Guidelines for Choosing a Self Defense Course

Discussion in 'Women's Self Defence' started by KickChick, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Careful what you ask for ubermint, I know at least a few women that would probably leave you in a body bag. IMHO, you don't always word your posts very well, they often come off as disrespectful.

    Your idea of self-defense is valid, but your own wording defeats your own points. One example I use for women's self-defense is a pettite and drop-dead gorgeous Israeli woman I remember from almost two decades ago. She carried at least three very sharp custom made knives concealed on her body at all times as well as packed a gun or two, pepper spray, and took your self-defense classes and weapons training, and being a very decent shot. I suspect some very bad things had happened to her in her life before that.

    ubermint, how does she fit in your model of self-defense for women? I should tell you that she is not unique among many women in the martial arts that I know of that often have also become instructors themselves and teach other women.


    Hey KickChick, there is a very good reason why in this day and age one should seek training from a very good grappler. It does not have to be full time training, but at least enough to build experience with grappling.

    The reason is that grappling has become very popular, many attackers aren't totally unskilled these days, many of them know some grappling techniques, even if not formal training. The popularity of grappling means that it pays to know more than just a few escapes, it pays these days to know a bit about actual grappling too, standing and ground fighting.
  2. Pete Ticali

    Pete Ticali Valued Member

    Wow. no wonder the girls want female instructors!

    Hey guys, Chill out

    The truth be known, a good self defense program ( female or otherwise) requires a compliment of different components, and should never be based on one ideology or another.

    Every "type" of attack has its different levels, and although "floor" techniques in a womens program seems perfectly suited, it is no more suited than Awareness skills and verbal /physical intervention skills. When you narrow your focus you lose the big picture.

    Why not focus on the things you agree on.... You start by changing the subject to: who the hell does that Pete guy think he is anyway! LOL

    Just kidding..... Lets develope the perfect program and create a global network to deliver it!

    Pete Ticali
  3. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    I agree... as I said earlier, ubermint brought up some good points.
  4. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    Give the man a cigar!!! The important thing is safer women no matter how it's accomplished.

    Of course, it has to be delivered in 7, 15 and 20 hour versions with varying numbers of instructors and suitable for all sorts of students. :eek:
  5. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Yes, I have to say that Kick Chick has it justly noted.

    Reminds me of one of my few favorite books on the subject:
    "Protect Yourself" by Robert G. Barthol.

    His words and direct approach are grand, although some of his pictorial tactics could now be considered "antiquated".

    In my view, it is not enough to have a mere black belt or be a martial artist in order to teach self defense. But one has to research physchological, legal, and social studies in order to the best at self defense instruction.

    Our classes have a pyschologist, a lawyer, LEOs, partake. As well as our SD instructors attend manyseminars such as rape, social violences ie. road rage, assaulkt, domestic violence, etc.
  6. combatsci

    combatsci New Member

    I think a few simple basics for women's (actually anyone, though most women have different training issues then most men that should be considred) defense program:

    1. No BS. Self-defence employment is in the context of high risk life and death risk event. There are no secret, magic tricks or moves that allow an untrained person to instantly defeat a large, dedicated, intoxicated attacker who has made his attack because he has decided (probabyl correctly) already that he has an overwhemling advantage to succeed becuse of surprise, size, weapons, location, victim vulnerability. Most attackers women face (more so than men) are predators who have at least subconciously calcualted the success odds when choosing prey.

    Students (and instructors) need to constantlly remind themsleves, no training is going to make you into a Jet Li that allows me to defeat a dozen armed attacked that surpize me when I am carrying groceries in a dark alley in two feet of snow on cruches and my kids in tow--it does not even do it for Jet Li. It wil not ever make a 90 pound 40 year old women the equal to an armed 250 pound 18 year old. What it will do, however, is give you the skills that dramatically reduce the odds of an attack being launched or being successful. That is a wonderful thing, because as explaned below you only need to tip the odds a little bit (especially in attack probability) to travel the rest of your life without ever having a violent encounter--which what selfdefense is all about anyway.

    2. Focus on first things first.
    -Learned recognition and avoidance/remediation of vulnerabilities. While I understand the no fault concept, risk reduction is probably the single most effective way to minmize lifetime risk of attack or attack success. Furthermore, the most important skill in selfdefense, and one rarely taught, is active recognition/response to pre-attack behaivor. Many people, especially women, who are attacked had no idea of what was happening untill it was too late. Groundfighting is a good skill, critical infact, but the odds of successful defense fall dramaticly if your rcognition and response are not initiated untill you have been knocked down. This takes a lot of hard lecture and active practice to assimilate.

    -training to achieve undistractable focus. Again lots of tricks look so cool in the dojo, but evaporate instantly under the stress of a surprize encounter with an angry, violent assualt. Women generally have an elavated probability of panic reaction (on average men veer to fight or flight often with tunnel vision, women to freeze or submit). Beaing able to select and execute the right option strategically and tactically requires a calmness of mind under extreme stress. The way this is achived is significant attention to "hard" srtess encounter training (surprise sparing with large male assailiant). Often with incrasing stess levels (cursing, screaming, sudden loud noises and light, distraction objects placed or tossed at or about the trainee...)

    2. Teaching effective technical skills that are matched to the physicial skills of the trainee. THERE IS NO SINGLE MAGIC TECHNIQUE EXCEPT THE ONE THAT WILL WORK IN THE SITUATION OF THAT INDIVIDUAL. Sorry for screaming, but thius is hard for so many or the "my art is the only one school." People on both sides of the attack come in all sizes, strenghts, and other physical and mental skills. The methods geared to the trainees specific mix will work best.

    More technically, skills training should emphaize response risk magement. That is cultivating technique and execution that does not rely on rare planetary alignments. Response should assume that each component will work at best to 50% of the outcome you expect (ie your block will colloapse, you will lose partial balance in the kick and only glance, that punch will hit a heavy coat and do no harm...). Thus defense should be compound (move and parry and cover and attack and move off with cover). Tactics should mimize self injury risk (parry instead of hard blocks that are more likely to break your arm or collapese than block the strike). Attack should be targeted to highly exposed, certain stop/kill injury with the maximum success probability (eyes, neck/throat, finger breaks) and not rely on pain or stength. Avoid entaglement (submission holds, bars/locks, grappling), if you get the opponent vulnerable enough for those paths, then you should be executing directly disabling attacks. The longer you are physically engaged the more likely it is for something to go very wrong (it can only get worse) or their friends to show up.
  7. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    The strange thing about reading this thread, is the concept of how self defense was approached with myself and a scant few others in the same manner in the 70's.

    Dajavue but with some different wording
  8. migo

    migo New Member

    I'll try not to repeat what others have already said, I read through the whole thread and noticed some points I'd like to make that others haven't already.

    I have no clue where you get the idea that ground techniques have the lowest percentage of success, but you'll have a hard time convincing me that your opinion isn't just false. Second of all, the ground is a very likely place for a woman to find herself in a self defense situation, therefore it is irresponsible for any self defense program not to include viable grappling, even assuming they are low percentage, because low percentage of success is still better than no percentage of success.

    Umm, the point in grappling isn't to get the tap, it's to cause injury, if the guy doesn't tap, you go through with it, and they either have a broken bone, torn ligaments or they're unconscious (or maybe dead or paralysed depending on the hook). I don't get why people always bring the referree argument up, it's completely irrelevant.

    Maybe, some grapplers might not be good for teaching a self defense class, but in no case whatsoever would a credible grappler be the worst person to teach a self defense class, the worst person to teach a self defense class would clearly be a serial rapist or killer.

    It's still good to be able to win the fight, sometimes you gotta do that first to get away.

    If that were the case, then why is it that so many more women (who are in general smaller and weaker than men) are getting raped by men than vice versa? The (unfortunate) real world is very much bigger, stronger men raping smaller, weaker women.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2006
  9. Pete Ticali

    Pete Ticali Valued Member

    When you take your eye off the target......

    What you "POST" is possibly an Obstacle!

    Like most of the differences of opinion here (MAP), each opinion has at least some validity to it it.

    It would be foolish to confront the classic "strength vs. technique " issue, and in reality it would be endless. There are too many variables that are unique to the situation/victim/attacker... Lets all agree that these commodities are relevant and important.

    There are only three rules to the foundation of self defense.
    #1-Recognize the attack
    #2-Nulify the attack
    #3-Nulify the attacker

    It is my humble opinion that # 2 is dependent on #1; #3 is dependant on #1 & #2.

    The tools for proper self defense are many. They can and should include all potential "zones" which are a constant replay of #1, #2, #3

    Needless to say, One would not put themselves within "reach" of the attacker any more willingly then one would put themselves on the floor with the attacker, but as we all can agree this decision is generally not made by the victim ( although #1 assumes it should be)

    I am an advocate for KATA training, but I would never say it shouldn't be joined whith the chaos of sparring; nor would I say self defense courses should be run without practical application "engagement".

    Good martial Arts & self defense utilizes classic overkill. WE understand that the 30 techniques you know work out to:
    A)- the sh_t hit the fan...... you forgot half of them
    B)- of the half you have left..... only half apply to the situation
    C)- of the half you have left.. you find out the attacker doesn'y comply with the same reactions your uke did. (this means they didn't work)
    D)- Don't panic.... if you trained well the 4 or so that are left will get you home safe.

    As for me I teach Self Defense classes that begin with addressing Awareness and Assessment. This comes before any Action tasks.
    Action TAsks include: Immediate Retreat; De-Escalation; and Assertiveness/Confrontation .

    All of these adapt to issues of Environment, Characteristics of the threat, AND your Self-Assessment of your readiness to the situation. I also elaborate on the important Verbal & Non-verbal principles that might apply.

    After all of this.... we begin to adapt the "Self Defense". Teach every zone. Teach the full range of "Anatomical Tools" (my personal nickname for each part of the body thay can be used to inflict pain & suffering) and be sure to make it clear that there is no macho or "losing face" in a self defense confontation.

    You can never "react too quick. Rule #1 is key

    Nothing is more important than #2. The attacker has "intention" on their side. If you take it away, EVERYTHING changes.

    You have not finished the book until ALL chaters are done.(#3) Unless the attacker is deemed to be unable to continue or redeploy, your safety is not assured. This could be successful by their inability, or your retreat, or a combination of both. Standing around (even to gloat) is stupid

    Just my .02 folks; I've acquired enough gray hair in my martial arts career (since 63) so it at least works for me LOL

    Pete Ticali
  10. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    A very valuable .02 cents worth Pete!

    Thank you!
  11. gogok.k

    gogok.k Valued Member

    Well guys, I think for women that wanto fight/learn indeep training is highly-valueble towards their self-defence skills! Sorry if this part partially on topic, I myself/best mates have started a training movement, on physical drills, kata, Boxing and street deffence, majority of members are male, and thou I have asked lots of women, still most aren't keen?
  12. Indie12

    Indie12 Valued Member

    You shouldn't use Mixed Martial Arts in a Women's Self-Defense class, its ineffective!!

    I would add offer realism in your class. For example put your students through both non weapon and weapon simulated attacks with someone wearing a full padded suit. Let your students get a 'sense' of real stress and real threat in a controlled environment. That's what we do.

    Also, realism in weather? (Ice, snow, rain)

    And going to the ground, what are the dangers? Is it the best option? Ground fighting is absolutely the LAST option anyone should choose.

    And Legal use of force is always a must!!
  13. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    How is mma ineffective ?
  14. FunnyBadger

    FunnyBadger I love food :)

    Because of gloves and glass and friends and weapons and lava and it doesn't teach t3h d3adly str33t l3thalz
  15. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    So what do you do if you find yourself on the ground?
  16. FunnyBadger

    FunnyBadger I love food :)

    Get up?
    Stop drinking?
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  17. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

  18. raaeoh

    raaeoh never tell me the odds

    My wife does mma. She is very effective on putting the hurt down. Situational awareness, and the law are always good to know as well.
  19. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    But isn't MMA a combat sport? Is it a fad thinking that it is ultimate fighting with the misnomer that it is self defense?

    As for "da ground":

    Yes, learn tactics to fight on the ground, (especially to get up) but should emphasis be placed upon not getting down there in the first place?
  20. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    The best people at avoiding being thrown are those who can do the throwing

    Most "anti-grapple" systems are marketing hype and offer zero of substance. If you want to get good at avoiding grappling you need to grapple

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