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Should You Notify Your Attacker That You Are Trained In The Martial Arts?

by Shawn Kovacich

According to some “experts” in the field of self-defense, you should notify your potential attacker that you are in fact trained in the martial arts and that if provoked, you will use that training to defend yourself. Now I consider this advice to be akin to taking a knife and cutting across your own throat to see if it is sharp enough. Sure, you’ll find out the answer to that one, but only once.

I have just finished reviewing a book (check out my list of articles and you will see it) which focused on the possible legal ramifications of using your martial arts training for self-defense. Although I found the book an overall winner, there was one particular piece of advice that the author gave that just stuck in my craw and wouldn’t let loose. That advice was to notify your attacker that you were a trained martial artist and that if he continued to pursue his aggressive attack, that you would indeed defend yourself.

Now I am generally not one to go around calling things or people stupid, but in this case, I am unable to find anything else that fits. I mean hey if you are going to do that, why don’t you just go down and have a professional resume made that lists all of your training, prior fight experiences, what your intended method of defending yourself is in any given situation, your current level of physical fitness, how many boards you can break, etc. Then have several copies made (be sure and use really nice paper) put them in a nice folder so that they don’t get bent or crinkled. Now carry them around with you wherever you go. Then if you are faced with a potential attacker, they will be readily available.

For example, let’s say you are faced with the following situation. You are walking to your car after a hard day at work when all of a sudden you see a man approaching you. He walks up to you and here is a transcript of what happens:

NOTE: The capital “A” stands for attacker and the capital “Y” stands for you.

A. Hey man, got any cash you can spare?

Y. Sorry, I just got off of work and I don’t get paid till Friday.

A. Give me your wallet man, or I’ll bust you in the head.

Y. Sir, before you continue with this course of action. Might I direct your attention to this (at this point you pull out your martial arts resume).

A. What’s that man?

Y. Well sir, this is my martial arts resume.

A. What’s that, like a Bruce Lee thing?

Y. Well sort of, this is a list of all of the training I’ve had over the past 10 years and the current belt rank that I hold in this art. I have also been involved in several altercations that you can see I have listed on these last two pages. All of which resulted in an extended stay at the hospital for my opponents. Now as you look on page 14, you will see that I am capable of breaking four 1 inch pine boards with my fist. Now I must advice you that if you continue to pursue this particular course of action, I will be forced to defend myself. Do you understand that?

A. Yeah, I think so.

Y. Good, now would you mind signing this piece of paper here that says I showed you my resume and that I have explained it to you and that you understand the ramifications of pursuing this current course of action?

A. Uh, okay.

Y. Okay great you have now signed this document. Now what would you like to do?

A. Uh, can I go home now?

Y. Sure go right ahead and thank you sir for you time and you have a great day.

Now doesn’t this sound like a really swell idea that you can use effectively on the street in a real life self-defense situation? Well I don’t know about you, but I just can’t wait to try it out. As a matter of fact, I have already done the rough draft on my resume and am just fine tuning it now. By the way, does anyone know how to spell Lord-High-Grand-Exalted-Pooh-Bah 27th ˝ degree gold belt in the mystical art of You-Can-Die-Just-By-My-Looking-At-You-Do.

Now I have to put this last paragraph in here as a disclaimer to anyone who read this and thought that I was actually serious, instead of inflecting this article with heavily laden sarcasm. If you actually thought that this was a good course of action, seek professional help immediately before you get yourself or someone else hurt. This type of move is what comedian Carlos Mencia would label as a, “Dee Dee Dee” type of move. Which if you don’t know what I am referring to, rent his DVD’s or watch his show on Comedy Central.

I do not under any circumstances recommend that you pre-warn your potential attacker that you are trained in the martial arts. As you may well know, the greatest element to have on your side in any battle whether it is a one-on-one situation, or one army against another, and that is the element of surprise!

Here is another example of how the above mentioned situation could be played out.

A. Hey man, got any cash you can spare?

Y. Sorry, I just got off of work and I don’t get paid till Friday.

A. Give me your wallet man, or I’ll bust you in the head.

Y. BAM! POW! ZAP! (Your attacker is now either running away, or lying unconscious on the ground while you get in your car and drive safely away).

“Holy Hot Topics Batman, this guy knows what he is talking about.” “That he does boy wonder. That he does.”

And yes, those are Batman and Robin references.

About The Author Shawn Kovacich has been practicing the martial arts for over 25 years and currently holds the rank of 4th degree (Yodan) black belt in both Karate and Tae Kwon Do. Shawn has also competed in such prestigious full-contact bare knuckle karate competitions as the Shidokan Open and the Sabaki Challenge, among others. In addition to his many accomplishments, Shawn is also a two time world record holder for endurance high kicking as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Shawn is the author of the highly acclaimed Achieving Kicking Excellence™ series and can be reached via his web site at: (site down?).

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