Right,come on fellow women....

Discussion in 'Women's Self Defence' started by Su lin, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    1. What styles do you do?

    I currently do Ninjutsu (Bujinkan) - although my classes aren't actually running for the time being, BJJ and am starting judo next week (hopefully). I have done Muay Thai, Capoeira and Iaido in the past.

    2. Did you pick your MA style(s) because it (they) advertised self defence capabilities?

    Yes for all of them except for Capoeira which I picked because it was a great workout, looked cool and was fantastic for bodyweight strength and control and Iaido which I studied for the sword work and because I found it very relaxing.

    3. Did it (they) actually teach you any self defence stuff?

    Yes, the Ninjutsu does, the Muay Thai did, the BJJ will and the Judo hopefully will. The Capoeira and Iaido didn't.

    4. Do you do multiple styles because each one offers different things?

    Yes (see answer 2 for Capoeira and Iaido). Ninjutsu covers multiple aspects from unarmed to weapons work (part of the reason I picked it was the weapons work which I love) to survival and outdoors skills. Muay Thai was great for fitness and stress relief as I got to hit things really hard! BJJ and Judo will allow me to really concentrate on my throwing and ground fighting skills.
  2. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    In other words the best form of self defence training for women is exactly the same as it is for men. Good full contact martial arts, loads of stand-up & loads of groundwork, trained hard. Not rocket science.
  3. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    Absolutely! I hate it when I see women doing boxercise, kickboxercise, tae-bo or whatever, punching with their elbows out and no guard and then claiming that it helps them with self defence.

    One thing I always find in my ninjutsu classes is, that I always end up with my hands up guarding my face (a carry over from Muay Thai). I have had training partners ask me not to do this because they find it difficult to do the technique we are practicing! This is usually at the very start of learning something when, yes, we are actually doing the odd lunge punch and working very slowly. However, when they mention it to the instructor his response is, basically, deal with it and learn to do the technique round it as you would have to do in the real world. He always then demonstrates how to get round this sort of guard. It has saved me getting punched in the face on numerous occasions!
  4. Natsu

    Natsu New Member

    Hmmm. Well, my karate acedemy seems to be soley based upon self defence, but I'm just too stubborn I guess.
    I've actually had to use my "self defence" skills seriously twice in my lifetime and during those times I hardly stuck to them. I guess when I'm in that kind of situation, I'd rather beat the crap out of my attacker and walk away instead of being wise by injuring him enough to be able to run away. I don't know. Just my instinct of thinking I'm invincible when I'm not. Or I just think - hey why not just teach him a lesson since I know i can.
    Its not like I go around looking for trouble, but I never fear walking alone anywhere at night or in risky places unless I'm with friends and they may become involved in any situation.. Yeah I don't think its valid to say "just hit and run or run only is possible". because sometimes the situation backfires on you.

    2) Have you been attacked or assaulted physically since taking up an MA? yes

    4) In general would you say you were a confident person before with a postive outlook before training in MA? I wouldn't really know since I started at an early age, but its more than likely that by training in MA I have developed over confidence.

    6) Did you ever encounter negative attitudes from males regarding your training in martial arts... eg. boyfriends/fathers/coworkers? Yes and still do. funny enough, I seem to only recieve that attitude from classmates and coworkers. Before there was a time I felt that because of my MA background, guys would be intimidated when they found out and always testing me. " ohh better watch out shes a black belt, ect". Now in the tricking community I feel welcomed into a group of martial artists who think its good to have a female join and be trained into a sport that most women are afraid to try.

    7) Would say while you were growing up that your mother was a physically strong woman capable of handling herself in the event of an attack? Yeah my mother was the one who enrolled me in the first place. Until the age of 20 she trained in several MAs due to her father, my grandfather being a sensei back home.

    8) Who was more receptive to the idea of you studying martial arts - your mother or your father? And why do you think they were? My mother, because of her own MA background. My father was just satisfied, because now he knows men would have a hard time harming his little daughter hah.
  5. Shiro Kuma

    Shiro Kuma Valued Member

    OK, here I go:

    -How many of you women on here actually train your ma for self defence? What do you think you get from your ma that you think would/might work if you got attacked?

    I train because the martial arts are who I am. However, my primary focus is on self-defense. Martial arts has improved my confidence, awareness, ego control, and pain threshold. It has also helped me to channel and focus my anger better. As far as specific techniques, it would depend on the situation.

    -Do you think the notion of "just run as fast as you can to get out of the way" is a valid one? I mean,obviously there are some situations where this wouldn't be possible.

    It depends on who you are. I have good endurance, but I'm as slow as can be. I also have Asthma. In most cases running would be a waste of time and energy. I also try to be very aware, and avoid situations that are dangerous if I can. I constantly size up my environment, who's around me, are they vulnerable in some way, such as a limp, piercings, etc. I like to check my environment for weapons I can use, or could be used against me like fire hydrants. I also walk, drive, and act defensively at certain times. For example if I drive alone at night I always wear a baseball cap, since I am more likely to be taken for male at first glance.

    - Have you ever done a self defence course and learned anything of use? I have done a few and they were all crappy. The only thing I remembered was attack the groin or stamp on their toe in your high heels ( which of course I wear ALL the time!)

    I have only done martial arts classes.

    1) Had you have actually been physically attacked or assaulted prior to training?

    Yes - will not discuss details.

    2) Have you been attacked or assaulted physically since taking up an MA?
    Nothing major.

    3) Were you close friends or a relative of someone who was attacked?

    4) In general would you say you were a confident person before with a postive outlook before training in MA?


    5) Did training MA improve your self image and confidence?
    Yes, but it was about 15 years before I would call myself confident.

    6) Did you ever encounter negative attitudes from males regarding your training in martial arts... eg. boyfriends/fathers/coworkers?

    Yes, however, I generally don't make my training public knowledge. I never wear t-Shirts or jackets to advertise. Guys who don't know me don't take me seriously, which I believe is to my benefit.

    7) Would say while you were growing up that your mother was a physically strong woman capable of handling herself in the event of an attack?


    8) Who was more receptive to the idea of you studying martial arts - your mother or your father? And why do you think they were?

    Neither one of my parents objected. My father always encouraged me to fight because I got picked on so much. He was small and fought a lot as a kid, so he always taught me to never back down to anyone. My mother, grandparents, and brother also encouraged me. My family has some weird, old school values.

    Sorry for the really long post. :Alien:
  6. Sam

    Sam Absent-ish member

    If you don't have the mental resolve to back up the techniques then how can you be sure you are going to pull of those techniques in that situation. Have you got the balls (pardon the expression) to do whatever it takes to walk away? Could you turn a weapon on your attacker after gaining control?

    Its easy for me to say yes whilst I'm sat in a comfy chair speculating on the situation, doing it is a different story.
  7. Sam

    Sam Absent-ish member

    (I know this isn't what you were getting at V)

    I cannot physically do a certain Joint lock one handed unlike the guys in my club effectively on someone of their size. I cannot physically shift the body weight of some of my club members taking their weight out in the direction they would take mine on someone of their size.

    Whilst the intensity of my training and the base subject matter I am drilling is no different to anyone else in my club, the method I sometimes use has to be different.

    One of my instructors is female so what I have learnt about having to adapt techniques to suit me I have learnt from her. If she wasn't there I might still be chipping away trying to make techniques work for me the way my male instructor makes them work for him. I can see why there is a niche for female SD classes.

    Ok I'll shut up now. :p
  8. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    It's a good thread... Self defence is one of my main interests, and women's self defence is a particular bug bear, due to the vast amount of ill considered stuff that is taught.

    First off, women can of course do any martial art - thai boxing, Chuck Norris combat tactics, whatever; self defence is another issue entirely, both for men and women.

    With martial arts being male dominated in the West, sadly, a lot of male dominated thinking comes through, often over-looking that women tend to need some different approaches to self defence. For example, when people say "most fights go to the ground", that makes my skin wrinkle!

    For a start, "fight" is very macho. Replace it with assault, or attack, and you factor in many more incidents - including many more of the incidents that ar emuch more likely to be faced by women - like being grabbed, or touched inapropriately. Secondly, most fights between men might go to the ground, but most fights between men are between drunken men, and drunken men can go to the ground on their own, lol.

    Women's self defence has to factor in that they face a different kind of general assault. "Incidents" between men are mostly associated with alcohol, occuring in public places, utilizing monkey violence - i.e. shouting and rolling about hitting each other with fists and bottles. You do see women in those kinds of fights (usually kicking their boyfriend's assailant, lol), but women's self defence really needs more focus on what to do when you're grabbed, coerced, dragged by the wrist or the throat - the sexual assault or abduction. That tends to not take place in a crowded place, to have little build up or warning, and to commence with a grab, rather than a monkey swing.

    Male self defence tends to be looked at in terms of what men fear - the pub fight, and often women's self defence isn't considered separately enough from that - women having different needs and capabilities.

    Men might know a fight is coming - a lot of eye contact, a build up etc. They might even make it happen by their behaviour. For a woman, a man has to think what if he's chatting with another man, and then that man grabs him by the crotch? It's so shocking and surprising that for a few seconds he will be disorientated. Happy slapping is another example - it's so unexpected that even though people haven't been badly hurt they are pscychologically disabled for a while and unable to respond. That's more what a random assault out of no where will feel like - no build up, no expectation - a total body shock. That's a self defence issue that affects men and women, but is specifically associated with the random sexual assault. Probably, the attackers like that aspect of it.

    In addition, of course, is that whole area of inappropriate contact and attention that women can face - being touched, grabbed, "crowded", followed, watched.

    Martial arts training isn't necessarily self defence training. Sparring, even sport competition, is nothing like most real assaults. Self defence requires different skills, causes different emotions and fears - often overwhelming fears - and men and women require different skill sets and expectations.

    "Most fights go to the ground" is just such a shibboleth we've mostly forgotten to question it. The last thing a woman wants to do is go to the ground with a male assailant, except in some rare circumstances where that can stop you being carried or walked out of a safer area in to a more dangerous area. Most male sex attackers will be trying to get you on the ground anyway - and once there, sad to say, jiu jitsu requires strength or a lot of skill to work for you. I've wrestled with BJJ people - I know how it feels to be squished under them, breath ebbing away... no chance.

    Equally, stupid arm locks and techniques that are rarely going to work, like slashing with keys - sure, learn all those things, but don't think that's preparing you. They rarely even work for men. But, some times they do work. Don't build expecations based on exceptions. A key in the eye - good,if it happens - but a key across the face? Let's say you're talking about a bad, bad man - a killer or a rapist - is that going to stop them?

    But what really works are things like screaming. When you're told not to scream - that's the time to scream - if it wasn't, they wouldn't be saying it. In my opinion, you should train not to "submit" or knock out an attacker, but to make them think that it's not worth the effort - in that first ten, twenty, thirty seconds, scream and kick and punch like a mad thing - all animals can fight - natural attacks - no techniques as such - just maddness - scratch, bite, scream, wriggle, elbows knees - change focus from submitting or "winning" over to making them think it just isn't worth it - too noisey, too much to handle.

    In training, it's worth practising the twenty second madness - agression training it's some times called. No specific emphasis on technique - mostly, that's useless anyway because you're working from a grab - being pulled very forcibly by the neck, the arm, the leg, the mid riff - very little chance to set up neat lock escapes - just madness training, with screams - and make one of the things that you learn, and ingrain, to shout: "police" rather than just swear words - people will hear it.

    Other than that - I shudder when I think of a middle aged woman with a self defence course under her belt punching a man. Sure, if he's just stood there, and she gets him right on the nose - but that's the kind of fight men tend to have... women's self defence should, in my view, be based more on the "assault" the "attack" the "abduction or coercion" than the pub fight.

    Self defence and martial arts are two related, but separate things.
  9. wrydolphin

    wrydolphin Pirates... yaarrrr Supporter

  10. RoninCelt

    RoninCelt Valued Member

    Two problems I've always seen with this knee-jerk response by some MAists. One, not everyone is a track star, or dressed for running every minute of every day. Even for those athletic enough, I'd ask, ever tried to run on slick pavement with shiny leather soled shoes? It's a good way to practice your falling skills, tho. ;) Two, sometimes there's no good destination to run to, at least not within sprinting distance. So, better have an idea where you're running before giving the guy your back as you turn to escape.

    Yes, exactly. There are a few young women in the teen classes I teach, and some have to ride the bus to get to and from places--not a formula for avoiding all danger in the Los Angeles sprawl. :cool:
  11. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    Running can be a good idea - everything has its time and place. But running makes you tired, and if a confrontation, or an incident is inevitable, running just left you gassing. Thing is, how do we know a confrontation is inevitable?

    Fact is though, we're not usually taling about a race - an attack generally starts with something.
  12. Su lin

    Su lin Gone away

    This is the thing, you probably would not be so lucky to be able to run straight away without nothing happening,it would be a case of at least trying some technique then running away!
  13. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    Excellent post with excellent points! One of the main debates between the 'sport' MA practitioners and the TMA practitioners is the effectiveness of the different styles, but this is always considered from the typical male 'fight' point of view. Sport MAs tend to be totally unsubtle, with the aim of pounding or strangling the opponent into submission, whilst the TMAs have a lot more subtle techniques. As a woman there may be times when you want to get rid of someone who has a grip on your wrist, in this case punching them on the nose, going head to head in a clinch, grappling them to the ground and choking them into unconsciousness may not be appropriate. There is a lot more complexity to self defence issues than are ever considered by competition based arts.

    As a woman the last thing you want to do is take an encounter with a larger opponent to the ground. It is, however, useful to learn techniques that can get you out of such a situation or at least give you a fighting chance!

    I have learnt a lot more useful techniques for self defence, from a female perspective, in my ninjutsu classes than I have seen in BJJ (granted, I've only been doing BJJ for about 1 month but the ground fighting, whilst useful in itself, is of fairly limited range for self defence purposes).
  14. wrydolphin

    wrydolphin Pirates... yaarrrr Supporter

    To a point I highly disagree. It was just my experience and comfort level with grappling that allowed me to not be raped in the first place. My experience was rather typical of date rape, only the outcome was good because I did not freeze up. So while I agree that going to the ground is not the best advice in a normal fight, rape is not your average fight.

    Women need to learn to be comfortable with an attacker on the ground in a comfortable and familiar setting so that when it happens out in the real world, they do not suffer from lack of exposure and experience. Grappling, therefore to my mind, is an important componant of any women's self defense course.
  15. I'mKira

    I'mKira Banned Banned

    Absolute crap argument. This could've been answered with five minutes of looking at the grappling FAQ. I'd ignore this on any other forum: What do I care if a dude loses a bar fight, all bruised ego and lump in the throat?

    But when you're talking women's SD, as a commited male feminist, I have to object.

    Point 1: Wether or not you "want" to go to the ground is oftentimes irrelevant. We've all seen the numerous fights that go to the ground despite either person wanting to. Add to this what may happen to a woman: She may be assaulted while sitting down, lying in her bed, etc. For a supposed women's self defense advocate, you don't seem to have thought that through very much.

    Point 2: Groundfighting is the most technical, cerebral range of fighting. There are enough examples of skilled, small groundfighters beating untrained huge meatheads as to make the idea of using strength down there ridiculous. That crushing feeling you felt? That's called skill. It has little to do with strength and much more to do with learned techniques of body weigh distribution. The whole ****ing idea of learning self defense techniques is to use skill to beat strength so I don't see what the problem is here.
  16. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    I have to agree with Fire-quan that a scream can save your life but aside from that the beat defence for a women (on a martial arts website) is to train with real conviction in either BJJ or judo together with either muay thai, boxing, kickboxing or a few other full contact stand -up martial arts. Maybe even MMA. Train to compete, weights, running, bags, sparring. Do that and you'll be Ok for most men out there, anything short and you're hedging you're bets, same as men.
  17. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    Hi Kira - thanks for taking the time to respond. Personally, I care about the guy beat up in the bar just as much as I care about the woman attacked, the old person being bullied, or the kid being picked on at school. As a humanist, I care about all situations of personal safety.

    Possibly you just got a crossed wire with what I'm talking about. I'm talking specifically about those self defence courses where women are taught - well, how to defend themselves - or not. Not commited martial artists, but just average people.

    Anyone may be assaulted at any time, of course, in any situation. What I don't agree with is the idea that just because fights may often go to the ground, that we should try to make them go to the ground - and especially in self defence situations, where it's often the least suitable thing you should do.

    Sure, some ground fighting stuff is very useful... but this is not a feminist issue. It's going to take a lot of training to take an average woman and teach her how to out-wrestle a rapist and submit him. If you read a little deeper in to what I say, then you'll see that the same principles apply on the ground - scream, go mad, make it not worth his while. Try to submit him, sure, if you're that skilled - but don't execute other women by giving them the false sense that after some basic training they'll likely submit a much stronger man.

    No, you don't, and that is part of the problem - opinion that just isn't considered enough. The point of self defence isn't to use skill to beat strength, and the people who promote that idea are dangerous and deluded for the most part. Self defence shouldn't be about macho ideals (fantasies) of submitting opponents, it's about surviving criminal assaults. Survival - not ego boosting submisions, or Uma Thurman style battles - survival, in the most trying, terrifying of circumstances - and yes I have, before you ask. Sadly, an frightened ego will buy in to things that make it think it can learn to be invulnerable.

    I haven't actually said that ground fighting isn't skilfull. Skilled martial arts are a different area all together - and that's one of the important points. Self defence isn't about rolling about on matts with people who will stop. It's, in this case, let's say about getting smacked in the face, dragged by the hair in to an alley, rolling in broken glass, bricks, while someone three times your strength sits on you, squeezing out the breath that's already short with terror.

    Yeah, you may submit that guy. Or you may not. I don't think about the martial arts superheroes - they, obviously, can take care of themselves. I think about average people who feel their life ebb away because all the great stuff they learned in jiu jitsu class suddenly proves useless - not because it was useless, but just because they can't do it.

    Again, what really works for many people is to fight to scare off an attacker, screaming and going mad. It's trying to win fights that can get you killed.

    Having said that, sure, ground fighting skills are very useful... but for all the great videos of little guys beating big guys, there's page after page of martial artists in real fights talking about how everything they learned went out of the window. Hope that helps to clear up the points. One of the worst things in this area is people who are more interested in their art's reputation than reality. That actually causes people to do stuff that harms them.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  18. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    I think that's a very valuable input, Wry. What it really says to me is it isn't so much training techniques that's important, but training scenarios. Every technique could work, but there's no way to know which... but scenarios are much more predictable.

    Again, my point is never don't train - whether lock escapes or ground fighting - train as much as you can. But have trained survival strategies ingrained. Certainly, avoid going to the ground if possible. Best time to fight is the moment you are grabbed. And the best thing to do is to escape, not go for an arm bar.

    One thing many martial artists find - and it is a terrible scandal that martial arts schools leave people in this situation - is that they can't fight. The most important thing isn't what technique you use - that's way down the line for many people - it's to actually be able to put up some kind of fight, any kind fo fight - to find the heart to fight. Even the strongest guys can find themselves overwhelmed with fear.
  19. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    That's true, MD - we should, though, make a distinction between serious martial artists and people who go on a self defence course. I have this image in my mind of panicked faced women trying to perform some useless arm lock on an attacker.... And then stabbing his leather jacket with a yale key...


    Anyway... most important thing is people's safety. First line of self defence,I think, is that we never contribute to a violent society. We don't make violence the answer to all our disputes. Sadly, martial artists - the very people who should be the torch bearers in the self defence industry - are inevitably the people who most resort to the "A fight will prove who is right!" lol...

    And then secondly don't put yourself in too much danger - think smart.

    And also, it has to be said, that if you have to devote your life to trainign for a lifr or death encounter, then in a way the attackers have already stolen a part of your (general) life - assuming you're not a martial arts fanatic and you're just doing it out of fear. There needs to be some consideration of what self defence training we give to people who are only going to come to five lessons.
  20. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    Isn't that true of any non-sport martial artist? Preparing for the battle that never was.
    If you have any realistic hope of defence in a real life situation then you have to be commited, otherwise you are just paying lip-service.
    This is where I believe the sport martial arts reigh supreme. You have a challenge to work for, then a rest, then another challenge. If you're any good, male or female, then when you're resting you're as hard as nails, when you're near to a fight you're unstoppable.
    Self defence is a by-product, the challengle (or fight) in front of you is very real however,

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