The “Four D’s” Of Self Defence

Posted by Christopher Allen – Tring Krav Maga

Understanding the Four D’s of Self Defence will help you understand how to win against even larger and more aggressive opponents. It’s crucial that you begin to understand and incorporate these tactics.

The Four D’s are;

1.    Deception

2.    Distraction

3.    Disruption

4.  Destruction

First off know this. Unlike “sport fighting”, prevailing (winning) a street fight has little to do with size, strength and physical skill. The Four D’s are the great equalizers of those factors.

1. Deception

Deception is the key to fights, games and even wars! Winston Churchill used deception against Hitler to pull off D-Day and you too can use deception to gain the advantage over an opponent. The basic concept is to make your adversary think one thing while you turn the tables on him. The result is confusion, hesitation and panic.

Deception can be verbal, physical or tactical. Tell him you don’t want any trouble while you’re discovering your targets. Raise your hands up in a manner of submission so that they are ready and in front of your shoulders and face… AND HIS! He’ll believe that you’re in a “surrender” position but truthfully your hands will be in what is called a “forward boundary” ready for action.

About the same time you’re looking him in the eye stating, “I don’t want any trouble” should be about the time you unleash on him and take the offensive. Striking first is critical. It may not be politically correct, but it will be necessary to be effective.

2. Distraction

There’s a quirk in the human brain that makes it difficult to 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 act with a reasonable chance at catching 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.

A few examples of simple distractions are flipping a cigarette in their face, dropping loose change from your pocket on the ground (they’ll almost always look), spitting or spilling your drink in their face, appear to adjust your glasses and throw them in their face.

Be quick with this one. More importantly, be prepared to act the instant you gain a distraction.

3. Disruption

Disrupt his plan. He began his attack thinking he could dominate, control and humiliate you. Show him quickly and decisively that this could end very bad for him.

Some tactics…

·         Hit First (That’s right… we’re not in school anymore. Start it and finish it with the first strike advantage.)

·         Close the distance (unless he has a knife… in which case run! You will get seriously hurt even if you win) take the fight to him and quickly inflict damage and pain! Do not hesitate to begin attacking targets. This tactic takes away his plan and forces him to start internally thinking about a new plan.

·         Forward Pressure (Continue The Attack) with a relentless assault without pause. Get him back by rapidly striking. It’s not time to be Mr. Nice Guy. Beat this guy down into both physical and mental humiliation.

4. Destruction

Think of the target and what to strike it with. For a true hand-to-hand fight with no improvised weapons, knives or guns… typically a soft target gets hit with a hard body part (i.e. closed fist to the gut) while a hard target gets hit by soft tool (i.e. an ear slap with an open cupped palm.

Attack high value targets. Get this guy to understand that he picked on the wrong person and you intend to hurt him badly. Start “laying the hate” without relenting and make him succumb to the “Surprise & Shock” factor of messing with you.

You had better answer a question for yourself in advance. Are you willing to hurt a person who’s attacking you? Seems like a no-brainer huh? It’s not. You can’t afford a hesitation in the 3 to 5 seconds that this all takes place. Hesitate and you’ll pay a dear price. Perhaps the ultimate one!

Last two questions that should be running through your mind…

“What’s my next target?” & “What’s my next target?”

Targets – I’ll be discussing targets in my next post but in the meantime watch out for the 7 Rules of Street Defence

At Tring Krav Maga you can learn 100% Reality Based Self Defence taught with a no-nonsense approach.  Fitness or prior martial art experience is NOT required.  Contact our professional martial arts instructors now on 0845 094 8805 or see our website –

Tring Krav Maga is part of Tring Martial Arts.

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