Self-Defense Basics: Lesson 1 – Make Yourself Comfortable!

Self-Defense Basics: Lesson 1 – Make Yourself Comfortable!

Hey. Ando here from Happy Life Martial Arts. Welcome to the first lesson in your Self-Defense
Basics Course. Now, I know you might think the first lesson
should be back there hitting the bags, but let me tell you a little secret about the
martial arts— the physical fighting techniques are actually the easiest part. I mean, you already know how to hurt somebody,
don’t you? Even if you didn’t, you have a body. Take a few minutes and go explore yourself
and I’m pretty sure you’ll figure out all kinds of ways to cause pain and damage to
another human being. But hold on–we’re getting way ahead of
ourselves here. Before we talk about how to fight off bad
guys, we should figure out how to avoid bad guys. Preventing danger is the first and most effective
strategy in self-defense. That’s why almost every self-defense course
begins with the tried and true advice to pay attention to your surroundings. But you’re smart. You don’t need me to tell you that walking
alone at night in a bad part of town, counting your cash on the way to the liquor store,
so you can buy booze and go drink in the park until you black out is risky behavior. But what may be less obvious is that staying
at home behind locked doors with an abusive friend or partner is also risky behavior. So, how can a smart person like you do an
even better job of preventing trouble and avoiding danger? Answer—by not just paying attention to your
surroundings, but paying attention to how people treat you and how you feel. If you find yourself in a place or with a
person that makes you feel nervous and tense, my advice–make yourself comfortable. No, I don’t mean on the couch, all alone,
with your favorite blank. I mean everywhere and with everyone. That’s not so easy. As you know, the world can be a stressful
place. And let’s be honest—some of that stress
may be good for you. Stress can make you stronger and motivate
you to work harder. But some of that stress you feel is actually
an alarm. Your body is wired to warn you when it senses
trouble. The question is—are you listening? When your breath shortens, when your heart
speeds up, when your chest tightens, when you hear that little voice inside your head
say, “Hey, something is wrong here,” that is your body telling you that you’re facing
a threat on some level to your health, happiness, and safety. When that alarm goes off, either because you’re
in a place that makes you uncomfortable or with a person that makes you uncomfortable,
you must make it a habit to do or say something to get your comfort back. Don’t second-guess yourself. Don’t hesitate. Turn your intuition into action. This is a crucial principle in self-defense,
so I’m going to say it again—the longer you wait to make yourself comfortable, the
more pain and danger you’re going to experience. That’s true for toothaches, insults, or
punches to the face. The moment you sense something is wrong, the
second you feel trouble brewing, that’s the time to make your move. Take a minute to think about where you spend
your time. Where do you live? Where do you work? Where do you park your car? Where do you sit in a movie theater? Do you really want to get on the elevator
with those guys? Is this house party getting out of control? What are they doing with that goat? As a rule, don’t put yourself in positions
where you feel vulnerable. Cross the street, stand up, move your chair,
leave the room—do whatever you have to do, but always place yourself in a position of
power. Now, think about how people treat you. Do your friends value your time? Does your partner respect your feelings? Do your co-workers appreciate your efforts? Does someone in your family keep sticking
their thumb in your pie? Look—if someone is ignoring your feelings,
or shouting down your opinion, or bullying you in any way, end that relationship. You can walk away from a bad relationship
as fast as you can run out of a burning building. If you don’t, then you are allowing yourself
to feel uncomfortable. Feeling uncomfortable then becomes normal
for you. And that’s dangerous. Because if somebody suddenly slaps you, or
threatens your life, or pulls out a weapon, you won’t have the tools to stop them. You’ve not only trained everyone in your life
to treat you badly, you’ve trained yourself to do nothing about it. You must believe this—whatever you allow
into your life, you’ll usually get more of it. If you let people insult you, then bad guys
will find you and insult you. If you let people hurt you, then bad guys
will find you and hurt you. If you keep putting yourself in positions
where you feel weak and helpless, then you will become weak and helpless. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can change it. Every time you position yourself to feel strong
and capable, every time you say something to let people know that you will not be disrespected,
believe it or not, you are also preparing yourself for more serious threats to your
safety. Start right now. Train yourself to take control of high-risk
situations by taking control of low-risk situations. It took me a long time to figure this out,
but everything you do—and I mean everything–is either building a habit that will improve
your health, happiness, and safety or is building a habit to damage your health, happiness,
and safety. Like any muscle, decisive action and strong
words must be exercised regularly. Of course, it’s easy talk about taking action
and standing up for yourself, doing it is something else. That’s because there’s a problem here. The problem is you, my friend, are a good,
kind-hearted person and good, kind-hearted people don’t want to make trouble. They don’t want to make anybody else feel
uncomfortable—even if they’re being hurt. But let me ask you— why is it okay for someone
to make you feel uncomfortable, but it’s not okay for you to make that person feel
uncomfortable? Why is it okay for someone to cause you pain,
but it’s not okay for you to cause that person pain? Look—just because you’re kind and patient
doesn’t mean you should put someone else’s feelings ahead of yours. It’s the opposite. If someone is making you feel uncomfortable
and you tell them that they are making you uncomfortable, they SHOULD feel uncomfortable. Here’s why— Bad guys know they make you feel uncomfortable. Bad guys know that you won’t speak up for
yourself. Bad guys know that you would rather suffer
silently than do or say anything to make things feel awkward. In fact, they count on it! Bad guys need you to do and say nothing so
they can get what they want. That’s how they win. Otherwise, they wouldn’t waste their time
on you. But you can put a stop to all of that. Here’s a simple drill that I think can help. Find a mirror. No, not just to fix your hair, but to practice
speaking up for yourself. I know. It’s going to feel weird at first, staring
at yourself in the mirror, but think about it —if you can’t express your feelings
to yourself when you’re alone and there’s no pressure, then you probably won’t be
able to to express your feelings to a bad guy when the pressure is high, either. So, practice this. Face the mirror with your whole body, look
yourself in the eye, and say, “That’s not okay with me. I want you to stop that right now. Back up. Put your thumb in my pie and I’ll put my
thumb in your eye.” You get the idea. Now if you see yourself blinking too much,
or looking away, or tipping your head, or giggling, that’s okay. just try again. Practice until you feel the power behind your
words. Because if you don’t believe what you’re
saying, well, then nobody else will either. I recommend practicing in the mirror every
time you brush your teeth. It’s funny how we all find time every day
to fight off cavities, but we don’t find time every day to practice fighting off bad
guys. So, put down the brush, take a breath, and
say what you need to say. One important detail here—when you tell
someone how you feel, when you speak up for yourself, the other person may argue, but
they may also say nothing at all. You might suddenly find yourself trapped in
an awkward moment of silence. Good job! Don’t forget – the bad guys are trapped
in that same awkward moment with you. You surprised them. You didn’t act the way they expected you to. So, don’t be in a hurry to fill in that
silence. And don’t apologize. Definitely don’t apologize! You didn’t do anything wrong, they did. Apologizing is just like pulling a punch back—it
takes all away the impact. Instead, stand strong and let your words sink
in. If you have to repeat yourself, then say it
again. I know it may seem a little odd to connect
how you use your words with how you use your fists, but really, they’re just different
expressions of the same motives and emotions. Which means, if you can’t defend yourself
with your words when someone is insulting you to your face, how do you think you’re
going to be able to defend yourself with your fists when someone is punching you in the
face? How can you speak up if you always practice
being silent? How can you take action if you always practice
doing nothing? How can you make yourself comfortable if you
always let people make you uncomfortable? Make a pledge to yourself to be on guard against
anyone who doesn’t care about your comfort. Train everyone to understand what’s okay
and what’s not okay when they deal with you. Just to be clear, I’m not saying that every
time someone offends you that you should scream in their face or smash them over their head
with your laptop. You may choose to do nothing. You may choose to say nothing. You may choose to just walk away and move
on with your life. But that should be a choice, not a habit. As a fully empowered human being, you should
never feel that you only have one option, meaning you always walk away or you always
fight back. If you’re watching this video, the odds
are that you’re a nice person. That means you don’t have to practice being
kind, and patient, and understanding—I’ll bet you’ve already mastered those choices. What you need to work on is putting yourself
in strong positions and speaking up for yourself to let people know how you expect to be treated. All right. Let me wrap this up. By now, you should know that self-defense
is a lot more than just putting on workout clothes and hitting the bag for an hour. Self-defense is a psychological and emotional
journey. It’s a slow process of building up an arsenal
of empowering behavioral habits. If you truly want to maximize your safety
all day, every day, then you need to practice good self-defense habits all day, every day. Practice turning your intuition into action. Make yourself as comfortable as you can, as
quickly as you can, as often as you can. If you do that, I promise you–you will be
headed towards a healthier, happier, and safer life. Wait! One more thought. The real test of self-defense is not a body
count, it’s a smile. I believe a smile is your greatest self-defense
weapon. Wherever you go, whoever you’re with, whatever
you’re doing, can you find a smile? If you’re tense, if you’re nervous, if
you’re anxious, your body is telling you that something is wrong, which means you are
not in the optimal state to solve your problems and achieve your goals. And that’s true whether you’re dealing with
your boss, your family, or a killer. But when you turn your intuition into action,
when you make yourself comfortable, that’s when you’ll be relaxed, clear-headed, and
at the top of your game. That’s when you’ll have the best chance
of surviving and thriving. So, say what you need to say and do what you
need to do until you can find your smile. And once you find it, don’t let any place,
anything, or anyone take it from you. I’ll see you again in Lesson #2. Until then, let your smile be your shield
and your sword. Keep fighting for a happy life.


100 thoughts on “Self-Defense Basics: Lesson 1 – Make Yourself Comfortable!”

  • Hey, i need help. i cannot decide between taekwondo and karate. i really love flips and kicking, but my favorite culture and country is Japan not korea, and im going to japan, and i dont think there is taekwondo there. i just cant decide. i like both. but i like kicking and flips more than punching, but i know there is kicking in karate too. arghh. what do you think? taekwondo or karate

  • I wonder what would happen if you sprayed a potential attacker with a dense cloud of oxytocin? – nasal sprays of oxytocin apparently makes people more agreeable. Though I think too much could cause them to wet their pants. Meanwhile, the potential victim could take a nasal spray of vasopressin and go ape shit on them, as apparently vasopressin makes people more hostile. Though I think too much could cause you to shit your pants… which could work?

  • Cybernetic Synthesis says:

    I don't know Andy. What you say is common sense and in theory makes sense, but personally I lived by those standarts before and it made me rather miserable. The 'act on instinct', 'eye for an eye' attitude just made me a slave of my own primitive emotions. Feeding them wasn't a great experience for me.

    In the end one day I just said "stop, I don't give a shit anymore"; now whatever happens I just don't bother with it and don't want to spend even an ounce of energy thinking about what this guy said, or what that one thinks of me, or how to respond to that isult. In theory I should be a punching bag now, but in reality people just don't try to bust my balls anymore because there's like zero socks given from me and they feel it. It really helped me to focus on important things and enjoy lifetime more.

  • Hey Ando :D. I'm curious your thought on this Anime, the main character is martial artist, he was saying that boxing is incomplete sport and that its not same level as Martial Artist. Here a short video

  • The real Big shaq says:

    How do you get out of a headlock man no matter where I look I always find bad or useless information so plz make a video on that plz😳

  • "You want a piece of that (=me), you will have to deal with the whole thing!!!"
    That's a good sentence to practoce

  • Thats a very important life lesson along with self protection Sir. Not many martial arts teachers in my time taught me anything about being assertive and the value of self esteem. Glad you are different.:) Lots of love and respect. You rock!

  • You're covering some GREAT concepts here! Even if they're obvious or have been learned before, you present them in a way that is fresh for re-learning! Really valuable stuff!

    Be comfortable anywhere: So simple but I've never thought of that as a conscious intent.

  • My Originality Right Down the Toilet says:

    That thing about taking control is something I've done throughout my life by accident, and I eventually realized how useful it actually is, and how many times it's become back to help me. I can't overstate how necessary is for self-confidence and making people respect and "consider" (I can't think of a better word) your presence. This is great video, and is definitely priority number one.

  • Pedro do Paço says:

    you should ad one more advice – some situations of bullying are so, either complicated or the bully is in such a posititon, that standing up for yourself will cause more trouble. thus one must also train "the oportunist"! fighting back or standing for yourself must be Very Effective, thus "Enduring" and "Oportunist" is also very important

  • Thanks, Ando, your words made me think about how I carry myself rather than being completely passive all the time. I'll be looking forward to these lessons to further improve myself.

  • I agree a 100%. Awesome and wise video. Many conflicts is also created by not realising the danger before it's to late. Fx if a person acts and treat your like you put your hand down in boiling water. You will instantly pull out your hand and realise that was a dangerous or a stupid situation/person bc it hurts right away as an instant concequence. You learn from that and walk away.
    However we live in a world of politeness where people often show the best version of our selfes when we still are a stranger to you. But behind the surface can a person be like a boul of cold water with your hand in it waiting for a trigger or an exuse to turn on heat (knowingly or unknowingly) to make a boiling situation again.
    The heat gets turned on and warms up (slowly) but we now feel comfort by knowing the friendly cold water as a friendly relation and our hand can stay felling safe even after the heat is rising and eventually boil. Bad relationships or encounters works like boiling water that we know it is potentially dangerous or a stupid situation but only this time we chose to stay and let their hand be boiled every day by the heated friend/partner/family member ect. By not being a stranger anymore a tolerance for bad behavior can be build up to outlast or endure this issue with a false politness or believe it will be better in the future or some people believe they deserves this treatment and can never get anything else and still not realising the true reality around themselves and take action towards safety.

    So be boiled instantly we make the right choice by stopping and leaving to stay safe. Get warmed up to the same boiling point and staying bc of habit and denial of the danger…. What do we do about that when the long road of abuse or violence happens and people cant realise or admit to them selves that this bad situation and it needs to stop?
    I did not mean to make this in an entire topic. I was just trying to explain the water thing and now I am here rambeling :D.

  • Excellent video Ando! deserves a million like, your approach to self defense is unique but the smiling part is way difficult for me. I prefer the cold emotion-less face, thanks a lot my friend

  • Hiram Carmelino Mantino says:


  • Raccoon Ghost says:

    The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer Psalm 18:2

    The power of Christ can overcome anything.

    Good vid tho, God bless

  • I can't tell how glad I am to find your channel. I'm the widely known "nice guy" and always taken advantage of. I just can't never speak for myself. I also lack self confidence. Thank you so freakin much for this video!! Keep up the good work! Hope I can be a little bold from now on.

  • even thoguh practicing martial arts but yesterday got in fight ..lost my balance fallen down then got beaten up in eyes ,nose and lips.blackeyed now….lolzzzzzz.but only thing i didn't lose from heart or fear at all..

  • Taekwondoista says:

    This video is so deep. I wish my partner had this knowledge in his first marriage. I’m showing him this video!

    This information is very relevant and will save lives. By lives I also mean, good guys who suffer at the hands of bullies and the bad guys. I wish I could broadcast this in schools everywhere. Hmm. I know a high school principal. Maybe I’ll start there.

    Update: Yes! I just messaged him!!

  • Phôsphorus Musick says:

    Wow, that was such a valuable lesson. It's exactly what I have to deal with. Speaking up for myself… seldomly have I done it in the past. But I choose to grow and get better everyday. Thank you for inspiration.

  • Sharon Sampson says:

    I think we still have a great olfactory system only now it has become wired directly to the CNS and by passes the forebrain. We don't have a sixth sense we 'smell' that person behind us! And we react without being able to name those pheromones wafting off the bad guy determined to mess you up. The more you pay attention to your surroundings the more you'll be able to see, smell, hear just by practicing being AWARE! If you are like most people who have been practicing filtering out stimulus because we are just oh so 'topped off' with stress you are nothing more than a tasty treat for some bad guy.

    Each one of us has a threshold of stress. Once we reach that threshold, our brain will not allow anymore stress INTO our topped off stress tanks. That is why when a friend tells one that, 'hey, your wife is cheating on you…blah blah blah' you won't even entertain the thoughts, the evidence…that is right in front of your face. One has been seeing all the signs of betrayal yet not once cogitated the meanings. Too stressed out to take any more stress in so brain (not the fore brain the real brain) stops fore brain from thoughts that promote more stress. Situational Blindness.

    The trick is reducing your 'stress' level. Working out, back packing, running, walking, fishing! some sort of exercise ( lower your shoulders, learn to belly breathe again.)..Epiphanies happen when the stress level goes down to allow MORE stress to be cogitated! Stress reduction is like making credit card payments so you can BUY more…knowledge of the world around you. Otherwise, you do NOT see, hear, smell, taste or touch anything that will cause more stress because you are 'Topped Off'. And no, there is no science behind this other than the GAS (General Adaptation Syndrome) which is essentially the same thing.

    GAS is about thresholds of stress. When we are 'topped off' with stress, that next cup of coffee will act like a depressant and put you to sleep (try and explain this to the cops) and conversely a shot of whiskey will energize you. This is a 'proven' scientifically little acronym. GAS. I've just upped it a bit to include why the heck I didn't see my EX hubby and my BEST friend together for a decade. Nope not at all. Until a decade AFTER the divorce, riding my funky riding mower on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride mowing 4 voluptuous acres on a beautiful day, a small river on my property…was I ALLOWED to see the TRUTH.

    That was a wow moment, stopped the mower and all those pictures my brain took and I remember each and every picture, but wouldn't allow me to cogitate for 10 years after the divorce, came back to me to actually understand…….I KNOW had I been ALLOWED to see hubby and bobby…well, I would be in prison today (Like OJ Simpson SHOULD be)…grins. I would have become a killing machine and it wouldn't have been fast death, no siree. Needless to say, I watch my stress levels. And am
    militant about keeping stress levels down. What a horrible waste of life to work so hard! To feel such nauseating stress! Yet MOST of us are 'topped off' and although a little stress is critical to health, a lot will kill you.

    Anyway, had to put this out there for others to 'cogitate' without adding more stress? For those of you who think you know it all and are IN CONTROL of your life all I can say is LOL.

  • Sharon Sampson says:

    I had to listen a second time. Words were never spoken that were truer. It is a 'growth' process. Learning to love yourself takes work, pain and mistakes. Remember, the O2 mask goes on you first or you are useless to others. This is one of the videos I send to all my family and friends. Ando is one gnarly, brilliant teacher…being able to enlighten others via the internet is a very special skill!

  • Savanah Van Den Steen says:

    I want to thank you, sensei. You've opened my eyes to something new, and only now do i realize how bad the situation is getting. Thank you for inspiring me.

  • Great video, but I feel there's a step missing:

    Someone making you feel uncomfortable does not automatically mean that they're "the bad guy". Both sides are contributing to any (non-physically-violent) human interaction. Just because that gay couple kissing on the bus is making another passanger feel uncomfortable doesn't mean they're to blame for that.

  • wrtman pubg mobile best first person player says:

    Thank you its a nice vid I'm starting in kyokushin karate and I'm really comfortable in it I've started and it definitely has changed me not just physically but also in my life

  • This was quite a refreshing stance and something I didn't expect from a self-defense video, but actually what I find a hugely more valuable and impactful advice than anything else. I've never looked at it that way – but, from both my martial arts and just life experience, it's absolutely true, and totally should be a first step to start with! So thanks for deepening my view on it, really high quality content.

  • Wow i know this trick before i watch this video yesterday i have some problem with friends his so bad and i know this trick before watch this video :v

  • Yesterday saw a heated argument between two people entering the metro I was going to take. I dont know how it ended, picked the next one. I'm getting better at this self defense thing XD : )

  • KingKarateCHOP39 says:

    I’m about to restart my martial arts training tonight after allowing myself to give up and quit several years ago. I just found your channel today and it is awesome thank you very much for your time and effort!

  • i absolutely love these videos. i've started taking up self-taught martial arts(whatever i can scrounge up and study on youtube… and i mean STUDY) studying this ideo has enabled me to be generally happier, and more aware of situations that aren't good for me. thank you so much for these tips, i hope you never stop making them.

  • Kateřina Konečná says:

    Nice point about a smile: I think the nicest people are those with a smile in their eyes, with that spark of joy or something – maybe it is connected with the fact that they feel comfortable at that moment?

  • slapypenguins101 says:

    This video is so relevant especially to people with personality disorders who struggle with things which appear so simple.
    Thanks for the video.

  • Nellaivadivoo Vidhya Shunmugam says:

    One question on not paying attention to surroundings – staying home locked indoors and knowing that the self is in the process being hypnotized remotely or remotely influenced by unknown abusers…how to get oneself out in such situations

  • Tenebrous Lion says:

    In the school ground it was physical aggression. In business world it's covert insults and mind games. I've had duels with people in the work environments I'm in. It's like an energy battle. Positioning myself to not get stabbed in the back or for them to see I can be just as demeaning as they are. Sets them 10 steps back counting till 100 before trying anything. Seriously there are bad people in workplaces sometimes. I want to be nice but some you can be nice with limits and others you have to be strict with.

    Luckily we don't run into a lot of physical aggression in my area but I like to stay ready anyway. When you grow up you see the mind games preceding the physical bullshit. It's an energy game.

  • Lessons from this video. 1. Dont let anyone make you feel uncomfortable. 2. Speak up for yourself.

    Thanks alot 🙂

  • And then you have abusive parents so you can do nothing about it because they're strong af and literally trained to fight ;-;

  • Dayum, I’ve been practising self defence with my friends and this has helped so much! You might’ve saved me with this series! 😂

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