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As debates flare anew regarding the Second Amendment and Americans’ constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms – a right the Democratic Party and Barack Hussein Obama hold in contempt and wish to eradicate – it is worthwhile to remember the role technology plays in defense of self. The evolution of personal defense technology informs and defines our best means of preserving human life during a physical altercation. The cut-and-thrust sword of the medieval battlefield (a landscape dominated by pikemen and archers, not swordsmen, in war) shrank to become the rapier, then the smallsword.

Gentlemen who would have carried the smallsword for urban defense became citizens carrying vest-pocket pistols. They later evolved into today’s informed, well-practiced, law-abiding firearms owners, who are arguably better-trained in some instances than our police forces (the only group modern liberals grudgingly permit firearms). This evolution has become, through government meddling and unconstitutional restrictions, a devolution. Citizens desperate to defend their lives turn from forbidden firearms to slightly less-controlled weapons like knives. But these, too, are the targets of the progressives, as are any other personal weapons that might be even slightly useful for self-protection.

Democrats hate you and want to control you. They don’t care if you or your family members die. Your liberty to defend yourself is a threat to their social control schemes and therefore the greater evil in their eyes.

With this web of laws closing in around us, the citizens of the United States have few options left. If you are to have any hope of defending yourself in a country whose Second Amendment protections have been all but stripped from you, you must learn physical self-defense. In the best-case scenario this will mean learning a combatives method such as those advertised on these pages. For many of you this will mean training in a martial art. There are countless martial arts offered at varying price points. Martial arts as an industry present their own problems, however.

The world of martial arts runs the gamut from strip mall low- and no-contact McDojos, to full-contact mixed martial arts schools, and everything in between. The former are fine if you’re looking to build ersatz discipline, give your child a structured, aerobic day-care class, or adopt the forms and kata of a system atrophied to a shadow of what it once was. The latter is the standard against which individual competitors are judged if they want to learn to conquer their own fear while testing their physical fitness, drive and, yes, even skill against a single unarmed opponent in a controlled environment.

Strip-mall martial arts are ridiculous because they purport to teach you how to defend yourself while doing nothing even approaching that goal. They don’t teach you to strike with force. They don’t teach you to fight in a realistic environment. They don’t even teach you to fight in something resembling your actual clothing.

Mixed martial arts (which are very popular now) become just as ridiculous when their exponents tout them as “the best” or “the only” means of learning self-defense. Certainly a large, muscular man who possesses good fitness can use MMA to defeat an attacker … provided that attacker is alone. And unarmed. And the fight occurs on a padded floor. And the fighter doesn’t break his hand fighting without gloves.

The martial arts market is largely unregulated. This lack of regulation is not a bad thing, but it does mean the market is glutted with people who are completely unqualified to teach. Any idiot with a worthless mail-order black belt (issued by some other fraud) can show up at his county health fair and pretend to teach “self-defense” for free to unsuspecting housewives. Any well-meaning professional athlete can teach those same housewives techniques that are perfectly valid … if you’re fighting someone in your weight class who does more or less what you do (and nothing else).

Giving our hypothetical housewives a bunch of made-up-ninja nonsense is as bad as teaching them to use kickboxing against larger attackers. In the second example, these methods aren’t practical for smaller people even though, on paper, there is nothing wrong with the techniques or the “art.” Thus, if the context of a martial art is wrong (from the perspective of the environment or from the perspective of the defender), even valid techniques can become a program for utter failure.

This means that people who claim to teach self-defense while lacking the qualifications to do so – primarily the ability to identify context while separating workable from unworkable – are deranged sociopaths. They are people who care more about playing at self-defense, at pretending to be “teachers,” than they care about the lives of the people to whom they are lying. Some of what they “teach” might even work if the planets align, or if the student is sufficiently motivated, but these sociopaths are no better than gun-grabbing liberals.

What any course of study in self-defense must teach you is practical force. Practical force – the means and the methods to apply it – can be acquired while training in a traditional martial art (sometimes only rarely, and sometimes in spite of it), in a reality-based self-defense environment (if realistic contact and resistance is introduced), in a heavily supplemented mixed martial arts program (provided environment, multiple assailants and weaponry are seriously addressed and not merely paid lip-service) and, rarely, simply through practicing a single, workable method and becoming very, very good at it.

Remember that failure in self-defense isn’t a loss on your record. It isn’t an affront to your honor. It isn’t disappointment or discouragement. It is death. Fail in self-defense and you will be raped, maimed, or murdered.

These are the realities, presented as succinctly as possible. Buyer beware are the watchwords. Even as you train to protect yourself from an out-of-control government, its thugs, and the violent Democratic voters it produces to perpetuate itself, you must guard yourself against those who claim to help you accomplish this goal.

The reality is bleak. The facts are sobering.

The alternative is failure.

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