“Why would anyone ever need to know that?” Usually the question comes as a shocked response, a condemnation for what it is we train. Through experience, I’ve found that the easy answer (“Well, wouldn’t you want to know how to do it if that’s exactly what you needed to survive?”) fails, weirdly, as the initial question itself shows revulsion for the idea — let alone the self defense moves — within themselves. It’s no more appealing than putting a live snake down their pants.
The real answer is, “If a loved one needed it, wouldn’t you want them to know how?”
As distasteful as the idea is to see yourself thinking, training and doing it, it’s just a tad more palatable to imagine someone you love surviving the worst day of their life and making it back home to you. Of course, the logical extension is wouldn’t you want to do the same for them? That is, take responsibility for your own wellbeing and do your absolute best to come back home to them?
Situations requiring the hands-on physical destruction of another human being are thankfully rare, the same way that you probably haven’t had to save yourself from drowning too many times. If the self defense moves we’re training for are so very rare, why spend so much time and energy training? Why train at all?
Again, the easy response falls flat: “When violence is the answer, it’s the only answer.” True, if you need to break a neck, nothing else will do; but if the probability of that being necessary is so close to zero we can squint and call it zero, what’s the point?
Speaking personally, it’s peace of mind. It’s knowing I’ve taken the steps to be prepared (that I know some key self defense moves) for that most unlikely event… and that if it should happen, I have a secret surprise for everyone there. It’s knowing that though I am firmly nestled in the social web and would hope that others would come to my aid — friends, bystanders, the police — other people are not the last line between me and violent death. I am. It starts with me.
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It’s about being dangerous even when naked and alone.
The knowledge that you’ve taken steps to prepare, that you have an arsenal of self defense moves, that you, personally, have it handled, alters your outlook on everything else, day-to-day. The quiet confidence to deal with average annoyances as well as the mollification of the low-grade fear that comes from being alone in strange circumstances.
This is why I always say I use my self defense moves and training every day. Not in a hair-trigger-assassin sense, ready to snap it off inside someone in an instant, but with an altered perspective where I know I can “handle myself”, one that makes it easier to not sweat the small stuff. Or even the loud, angry, abusive stuff that might set off the less capable.
Everyone should know how to break a neck so they are resolved to handle life-or-death situations themselves, without aid, while simultaneously understanding the seriousness and risk inherent in all physical conflict. And from that new perspective, take a fresh look at how they comport their lives and treat others and do everything in their power to avoid or lessen the likelihood of having to use the information. Much in the same way that having to swim for my life twice makes me entirely unwilling to engage in risky situations where I might have to do it again.