What goes in a 2 Hour Course?

Discussion in 'Women's Self Defence' started by Mitch, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Please limit yourself in this thread to addressing ONLY women's SD and ONLY within the confines of a 2 hour course (there is another thread for longer courses).

    Please don't deviate from the specific questions, I don't want it to become mired in x vs y debates.

    If you think there is no value at all in such a course please don't bother posting. Everyone knows it's not ideal.


    Imagine you are teaching a self defence course specifically for women.

    It is designed solely to deal with the issues women will face.

    It is NOT aimed at people currently practicing MA.

    Do NOT assume attendees will continue on to MA training. They might do further self defence based training.

    It is only 2 hours long.


    What are the essential elements that you think would need to be included in the course and how would you train them?

    If you have attended courses please detail any elements you found useful and why?

    If you have attended courses please detail any elements you did not find useful.


    Cheers all,
  2. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    A few questions back at you:

    What demographic is it aimed at (age, fitness)?

    Is is a personal or 'at work' style course?

    What equipment is available?

    Is it a 'physical' course or more a 'prevention' course?
  3. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    It's an open public course. Hence no intended audience, just whoever will turn up.

    Equipment is everything from a matted floor to flipcharts to body armour.

    The contents of the course are whatever people think will get the best results in the short time period available.

    I have my own ideas but don't want to prejudice the discussion, and the more ideas people can fire out the better.

    Given carte blanche, but the constraints above, what would be the best things to include in the course?

  4. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    Techniques of any sort are a waste of time if they aren't going to be drilld utside of the two hour class, the only thing you can convey of value with regards to physical enciounters is the sheer stupidity of an untrained woman thinking she can fight of an untrained man with any degree of reliability. Instead focus on awareness, hazard avoidance and dispelling the myth* that after a two hour self defence course a woman will be any more capable of fighitng off a determined attacker than when she started.

    * Other myths you might want to dispell are the big bad stranger coming to rape you, that all you have to do to stop a guy is kick him in the nuts, that running away in high heels is possible and that anny hollywood movie in the history of mankind has ever shown a realistic self defence scenario for a woman.
  5. Pyro940

    Pyro940 Valued Member

    Have to agree, in the two hour session I think the only way to go is down the road of "Risk Identification/Risk Reduction" route.


    Philip Stanley
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  6. old palden

    old palden Valued Member

  7. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    From a marketing POV are you wanting to draw people back again?

    I ask this because the pragmatism of sales requires that give the people a little of 'what they want' as well as 'what they need'.
    Knee Rider likes this.
  8. righty

    righty Valued Member

    I've been to a short self defence course a while before I started MA. It was longer than what you are talking about being a weekend but my thoughts are...

    In 2 hours the most important thing is probably prevention and risk. So probably more of a sit down lecture with only minimal physical practice if any. It may be a good idea to get a professional LEO to come and give a guest presentation, perhaps how crimes are commonly comitted and location A and B scenarios.

    I would definitley include the fact that an untrained woman is unlikely to have much change in a physical encounter with someone significantly larger and stronger than them. The women probably won't like this much because it's a bit scary and you have to say it in a way so that they don't think you are saying they have to train at your school (sounds too commercial) but it's the truth.

    What wasn't useful to me... We learnt some stuff regarding weapons and even went through what to do if you were holding a baseball bat sized stick and someone grabbed it. It's enough to tell me that anything can be turned into a weapon, but I believe there was more important stuff to cover than when what to do if someone decided to attack me empty handed while I was the one holding a stick. And no, we didn't go over how to defend from a stick weilding person. Pah!
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  9. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    I dont have the foggiest how to run a session as such so i apologise for not being able to help with that bit. as for techniques id go for rear groin kicks and headbutts after being grabbed from behind, basic weapon disarms particuarly bladed weapons, and basically the most sensitive areas of the human anatomy, and how to turn anything and everything into a weapon. summed up id basically attempt to teach weapon disarms and any quick,effective and dirty ways to dispatch an opponent. from the little i know about such things, a sexual attacker (i assume this would be the point of a purely female defense session) dont expect you to put heeled shoes between their legs, much less slap their ears and turn a chopstick into a weapon.
  10. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Oh as an afterthought, i would also stress the importace of finding a defence class: I dont't believe a two hour session with no MA experiance would be enough.
  11. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    That's my take on these sorts of classes, I know plenty of extremely tough women martial artists and they still have doubts to their ability in defending against a man of any reasonable size, they're all quite small and size is such a disadvantage in self defense.
  12. madknight

    madknight Valued Member

    I have to agree with what most people have said here. A 2 hour class will not do much but give people the idea that they can defend themselves. This in turn can give them a false sense of security and possibly put them in situations they normally would have avoided.

    But there is the fact that people probably wont want to come for a lecture and some will pass a lot of it off as "common sense" but it needs to be said anyway. You can possible show them how to get out of grabs and temporarily immobilize an opponent so you can try and get away but frankly the chances of someone getting away when there are two big guys with a knife or something against you. Even for a well trained person this can be a very bad situation.

    Teach them ways that will help in not ending up in those situations and maybe some basic ways to get out of a general situation like being grabbed or something. A few knife disarms couldn't hurt. It will give people a general idea of what to do which is better than having a knife up to your throat and not having any idea what to do.

    Good Luck in fitting everything into 2 hours. It'll be a tough one.
  13. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I think there is value in waking this thread, especially as it's such an important subject.

    I recently did a 2.5 hour women's self defence workshop and have already made changes to the content.

    The first 90 minutes focused on ETGS, which means escape to gain safety.

    We have a basic concept that can be done from an arm grab, a lift (like a child abduction), both arms grabbed, a choke, or from the floor and the concept was drilled in each of these scenarios.

    Simple gross motor skills that can be accessed when it's dark, are taken by surprise or are tired for example.

    If I just had another 30 minutes I'd turn to the flipchart and deliver a lecture and question answer session.

    The content would be practical advice, plus the type of content in Gavin de Becker's book The gift of Fear.

    Tips such as trusting your instincts and giving examples.

    The reason I like the above is it can be passed on by the attendees to their friends and loved ones.
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  14. Knee Rider

    Knee Rider Valued Member Supporter

    How did you drill the techniques, Simon?
  15. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    First thing was to explain my credentials.

    If you've ever been on a course for your work you'll know you can switch off if you don't believe or trust the tutor.

    You also have to be engaging and fun.

    The next thing for me was to explain that everything in the course was based on evading and escaping the opportunist.

    All escapes are based around a single concept, which is what we call the running man defence and once that concept is explained and demonstrated it's onto the drills.

    First drill was from a grab and lift from behind. The type of attack that gets you from where you are to the back of a van, or into some bushes or an alley.

    My son assisted me with the workshop, so I grabbed him and he demonstrated the move. The idea is to get into a position where you can escape to gain safety, not turn and fight, which could escalate the level of intent or violence.

    With each drill one of us would lift the women, or if they were strong enough they did it on each other.
  16. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I completely disagree with this.

    You cannot and should not deal with knives in a two hour session.
  17. Knee Rider

    Knee Rider Valued Member Supporter

    When it came to the physical drilling how much opportunity to fail was there?

    I guess what I'm getting at is, is the course run to instill enough confidence in the concept to attempt an escape or to make them as effective as possible at the technique and concept whilst giving a window into the fact it's not going to go smoothly and work as advertised 100% of the time? I mean, given its a short course what are your personal expectations and aims for the session?
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
    Simon likes this.
  18. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Excellent question.

    I'm very honest in all my classes and it's important not to sell anyone short.

    Not everyone could do every technique and as we know from our own training we don't get every technique our instructors show us and we have those that we prefer.

    Same with this course. it's 2 hours, so it's about giving someone a set of tools (physical and mental approaches) and have them understand it's theirs to select the correct tool at each stage.

    This particular course was about dealing with the opportunist and their gift is time.

    Take that time away from them, make the struggle not worth the effort, use your voice (not something most people can do) and give yourself every chance to ETGS.

    My aim with the course is to explain how to be aware, how to tryst instincts and give them some physical tools that should help when the awareness fails.

    Empowerment probably sums it up.
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  19. Knee Rider

    Knee Rider Valued Member Supporter

    That sounds like a good outcome for a short course: achievable and realistic.

    Thanks for the responses.
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  20. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I totally agree, but with the caveat that any technique or principle taught should be weapon aware; as in not putting people in a worse position should a weapon be involved.

    I do think that madknight has a point that people come for the "moves" but benefit most from the non-physical aspects.

    Getting inexperienced students to perform the techniques on each other can be counter-productive without strict supervision though. It can be hard for them to give the correct energy as an attacker and give false positives. We're social creatures, and in a setting meant to empower people it can be a natural instinct not to be "mean" and be overly compliant.
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