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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 11:05 pm 
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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.)

-Lunch

-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

<hr>
Feedback? Thoughts? Concerns? Compliments? Questions?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 1:49 pm 
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Hi Dana,

Glad to see that you continue to seek training outside of the traditional dojo. Always something to be learned and glad you can share your experience with us.

Because you've done the FAST Defense also this is a excellent opportunity to compare one training to the other. Not to say one is better than the other, but to identify pros and cons so women can make informed choices based on your experience.

Best,

Alan


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 3:22 pm 
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Thanks Alan,

You're right - it is good to experience a range of self-defense classes to see what the curriculum has in it.

FAST defense, for all the shouting you do, is really more physical than verbal training. This seminar focused more on the 1000 ways to say No. Which is very important for women since we are often socialized to be the nice one.

For example - something that often happens to girls/women but almost never to men:
You're standing somewhere (elevator, lobby, bar) and a total stranger makes eye contact with you and says "Hey, how 'bout a smile?"

Like I'm supposed to be a little smile vending machine or something. Image So we talked about why it's OK to say no. That saying no is not impolite, it's just a bit unexpected. And we spend more of the time working on building up saying no at a pace slower than you end up doing in the FAST seminars.

Another good point emphasized in the seminar that FAST didn't was paying attention to the kind of information a very casual co-worker or stranger asks. It's natural to talk at the bus stop, but it's not good for the stranger to ask you where you live or where you work. That information is too specific and should set off alarms.

We also worked more on the continuum of from "obnoxious/annoyning" to "dangerous" to "possibly life threatening". FAST spends a lot of time at the "possibly life threatening leve" this seminar spend most of the time at the 1st two levels.

And I think we covered WAY to much stuff for a 5 hour class. While the women got to hit kicking shields and focus mits, and aim techniques at an attacker --- they never made contact with the attacker so in many ways I'm worried that many of the women left with a false sense of security.

Dana

[This message has been edited by Dana Sheets (edited September 22, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 4:24 pm 
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Dana,

From your description=good and bad. But in my view, mostly good.

It is impossible to prevent up close and personal proximity encounters unless one is totally paranoid, something which in itself can trigger violence.

>"Obnoxious/annoying" to "dangerous" to "possibly life threatening". <

This process is insidious because, in men or women, it allows a closing of distance even at the pre [obnoxious/annoying] stage, where one does not have the opportunity or the inclination to create physical or emotional distance for fear of triggering unpleasant reactions.

It happens in bars, poolrooms, in crowded places etc., many of which I have witnessed. In one case one of my students was harassed by the drunk one urinal over in a club’s restroom while, supposedly their hands were “kept busy”_

Even as my student sensed danger, he could not “distance” himself timely from threat to be “safe” from a reaction time point of view.

I think this is what sorely lacks in our training routines, and at the risk of P** of GEM sensei again, this problem gets compounded in the way we practice prearranged kumite, not in his classes, where he teaches a superior approach to kumite, but in general Uechi Dojo.

The distances at which we attack and defend, are totally unrealistic, and are predicated upon the assumption one will have that kumite/distance to play with, which in reality one doesn’t.

Even as reaction time in proximity situations is against us, the training under such up and close personal scenarios, does program better ways to cope.

My student took a good slap in the head while Peeing away in the urinal, but he ducked partially under it, and countered with an uppercut to the drunk’s ribcage, then drove his head into the P***

This type of training should supplement any other physical or mental approach we take.

Many times what we preach as a standard, is not an option.

Now..how about a smile? Image




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


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 6:10 pm 
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Is dess (as in little black dess) a combination of dis (as in disrespect)and dress?

Oh.

A typo.

Never mind.
Image

[This message has been edited by student (edited September 22, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 6:32 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Van - about the smile...
No. (not smiling)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Would he think: what a bitch and of ways to make her life uncomfortable, however briefly, since he perceived an affront? Slapping a male's ego in public is fraught with danger.

And what if you are the first to smile at him as your gazes cross? What message do you think you are sending, and why, and more important, what message do you think he is receiving? Would you really be surprised if he approaches you with a pretext? Now how do you explain your smile if he brings it up?

Did they talk about simply ignoring him and turning your attention elsewhere? I think the problem in saying “NO” is that it might send the message that you are willing to be “engaged” in conversation even with a “no” response in the instance you mention.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I said no. (not smiling)
I want you to move away from me.(not smiling)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have seen this happen in crowded bars. At times the guy feels put down in front of other women and men patrons and harbors resentment and revenge ideation.

Did the instructor talk about simply moving away, saying nothing?

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Another very important thing we talked about, which is what Van shared with his student, is that the aggressor is often not going to come from straight in front of you, but from the side.


Very true. He may come from the side or from a closer than prearranged kumite range,before one has reached the “resolution stage on how to handle the “Vagueness” of the initial threat.

Many times the “shot” fires during this mental limbo, and stuns. Many of us have no idea of the “shock” the system experiences at the moment of a good solid hit to the face and resultant critical “immobility” it creates, even as you might recover from it.

Prearranged kumites do not, cannot address this, unless modified into more realism encouraging some facial contact, if need be.

Compounding the problem is the fact that in kumite you don’t punch to the face, so you are conditioned to expect a body blow. On the street you will be punched to the face 99 out of 100 times.

Why did the drunk slap my student in the head and not in the body?

> No smile? Did not mean to be intrusive, it is just that you have a lovely face and I was thinking I‘d have liked seeing you smile.Sorry for the bother. Image

* Easy to resist that compliment as a woman, without smiling? And with the smile, possibly signaling a willingness to be engaged?

Would you be better off saying nothing?



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


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 6:42 pm 
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Dana thanks for the comparison. The FAST training is definitely geared to be able to overcome fear and use it to develop explosive power. By the sounds of this course you gained a lot of perspective in awareness of different senerios that pertain just to women. Sounds like you have the best of both worlds now!

I to worry about anyone leaving any training with a false sense of security.

Best,

Alan


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 8:58 pm 
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I feel not smiling at a man is one of the tools I have that tell him that I am not interested. I am most likely giving other body signals that I do not want to engage him in conversation and by him asking for a smile he is pushing the issue. I usually would ignore the request and move on especially if there is a place/people to move on to. If I am for some reason in a more secluded area (bus stop, parking lot, etc.) I will be more quick to set boundaries. Many things go through my head: Is he just being friendly? Is he hitting on me? Is he seeing how easily I will comply with the request in order to decide to rob, rape, or otherwise attack me?

I tend to smile at most people. As a result I often get asked for directions. If I am not smiling it is usually for a good reason.

-Heather


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 9:05 pm 
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Little Black Dress. Yup - rapid typing error. (RTE)
<hr>
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Did the instructor talk about simply moving away, saying nothing?


The instructor talked about the fact that there are no "shoulds" in self-defense. (Except that if there are multiple attackers you should try like hell to not be on the ground.) Each situation is going to be different and from time to time you're just going to be guessing at what to do. And you may guess incorrectly. So it is important to be able to fluidly switch tactics.

Women are well practiced in doing the subserviant smile and giving in to not make a scene. Too well practiced IMHO.

We talked about the fact that most men won't just think "bitch" if they're refused. They'll call you that, or worse.

Now, if I perceived that you're just going to go away...
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
> No smile? Did not mean to be intrusive, it is just that you have a lovely face and I was thinking I‘d have liked seeing you smile.Sorry for the bother.

Then I'm fine and we're done.

But if you're now pissed off (which is a bit irrational 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)

The only way to know exactly which choice or series of choices is going to work is going to depend on you, me, and where we are.

But it is good to have had an instructor talk about the idea that you can go up and down on the escalation scale at any point during an encounter -- that it's not just a one way street.

Dana


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 12:47 am 
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Heather has an engaging radiant smile that lights up her face; it would be a shame to hide it. But she has the answer when she says she sends other signals that signify “back off” without appearing of a dour makeup.

Many women are not able to find the proper balance in this and are continuously misread by men, who do not even mean any harm, other than a genuine desire to get to know someone.

The worst of them all is the incessant “chatter box” that sets a man thinking above and beyond what he should be thinking. The European women have a way of being cold as ice in a very soft /sophisticated way that discourages the “great unwashed” types.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Is he just being friendly? Is he hitting on me?


Heather_ can you elaborate on what this means? I think it is a terrible phrase that infuriates men at times.

What denotes “hitting” in a man’s speech and demeanor?

And what of the women who take the initiative today? Lots of that going on. How does a woman do it in a classy way, if she has an interest and wants to encourage a man. Many do not take the initiative for fear of being relegated into the “hitting on me” stereotype.

And how to do it safely without giving the wrong impression? Like_ well, she is looking for a good F**

Dana_ the course you took sounds like a good one. Less emphasis on “slam bang” _ more on emotional interaction education to prevent the “slam bang” moment.




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


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 5:10 am 
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Van - about the smile...
No. (not smiling)
I said no. (not smiling)
I want you to move away from me.(not smiling)
<hr>
Saying no is the "little black dess" of self-defense according to the trainer. No is a complete sentence and good for every occasion. It is even better when it is backed up by what you want.

At the same time it is really, really difficult for women to say no without smiling. And it is hugely important for self-defense.

Another very important thing we talked about, which is what Van shared with his student, is that the aggressor is often not going to come from straight in front of you, but from the side. So it was important to learn how to move to make a little distance between you and the agressor, get you body turned so your weapons would be useful and not try and just hope they would go away.

I think we could benfit from a little more training with aggressors coming from the side.

Dana


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 6:00 am 
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I wrote:
"Is he just being friendly? Is he hitting on me?"

Van wrote:

"Heather_ can you elaborate on what this means? I think it is a terrible phrase that infuriates men at times.

What denotes “hitting” in a man’s speech and demeanor?"
--------------------------------------------
That's a great question Van. I will answer from my point view. Image

When I say someone is "hitting on me" it is usually because the attention is unwanted and I have told the person so in either non-verbal and/or verbal ways. For instance, if I was at a party and someone makes a pass at me. "Has anyone ever told you that you have beautiful eyes?" If I am interested in that person I would respond with a smile and continue the conversation.

If for whatever reason I have no interest in pursing the person I would most likely say, "Thank you, but I am not interested." Cooly say, "Yes, thank you for noticing" but keep moving. Or some other polite brush off.

I know it takes courage to approach someone you are interested in and I take care to leave the person with their dignity intact.

When the guy cannot take a hint and keeps trying other lines or crosses physical boundaries is when I consider him to be hitting on me. It also has to do with how close he stands next me, what tone of voice he uses (are comments on my blouse being whispered in a seductive manor), how fixed his gaze is on me. If I welcome the attention I would consider him to be flirting with me. Flirty banter between people is fine as long as everyone is having a good time. The flirting/hitting on line depends on my perception that I have or have not given them the go ahead. (This is also where things get fuzzy between men and women.) If being polite does not work, I feel that I am sending out very clear signals by saying things in a firm voice and with good eye contact such as, "I am not interested in you." "I am already taken." "I don't date married men."

Once I have been that clear, I expect the passes to stop. If they don't I consider the person to be hitting on me and if they don't stop soon it becomes harassment depending on the environment. I am sure that when men are told to "stop hitting on someone" that it can infuriate them since they are in effect being turned down and their affection is unrequited.

When a woman takes the initiative there is always the risk that the man will perceive her as hitting on him as well. She may watch for some body language that tells her he is interested. He may smile at her as she approaches. His stance will be open and toward her as they talk. Women looking for just a romp in the hay that night tend to get very physical very fast and drop all sorts of hints. Women looking to start a more long-term relationship will usually take it slower. She is unlikely to start grinding her new found date on the dance floor.

-Heather


[This message has been edited by uechiwoman (edited September 23, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 2:59 pm 
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Heather,

Very good analysis, thank you. But lots of men complain of the “hitting on me” label even as they make innocent and good-natured remarks or banter while trying to “connect” with a woman.

And the mistake that is made by many unsophisticated women and men, over and over, is that they wish to put “rules” to emotion.

They do not seem to grasp the fact that, much like what happens in a real fight, interactions between men and women are driven by something very primal. Smart women know this and deal with it very carefully.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Are you hitting on me?


Very common response heard to innocent/good natured approaches. Very stupid response, I might add, because if said to certain types of men, it puts the woman at grave risk for having destroyed the man’s dignity as you say.

The “insulted” man might just make that callous remark become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and in many cases, it has.

Class, is hard to come by. Image

And you do have a radiant smile, Heather, and No I am not hitting on you.
Image


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

[This message has been edited by Van Canna (edited September 23, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 3:55 pm 
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Thank you, Van. And yes, I know you are not hitting me. I like smiling at people I consider friends. Image

In response to your post:
If men are getting the "hitting on" label then their "good-natured" remarks are not being perceived as such by the women they approach.

Women may also be asking for clarification by asking "Are you hitting on me?" She may want to know if a man speaks to all women in his presence the same way or if the attention is specific to her. I have heard women ask the question in a playful way and be glad when the guy replied yes.

Van wrote:
"The 'insulted' man might just make that callous remark become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and in many cases, it has."

Unfortunately this is true. It is often the case that a man who is so insulted by what he perceives as an insensitive remark and an affront to his manhood, has not taken many verbal and physical hints from the woman that she was not enjoying his particular kind of attention. A man so easily moved to violence because of his inability to influence the actions and affections of another MOST LIKELY WILL NOT TAKE A POLITE NO FOR AN ANSWER. He continues to pursue her until she feels the need to request in a strong way that he stop. This is not always the safest course of action, but until she can find a way to be clear or remove herself from the situation, often the man will continue to pursue her without regard to the messages she is sending out. I find this insensitive, wearing, and obnoxious.

I know sometimes men feel that the woman is playing hard to get and that in order to make sure that she doesn't really like them that they need to pursue her until a firm no is received. Women need to learn to say no earlier on in a way that the man can hear it.

What do you think are the best lines a woman could use to turn a man down while leaving his dignity intact?

-Heather


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 11:45 pm 
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Dana

I have to head out to run some chores but... Just wanted to let you know that I thought this was a pretty good course. To those that say some women may walk away overconfident, I reply that I think it's important to hit people with a BROAD amount of information and IMPRESS upon them the fact that this is not easy. Obviously, Dana, I think even you got something out of this. I found myself going through mental checklists myself, and enjoying the information.

Another thing... Folks like me that are male and have lots of sisters (born with empathy) and are generally friendly (like Heather) are VERY sensitive to knowing when they are frightening the other person by communicating. I GO OUT OF MY WAY to send a nonthreatening nonverbal message when I sense someone is concerned about my presence. Any gentleman with half an EQ would do that.

Another thing... I have found with time that I have developed a very, very acute sense of the presence of others and of threat. It is SO STRONG now that I just refuse to get in a lot of situations (because I feel so unpleasant). I'm not entirely sure how I picked that up, but I KNOW it is the right thing. I'm just trying to reverse engineer that.

And finally (to Van), a great sparring exercise I like is having someone plastered against the wall and fight someone in front of you. You REALLY get in the in-your-face fighting that way.

Pardon the typos; gotta go. Image

- Bill


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