Pros or Cons of Free SD class?

Discussion in 'Women's Self Defence' started by Indie12, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Indie12

    Indie12 Valued Member

    So I've been asked to put together and teach a "Free" Women's Self-Defense class. All in recognition of April being Assault prevention month.

    What are some pros and cons of doing a free Women's Self-Defense class?
  2. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    The main pro is that if it's done well it can make people realise that self defence isn't about fighting, it's about awareness, threat avoidance, de-escalation and other non-physical skills. It will also make people realise that there is no quick fix if they want the physical skills to have a chance to defend themselves - it will take years of dedicated training, especially if they believe their attacker is likely to be bigger than them and/or armed.

    Cons depend on how the class is taught. Participants could end up with an inflated sense of their own ability to do techniques designed for self defence, they may think that self defence is all about fighting or they may just learn absolutely nothing.

    All in all, a one-off class should mostly be about spotting danger and running away.
  3. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Aren't you a defensive tactics instructor and founder of a martial art?

    Forgive me, but isn't this stuff that you should already know?

    Perhaps you could give an idea of the time you are allowed, the content you intend to cover, and what methods you are going to use.

  4. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    Mitch raises some good points.
    Further considerations: is it going to be a one-off session, or are you trying to promote your class or some longer course? What is the level of experience of the participants? Are you intending to use any gear (eg focus pads, training knives, this probably depends on the previous question)? What do you think the proportion of 'lecture' (interactive or not) to 'physical' should be? What do you normally teach in your defensive tactics system?

    In answer to your question:
    pros - you (potentially) get to help people who might not normally seek this type of information
    Cons - you do it for free (although whether that's a con depends on your personality)
  5. greg1075

    greg1075 Valued Member

    Pro: you get to teach someone something that might save their butt one day.

    Con: you have very limited time to do it so design the class accordingly.
  6. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I'd say the main thing is you might get women turning up expecting to be turned into wrist-locking, ball-kicking bad asses when what you really need to highlight is the need for awareness, personal risk assessment, lifestyle assessment, self protection, target hardening, etc etc.
    In other words expectation of the course may not match the actual content (if your content is actually geared towards usable self defence advice).
  7. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I'd say that's probably also true of the people who asked you to teach this in the first place as well, Indie. How clear are they on what they're asking? Plenty of well meaning folks have organized a "self-defense" class without really understanding what they've committed to.
  8. greg1075

    greg1075 Valued Member

    There's only so much that can be done in a one-off self defense class. Focus on basic, gross-motor skills techniques. Just a few. Don't overteach. You just have an hour or two to give them some tools and increase their odds in case of an assault so...

  9. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Who asked you?
    What is the venue?
    how are the women being selected?

    and why do you say ''free'' in quote marks?
  10. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I've done some research and it looks like you've already done a self defence class for women.

    What were the pros and cons of that session?

    Are you teaching the general public, or it defensive tactics for emergency services?
  11. KarateMum

    KarateMum Valued Member

    Indie12, I'm a woman if that helps. I think what women might expect from a course depends on what its purpose is advertised as. I guess you would have control over that.

    If we assume that this is just a single afternoon 'teach in' then I think you must cover just a few easy to remember points - there is no point in bombarding folks with more than they can remember - I've done enough training courses in other things to know that your audience only takes away a few points from a session. You have been asked to key in with Assault Prevention Month, I think the key to your content is that title - assault prevention - not what to do if you are assaulted, but instead it is how to prevent an assault in the first place. As such I would think all basic common sense stuff along the lines of how to avoid being a target in the first place is probably where you need to be looking.
  12. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    I think KarateMum's hit the nail on the head there!

    How to keep safe is probably more achievable in a short course than how to fight off an attacker.

    I'd be curious to know from those people who will have some professional knowledge on this stuff (jwt? Hannibal? Indie12?) in what context is a physical assault on a woman most likely to take place? 'cos I would've thought that domestic violence was probably the most common source of assault on women - more so than random street violence. Extricating someone from domestic violence seems like a much more complex and individual situation than can be covered in a course. In which case, you're probably going to have to stick with stuff on situational awareness, posture, buddying up, maybe how to power-slap...etc
  13. Hannibal

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

    Domestic assault is the most common assault on anyone regardless of gender
  14. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    That's an interesting fact. Certainly not one that's commonly touted in the "self defence" literature.
  15. KarateMum

    KarateMum Valued Member

    Moosey - thanks to that reference I've been and looked up Power Slap - which is now today's new bit of knowledge. An interesting move, but one that, as a lady, I think you would need to be supremely confident to deploy. It seemed to me something that you could teach the fundamentals of quickly, but I don't know if you could learn the confidence needed to deliver it as swiftly.
  16. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    True confidence comes from trust and belief. Trust is earned through experience and strong belief is an aspect of fighting spirit.

    So this leads to the importance of experience and fighting spirit. You can help students gain experience and develop fighting spirit, or you can provide knowledge that builds on the experiences and fighting spirit they already possess.
    Generally you do both with the focus being what is needed by the student most.

    This is why many courses start with an assessment of the students.
  17. KarateMum

    KarateMum Valued Member

    Rebel Wado, I would think that in a single class (as I expect the opening poster is envisaging), a trade-off will have to be made between assessment of the class potential and content suitable for wide range of confidence levels. As such I think content will have to be determined suitable for a supposed lower level and thus applicable to all.
  18. Hannibal

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

    I look at them as primarily awareness with some physical options

    Like pushups I can teach you how to do them but without.practice it will avail you nought

    Now I am off to teach a 3hr SD, really I actually am :)
  19. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I think I'm confused by what you mean by confidence levels. At first I thought you meant the confidence to perform a technique under pressure (e.g. overcome fear to do something). Do you mean something else, such as proficiency?

    In any case, you asked how to learn confidence. For example, I can appear confident in sparring, but that is a result of experience and fighting spirit.

    An assessment may not be the best term either. What I mean is identifying what students need to reach their potential. Not assessing their potential. You know you can't teach everything in a single class or even many classes. However, you can plant the seed, so to say, to encourage students to keep learning.

    Here is one possible format:
    1) Introductions
    2) Ask some people to volunteer why they are at the class (e.g. assessment)
    3) Overview of what to expect from the class (e.g. expectations)
    4) Film study or story time (e.g. build awareness of risks, get into the criminal mind)
    5) Best practices (e.g. provide procedures and solutions to #4)
    6) Test it out (ask for volunteers to role-play or test out #5): provide a method to gain experience in an uncomfortable situation with controls set in place
    7) Repeat #4-#6 for other areas as time allows (#6 is not always feasible in a class for all situations, so it can be #4-#5 in many cases)
    8) Review and questions
    9) Gather feedback on the class (should be anonymous if possible)

    Some topics for #4
    - Dealing with a sucker punch (dealing with zero to 100% in an instant) such as walking down the street and getting jump by someone just hitting you in the head.
    - Walking to your car and seeing someone suspicious by it (e.g. how to use your fear to empower you rather than panic)
    - Driving and your car breaks down
    - Driving your car on a secluded highway and being pulled over by state patrol/police (what options do you legally have)
    - Selling something online and having the buyers come to your home to pick up the items
    - Waiting for a bus and someone asks you for the time

    For each topic, bring students into an uncomfortable situation and help them understand what could happen (e.g. adrenaline dump, fear, panic) and awareness of the risks. For example, there are some things best decided ahead of time, such as when to fight and when to just give up your wallet.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  20. KarateMum

    KarateMum Valued Member

    Rebel Wado - No, you had it right the first time - I meant the confidence to perform an effective response in a threatening situation. Something like that Power slap - when I looked on-line it appeared that it was a response to a 'close quarters' situation. It seemed effective and easy to show/learn the basic technique, but I fancy that in a one off lesson you couldn't instil every lady with the confidence to deploy it - so are you better off looking at how to not make yourself a target in the first place things, rather than teach specific physical defence strategies in a one off class?

    I like most of the ideas in your number 4 (maybe not the sucker punch) other ideas might be: Dressing appropriately for the expected environment and intended effect inc. footwear (might it help to change into flat shoes if you have heels on for the journey home - easier to run in), Simple things like carrying bags across the body or under your coat, Zipping bags closed, walking with an air of confidence down the centre of a street if out in the dark, the benefits of taking it with you on a walk if you happen to own a dog, the benefits of sticking together rather than going alone, booking a taxi via a central office rather than taking a cab off the street. Using the ATM inside the branch rather than the one outside if possible, not displaying large sums of cash or mobile phones in a public area, keeping cash, phones and cards in an inside pocket rather than in a bag, staying in command of your own intoxication levels - if in doubt don't push it, carry a small torch. All the common sense stuff that so often people might not think of.

    At the end of the day I suppose it will depend on the time available and the variation in the audience. However, I applaud the idea and hope it goes well whatever content is included.

Share This Page