What is Nonviolent Self-Defense?
to reconcile such opposing concepts as self-defense and nonviolence may
be viewed by some as an exercise in futility. However, this is what we
attempt to do here in the most concrete way possible. While
acknowledging both the limitations and strengths of a rigorously
nonviolent approach, we propose that it is possible to effectively apply
humane principles to both physical crisis intervention and personal
What we present here is a fully integrated
system for training in the practical application of nonviolent
principles as they apply to the context of interpersonal violence. This
is not merely a course in self-defense. It is rather a form of personal
training offering a variety of sophisticated methods that teach
essential skills of nonviolent defense and physical control that are
both safe and practical.
The methods taught herein are
highly functional, but learning these skills and attitudes requires
significant training and dedication. Basic core skills must be practiced
in a variety of spontaneous training situations over a long period of
time before the student will be able to cope with the random and highly
unpredictable nature of interpersonal violence and aggression. This
approach to nonviolent intervention requires great skill, activity, and
presence on the part of the defender.
It is also
important to note that this system has its limitations. Learning this or
any other method of physical intervention that purports to be
relatively nonviolent simply provides a margin of advantage or
safety—not a magical umbrella of protection. We do not propose that
these skills, even performed at a high level of competence, can somehow
provide total immunity to violent attack. However, if these methods are
practiced and applied assiduously, the probability of a safe and
successful outcome will be increased significantly.