By Mike Suyematsu

Hello to everyone out there in Hybrid Fitness land!  My name is Mike Suyematsu and it is my honor to be your guide into the world of self protection strategies. First of all, I need to clarify my position as we go forward. I consider myself a life long student of Martial Ways and Self Defense. My goal is to bring you the lessons I have learned at the feet of Masters, mixed with my own experience.

Hopefully you will all benefit in some way from my obsession with what really works in the streets. I will share with you what I have learned to avoid, evade and escape danger, We will also look at physical options if evading,  avoiding and defusing fail to do the job.

I will detail the lessons I have learned about what you must prepare for mentally and emotionally to deal with a real hostile threat.

I will show you what I believe are the best methods of defense. Purpose driven weapons, improvised weapons and natural or unarmed weapons for self protection / self defense.

You will also learn about use of force or appropriate levels of what you may legally do in response to verbal or physical confrontation. Force must always parallel danger.

I will recommend books, DVDS and training that will educate and prepare you for what you must do to protect yourself and those you love.

Let’s get started…

We will begin with mental preparation. We know the mind controls the body, so without mental preparation, awareness skills or what I am calling “Active Awareness” you will not be prepared to do anything physically.

My first book recommendation is “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin DeBecker. It is a must read by anyone interested in self defense. It teaches us to listen to the intuitive signals in the brain that help warn us about danger. I just got the Kindle version off Amazon the other day. I got my first paperback copy 12 years ago as part of a reading list assigned by Tony Blauer in his Personal Defense Readiness Program.

Speaking of Tony Blauer, my next recommendation is his Mental Edge Audio CDs. They are full of incredible information and form the basis for much of what we will be doing here in the future. Cruise over to if you want to pick those up.

Most of the time folks get the wrong idea about what true self protection really is. They think that the physical techniques they may have seen in movies or on TV or even You Tube are what they need to know to protect themselves and or their families. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Real self protection skills begin by listening to your own intuitive radar. This is not some weird voice from beyond, but rather an inborn gift, traceable back to our primitive ancestors. If you do your homework and read or listen to DeBecker and Blauer, you will already be light-years ahead  of the average person out there who just believes that bad things always happen  to someone else and that it could never happen to them…

I will return to the subject of intuition later, but for now I ask that you do some homework and I will move on to how to cultivate a more active awareness both internally and externally.

Now back to the mental side of self protection or what I call “active awareness.”  Let me state again, In order for you to defend yourself physically, you must be engaged mentally. The term “awareness” can be applied to your awareness of what is going on outside you in your environment and also what is going on inside your mind, INTERNAL ACTIVE AWARENESS.

Back in the 70’s I read a book entitled “Zen Karate” by Randall Bassett. His approach to the mental side of fighting included some unique ideas on what he called using self-presence in the face of a threat. According to Mr. Bassett, one has to be aware what he described as negative subconscious “tapes” which tend to sabotage your efforts to take action. His examples include “tapes” like, ” This is going to be bad!” or ” You don’t have what it takes!”

You will no doubt have your own way of talking to yourself, the important thing is to listen to how you talk to yourself. Monitor your mind content and when you are defeating yourself, counter and overcome your negative thoughts with positive or productive thoughts which motivate you to move forward and deal with the challenge in front of you.

More soon…

Mike S.

P.S. I should mention that my good friend and co-conspirator here in hybrid fitness land, Liam Bauer, Is also an expert in the world of self protection skills and has been an Instructor for at least 15 years that I know of.  Liam teaches from the heart and has personally instructed hundreds of people throughout the years on how to defend themselves. We will tap into his considerable knowledge, insight and experience as we progress . We’re extremely lucky to have him as resource here on the subject of self protection.  Years ago I attended one of Liam’s classes with my oldest daughter. It was a truly eye opening experience.  I will write more on this later, but if you ever have a chance to attend one of Liam’s Full Power classes, jump on