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The top focus of Viam Chao is on practical self-defense. The street is without rules, unlike the sporting aspects of martial arts. Therefore, it is important to incorporate applicable techniques and strategies first for street defense, and train for sporting second. Primary targets are typically going to be areas that are off-limits inside a controlled environment (eyes, groin, throat, joints). Techniques that are barred from competition will also make an appearance here, such as biting, gouging, small joint manipulation, etc.

Self-defense also focuses on different strategies than would be utilized inside a competition. Below is the order of operations, chronologically. This is called Threat Assessment and Response.

  • Avoid - awareness and the ability to avoid situations comes first.
  • De-escalate - if avoidance is not an option, deescalating violence is the objective.
  • Fight - if the above is not an option, violence is then utilized.
  • Escape - violence is used to facilitate extradition of yourself from a situation.

Most techniques taught to facilitate street self-defense are going to be strikes and grappling, compliance techniques, locks, throws, and sweeps (as well as weapons use). Wrestling on the ground is only used to return to the feet unless it is safe to be on the ground (one-on-one).