If you watch animals fight, they fight to their utmost because they know that a loss means—death. No matter their injuries, no matter their pain, they do not surrender. After the fight, the winner will probably be seriously injured. As the effects of the adrenaline rush fade away, the pain of the injuries will intensify, but the winner cannot relax. He or she must retreat to safety, lick the wounds, and get back to business of survival. After you have fought a tough street self-defense battle, you also must retreat to safety and lick your wounds so you may get back to the business of life.
First aid training is not just for the times you must treat others, sometimes it is for treating yourself. All fire fighting personnel, police officers, and military personnel get first aid training, not just to treat others, but so they may treat themselves when needed so they may get back into the battle and do their job. All black belts should be qualified in first aid.
By first aid, I do not just mean just basic first aid, such as CPR, stopping bleeding, splinting breaks, treating minor cuts, etc., I also mean battle field first aid, the type of would you would need in combat. Nowadays, a self-defense situation may not only involve the fists, pipes, chains, and knives of the past, but the firearms and even explosives of the present. Nowadays, first aid may have to include gunshot wounds, sucking chest wounds, exposed guts, missing limbs, etc. You may not only have to deal with these types of wounds on others, but also on yourself. If you are to survive a self-defense attack, even one you win, you not only must ignore your injuries during the battle, you also must be able to lick your wounds afterward and get on with your life.
In an empty-hand street battle, even if you are the winner, you will get hit hard and often before the battle is over. If a knife is involved, you will get cut. If a gun is involved, someone will probably get shot. During the combat, you will probably not realize you are injured, but after the battle, after the effects of the adrenaline rush fade away, the pain will come.
Most martial arts schools train for "Pil Sung" (certain victory), but they do not train for the aftereffects of victory. In a tournament, the aftereffects of victory are rejoicing and receiving praise. In a street battle, victory means getting to safety to check yourself for wounds, treating the wounds quickly, and then, either getting away safely, or preparing to take on the next attacker. During sparring, if you are hurt, you raise your hand, the fighting stops, and you are protected and treated by others. In a street battle, if you are hurt and show it, the attacker will pounce on the hurt area with a vengeance. In addition, there is no one else to protect you and treat your injury. You must fight the through pain no matter the severity of the injury, if not you may never be in pain again.
After a street battle that involves knives or shots being fired, even if you are the winner, immediately check yourself for wounds. A clean, though deep, cut may not have much pain, but you may bleed to death quickly. A .22 caliber bullet hole is small and may not even be noticed or felt for a few minutes, but if it pierces a vital organ, you may go into shock and die quickly. Rub and press your hands over every part of your body from head to toe. Blood on a hand or a sharp pain from a press may indicate a serious injury. If shot, also check for an exit wound.
Prepare yourself for what you must do after losing a street battle, but also prepare yourself for the possible results of a victory. First aid courses are available from your local Red Cross or community college. Many businesses make courses available to their employees. If unable to take a course, many web sites have first aid information.