I took a self-defense class today

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I took a self-defense class today

Postby CJG » Sun Sep 14, 2003 4:21 am

[quote="Dana Sheets"] ...since all I did was refuse to comply with your irrational request that I smile at you) and you escalate by calling me a bitch I have a couple of choices:

-I can go ahead and give you the smile and hope you'll go away
-I can take a half step back, get my hands up in front of my sternum (not the aggressive post of Uechi, but closer to my body) and start to raise my voice. It means I'm re-sending you the very clear No message. Maybe I'll even say it loud enough to get the bartender's or bouncer's or other bar patron's attention. If I think they'll be more sympathetic to me than to you.
-I can ignore you, give you the cold shoulder and hope you'll go away. (this choice was not promoted) [end quote]

Dana, this is an interesting and informative thread. Different views on how to address someone soliciting the vending machine smile. Why was ignoring the aggressor not promoted in your class? Because then they would have no need for the rest of the class, academic psychology, real time conclusions?

Usually someone who approaches a woman alone with any kind of non-emergency question is looking for interaction so any type of reply from her may satisfy the need. Depends on his motives, some men want to know what you're thinking or feeling. As described later in the thread, the 'she's easy if she smiles and hard to get if she says no' mentality seems to be common. Personally, it works best and fastest to to let him know I'm just not 'playing' or engaging by not responding. Worked with two drunk guys in the subway recently. After a while it was obvious to them and everyone in a 30ft radius that they were self-made asses so despite their irrational drunken state they eventually moved on.

Each reply lets him know where you're at and gives him something to work with if he is into the 'game' of it. Game is that he wants interaction (and possibly more as discussed) so he gets it via his clever maneuvers around your roadblocks. No roadblocks> no maneuvers> no game, just a uechi glare :wink:
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Postby Dana Sheets » Wed Sep 17, 2003 4:42 pm

Why was ignoring the aggressor not promoted in your class?

You make a good point. Ignoring the aggressor was promoted if the aggressor was too far out of range to be a threat. "Out of range" mean that you felt comfortable ignoring the comment. What wasn't encourage was ignoring someone when they were "in your space" either physically, verbally, or emotionally. Just ignoring comments at that point could be perceived as aquiescence and the instructor's goal was to promote boundary awareness and defense.

I often just ignore the comment. But if I ignore them and feel like they're still advancing (either mentally or physically) that's when they get the "glare" you've already mentioned. And if I perceive their intention to be strong enough - they'll get a verbal to back up the glare.

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Postby Patty » Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:47 am

Hi, My name is Patty and I am new to this web site. I have been training in Uechi for 8 years and have recently started running my own dojo. I am currently trying to organize my own womens self defence course. I plan on making my course 6 weeks long, one class per week and each class 2 hours long. Each class will focus on different grabs, holds, etc. the first half hour of every class will be dedicated to practicing palm heels, knees, punches, kicks and eye strikes. The biggest obstacle, i think, is to build the self confidence and the realization that women are powerful. If someone leaves the course a little over confident maybe that will only benefit her, a little too much is better than a little too little. I am nervous about doing this course but I am sure I will learn a lot myself as time goes on. If anyone has any good suggestions please post them.

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Postby Dana Sheets » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:09 am

Hi Patty,

Welcome - and also congrats on your new dojo! Much of what you plan on teaching sounds great! Since you've already peeked through the archives a bit you'll see that self-defense classes is a topic that often very spiritedly debated.

There are several on this site who've also put together self-defense classes. Perhaps you could post whatever ideas or questions you may have and get some constructive feedback.

On of the key things that's been identified on these threads is that only gross motor techniques will work for a vast majority of people under significant adrenal stress. And the women you teach may not practice their techniques after they leave you - so the simpler, the better - IMHO.

Will your classes be open to women of all ages or women over 18?


PS- I've sent you a PM
Did you show compassion today?
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Postby Dana Sheets » Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:04 pm

There is a similar discussion going on at the other board I post on.
http://www.cyberkwoon.com/forum/viewtop ... sc&start=0

Below is a comment from me that I reposted here.
The brain is one big pattern matching machine. When something happens, the first thing your brain tries to do is to match a similar pattern to the action. Now if this is an action you've done alot (like riding a bike) then the pattern is so quickly accessed and used it's called "automaticity
". However, if you don't have a pattern to match your brain will keep trying and keep trying and keep trying. Just like how your hard drive spins when it's trying to follow a program sequence.

We've all seen people standing their with their brains spinning. For some people it happens when they see or are in a car wreck. For others it's a simple as not being able to act when a dishtowel catches fire in the kitchen.

Just like any other cognitive skill - some peple are going to be better at matching patterns than others.

To me - this is where the self-defense seminar can be a HUGE help to many. Even if the pattern isn't practiced and deepened to the point of automaticity - it at least gives many women and men some kind of a base pattern to access so that their brains don't freeze up.

Will these unpracticed people always respond in an efficient manner to an attack on their safety? Probably not. But at the very least they'll have a starting point. And for some, after they start - their will to survive will kick in and keep them going.

One of the very key messages in a self-defense class to get across to folks (IMHO) is the idea of "you may think of yourself as a nice person - but when another person is doing something to you that's not nice, and will likely hurt you a whole bunch - then you need to give yourself permission to not be nice back."

Did you show compassion today?
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Re: I took a self-defense class today

Postby munoz » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:54 am

Dana Sheets wrote:I just attended a self-defense class for women today. It was 5 hours -- 10:00 am - 3:00 pm.
We covered (in about this order):
-The continuum of threat from cat calls to armed rape

-Boundary awareness (having people walk toward you to figure out when you got uncomfortable)

-Making your voice, your body language, and your use of space send the send message (No)

-How to face your aggressor (basically sanchin without the toe in) & hold your arms – elbows bent and near the body, hands close to the body in front of the sternum (a non-escalating posture.) Did worked on keeping the aggressor in front of you by pivoting around your front foot so that you’re not backing up.

-Shouting. Shouting “No!”

-Body weapons: palm heel, tips of the fingers in a bundle to hit the eyes, hammer fist, elbow, knee, foot & later hips. At this point we did palm heels on focus mitts while yelling “No!” We did eye strikes at the air while yelling “No!.”

-Targets: eyes, throat/neck, groin (testicles), knee (the teacher showed kicks and stomps to the outside of the knee, inside of the knee and back of the knee), top of foot, temple

-Partner work: Then a partner would stand still and we would walk around them throwing techniques while shouting out the target. ***Targets were only indicated, not hit. We were to work full circle around the partner. If you couldn’t think of a variety of techniques to throw you were to keep throwing the same techniques without stopping until another target came to mind. The goal was to keep aiming at targets. We did it for 45 seconds each. Most of the women were pretty wiped out at the end of the 45 seconds.

-Verbal scenarios (at the bus stop, at work, on the street, at a bar)

-Descalation of verbal scenarios

-Lecture on reported incidents to indicate who is really most likely to attack you. We also talked about race bias, gender bias, sexual orientation bias, and how they pertain to who’s attacking you and why they’re attacking you.
For example.
Women are attacked 94% of the time by people of their own race.
Women are attacked most of the time by people they know.
The average ratio of attacker to victim is 1.3:1.
(She didn’t cite a source for her stats)

-We talked about the importance of identifying characteristics of dangerous behavior rather than assuming a group people is dangerous based on age, race, geographical location, etc.

-Then we sat in a circle and each person would put their hand on the knee of the woman next to them (play the role of an aggressor giving unwanted touch.) The woman being touched would use verbal skills to indicate she didn’t want the hand there, and if that didn’t work she would use physical skills (like pushing the hand away.)


-We talked about myths in self-defense and had a short Q & A so women could ask about things they’d been told to do but weren’t sure about.

-We talked about what are our personal barriers to defending ourselves and how each of us was going to work on those issues in concrete practical ways.

-Knee strikes – first hitting our own hands. We were told that the knee strike should be like hitting the bottom of a table, not into a door. So under & up, not forward.

-Rear attacks – when grabbed from behind we were to try and get our hands on the aggressor and use our legs to stomp or kick the knees. If we had a hand free we were to slap the groin, grab for the testicles and pull downwards dropping our body weight. Then move to elbows to the head or knees to the head until you feel you could run away or stay and finish if you felt you couldn’t run away.

-Ground fighting part I – The teacher suggested that a woman should consider fighting from the ground using their legs if there is only one aggressor. The teacher stressed that a woman should never go to the ground if there is more than one aggressor and if she gets knocked to the ground she should fight like hell to get back on her feet. We started from a side position on the ground where you might end up by choice or if you fall or are pushed down. Example: Lie on your left hip, support yourself up on your left elbow & forearm, right hand on the ground near your elbow, right leg up to kick. We did heel thrust kicks, side thrust kicks and ax kicks from this position. We practiced how to switch from side to side without exposing your centerline by keeping your knees bent and your hands close together when you switched sides. We practiced moving from side to side and around in a circle to keep the aggressor at our feet.

-Ground fighting part II was when the aggressor has already mounted or grabbed you (like if you’re in bed or asleep at the beach.) We used a pelvic thrust when the aggressor was straddled over our hips while we were on our backs. The thrust was very effective at knocking the aggressor forward as long as the aggressor had most of their weight bearing down on you. Then we did partner work with the partner playing the aggressor of grabbing you or mounting you while you were lying down. You were to shout and hit targets with your body weapons until you could run away. Or, if you couldn’t run away (i.e. you’re in the middle of nowhere and you’d have to run 20 miles for help) then you were to keep hitting until the aggressor didn’t move.
***Keep in mind that when we did partner work there was NO contact with the strikes. The targets were indicated and shouted out.

-Bag work: We did knee strikes on the bag, then dropping to the ground position to do kicks on the bag from the ground.

-Final Scenarios: a variety of scenes (1 scenario for each woman) where you were to use the skills you learned that day to defend yourself. The aggressor was one of the instructors – there was no contact with the strikes. We were to yell “No” or yell our targets and keep going until we felt we could run away.

-Final discussion period & wrap up

Feedback? Thoughts? Concerns? Compliments? Questions?

I really want to go on self defense class to protect myself from any danger.

A man with a briefcase can steal millions more than any man with a stun guns.
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