Rob Pincus

Trained Response for Self-Defense

Rob Pincus
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Duration:   4  mins

When it comes to self-defense skills, you practice them in order to be able to execute and apply them when most needed. Rob Pincus explains the O3R theory, which helps you to understand the best way to envision yourself being able to use these learned responses for self-defense in the middle of an incident, especially when it’s an unexpected self-defense event.

Understanding how you’ll be able to apply your skills will also help inform how you should train to develop your skills. Make sure you’re not isolating performance but that you’re developing the ability to apply your skills. The O3R model should help with your self-defense training and practice.


The first thing that happens in an event is an observation. Some stimulus comes in to the body. It could be a tactile, visual, or auditory stimulus. The observation may be something you’re paying attention to or it may be something outside your area of focus and startles you, which is the worst-case scenario.


This step is often left out by people who believe they will move directly from Observation to Recognition. Rob believes this is a mistake and that the Reaction phase definitely occurs, especially in events where people are startled, and should be integrated into your practice. These natural reactions can include lowering the center of gravity, moving the hands up, closing the eyes, and the heart rate elevating.


This means recognition of what you need to do.


Once you recognize what you want to do based on the observation, you respond appropriately based on your training.

Understanding how to put your learned trained skills into practice is a big part of getting ready for a self-defense event.

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