When you train self-defense, whether empty handed or with a firearm, you should practice with multiple moves, multiple shots, etc., never relying on “one thing” to take out an attacker.
Why? Well, I tell my students, “you’re just not that good, and neither am I”. We can’t rely on one move to defeat an attacker.
What if that one move fails? What if they need more pain to present an opportunity for you to escape? What if you simply miss?
That is why we practice self-defense with a sequence of moves or multiple attacks and counter attacks.
They give you a higher success rate of hitting targets, while putting on enough “hurt” to either change the attacker’s mind or physically put them out of commission so you can make your escape.
There are three ingredients for effective and successful self-defense that help us do this. The first is that the response is immediate.
The faster we can react to a threat, the faster we transfer the element of surprise back to our side. If we wait to see what our attacker uses to attack us with, then we are reacting and our response takes longer.
Furthermore, if we curl up into the fetal position or do nothing but play defense, we are giving complete control over to them.
The second ingredient is that it must attack multiple targets. Using different strikes to attack the opponent’s face becomes easier to defend and predictable.
The goal is to attack multiple targets, giving multiple shots of pain to the attacker. That is why I suggest using a high-low-high or low-high-low attack pattern in order to make it more difficult to defend, while also keeping the opponent off balance.
This aides in striking multiple targets, but also helps create an unpredictable striking pattern and creates openings to attack unguarded targets.
The third and final ingredient is that whatever your sequence is, it must be adaptable. Meaning, although we’re practicing a specific set of moves, you cannot get frazzled if something goes off track.
A boxer could practice a jab-cross-hook combo, but they might have to adapt if they get countered or the opponent moves in too close or simply moves away.
The point here is to keep going. Aggressiveness always makes up for mistakes. If something fails, keep going.
Once again, the goal is to create a sequence that you know like second nature, is easy enough to do under stress and uses the right tools to inflict the most amount of pain.
Use these to get you started, and experiment with others to find which ones are right for you.