “bad guy”. What moves worked and why, were the questions. Not empathize with the victim and the why did the “good guy” not win question. To take those moves and add them to my knowledge base (you can’t unlearn stuff) so that “IF/when” I ever get into a fight for my life I will have the tools needed, not just to survive, but to win and walk away.

        • reply Tim Larkin ,

          Glad this was helpful!

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