Main Aims of Womens Self Defence

Discussion in 'Women's Self Defence' started by Melanie, Oct 31, 2003.

  1. Melanie

    Melanie Bend the rules somewhat.. Supporter

    I personally consider these to be not just what to do when your are being attacked but preferably how to avoid being attacked in the first place. Teaching people self awareness and how not to look like a victim.

    Are their any other interpretations you would like to add to this also?

    The actual "act" of self defence aside :)
  2. Saz

    Saz Nerd Admin

    Awareness is key, not just self awareness, but an awareness of the situation around you. Assessing potential problems, avoiding dodgy looking areas, things like that.

    Using things around you as a weapon. Like KC mentioned in the "everything is a weapon" thread, using credit cards, nail files or keys.

    How to deal with the aftereffects too. Like what exactly you should and shouldn't do after you're attacked. Many women will bath immediately after being attacked, which can wash away key evidence.

    Good post Mel
  3. Mrs Owt

    Mrs Owt New Member

    I frankly think too many women's self defence courses concentrate too short a time on too many techniques which are promptly forgotten as they walk out the door or are rendered useless by the mere fact they weren't practiced to a proficient level. That being said, making women aware that in many cases an attack can be avoided or lessened by being very verbal with their attacker. Depending on the circumstances, making yourself very human to the attacker rather than just an object or victim may go a long way in diffusing a situation. If you react like a victim you will be treated as a victim. Talking to an attacker during an attempted abduction or rape can confuse or confound your attacker. They want, especially in rape, you to be scared - it is a power thing.

    I think very often the most important things taught in a self-defence course are 1) don't be there 2) don't try to protect 'stuff' - just give it to them 3)don't give up.

    I know this sounds very simplistic and of course every scenario is different, but most self-defence courses are simplistic and very often leave women feeling empowered by 'techniques' rather than cultivating self-protective behaviours.
  4. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    The thing that most people don't understand is that 6 week long SD courses will not make you physically proficient enough to defend yourself.

    Believing that the 3 wrist locks and eye gouges you learned will save you in any situation is merely misleading yourself, although generates a level of self-confidence which makes you look slightly more formidibale, and therefore less of a target to the dregs of society.

    These 6 week courses should be more classroom based and role-play based than 'Martial Artsy'. The should include threat assessment, awareness and precautionary tactics.

    How many of these courses teach young ladies what to do when travelling alone? Entering a strange bar alone? Driving home from work?

    The majority, most nada.

    Self defence, is a miss guided term, in the Scottish Self Protection Group we prefer that term, 'Self Protection'. Protection implies long standing safe guards, defence implies actual physicality.
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    We realize that many people who come into class for Womens' Self Defence want a quick and easy solution. About 1 in 10 stay on with us and train full time. In general, we tend to look at quite a few elements at our school as well:

    (1) Awareness, as the original poster mentioned

    (2) Confidence building and a refusal to be intimidated is important... usually leading to training with partners of various sizes (esp. heavyweight men) and really getting a feel for throwing them and for making them release using pressure points and joint locks. As a self defence partner, I don't "go along" with techniques... I apply resistance and may change my technique if they hesitate or are ineffective... leading to some more thinking.

    (3) Adaptation of techniques and a shift from relying on sheer size or strength to relying on leverage (and an awareness of how to get into postion to use it). We teach this to all students as well... diffferent ways to do the same thing.

    (4) Sensitive areas strikes (why and how do you target areas of the body?), skin grabs, joint weaknesses, etc.

    (5) Improvised weapons and key-ring weapons.

    (P.S. I love this new section!!!!!)
  6. Melanie

    Melanie Bend the rules somewhat.. Supporter

    Very good pointers one and all :)

    One thing I have personally noticed and only just recently is to "practice" with some one who knows whats going to happen isn't the same as some one who doesn't.

    The only immediate parallel I have here is my little outing last week at a grappling seminar. I have previously trained with people who had some idea of what I was going to do next and could stop me but last weekend I trained with some one who had absolutely no idea what I was going to do. Please let me make this clear...I have done grappling about 5 times in all and all I was technically doing was apply as much of my survival techniques as possible! I know no "proper" techniques, whats allowed or not allowed in grappling, I have never been shown - so what I have done the past 5 ocassions is "fight" not grapple! The only things I stopped myself from doing was eye gouges, fish hooks, head butting, biting, clawing and punches...I did everything else though, I kicked, I hit that really painful point under your nose (spelling??) Pulled nostrils backwards, couple of chinese burns, twisted my arm out of their grip by pulling against their thumb, pushing against them when they expected me to pull and made them trip, etc, etc...

    I was a very exhilarating experience and I still have the scratches (from the mats) and bruises to prove it. Admittedly this rather taller, larger built man wasn't intending to kill me but he wanted to put me in a position where i would submit to pain...I managed to do it twice to him though :)

    The only way I can compare this to any of my previous training is by comparing it with training with a white belt and then a black belt. BB have the knowledge and level of control that a white belt simply does not have! You always get more injuries from a white belt than you do a BB because of this level of control. As I had previously "grappled" (for want of a better word) with very experienced fighters before I never felt sore, injured, or hardly bruised - whereas with this other person who has had about as much as experience as me - we both came away a bit worse for wear!

    I guess I should get to the point really shouldn't I? :)

    Basically - how much do you feel compliance affects the way womens self defence is applied? How much of a real idea do women get of what a real fight for their lives might be like? How many women are actually hit, or grabbed by the hair, arm, neck to demonstrate HAOV (Habitual Acts of Violence)? Or do Instructors hope that their particular training just helps a woman react and the fact that the woman doesn't suffer any major trauma from being hit is because there (is normally) such a level of adrenalin?

    There - see...I did it - I got to the points eventually :)
  7. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    Seeing as you are speaking not only of Womens Self Defence, but of recent experiences Melanie.

    I'd highly reccomend you look at the Anti Grappling systems like Emin Boztepes.

    They primarily work from a prone position with your opponent either standing or kneeling in front of you while attempting to turn you over onto your back, or getting through between your legs.

    I don't know that this will work for very long against an experienced grappler, but seeing as we are talking about Self Defence, then I think a lot of women should consider these situations as part of an Anti Rape scenario.
  8. Melanie

    Melanie Bend the rules somewhat.. Supporter

    Excellent suggestion Andy - I'll see if I can get hold of a copy down here...frankly by the situations you describe it sounds ideal :)
  9. Bon

    Bon Banned Banned

    I'm in agreeance with Freeform, it takes years of hard training to reach a proficient level, how do not only women, but anyone expect to be proficent under pressure unless they dedicate years to becoming proficient?

    Working techniques agaist a resisting partner is hard.
  10. Mike Flanagan

    Mike Flanagan Valued Member

    Hi Melanie

    Irrespective of whether we're talking men's or women's self defence, some degree of compliance is necessary when you're learning a technique. The art of being a good training partner is to be able to give the right level of compliance / non-compliance in order for your partner to be able to improve their competence at a particular technique. So you start off easy and build up. Obviously this is not really possible in a short self-defence course. I believe the only way it is truly possible is in a long-term training regime, ie. in the regular practice of a martial art.

    For a teacher its easy to teach someone to be a stoic, determined individual if they already have that mindset. The challenge is to take ordinary people and help them turn themselves into the kind of person who has the strength of will to cope with a violent assault.

    Its this strength of will, or spirit, that I believe is the most vital part of self-defence/martial training. Without it, technique is of no value. And of course, if a person shows spirit, they are far less likely to be physically assaulted in the first place.

    Teaching women this is often harder than with men, I think. Women are usually (but not always) less likely to have ever been hit or to have engaged in rough and tumble childhood games. So I usually take it a little easier with female students to begin with. But ultimately, regardless of gender, martial artists should be able to cope with physical and emotional trauma, and still be able to effectively defend themselves.

  11. hkphooey

    hkphooey New Member

    If I'm understanding this right, this would be a very bad position to be in much less trying to fight to stay on your belly and giving your back to the attacker. If I were attacking you or raping a person, please give me your back. A female having a rapist between her legs would be a much better position, even a guy defefending himself.

    Can a short class teach a person to defend themself? Sure. It is nothing compared to constant practice for years, but short classes can prove to be a good option for those who can not give long hours to training. Plenty of women without training have successfully fought off attackers, many women whom have taken a SD class have done so as well and women who have spent years in a TMA have failed.

    #1) Awareness: Has to be the most important element of keeping yourself safe. Whether it is from an attacker, car wreck, tripping over a crack in the sidewalk, it doesn't matter. Be aware of yourself, what you are doing and your surroundings.
    #2) Ruthless Conviction: You have to want to survive dangerous situations and you must do so at all cost.

    Well, this is part of my .02 cents.

  12. Nimrook

    Nimrook New Member

    I know this is a bit off-topic, but I want to give a big hand to all the guys who are willing to go and let women kick them in the nuts, punch them in the face and throw them into wrist locks all day long.

    Keep up the good work, I hope you wear padding.
  13. butterfly_knf

    butterfly_knf New Member

    :) I just wanna add some usefulness:

    Isn't it also best to reflect your attacks with a scream:D

    Men always staggered by hysterical voices, though
  14. quartermaster

    quartermaster Cat-like, stretchy guy

    i havent had the time to fully read this section and i am by no means female but i thought i would put in a quick view (sorry if it has already been said).

    concerning power as i think kgirl said. the attacker does so because he has or thinks he has power. take this from them and they are very vulnerable. someone said talk and be human, this is a good example. dont be like a victim or else you may be more likely to become one. everything is a matter of probability of course and i know i am only rephrasing kgirls fine arguments but i am trying to put it into a slightly fuller context so that more of you may understand
    thank you for your patience

    p.s. sorry for stepping on your toes kgirl
  15. Fung Loon

    Fung Loon New Member

    In my opinion most women does not have the physichal strength needed to succumb most attackers, therefore as many others have said use weapons. The best weapons at your disposal is your teeth and nails. Bite everything you can bite on, scratch wherever you can scratch. Dont panic - get angry.
    You have to say to yourself that this guy is not going to rape me. In fact it takes surprisingly little of the jaws strength to tear of a piece of flesh but it hurts a lot.
    If you are attacked from behind in many cases it is better to play along and then wait for a chance. When attacked from behind its common to grab around the throat whereas most women (and men) would be defenseless against an adversary of medium strength.
    Play along till the chance comes, dont jeopardize your life if he is carrying a weapon, surviving has to be primary, then the next has to be escape.
  16. shotokanwarrior

    shotokanwarrior I am the One

    what are 'fish hooks'?
  17. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Fish hooking is pulling with a hooked finger - usually at the corner of the mouth. Hurts a LOT! It's also a good way to lose a finger.
  18. STASH

    STASH New Member

    I've noticed that prevention is often overlooked in womens self defence courses.
  19. Hannibal

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

    I used to do "womens courses" then I decided that was a nonsense and switched it to "self-defence". Then I realised that an attack on a bloke is totally different in general terms so I had to go back to doing a seperate course but calling it "rape protection". I also found out quite early on that a lot of people on the courses were looking for a "magic formula" rather than a real-world course. I then stopped doing courses!

    I used to do handouts for each course covering any techniques shown (targets too) but also covering awareness, personal security issues (locks, environment etc) and legal ramifications. That way they can look at them and (hopefully) remember something that they may have missed in the class. Ithas always been my belief that 99% of self-protection is avoiding the situation in the first place. But you've got to be ready for that 1%...

Share This Page