According to Wikipedia, it is the act of defending oneself, one's property or the well-being of another from physical harm. While the term may define any form of personal defense, it is strongly associated with civilian hand-to-hand defense techniques. Self-defense defines a civilian activity as opposed to Hand-to-hand combat in a military context (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/self-defense)
In actuality it involves much more than mere legal application of force - it also involves the mental training and habitual awareness that keeps you from being on the pointy end of a personal negotiation. It involves Crime Awareness - what does a criminal need to succeed at his job? It also involves Situational Awareness - when the time for diplomacy is over and how to realize it before you are face-down. Lastly real self-defense allows you to sort through actuality and reality while you are experiencing the Adrenal Stress Response (a.k.a. The Fight or Flight response).
Most martial arts teach a sport-based system of fighting. Judo, Karate, Jiu-jitsu, Tae Kwon Do – they all teach a system of points and moves that, while excellent for fighting in the classroom and tournament, have little or no value in a real life-or-death situation. Self-defense is not a sport, it is not fighting. Self-defense is exactly what it says: defending your self. Real self-defense is a multi-layered concept that includes learning and understanding what a criminal needs in order to succeed at crime, how to deny him those important elements, and giving you tools to help you stay alive during the most violent moments of your life. It involves Common Sense, Negotiation / Diplomacy, Reasonable Force / Timing and Tactical application.
I offer a one-on-one customized version of self-defense training that, in addition to using effective military-grade self defense techniques, is also geared towards your personal ability and reaction tendencies.
The AG Method involves four separate one-hour classes, personalized for your body type and abilities. The classes will cover techniques that you can use tomorrow to save your life. This is not something that is useful in the event that you are attacked by a martial artist who will attack you using the set moves you know how to defend against, but something that will keep you safe from the mugger in the street, the murderer in the parking lot and the drunken brute at the bar, or even the wannabe thug in your neighborhood. These are effective, proven techniques taught to military forces around the globe. They are quick to learn and frighteningly effective.
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