Being assaulted or threatened with violence is terrifying. With the right training and mindset, there are ways to survive, or even better, avoid these encounters. But I cannot stress enough that you should be very critical of any “survival tactics” by social media sensations like Detriot D.U.S.T.
Most of us spend way too much time on the internet and it’s likely that you have seen something about Detroit D.U.S.T. He is a social media sensation that shows people how to “use intelligent options to increase your survivability.” Commander Brown certainly looks the part with his tactical gear and the fact that he comes from the mean streets of the Motor City. A number of celebrities, online influencers, and local news outlets have featured this guy.
He is also incredibly controversial within the martial arts community, and the majority of respected practitioners have labeled his stuff as pure bullshit.
Here are two clips from his YouTube channel that show how to survive a carjacking if your assailant has either a knife or a gun.
For those of you who are watching those vids and thinking “Yeah I could probably do that,” let’s be very clear, you are not John Wick and real life does not work like this. If you find yourself in a similar situation and try these moves there is a high likelihood that you will get seriously injured or killed.
I have been training in martial arts since I was about nine years old. I am not an expert in surviving carjackings, but I have trained in a variety of different styles and I can tell you that what separates what “will work” versus what “will not work” has little to do with the style or technique and has everything to do with what is called “pressure testing.” To have real effectiveness a technique must be able to be executed on a resisting opponent.
The reason why combat arts like boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are proven to work is that you are regularly trying to punch someone who is punching you back, or grappling someone who is actively trying to do the same to you. That crucible of pressure testing separates the nonsense from reality. Furthermore, if you want any technique to work in a real-life situation, under stress, you must have drilled it hundreds of times so that it becomes muscle memory.
In the videos above the “assailant” offers very little resistance and appears to just give up the weapon at will. This isn’t a self-defense demonstration, this is “cooperation” amongst both parties.
Here is an example of a Detroit D.U.S.T knife disarm. Look how easy he takes the blade away from the “attacker”
Here is an example, of a knife defense with a resisting opponent.
That looks a lot messier and the unfortunate reality is that there will be a good chance that if you tangle with someone with a knife, you are going to get cut.
If you are looking for some tips on how to deal with a carjacking, or even better prevent a carjacking from happening at all. Check out these videos below
Notice that the core advice is to use awareness, avoidance, and verbal negotiation to survive these scenarios, not “lighting fast” hand movements.
When it comes to self-defense, everyone must approach this with a high level of critical thinking, and that can be difficult to do if you don’t have any previous training. The key thing to remember is that many random violent encounters can be avoided with a level of situational awareness that does not take an extreme amount of time to develop. If you decide to train in a martial art for self-defense, make sure the school gives you an opportunity to pressure test what you have learned so you can perform the moves under stress.