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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 1999 12:39 am 
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Location: Richmond, VA
This is an offshoot of an earlier thread. I stated that my wife would use deadly force to protect a family member. Moe then asked, would she use deadly force to protect herself?

Well, the answer is an emphatic YES! The Castanet family is made up of Alpha individuals. Our ethnic mix is interesting. Mediteranian, German, Polish.....a good blend. (This often leads to some very interesting in-house stand-offs.)

We have discussed, as a family, and agreed, that we would not be passive if confronted with a violent threat. We would never go passively, as I fear the trio of women out west did earlier this year. The odds are truly against you if you go to a second crime scene. Better to find me in a parking lot after a crime, than be missing for weeks, months.........

Do we look for trouble? Absolutely not. Avoidance of trouble is the best bet. Do we have tempers? Absolutely. To an outsider, I probably look like the most controlled and I am up to a point. But when pushed a bit too far, look out. My daughter has my temperment. My wife and son are more short tempered.

In a serious conflict, each of us would stand his/her ground. The fur, fingernails, whatever necessary, would fly. It is a family decision.

Any thoughts out there?

Rich


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 1999 4:11 am 
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Rich-san,

Sounds like you have a healthy family "mindset!" We have a similar one in our family. A couple months back I posted a local story about some young teenage girls being molested by the local high-school "star athlete." My daughter knew some of the girls involved and in fact had contact with this twisted individual. He never messed with her - and although she is incredibly beautiful (not just a mother's opinion - 4th runner up Miss Florida pre-teen!) (Ok - a little maternal pride - I admit it!) I believe that he left her alone in large part due to the attitude and bearing she has cultivated along with a mindset to accept NO improper advances! If he had tried to mess with her - I do believe he would have pulled back a "nub" as they say. She works out with me on occasion (she's pretty strong as well) and knows how much of my time is spent in the dojo and on self-defense education (for myself and my students.) She has read most of Gift of Fear and we discuss it (too much she says) but I feel pretty good about her atitude toward potential threat. Fur and fingernails would certainly fly if either of us were threatened - probably worse.

I like Peyton Quinn's opinion in his book Real Fighting (I should get a comission for as much as I've been recommending that book lately) where he quotes Stephen Hayes with regard to the objective of self-defense.
<blockquote>He said its objective was to make someone stop doing something. For example, stop trying to beat me up, or rape me, or attack my family, etc. Ultimately, Mr. Hayes said that the thing the attacker might have to stop doing is living.

I think this expresses it very well.
</blockquote>

I have to agree.

Peace,
Lori


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 1999 8:29 pm 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL
"The Castanet family is made up of Alpha individuals. Our ethnic mix is interesting. Mediteranian, German, Polish.....a good blend." WHAT?! Under who's definition? Definitely material for a new thread!

I should talk - the former Mrs. Moe and I developed a strain of German/Sicilian hybrids....talk about a good blend!

I'm glad to see that your wife has the right mindset and attitude, Rich. The point that I was trying to elicit a comment on was how can we instill in female students the mindset that they are "worthy" enough to defend themselves? Oh, they'll rip somebody's heart out if their child is ever in danger but for some reason, be it lack of self-esteem or self-worth, a lot of women have a really hard time in turning on their internal rage when their own life may be on the line.

We've all seen it as instructors and it's not always easy to change a potential "victim" into a potential "victor".

How do others handle this situation? I would like to hear some female viewpoints, whether student or teacher.

Moe Mensale


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 1999 1:17 am 
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Posts: 2422
Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Lori, Rich, Moe:

For what it's worth:

"Better to be judged by twelve than carried by Six"

Anonymous Police Officer.

Put yourself in a postion to do what has to be done, especialy if you have fears.

A commentator's advice re: abductions and rapes (ie: where the perpetrator convinces some kindly female to assist him someplace else) was: "If you have a little voice telling you not to do it, don't do it"

(ie: don't go)

Start off by not falling for the obvious and listening to your little voice.

JOHN T



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 1999 6:01 pm 
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Location: pepperell ma usa
Hello Mr. Mensale,

I have studied martial arts off and on in a few styles for about 20 years now. I began at a time when women were considered strange for studying any martial art. I am now the mother of two young ladies, who are also training, currently in Uechi-ryu. This subject of training young women to feel they are worthy of defending themselves is very amorphous in that there will be no one answer. Society subtley teaches that to become attractive to the opposite sex, one must be gentle, submissive, and in need of someone who will "take care" of them. From my observations, the girl or young woman who is constantly in need of "rescuing" from some trouble or another seems to attract more attention than those who do not. So the message to our daughters is clear. This has changed somewhat in the media, but for all practical purposes it has not changed in the reality of day to day life for our girls. The question remains is how do we help them to cope? Again, I must return to the lessons inherent in kata training. We must teach them that how they choose to portray themselves can, and indeed must, fluctuate. As in kata, shifting from hard to soft, fast to slow; in our everyday lives we, as women, must be able to shift. Passive, aggressive, empathetic, NON-empathetic, hard and soft- we have the choice of how to portray ourselves, it is NOT necessary to remain in one type of portrayal at all times. It is not necessary to act the victim role constantly in order to win affection and attention. I tell my girls to be beautiful if this is what they wish, but also equally important, be smart, and be strong. Our daughters really need to hear this from us frequently to help counteract the subtle portrayal, and subsequently, molding of young women in our society. This response just scratches the surface of how I feel we could help our young women in the martial way, and I do try to discuss this as often as possible with the young women, as well as adult women I meet in the course of my training. One never knows, which word we may utter that will lead ultimately to changing someones' life for the better, she may be the next student who enters your dojo.

Enjoy the journey.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 1999 7:08 pm 
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What an excellent post! A warm welcome to you Sandie-san - I hope you will become a regular contributor to this forum - your thoughts on this particular subject are timely and beautifully expressed! Thank you for contributing them.

One of the statements you made particularly stands out:
<blockquote>From my observations, the girl or young woman who is constantly in need of "rescuing" from some trouble or another seems to attract more attention than those who do not. So the message to our daughters is clear. </blockquote>

I've made similar observations from my own experience in school and now watching my daughter interact with her peers. Your approach with your daughters and the analogy you draw with lessons from kata is an excellent reminder to all. Perhaps a touch more focus on the individuality of the child as being a source of strength in the face of constant pressure to "fit in" can help our young women recognize their self-worth and avoid situations that would encourage a "victim" role.

Your express some excellent points. Thank you again for your comments! Please share your thoughts with us again.

Peace,
Lori


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 1999 2:04 am 
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Good discussion !
"From my observations, the girl or young woman who is
constantly in need of "rescuing" from some trouble or
another seems to attract more attention than those
who do not. So the message to our daughters is clear." { Sandie}

Comments: From my readings , this really boils down to primal passions and instincts manifesting in men and women in continuous trigger of the necessary bonding to ensure the propagation of the species ! No more than clever programming by nature ! However, those " distress signals " can attract the wrong kind of attention ! In my investigations of the " wrong kind " of attention that some women seem to fall prey to , I have heard psychologists use the term 'dyssemia' to denote a deficiency in transmitting verbal /non verbal messages [ looks /demeanor/sexual ] sending strong signals to the predatory element ! I. e., a poor sense of personal space , poor usage of body language , manner of dress, misusing facial expressions , misplaced sense of touching , subliminal innuendo and other examples of social ineptitude placing some women on the brink of life's more perilous moments without even realizing it ! All women , unfortunately ,are subjected to ongoing " interviews" on a daily basis, even by people they would suspect the least !

Compounding the problem , Society perpetuates and reinforces the images of helpless women by not encouraging them to act on their survival instincts ! Look at the games little girls play as opposed to little boys ! Then females are raised 'not to fight'[ not ladylike] ! In spite of the tide turning somewhat , many images remain of the helpless and weak woman !

> We must teach them that how they
choose to portray themselves can, and indeed must, fluctuate. As in
kata, shifting from hard to soft, fast to slow; in our everyday lives
we, as women, must be able to shift. Passive, aggressive,
empathetic, NON-empathetic, hard and soft- we have the choice of
how to portray ourselves, it is NOT necessary to remain in one type
of portrayal at all times. It is not necessary to act the victim role
constantly in order to win affection and attention. < { Sandie}

Comments: That is the real ' smart woman ' of the nineties ! But hard to shed those leopards spots ! The interesting concept I have studied is one of ' boundaries de-conditioning ' ! Human society has corrupted our sense of boundaries ; both emotional and physical ! Small children , siblings , fight these 'territorial disputes' !
The suggestion is one of mindset in the woman with a view of reestablishing those natural territorial lines with intelligent emotional maneuverings so as to send unmistakable signals that any infringement on emotional / physical space will be met with a territorial battle ! I have come across some classy , attractive women , exuding a mixture of personality warmth and at once an unmistakable aura of ' mental judo' that somehow short circuits the would be imbeciles and predators who move on to the next easier target !

"I tell my girls to
be beautiful if this is what they wish, but also equally important, be
smart, and be strong."{ Sandie}

Right on Sandie !


------------------
Van Canna


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 1999 6:05 pm 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL
Sandie,

What else can be said that you haven't already eloquently touched upon? Not much!

Thank you for your comments.

Moe Mensale


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