Defense in a Car

October 08, 2007 by Vladimir Vasiliev  

We'd like to get you familiar with this most essential self defense topic, and here is the first preparation glimpse into the CAR FIGHT DVD.

Professionals in this line of work know that dangers associated with a car can be divided into 3 categories.

Car Fight film deals in great detail with each one of these 3 types of threat:
- Accidents
- Criminal Activity
- Terrorism




Car Fight gives you the following:
- Intellectual skill - important information you must have to survive
- Physical skill - how to act and prevail and,
- Psychological skill - controlling your fear and panic

Imagine you are being chased and you have to run to your car as fast as possible...
or the light in the parking lot got switched off suddenly...
and what if you were hit from behind, your head is spinning but you have to open the car door before it is too late...
moreover, you have a child with you that you have to put into the car as well...

Possibilities like these are numerous and real, and could happen to any driver or passenger.

During extreme stress, the simple action of opening a car door from the inside or outside of your own car can become next to impossible to perform. In these situations, as you may know, two major things happen to us physically and psychologically. On one hand, our hearing, vision and awareness become extremely limited, to the extent that we can not see the door of our own vehicle. On the other hand, our fine motor control becomes totally inadequate, so that we are no longer able to coordinate any small movements, to the point of not only being unable to pull out the key and unlock the car but even being incapable to finding the door handle on the inside of our own car...

We have to recognise that everything that seems to us plain and ordinary, changes totally in the face of a threat to our life.

Based on their crime prevention and combat experience, Systema instructors suggest for anyone wishing to enhance their survival skills to practice some useful drills. Here are a few that are just a tiny sample of what is coming up to your screens...

1. Try to open your car door from the outside in one movement, at speeds higher than your usual. Have a go at using your right hand and then your left, place your hands at different grips of the door handle, practice some uncomfortable grips. Then try all that with your eyes closed. Your will realize how much you rely on vision and thus how vulnerable these simple actions become when you are under stress.

2. Next practice opening the car door from the driver's seat and from the passenger's seat moving a little faster than usual and using different grips. Then go though the same movements with your eyes closed. (Training with the eyes closed has a stronger psychological effect).

3. Try to enter your car from the driver's door and exit though the passenger's door and vise versa. You will quickly realize that you do not have a good functional knowledge of your body or of your car, especially when you attempt to do it with your eyes closed. This drill would be helpful if for example your vehicle door was blocked by a criminal car on one side.

4. During a road accident, the front of the car may be smashed and the driver may have to escape though the back door, or if the driver is hurt a passenger from the back seat may have to make his way to the front. Therefore, practicing to move from the front to the back seats and vise versa is also useful with eyes open and then closed.

5. As an example from specialized Russian military training, you can also try the following exercise. One person throws a small object such as a rock into an open car window and at that moment his partner has to leave the car instantly. Of course, you understand that in combat situations that small object would be a grenade or tear gas pack. The skill of instant escapes has also saved lives when a car is rolling downhill into the water or off a cliff.

6. If you wish to make your training more serious, you can make a roll out of a car or escape and assume a certain position of readiness for further action. Konstantin shows that exceptionally well in the film. When soldiers did this drill they had heavy ammunition and weaponry on, they had to jump out of various vehicles in the right way to avoid being shot at, to be ready to open fire at once, or to find cover.

As for a setting more familiar to most of us, this happened very recently in the city of Moscow. A young woman was being kidnapped. She was shoved into the back seat and the aggressor put the doors on automatic lock and drove off heading out of the city...

After the initial shock, the woman was able to pull herself together and acted decisively. She figured out that the front seats in this car reclined manually and when the car stopped at a red light she was able to reach for the recline lever of the driver's seat and quickly pulled it up. The assailant fell back with his seat and she grabbed his throat and began to choke him with her bare hands. It was completely unexpected for the man, plus he ended up in an extremely uncomfortable position so could not really fight her off so the struggle lasted enough time for the light to turn green.

The cars behind started signaling, people in the car near by saw some serious commotion and rushed over to their car. The criminal got scared by the people banging at the car windows and he unlocked the doors. The woman escaped. He took off, but she was alive and unhurt.

As Major Komarov stated in Car Fight: "There are no inescapable situations, just unescaping people." What you just read is a fraction of what is coming up to your screens. In this film Vladimir and Konstantin will show you how to survive...

More Car Fight instructional drills to follow...  

Vladimir Vasiliev Born in Russia, Vladimir Vasiliev received intense combative training and profound Systema training from Mikhail Ryabko. Vladimir moved to Canada, and in 1993 founded the first school of Russian Martial Art outside Russia - Systema Headquarters.

He has since personally trained and certified well over 700 qualified Russian Martial Art Systema instructors and schools in over 40 countries worldwide, and has produced an Award-Winning instructional film collection. Vladimir holds a number of government medals and awards including the Russian "Order of Duty and Honor" and the "Order of Loyalty". He offers regular training at his school in Toronto, at international seminars and camps, and through the Systema Video Program.