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Lesson Four of the Self Defense Mini Clinic

Click here to see Lesson 3.

Welcome to Lesson 4 of the Self Defense Mini Clinic. This lesson is about the 4 D’s of personal combat. It’s an easy to remember acronym for the most important principles of winning a fight.

Before we get into the lesson check out this video. One of the 4 D’s stands for Distraction, and this video teaches you some of the classic (but still effective) distraction techniques used by experienced fighters.

The “Four Ds” Of Personal Combat:

These “Four D’s” were one of my own biggest “ah-ha” experiences because they explain why some guys — even little guys (who may look like they’d have trouble winning a fight at a quilter’s convention), consistently WON real-world street fights against larger more aggressive opponents.

It boiled down to this. These guys were consistently good in four specific skills:

  • Deception
  • Distraction
  • Disruption
  • Destruction

This is exciting “meat and potatoes” stuff about actually winning a street-fight. The best part is, unlike “sport fighting,” these skills have very little to do with size, strength, and physical skill. Let’s take a look:


Deception is not some wishy-washy theory, it actually WORKS in the real world.

Deception plays on simple human psychology. The idea is to trick your adversary into thinking one thing, then suddenly turn the tables on him. The result is confusion, hesitation, and panic.

Here are a few classic deceptions techniques that really work.

  • Verbal Deception:The idea is to deceive your opponent by verbally expressing the exact OPPOSITE of your real intentions. A LOT of guys commit the mistake of announcing their real intentions. Do NOT tell someone you’re about to “kick their ass” and make threatening movements if that’s what you’re really planning to do.A better plan is to tell him that you’re “not looking for a fight,” or “don’t want trouble,” or even that you’re “injured and can’t fight.” Say anything that’ll lull him into the comfortable belief that he is indeed master of the universe.The more he has settled into this mindset, the greater will be his surprise and panic when HE is suddenly under attack. Here are a couple of methods of verbal deception:

    Begging: “Please, don’t hurt me.” The more you can get him to believe he’s the guy in control, the more effective this deception stuff will be. The idea is to set him up for the “big surprise.” Then, put him on the defense, and “back on his heels.”

    Comply: At the very least you should act like you’re complying with his wishes. For example, if some guy asks you to “step outside,” you already know what’s up. So I ask you, is it really necessary to “step outside” and “put up your dukes”? No. A better strategy would be to act like you’re going along with it, then launch into an attack or simply escape.

    Sound unfair? Good… This is your life, use whatever dirty tricks you can muster to end the fight before you end up in the hospital or the morgue. The concept of “total commitment” means you are NOT fighting fair.


This principle hinges on another quirk of the human brain, its inability to completely focus on more than one thing at a time.

The good news is that you can take advantage of this human limitation by redirecting, or “distracting” your opponent’s attention away from you so you can catch him off-guard.

The bad news is that distractions are often only effective for a split second or so, which means that unless you have an immediate follow-up plan, the distraction is futile.

Here are some highly effective PROVEN distractions that’ll give you an opening to launch attack…

    • Cigarette: Flicking a lit cigarette into your adversary’s face will definitely distract him for a moment. The key phrase here is for a moment.If you flick the cigarette into your opponent’s face, then use the time to enjoy a good snicker while watching him dance around brushing off the sparks, well… your sense of humor will get the better of you. Deception and distraction tricks are to be used only as simple mechanisms to give you one or (at most) two seconds to launch your attack or escape.But when a typical fight only lasts up to 8 seconds, a second or two is a huge amount of time.
    • Throw loose change on the ground. Believe it or not, reaction to the sound of coins hitting the ground is practically hardwired into the brain and creates a major distraction. I expect the more of a tight-wad your opponent is, the better this works.This is mainly an audible distraction — so unless you’re fighting a stripper — tossing dollar bills (even twenties) won’t work. Oh… and don’t expect to see that 73 cents again. Consider it money well spent.
    • Spill or throw your drink. This is one Hollywood trick that actually works. First, there’s the shock of ice cubes and cold liquid hitting the face… and second, there’s the instant (and temporary) blinding effect. This can be the most effective method in giving you a couple seconds to do what you gotta do.

I’m sure you can probably think of a dozen more simple distractions off the top of your head. But you’ll need to keep an open mind and use what’s available to you at the time.


This is any tactic or technique that messes with your opponent’s plan of attack. Regardless of who your attacker is he’s threatening you because he “envisions” in his mind’s eye everything ending up okay for him. The movie in his head doesn’t show him being hurt or killed.

The point of “Disruption” is to make it clear to him that his plans of easy victory are nothing but a fantasy. You need to screw up his little plans, take away his options, and “convince” him as quickly as possible that this could end very badly for him.

Here are a few ways to “disrupt” his plans:

  • Surprise: The quickest and most effective method to surprising your adversary is to initiate the attack – i.e. “hit first.”As one world-class street-fighter put it, “you need to demonstrate, to your adversary, that you have a total disregard for his well-being.” This is a nice way of saying that you should try to hurt him. Why? Because the psychological effect is to strip away his will to fight, and get his “internal chatter” going.
  • Close the distance: If there’s no escape and you’ve determined that a fight is imminent, you should move-in (as long as he doesn’t have a knife).In a hand-to-hand situation, “moving-in” is a very effective tool to convince him he’s made a terrible mistake.You do NOT want to close-in, then pause and do nothing. You should move in with the 100% intention of attacking.By closing the gap, you effectively neutralize the attacker’s two main weapons, the left and right haymaker. This is a major disruption to his strategy and he’s forced to stop and consider a new strategy, while you’re busy attacking.
  • Forward pressure: My research has PROVEN that the guy who puts continued forward pressure against his opponent most often wins. You do NOT want to let up.Keep yourself in a fluid state and fire continuous shots at open targets, never “letting up” your attack until he’s been removed as a threat or you’ve had the chance to escape effectively.

Before we get into Destruction I want to share the following video lesson with you. This video comes from James Painter’s Rock and Roll Prison Fighting System. This move was designed to work in close quarters and cause lots of…you guessed it…Destruction.


This involves breaking down your opponent physically to remove him from the fight. This is not as simple as “kicking his ass.” The better you understand his vulnerable targets and the specific striking techniques to attack those targets, the more effective a fighter you’ll be.

The two most critical elements for effective Destruction are, 1) target selection and, 2) how you’ll strike that target. The key is to attack the targets that’ll give you the most bang for the buck (i.e. targets that’ll produce instant results with high-damage potential).

Even an unsuccessful attack on a high damage target “disrupts” your opponent’s evil plans.

For example, Fight-Fast instructor Tom Cruse points out that the “elbow snap” technique does not always break the elbow. But, the horrid reality that you attempted to bust his arm like a twig is so disturbing to your opponent that his “internal dialog” can turn him into a deer in the headlights, shutting down his ability to vigorously fight back as he unconsciously switches to a more defensive mode.

If you succeed (break his elbow for example) in most cases the fight’s over. On the other hand if you don’t succeed, the “Surprise and Shock” value usually triggers negative internal dialogue.

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217 thoughts on “Lesson Four of the Self Defense Mini Clinic”

  1. Both of these are what I have always done is get the first blow in and don’t let up. I’m a small guy also and have to equal things out some way like these.

  2. 1st. Thank you Mr.Price for the informative street fight videos. Very helpful with techniques, I wasn’t aware of. One time I briefly took aikado, to just know how to defend myself. Because I don’t like to fight unless provoked, still I rather not! But your videos were more helpful than the aikido classes. 2nd. You are correct sir, saying kathy long is beautiful! Looks like she has no problem defending herself! 3rd. All participants in your videos are all good at what they do. Thanks again, Mr.Price & all participants! God Bless. Take care. ✌

  3. I’m a small guy also. The first video reminds me of myself years ago. It seems like the little guy is always getting picked on. I learned years ago to get the first hit in and don’t let up. You can take down some pretty big guys with that simple move as you know.

  4. The first one is pretty simple and works very good. The second one is very good also but will take a lot of practice. Both were very good.

  5. Bob And James Are 100% Percent Accurate & Correct, About The 4 Ds Of Personal Combat. #1. Deception- Verbal Deception By Lulling Or Luring Your Opponent IntoA False Sense Of Thinking He Is In Complete Control By Statin The Exact Opposite Of Your Actual, True, & Real Intentions By One Begging Your Opponent Not To Hurt You, Which Then Makes Him Believe He Is In Total Control Of The Situation Which Sets Him Up Completely And Unexpectedly For Your Big Surprise Which He Won’t Be Expecting. Another Rule Is To Comply With His Wishes Or Demands Then Launch Your Attack Or Once He Believes Himself To Be In Total Control Attack Or Let Him Step Outside And Escape When He Is Not Looking Or Expecting It . A Excellent Distraction Is Throwing Money ( Loose Change On The Ground. Spilling Or Throwing Your Drink In Some One’s Face Or Eyes Or A Lit Cigarette Which Blinds And Distracts Them Long Enough To Launch Your Surprise Attack And Buys You Those Precious Seconds To Do What You Need To So You Can Safely Get Away. Another Excellent Technique Is Disruption-The Point Of Rule Number #3 Disruption Is To Clearly And Painfully Make It Clear Your Opponents Dreams And Fantasises Of A Easy And Clear Victory Over You Is Only A Grandiose Fantasy Also Launching Your Surprise Attack Strips Away All Remaining Thought Of Your Attacker Cosidering is Intention In Which To Consider Even Pressing His Attack When He Sees You Have No Regard For His Well Being,It Makes Your Attacker Realize You Have Every Intention Of Hurting Him.Stripping Away The Will To Fight & Will Get His Internal Chatter Box Going Should I Continue To Press The Fight.?. If You Must Fight Then Clsoing The Distance/Gap Will Force Your Attacker/Assailant/Opponent Into Realizing He Made A Bad Mistake And Pushed A Bad Position, Only Move In If No Weapon Is Immenient ,Also Closing The Gap Neautralizes An Attackers Two Main Weapons The Right And Left Haymakers Which Also Disrupts His Strategy And Forces Your Attacker To Consider Another & Alternative Course Of Action, While You’re Busy Continously Pressing Your Attack Against Your Much Larger Opponent. The 3# Rule Forward Pressure- Fight Research Has Proven That The One Who Continously Attacks Putting Forward Pressure On His Much Larger Opponent Most Often And Usually Wins The Fight But Under No Circumstances Stop Fighting Or Relentlessly Attacking Your Opponent Until You Feel He Has Been Neautralized Effectively And Efficiently Enough To The Point Where He Is No Longer Considered A Viable And Credible Threat To You Also Giving You Effective And Efficient Time To Defuse And Escape The Situation Effectively And Safely. James Is 100% Accurate& Correct The Final And 4th Rule Of The 4 Ds Is Destruction- With This Rule You Must Be Willing To Pick A Soft Target Such As The Groin, Nose, Stomack, Or Throat, These Targets Give You An Automatic Response In Order To Completely Disoriente Your Attacker And An Put Him In A World Of Pain.

  6. You ar good but why not finish the thug in one hit by that i mean
    a hammer fist to the top of the noes or the openhanded
    slap to the vagasnerve then you can finally end your argument with the drop
    on the solaplecsis with your full body knee in maximum injury

  7. I’ve been watching and keeping many techniques you throw out there. I’m in my 60s, 5’6″, 140 lbs, and a 45 year smoker. If I don’t take an opponent out in 1 minute I’m a dead man. Your techniques give me the edge I need. Especially the little guy in the video. Keep ’em coming and thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  8. really liked the diversion techniques like to see stuff, if any for guys in their 60,s but really this was pretty good TKS.

  9. The technics are very good and doable, but my question is, in all these videos, the other man (obviously a friend) stands quietly. In real case scenario, I don’t think the attacker would take it lightly, would he? I’ve never been exposed to such situation, thank God, but I wonder if the attacker too is smart and holds on to you like a dog to his bone, what are you supposed to do?

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