Delivery Systems

There’s much talk about delivery systems. A proper delivery system is critical and in order to develop a proper one, it is integral to train with resistance and energy. This we all know. However, there are 2 distinct delivery systems. One is physical while the other and most often neglected and misunderstood, is behavioral.

In a sporting type situation like a MMA fight and sparring, the predominant delivery system is physical. One absolutely needs a striking arsenal, a clinching arsenal as well as a grappling arsenal, no 2 ways about that. The sporting event also has 3 elements a real violent confrontation doesn’t: Awareness, consent and preparation. These 3 elements eliminate several things such as fear (for ones life that is and not a fear of losing or looking bad), emotional inertia, the fight or flight response, the triggering of adrenal stress (although a NHB fight will trigger adrenaline, the context in which the mind perceives the threat is very different) and the rage in which the attack is delivered. In a sporting event, your opponent although trying to knock you out or submit you, isn’t trying to maim, cripple or kill you; this alone creates a completely different state of mind than a complete stranger hell bent on finishing you off. The very fact that you can tap out whenever you feel you’ve had too much or that the ref can stop the fight or your corner can throw in the towel also creates a different state of mind not congruous to that of a real violent confrontation.

The real threats are the rapists, the muggers, gang bangers, the random bullies and ego jocks, the road rage incidents, the potential murderers, spousal & parental abuse etc.

There is a certain certainty that comes with sports training that doesn’t exist outside of that avenue and that is the unknown. It’s been said ad-nauseam, but weapons, multiples, environment, people accompanying you etc. ads the stress of the unknown. It changes things and dictates different strategic implementations, tactical responses, etc. The arena is different therefore the tools need to differ and so does the delivery system. What is reality? Go to your nearest 'hard reputed' club, pub or bar on a Friday or Saturday night and simply observe the behavior, the initiation, the escalation and the treacherous development of a few fights. See if any of the participants "spar", stand at 4 or 5 feet away from each other first and square off. Check it out and compare it to the training that you do.

With that in mind, a real attack on your person primarily deals with an attack on the mind which triggers a very different physiological response. Let’s examine this very hypothetical scenario for a moment: A top NHB fighter goes bad and decides to rape a woman. How will he approach her? Will he be gloved up, wearing a mouthpiece after warming up for the last 20 minutes or will he most probably be dressed in his every day clothes and approach her with dialogue as a set up? Is he in any way, shape or form expecting her to fight back, and if so, how easily does he believe he can submit her and keep her under control and have his way with her? Is his guard up or down? Is his ego up or down? Will his primary attack be a jab/cross combo followed by a clinch to take down, a mount and a ground and pound or will he most likely grab her by her hair threatening her anticipating and receiving a victim’s response of passive/submissive behavior? Does she not have the element of surprise as an advantage if she decided to fight back? And if she did fight back, would her primary attack be a clinch followed by an HKE combo or would she not attack vitals first considering the position and mind set of both predator and prey in such a situation?

When Mike Tyson allegedly raped Desiree Washington, did it look anything like his match against Donovan Roddock that same year? Did he knock her out with a hook prior to forcing himself on her?

Out of every successful rape escape incident we’ve all heard about in the last 20 years on the news where a woman successfully defended herself against a violent rapist and criminal, never, not once did the report ever mention her using a rear naked choke, a clinch, a boxing combination or any other sort of ‘martial arts techniques’. As a matter of fact, every time it was mentioned that a woman had some form of martial training, the result ended in rape.

In the next example, when a woman attempted a martial arts technique, her attacker threatened to kill her, she only survived when she went primal and instinctively fought back. For example:

"After going to sleep, I was in the dead of sleep, I woke up with a man on top of me," Mira said on Good Morning America. I immediately just had the reaction to get him off of me at that point he told me he had a gun and I felt it against my left chest. He was restraining me with both of his hands and the gun was across my chest and I just took my left hand and I started just pushing it away from me."

Mira started trying to push him off with her hands and feet, using some martial arts and self-defense techniques that she had learned years before.

"Do you want to die?" he asked. At that point, something snapped and she sprung into action, Mira said. In what she described as something like "a dream state," she wrestled the .38-caliber revolver away from her 170-pound attacker and rolled him onto the floor. She fired three shots at the man, striking him twice in the upper torso. "Mira," is a single mom and bookkeeper in her early 30s who said she acted only on instinct, and was driven by the desire to survive.”


Contrarily though, every successful rape attempts were done by primal defensive tactics such as gouging, ripping, biting or the presence of a firearm as the example above.

For example:

Fri May 7, 8:47 AM ET Add Oddly Enough - Reuters to My Yahoo!

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A woman bit off the lower lip of a fugitive man she said attacked her outside her house in the South African town of Tzaneen, police said on Friday. They said the man -- who was already wanted on charges of burglary and rape -- waited outside the woman's house for her to return from an errand and then tried to drag her inside.

"This woman managed to grab the lower lip of the man with her teeth and bit it off," police Captain Moatshe Ngoepe told Reuters. The man was arrested when he sought treatment at a nearby hospital. He is due to appear at magistrates’ court on Friday.”

Another example:

“A rapist was left speechless when his intended victim bit off his tongue as he tried to force it into her mouth. The 30-year-old woman from Harry squatter camp in Wadeville on the East Rand then ran off, tongue in mouth, to the nearest police station a kilometer away. Police were shocked when she produced the bitten-off tongue. Moments later, the suspect also arrived in agony, with blood pouring from his mouth, hoping to get medical help. He was immediately arrested."

The woman was in a state of shock and had clearly been in a struggle with the suspect, said Superintendent Sam Maredi of the Actonville police station. "She displayed all the emotional signs of a rape victim and was given counseling," he said. The woman had, however, managed to turn the tables on her attacker. Maredi added that the woman had been attacked as she made her way home at about 6pm on Saturday.

"The culprit attacked her and then tried to put his tongue in her mouth. When he did this the fast-thinking woman bit it off," said Maredi. The suspect appeared briefly in the Benoni magistrate's court on Sunday.

The Star Published on the Web by IOL on 2000-10-09 21:25:07

Or how about this one:

“My friend Lynn was walking in the park one afternoon and saw a woman in the initial stages of an assault. Lynn (maybe 5'5") went into rampage mode and attacked the assailant. The two women were able to drive the attacker away while drawing attention to the situation by yelling the whole time. Lynn's action was selfless and unrestrained. The intended victim later told police that Lynn's direct and physical intervention broke the assailant's concentration and his resolve to do her harm.

Assault Prevention Information Network, September 1st 1996.

Outside of the ring, the delivery system is behavioral. The attacker isn’t squaring off with you unless your response is ego based (I.e. shoves, face offs, mouthing off etc.) Your attacker perceives you as being his victim, which is why he chose you. That is to be used to your advantage. Since your attacker sees you as being week and compliant, sticking with that in mind prior to retaliation enhances your retaliation. This will lower his guard and raise his ego making him the perfect candidate for a brutal and completely unexpected physical retaliation. That is the ideal time to strike if necessary and that preemptive strike most likely won’t be a jab, hook or Thai kick, or at least, shouldn’t considering the objective is to maim and not just hurt. The shot you don’t see coming is the one that hurts the most because your mind and body were not prepared for the assault. In a sporting event, the mind and body are fully prepared and aware of the retaliation therefore the nature of that attack process and response time is completely and critically different.

So stating that root skills in a sporting delivery system is an absolute necessity and that without it you are doomed is a fallacy. Although these skills can do nothing but improve and enhance your survivability and health for that matter, they are not necessarily the end all and be all for far more people have successfully defended themselves against certain odds with absolutely no training whatsoever then there have been martial artists who have used what they learned to successfully defend themselves.

A behavioral delivery system is critical, much more so than a physical one in terms of personal protection. This is what loads the dice in the favor of the intended victim because seldom will an attacker pick someone whom he thinks or believes will hurt or maim them as a victim. The attacker will predominantly and primarily make an attack on the mind prior to an attack on the body, hence posturing, instigation through intimidation, cursing, threats, explicit anger, etc. The range will also be close quarter but the aggression will not be sport related at all, it will be very different such as lapel grabs, strangulations, weapon deployments, tackles, shoves, hair pulls, and sucker punches from natural / non sport combative stances, incorporating aggressive dialogue, threats, etc.

If the attacker doesn’t suspect a violent retaliation targeting vitals such as eyes, throat and facial features (not using the standard punching or JKD finger jabs either), his reaction will be very different than if he was squaring off with an opponent who was trying to do the same… in one instant, it is seemingly out of nowhere, in the other, there was awareness, consent and preparation. It is the state of mind and behavioral delivery system that makes such attacks successful not the ‘technique’ or tool itself. The problem is in fixating on the tool (the eye gouge for instance) and claiming “anyone can do that”, yes, it is true; anyone can do that, however, how many real fights that you've seen or heard of ended with one of the opponent's having their eyes gouged out? Point being, although anyone can do it, most people don’t and don’t even consider it or train for it for that matter. So yes, anyone 'can' do it, but rarely does anyone 'do' do it. Just because you played badminton all your life doesn’t automatically make you a good tennis player.

This of course doesn’t mean you don’t need a good physical delivery system. We’ve always and continue to advocate the necessity of both a behavioral and physical delivery system. If anything, we highly recommend actively training in an alive combative discipline. However, some people unfortunately don’t have the time, energy, or desire for that matter to train 3 or 4 times per week to enhance their combative skills. Does this mean they cannot learn to effectively defend themselves? Does this mean that they don’t have the right to defend themselves? Absolutely not. If that were the case, we wouldn’t be alive as a species today since people have been effectively defending themselves since the dawn of man and before MMA arts or NHB ever existed. So how did they do it? How does a woman defeat a crazed rapist without any prior training at all? Luck? I think not. There’s much to be said about attitude, mind set and belief systems. The behavioral and psychological arsenals fine tunes our already existing survival instinct. The key is in getting people back in touch with it, we already posses the tools and instinct, we just need to re-awaken them and stay true to the physiological rules that govern our minds and body.

Richard Dimitri