Ideas for SD demo for abused women

Discussion in 'Women's Self Defence' started by Remi Lessore, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    You have seriously just asked that?

    Good for you and I mean that but I still question the fact that you hadn't heard of it, as someone who is involved with SD I would expect you to be aware of such things in one way or another, even if you didn't teach it I would have thought you'd be familiar with literature or other systems that use it.

    No they won't, not unless your mannerism is such that you make it seem flippant. Also you might want to get into the habit of changing your language.
  2. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    I've made the odd enquiry and have got the following back.

    Ideally the shelter should brief you about exactly what it is they want from you, there's a good chance the attendees have been hand picked, I assume that's for their safety.

    Watch what you are doing with chokes and blows to the ribs, body etc, I assume this is related to the triggers I previously mentioned.

    In short ensure you have an active two way dialogue with the shelter.
  3. Adrastia

    Adrastia Valued Member

    I post very seldom but this is a topic i understand. I have experience w/DV-SA survivors, both re: self defence and crisis work. Many posters have added good information and I respect their contributions.

    This group is not focused on general safety issues. They face specific dangers and threats from specific individuals: they may be stalked or may see the abuser in court, over child custody, at work. He may come to see them, demand (or cajole) access and contact. How does the shelter help them handle these encounters or what does the shelter teach them to practice to avoid and eliminate contact? You really need to know this. Are the women able to practice these strategies consistently?

    Pre-class session:
    who will attend? are they self-chosen or will a large group be there?
    Ideally, a smaller group of women who request this session make up your class. In a classroom, without equipment, your physical activities are limited.

    what is the goal (for the centre)? this may differ from your goal or the participants. It is reasonable to have a limited goal that is _not_ based on complex physical technique. An example would be that each woman identifies 3 specific behaviors/actions that will increase her safety (these may be reinforcing-expanding something she already does and adding 1 or 2 new behaviors).

    Will counselors/staff participate or be present? This can be crucial if any woman reacts severely: dissociate or flashback to a violent experience.
    How will you handle intense emotional responses in participants? Can you recognize these? Can you talk with staff etc. about what will happen after you leave?

    How are your rapport-building skills? You will have a brief time w/group and women often process interactions differently. Building rapport/trust takes time can be challenging.

    During session:
    work in a seated circle rather that stand in front. Use a easle and paper if you need to write things large. introduction are important but allow women privacy. be brief and direct about your motivation and experience. And talk about your respect for their participation and willingness to be there.
    Have a clear signal-word the women can use to 'pass' on answering questions or activity that are too much to manage at that moment: later, invite them to give it a try, but don't press hard. let them decide what they can take on.

    One valuable way to begin is to ID all the things they currently do to increase safety and avoid contact with abuser. They have coping skills and practices they already use. Can you recognize and re-inforce the successful ones?
    Inventory these-don't evaluate (write them all down). Then assess - what works for some may not work for all. Add some NEW ideas from the group and your own. Pose some questions "if Joe comes to your apartment and shouts and kicks the door to make you let him in, what can you do? what do you do now?" "if Joe tells you he still cares and will make it all up to you" what can you do?

    Does the shelter work on these situations? You can add strategies for physical stance, posture, visual observation of the abuser (increasing likelihood of violence). Helping them with concrete techniques for maintaining breathing and physical control while under extreme stress/fear.

    Women are often taught to disregard and ignore 'gut feelings' as being paranoid. Learning to take direct action is a way of using those 'gut feelings' in constructive ways. Can you verbally recognize the value of listening and ACting on gut feelings in helpful ways. (See Gift of Fear, Gavin de Becker)

    Refusing to allow the abuser into their house and refusing to get into conversation (phone, e-mail etc) are powerful steps for the survivors, especially if they are regularly accused of being 'bitch, mean, hard-hearted'.
    Verbal manipulation is the single most powerful tool abusers use to keep access to physical contact with survivors - and if they can get physical contact they use violence to subdue them.

    Keeping distance/establishing a 'boundary' (hands up in front) is a powerful technique - tho most people don't think of it as one. This is one 'technique' that you can demonstrate and have them practice.

    And the value of 'break contact - get to safety immediately'.

    I have great appreciation for all who have contributed here.
    Please accept these suggestions as contributions that have been helpful for me in my experience. I'd like to hear from others about these.

    with respect, A
  4. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Excellent post, thank you.
  5. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Wow! Hitting thanks is not enough in this case. That was one of the best responses I have EVER seen on MAP. :happy::star::star::star::star::star: Well done!
  6. Saved_in_Blood

    Saved_in_Blood Valued Member

    Your SEXIST!! lol

    No, but seriously... I think anyone who has been abused would benefit more from psychological help first... have all of these women had any help or anything like that? It's hard to get anyone abused over that and the idea in their head that they can hurt their attacker. It's such a universal thought that the little woman can't hurt the big bad man.
  7. Adrastia

    Adrastia Valued Member


    i appreciate the support/thanks from MAP folks
    and I hope we can keep the conversation going. kind of overwhelmed.

    for those who thanked, what did you think was useful or
    on-target? Did this connect with how you organize your classes
    in SD for women and girls? is there material here you can use or
    would you have to change your approach to do this?

    please don't let this stop here. I'm interested in your thoughts.

    And I hope we hear from Remi too. I'd like to know what he's
    learned about the shelter and the class.

    I use much of this approach with all classes for women and girls
    - in any class we will have survivors of more severe
    abuse or assault. And most women have already developed
    some kinds of ways to keep themselves safer, lots that men don't really notice because
    these are indirect or 'invisible' or maybe look
    silly or strange to others (teen girls staying in groups).

    Physical techniques/skills are very important and help most
    if the women are also examining and changing the ways they've
    been taught to think and behave. But it is often hard to do this.

    Physical skills help change our minds as well as our physical capacity
    to be effective. It's surprising and sometimes scary.

    anyway - thanks to the thankers and please post more.
  8. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Some time ago, I was invited to a abuse/battered, rape session. The director wanted to get some idea for SD.

    The first thing to keep in mind, these women who attend, may not desire a outsider (let alone a male) come into their circle

    They have a lot of hardship or mental issues/scars

    The second thing to keep in mind, is throw out a large portion of martial artsy

    The last, most important thing, do not go into it without at first studying other areas in minimum;
    Criminal Behavior
    Domestic Violence

    It drives me bonkers when people, with martial art background tend to believe this is the sole or main requirement for SD of any sort
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  9. Remi Lessore

    Remi Lessore Valued Member


    Thank you Adrastia.
    You are exactly who I wanted to here from when I posted the question. I have some experience with this demographic, but as you realised, very little in this context.
    I am formulating an email to the shelter based on your questions.
    I will let you know what answer I get either here or in PM.
    As I am in France with no WiFi (as I had feared) and can only tether, I may wait until next week.
    Again, thanks.
  10. Remi Lessore

    Remi Lessore Valued Member

    Thanks Dean.
    Please excuse my previously tetchy answer.
  11. Remi Lessore

    Remi Lessore Valued Member

    Private message

    I have sent you a serious of PMs. They need to be looked at in reverse order (i.e. oldest first.)
    Thanks again,
  12. Adrastia

    Adrastia Valued Member

    private messaging

    Simon? other mods? Remi?

    I don't seem to be able to send pm back to Remi. Am i missing something?

    I think I can respond to his messages in the thread but I will check with him
    via e-mail.

    thank you for your help.
  13. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    It's because you need a minimum post count before your PM service is activated.

    Given that you've been here a few years and the information given in this thread I'll activate it for you shortly.

    Edit. PM service should now work. let me know if you have any problems.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  14. Remi Lessore

    Remi Lessore Valued Member

    contact sets sent by pm

    contact sent
  15. Adrastia

    Adrastia Valued Member

    thanks for help

    Thank you Simon - pm working fine, I appreciate your quick help.

    Remi - sending e-mail. again thanks.

    Shall we keep this going on the thread? Maybe it would be helpful
    to MAPs who teach women, both in SD and MA.? My experience is that
    the women/girls needing to develop psych and physical SD capacity are
    uncomfortable in classes and leave, not really knowing why.
    And I'm sure of the positive intentions of the majority of SD/MA instructors.
    Most of them (you) want to help women be successful but aren't sure how to do this, other than repeat what they/you do when teaching/working with other men. understandable completely.
    w/respect A
  16. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Per my post #68

    Victims have a hard time whenever the opposite gender comes in to help

    Not only is the level of confidence and trust diminished, but also somewhat of hatred, blame, rancor, etc, can manifest.

    If the opposite gender plans on having a SD demo/class, there should be weeks of familiarity of the class and people before any SD physical methods

    In other words, let everyone get comfortable, which may take some time

    To reiterate, I think one has to take OTHER courses BEFORE conducting any SD class/curriculum
  17. Remi Lessore

    Remi Lessore Valued Member


    Hannibal I can see it could be a useful tool and is no doubt for police and military. But the MPS teaches two levels of risk (high and unknown) and in 9 years of KM l hadn't heard it. So i doubt if it is SOP in the IDF since this is where my trainers originated their knowedge.
    NB I'm not dismissing it. Just not where I would start with this client group.
    These people have been dragged through the red so hard and fast that doubt they have the same parameters as police and military.

    Adrastia has given me some pointers and literature and if they suggest I use it, I will.
  18. Hannibal

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

    Look at Geoff T and Pete C's work - that was my first introduction and it is very much "civilianized"

    The original Color Code was "shoot/no shoot" states and it was tweaked and modded for intro into the mainstream where most don't even own a gun let alone have kill decisions to make

    Have you read "Streetwise"? It has an idea of how to use it
  19. Remi Lessore

    Remi Lessore Valued Member

    Thomson and consterdine

    I've read some Thompson, no Consterdine.
    I'll take a look.
  20. Matt F

    Matt F Valued Member

    It drives me bonkers too. I don't really see why martial arts or SP should have anything to do with the situation. Maybe a bit harsh but surely they should be seeing trained physcologist or professionals related to what they have been through who can build their confidence and Self esteem and help them out of the situation,rather than someone showing them how go escape a wrist lock or whatever.

    The truth they need to be told on the physical side is that there are no quick fixes for dealing with physical violence and that if they want to enhance that area they should be trAining regularly in some kind of full contact martial art and hAve it explained to them how these fundamentals and this way of training can be carried over into being useful in the physical,human movement aspect of SD situations.They should try to understand the intensity and chaos and how anearobicaly debilitating real violence is. To be fair they might know that already from their own situations.....maybe they have seen more than most SP instructors have. But that intensity and chaos is the level they or anyone needs to aim for......they need to fight back with more intensity and violence than the attacker. That takes time and work and training and maybe some will never be able to or its not something they want to do, but it's better they know than having false confidence.
    I reiterate I am talking there about the physical, fundamental human movement side of SD.

    Maybe it's worth questioning also why women should train different than men. I bet woman trAining with men, doing the same training, sparring men, drilling with men or whatever would benefit more than doing some kind of watered down girly training. I can see the need for women only classes but not special should be the same as what men do.
    If it was true that there was a special easier ,way that a women could deal with a man trying to physically harm them ,then any man with any brains would do the same thing and make it easier too. It doesn't make sense to create a separate thing in terms of content.
    Just like if men are abused or bullied or threatened ,they would benefit taking the same steps or kind of things women would and what Adrastia talks about.

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