Sunday, July 29, 2012
Women's Self-defense notes
Special Thanks to Sifu Silk, Sensei Rick, Sensei Joel, Sensei Gabe, Sensei Duane, Sensei Arata, Sensei Bob, and a SPECIAL section at the end by MrMonkeyell.
Each martial artist has trained in multiple styles, they draw from their experiences from styles such as:
Kung Fu, Street Boxing, Jujitsu, Wrestling, Taihojutsu, Karate, Military training, Ninjitsu, Kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do, Silat, and Iaido.
1. Radar Principal
Keep awareness up and have the ability to avoid danger while looking unafraid.
Most people feel obligated to continue with their actions, or they are too afraid to change course, even though they know they are in a compromised position.
2. Open Fire
Flight or fight. Expect to hit 50 times not 3 times.
Your weapon should be where you can fast draw it anytime.
After you fight, run like hell and get out of there.
Learn a basic attack and then drill it.
Learn Kubotan, Palmstick, and other self-defense tools, they will build up mentality to use improvised weapons such as a screw driver, flashlight, portable shoe horn, and pen.
Learn how to fight on the ground.
Exercise with dumbbells to develop a strong grip to rip and pinch attacker's skin, nose, ear, chest muscles, and love handles.
Know the physical aspects but also the mental aspects, there is a predator and prey mindset, if someone looks scared they keep their heads down and criminals will consider them an easy target.
Learn the color code system and apply it to your daily life.
WHITE is oblivious to everything
YELLOW is not paranoid but cautious, observing their surroundings
ORANGE senses danger
RED is fight or flight
If you have to take a longer route, do it if it's more lit and safer. Travel with a friend instead of by yourself.
Call 911 and make sure to give the exact location, if the phone gets dropped, the operator can listen, but will already know where to send rescue.
If the criminals try to take you to a second location, usually you will get attacked more savagely so do not let them.
Look up CPTED crime prevention, environmental design can teach you about your homes, how to travel in lit areas, do not be around large bushes and alley ways where predators can lurk. Do not plant trees and bushes around the bedroom windows.
Supposedly more people respond to fire than help.
A person moves faster forwards than backwards so step into the attack or run fast.
Try your best to remember what the guy looked like so you can report to the authorities.
Press charges so you can prevent someone else from being attacked.
Get a bodyguard. Change place of work, or change city. People are more likely to help in a small town. Also go to a place where you can get a concealed handgun permit.
Be aware of surroundings, use a buddy system where you travel to and from work with a friend, or to your transport, don't look like a victim, wear the hair up if it's long, don't wear easily removable clothing, or clothing that can be cut off easily or used as a handle.
Carry an object that looks like a weapon to the attacker, umbrella, stick, pepper spray, etc.
Put a brick in the purse.
Fight back with everything you have because attackers today will kill you just as easily as if raping or robbing you. Never cooperate, never let anyone tie you up. If all they want is money, or possessions then that is a different story.
If your gonna die, might as well die fighting. Try to force the attacker to give up evidence for the police.
For the traumatized victim, take some form of counseling. Research the subject to increase awareness and educate yourself about risky behavior and to maybe even get a better handle on your fears.
Train in a study group and develop team spirit, know that your not alone out there.
Learn how to use the adrenaline rush, use large muscle movements and control it so you don't get an adrenaline overload and blackout.
Be prepared to kill. What are you willing to die for? What are you willing to kill for?
Practice deployment of weapons in one smooth action.
Overwhelm the attacker with weapons, give them a surprise attack, don't threaten, just do it and don't look back.
Realize that the cops are a reactionary force.
Practice frequently, rather than focusing on the length of practice.
Find the right martial arts style for yourself, then find your own style from there.
Discover that you have the ability to fight back, then practice unleashing the beast within by hitting a heavy bag or heavily padded sparring partner.
"Before you learn how to box, you must first learn how to fight."
Recommend Michael Janich's approach to use one gross motor skill, practice it and then apply it to different scenarios.
Learn to deal with increasing physical pressure, and then practice under psychological stress as well.
1. One gross motor skill
2. Self discovery that you can fight back
3. Find the will to fight back
4. Train under physical and mental pressure
5. Discover that their one skill can work against a variety of attacks
Fitness lifestyle and constant practice in a fun manner.
"Bouts are won in the gym"
Cannot see + cannot breathe = cannot fight, so gouge the eyes, punch the throat, rip the groin, and tear off the boys.
Pull the guy's shirt over his head.
Take off high heel shoes and run barefoot if possible, use shoes as weapons, use the heel spike to stomp the instep of the foot or grab the shoe and hit the top of the hand when bear hugged.
When the attacker comes to kiss you, bite off their lips, a lady used this technique to survive an attack.
Attack the shin, knee, groin, and eyes, also solar plexus, Tiger or Eagle claw can be handy for a woman, pinch, twist, and rip the skin.
Dumbbells for grip strength
The Gift of Fear
Meditations on Violence
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Thoughts on Women's Self Defense by MrMonkeyell:
The following is not a substitute for martial arts/self defense training from recognized, accredited professionals and cannot be considered as such in any way, shape or form.. It only represents my personal thoughts on this topic. Anyone seeking to expand their understanding of this topic is advised to seek council from as many quality sources as possible, including (but not limited to) certified legal experts, all levels of government and any and all branches of law enforcement.
It is imperative that readers acknowledge that the following is not presented as authoritative or all-encompassing in any way, shape or form. This is an attempt to participate in an online discussion between martial artists on the topic of women's self defense. It is being posted as a contribution to the material this dialogue has already produced, which is posted on this website. This document must be considered alongside this text and is not meant to displace it in any way. I simply offer my analysis alongside that which has already been posted. I'm not saying my analysis is superior to what's already been posted or anything like that. I simply have some things that I would like to offer up on this important subject.
1)Attacker's evolution / fake-out
Something that most women's self defense teachers and programs fail to recognize is that the people who are attacking women are getting smarter. In fact, they're learning about women's self defense classes and therefore know how their victims understand a self defense scenario (ie: the girl's expectations) and what they are likely to do (ie: the girl's behaviors). Here's the thing, many self defense programs (at the very least) imply that a single strike is enough. Almost anywhere you go you see teachers modeling that you can make your escape after one groin shot. The problem is that some attackers have picked up on this and now after they get hit with a groin shot they pretend to be hurt, but, that's just a trick and as soon as the girl turns to get away they attack her now-exposed back. By the way, if someone is doing this fake-out it's likely that a weapon will come out after the girl thinks she's safe.
2)Expect to be hurt, even if you get away: This is related to #1. Most women's self defense classes are taught to be 'fun.' It's all fun and games and jokes and nobody takes it seriously. This, in my humble opinion, is setting women up for failure. I think it's important to communicate to women that, even if they drive their attacker off, they'll probably still be hurt. They'll be dirty, bleeding, scared, in shock and quite possibly have a broken bone. They've probably been molested and had their head smashed into the ground.
3)Relax: I think that communicating the reality of a self defense situation will help prevent women from being 100% overwhelmed by the psychology and emotion of the event since they will be training for it. Some people and self defense systems seem to rely on the 'super adrenalin rush' to blast away an attacker. The problem is that rape and that kind of assault against women only stop when the attacker is defeated or he's done with the girl. Therefore, in my humble opinion, I think that not getting the huge adrenalin rush that saps your endurance in 5 seconds is very important. Panic can leave you tired and get you killed and thus I would even go so far as to suggest doing 'worst case scenario training' to give the women a sense of what it's liked to be overwhelmed by several attacks.
4)On Screaming: If your being dragged into an alleyway or someplace 'private' like that, scream that out so that someone coming to help you knows where you're being moved to.
5)Rape Position: Seemingly everybody talks about eye attacks as something that happens when both people are standing up. However, someone who is being overwhelmed is likely to spend a lot of their time on their back with the attacker(s) on top of them. Even in the rap position attacks to the eyes using the hands, elbows, teeth or items (the arm piece on a pair of glasses works wonderfully for this, as does a pen or hair pin) are still very viable. Head butts, bites and mouth/ear tears can also still be done. I think that it is very important to stress techniques that do not require the use of the hands since attackers are likely to hold the victims arms down when in the rap position.
6)Dog: Walking with other people is a great idea and walking with someone who has a large dog is really smart as well. If you're worried for your safety, then getting a trained protection dog of your own might be a good idea. I can't remember where, but I remember reading that there are no recorded instances (at least in North America) of a female being mugged while running/walking with a German Sheppard.
7)Sand in your (especially jacket) pockets: It's not a 'weapon' so you'll never get in trouble for having it, but throwing it into the eyes of someone who's not expecting it can give you an opening for the 50 attack combo you've been training.
8)Dark Places: Peer into dark places if you have to walk by them. If you see that you're coming up to a dark alleyway, for example, keep an eye on it. As well, walking on the sidewalk as close to the road as possible can put some extra distance between you and someone who may be waiting to ambush you from behind a garbage dumpster or parking lot.
9)Parking lot: These are very dangerous places. They offer many places to hid, great cover for sneaking up on someone and the acoustic properties of a parking garage (especially if it's underground) can muffle your screams, make them sound like they are coming from somewhere else or keep them contained within the structure. When you're walking in a parking lot (regardless of whether you're parked there or not) it's a great idea to have keys ready in your dominant hand. Aside from keys as a defensive tool themselves (wmpyr has a great video about this on his youtube channel) many people keep their pepper spray or other defensive tool(s) on their key ring so you have a great excuse to literally have your tool of choice in your hand in this dangerous location.
It is also important to have your keys in your hand when you approach your vehicle (no matter where it's parked) or home. The time you take digging around for your keys while you're standing in front of the lock is a perfect time for you to be attacked. You're not paying attention to your surroundings and the attacker can push you into your car/home and use it as a more private place to assault you.
10)Hospital: Firstly, if you're sent to a hospital as a result of the injuries you sustained in an attack, make sure that the police and hospital send in other women to take care of you. For most women, having to deal with male cops/medical staff (people who have power over you) after being attacked by a man causes a lot of psychological trauma. Even waking up with a male nurse in your room can give you a heart attack.
Secondly, if your attacker sustained injuries it is possible that he is in the same hospital you are. If you have to be there overnight or for a few days make sure that someone is always with you, especially when you're sleeping. Depending on the hospital security that's 'around' or the medical staff that's 'around' is not acceptable, even if you're in the secure ward. 1) These types of security measures are designed to keep outsiders from getting in the hospital, your attacker might already be inside as a patient. 2)These people are 'around,' they're not specifically watching you. You're in the hospital, you're in a weekend state and might have broken bones. It is possible that you are under the influence of de-habilitating medication(s) that has made you physiologically unable to defend yourself or even scream (even if you are aware of what's happening). Add in the fact that you might be in a secluded room all by yourself and it's easy to see just how vulnerable someone is.
Since you're so vulnerable do not let the police out of your sight until you have someone looking after you. In my humble opinion, I would go so far as to say someone posted outside of your door. The hospital may protest or say you're overreacting but I think you're worth it. If you see your attacker immediately point him out, inform the hospital and make them call the police right away. Regardless of whether or not you think he's seen you, do not be alone. It's possible that you're the only evidence linking him to his crime and he knows that. He also knows that if he can get rid of you then he's probably going to get away with it. This stuff may seem crazy, but let's face it, he's already attacked you once.
11)Post Event: Always, always, call the cops, even if nothing physical happened. Tell them that you were threatened, felt scared for your life and that you're worried that this person(s) is going to attack the next women that comes by. A law enforcement officer once told me that many wanted thieves/muggers etc are caught each year b/c they gave someone a bad vibe who called the cops with a good description and location.
12)Tie Chi: For someone who is having a hard time with the idea of fighting, I think that this is a good martial art to take. It's 'nicer' than many others but is very effective.
13)Choosing a Martial arts school: Do your research. It's a sad fact that there are many, many fake martial arts 'experts' out there claiming that they have a black belt or know what they are doing. In fact, according to martial art historian Dave Coffman, almost every major city in the US has at least one fake self defense teacher. Before you take a class, ask for the instructor's credentials and then verify them yourself. If someone can't tell you their qualifications, then that's a problem. As well, you might join a school and it turns that it isn't working for you. If that happens it is ok to leave and try somewhere else.
14)Liver Shot: The value of a one punch knockout that isn't a head shot cannot be overstated.
15)Small joint manipulation: It doesn't require much power and it is difficult for someone to grab you if you've snapped a few fingers. They can also be employed in the rap position. If the guy is holding you down with one hand while going for your clothing with the other that means that you have an opening to start breaking fingers. This causes a lot of pain and it's hard for him to grab you with broken fingers.
16)Getting you into a vulnerable situation and/or isolated location: the following tactics rely on manipulating people's human decency and are used to get someone near/in a car or other ambush spot where they can be more easily surprised and assaulted. Although the examples below center around a male attacker, women can bait other women. Sometimes this is for men (or women) who are lying in wait.
16a)Bait: Attackers will lure women into a vulnerable situation/location by using some sort of bait, often something that appeals to their motherly instincts. Serial killer Ted Bundy used to do things like put his arm in a pretend sling and ask people to help him so he could get them over to his car and push them in it.
If someone is asking you for help and it involves going to their car or anywhere that's even a little bit less out in the open or private, it may be best to wait until you're not alone to help them. Never turn your back on them and maybe offer to call someone (preferably male and 'official') to help them. Be prepared that, if you offer to contact (as an example) mall security to help them with the box they're trying to get into their trunk, they might get upset and try to convince/guilt you that you're the 'only one' who can help them.
16b) Reward: In order to get you to help them an attacker may offer you a seemingly harmless reward (or force the reward upon you) that actually gives them power over you. For example, they may offer to carry your bags in return for helping them put on their watch (they lied and said that their fine motor skills aren't very good). If you say no then they may try to force their 'reward' on you by 'insisting' and telling you that they'll be 'insulted' if you say no. Allowing them to take your things gives them power b/c they can lead you to somewhere b/c they've got your stuff.
16c) Bring it to me!: They may ask you to hold onto something that belongs to them and then walk over to their car (or other ambush spot) and ask or demand that you to bring the thing back to them. If you don't comply they may try to use a crazy argument (like saying that if you don't they'll call the cops and say that you're stealing -- don't forget, they may have gotten your name when they introduced themselves) to get you to walk over to where they want you. They may also pretend to be in a panic b/c they don't have the thing or even cry a bit. Basically, they will manipulate you in very strange ways and do whatever they think will get you to comply.
It is likely that the item they give you will be something that someone could need right away, such as a pill bottle. An example, they're talking to you about something and suddenly say 'oh no! I just remembered something, hold this!' and thrust the bottle into your hands as they rush to their car, open it up and pretend to do something inside. Then, without moving, they tell you to bring their pills to them b/c it's an emergency and they need them right away.
17)Distraction: It is also possible that one attacker will talk to you to distract you while one or more of his buddies who were in hiding attack you from behind. If the distracter is 'good' it is likely he will try to focus your attention on something other than himself. This way he can reduce your situational awareness and keep your attention off of him so that you can't read his body language and get a 'gut feeling.' He might do this by saying something like 'do you know the time' or 'look down there, do you see that.'
18)Not washing up: After suffering a violent attack the 1st instinct many people have is to clean up. This impulse is not only a physical thing, it is also the product of a desire for mental, emotional and spiritual cleansing. However, this destroys potential evidence that could be used to identify and convict your assailant. This means that it is best to not shower, change your clothing, or even go to the washroom or brush your teeth until after law enforcement has taken all of the evidence they can from your person. This process is invasive, especially after something like a sexual assault, but this evidence can be vital. You may feel that you need to do something after you've called 911 and are waiting for responders to show up. Instead of trying to clean yourself maybe take out your camera phone and record every detail you can remember about your attacker. You'll remember more things afterwards but it can't hurt to record details like his eye and hair color at the time while you wait.
19)It may be a good idea to get the names and badge numbers of the officers who show up to help you. This might help you get a copy of the report of follow up on the investigation (which can't hurt).
20)Research: Many government bodies, social rights groups, national organizations and international bodies such as the World Health Organization, have published highly researched documents on the internet, including annual statistics. This material offers great insight into the nature of assaults against women and a solid starting point for future research.
21)Post-Event mental recovery: The importance of seeking out counseling and other professional help cannot be over stated. There is no shame in doing this and having the courage to confront your experience through therapy is a sign of strength. Join support groups to know that you are not alone and build a support network. No matter how the attacker(s) made you feel, it was not your fault. You didn't do anything wrong, you had something done to you. You are still a wonderful person and you still matter.
I really hope that this helps.
I have martial arts training in several disciplines, have conducted extensive research on this subject and have applicable personal experience (direct and indirect). I don't want to offend anyone, but, the few times I've engaged in a martial arts discussion online in the past I almost always find that I'm being asked 1) to elaborate upon relevant personal experiences, 2) for details regarding my level of martial arts training, or 3) to post videos that demonstrate techniques. I'm not trying to be rude, but I don't respond to those types of emails.
Part of why I don't respond to them is that I am rather shy when I'm not speaking in front of a group of people (it's strange, I know) and I don't feel comfortable sharing any personal information online, even through private messages. This includes specifics regarding my martial training (even though it is reasonable to ask about) and I'd like people to judge what I say based on the content, not my ranking. I don't think there is a need for me to do instructional videos since I don't consider myself a master and there are many high quality ones already out there.
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Wmpyr's Thoughts on WSD (Women's Self-defense)
I think WSD is similar to military, in that the dilemma is short term training vs long term training. Long term training is the way to go but realistically we can't always do that, for example if you are a mother of two working two jobs to make ends meet. So please understand that long term training is ideal, and that long term training is different from short term training so don't let these different approaches confuse you. There are plenty of martial arts instructors that are confused about this and the easiest way to avoid such problems is to avoid an instructor that talks negatively about other styles or techniques. Every style and technique has a place. So if they say stuff like never punch, you'll break your hand, anyone that teaches punches for the street is an idiot, this kind of instructor may have some valid points but you should avoid because they are so negative. If it was long term training, you would develop your punch so that you don't break your hand and add one more effective weapon to your arsenal.
The closest thing I can give to you from my own experience is back when the first Ultimate Fighting Championships, the sport of cage fighting came out in the USA, I watched it got hooked with my highschool buddies and soon we were having backyard grappling matches. There was no striking but that doesn't mean this is not practical for real self-defense. If your held on the ground and a guy is beating on you with a wrench, that is a hard situation to get out of even if you have long term training. So I'm going to make things simple and recommend a grappling technique. Back to my grappling matches, I was 130 pounds my friends were over 200 pounds. I never lost, almost always got the submission finish and almost always within 3 minutes. It wasn't that I had more skill than my friends, because at the time I had about 3~4 techniques maximum for the ground. My friends all had martial arts backgrounds too. I was undefeated because of my mind. Mentally, I was extremely aggressive and willing to die. The adrenaline, the stress, the risk, being in a pinch, all these things only made me more alive. Incase your thinking these matches were not all that intense compared to a street fight, let me tell you of one occasion, we had the bright idea to grapple in the swimming pool, just ducking your head underwater is basically a choke, I knew the risks, and I was scared, especially since I had a bad experience one time, when a guy yanked me down in the deep end years ago and I almost drowned. I used that fear to make me fight harder. I was afraid to drown, so instead of keeping my head out of the water, I did the opposite, I dove under and grabbed the legs and took the back, climbed up even though he was taller and his massive back was slippery and I got the rear naked choke. He tapped but with all the splashing I didn't feel it, so out of desperation, he grabbed my crotch and squeezed as hard as he could, this only made me more mad and I squeezed the choke harder, then I heard a scream and he let go, so I let go, I'm sure he was able to scream because my technique was really poor, I didn't even know the difference between crushing the windpipe and a blood choke. I grappled my friends a lot, and after everyone of these matches I was sore for days. My body was weak, and the matches were intense.
So I recommend learning the RNC (Rear Naked Choke) learn how to do it properly. And then you got to drill it, practice it on your pillows around the house constantly. I imagine you've been raped and when the guy is getting up to get ready to drag you to a place where he can kill you, that is the time to take his back and choke him out. Become an anaconda, become the deity Naga, the snake goddess, make fists so your fingers don't get peeled, hide your eyes, and even if he takes out a knife and stabs you in the skull, keep choking, even after he passes out, and take him with you if you have to.
Another thing I recommend is basic Escrima stick fighting, so that when your thrown into the closet or in some dark cellar, and he comes down to do horrible things to you, you can grab something, anything and make it into a weapon, a lamp, a pen, a pipe, ambush him, and bash him on the head, the temple, behind the ear, back of the neck, back of the skull, hit him as hard as you can. You shut down the brain, the body shuts down, and then finish him off.
take care, be safe, become a warrior of peace