Self Defence is an open system. In a closed system there are known factors and there are right and wrong answers based on these factors. In an open system there are many ways to be right and wrong .

The difference between self defence tarining and martial arts training is that self defence teaches students and martial arts teaches subject matter. 2 simple examples are; self defence teaches power generation, martial arts teaches multiple different strikes or self defence will teach a 20stone man differently then a 8 stone female, martial arts teaches everybody the same syllabus. The reason for this is a 20 stone man doesn’t need to worry about being draged into the back of a van and raped, a 8 stone female will not need advice with how to deal with a monkey dance.

Self defence training must give each student the tools and freedom to solve their problems in their own way.

To understand and defend yourself correctly on the street you must understand the difference between social and asocial violence, and the tactics that must be used to deal with each.

Social violence = the monkey dance, the interview, sparring/dueling, sorting it outside, have a knockabout. Social violence is violence used for social status, dominance or to teach a lesson. Examples Dave’s mad he took on that huge bouncer last Friday, or how dare he do that, I’ll teach him.

All predatory animals have social violence or some sort of play fighting. Think dogs, foxes, lions or tigers wrestling and playing. This is how they learn to fight, hunt and display dominance. It is never lethal Humans social violence is designed not to be lethal and when it is it is usually from falling and banging their head. With social violence it is for dominance/status or to teach a lesson, ie punching someone to teach them to show you respect. The mindset for this has to be justified. You will subconsciously be hitting to communicate, not to eliminate,

Asocial violence = the group monkey dance, violent crime, a predator. If you go to kill an insect do you need to get worked up or get angry? Do you need to convince yourself that this is a bad insect? Do you need to justify it like its justice? Do you give the insect a chance and fight it or just kill it. This is asocial violence. This can be lethal. Experienced violent crimals have gotten past this and treat people like animals, which gives them a huge advantage. Most people defending themselves cannot. Unless you train to flip the switch.

The things that can prevent or de-escalate social violence can invite asocial violence and vice versa. In a predatory approach you must be able to distingush between a crime motivated by cash from one motivated by cruelty.

Bad guys don’t fight, they’re not in this to lose. They use surprise or bitz attacks. Martial arts work well in social violence where you have time and choices. Asocial violence comes as a surprise and you will be surprised, don’t kid yourself that you wont be surprised.

Self defence is not a physical skill its an emotional skill, it is all about how fast you can recover when injured or surprised. What to do is almost never the problem. Actually acting or beating the freeze is the issue.

See other articles on the monkey dance, the group monkey dance

The Group Monkey Dance (GMD)

The GMD is another dominance game very different from the individual monkey dance.  In this ritual, members of the group compete for status and to show their loyalty to the group by showing how vicious they can be to someone perceived as an “outsider”.  It is purely a contest to prove who is more a part of the group by who can do the most violence to the outsider.

Group psychology and the power of mobs plays a huge part in this, making normal decent people behave in a way they would never have imagined, as they get caught up in the “feeding frenzy”.  The victim is completely inconsequential.  Once it starts, the victim is literal a non-person.  Any pleading, fighting, passivity will be interpreted by the group as proof of “otherness” and further justification to escalate.  Sometimes even the death of the outsider doesn’t stop the dance.

The receiving end of the GMD is an ugly situation.  There is a lower level GMD, where an “outsider” is seen to be intruding into an “in-house” dispute.  This can sometimes explain a victim of domestic abuse turning on police officer called to the scene, or an audience turning on a stranger trying to break up a fight.  This level is rarely as vicious as the GMD, the group wants the outside out.

For more information on this I highly recommend the book

Meditation on Violence by Rory Miller

The Monkey Dance

The Monkey Dance is a ritual combat to establish social dominance or defend territory.  It is nearly always non-lethal.  The Monkey Dance is basically a precursor to a fight.  It’s the set up.  From a self-defence view point, you should never engage in “Monkey Dance”.  Avoiding the Monkey Dance is the only sure-fire way to avoid a fight.   Some variations of the Monkey Dance allow you to avoid a fight, some variations mean no matter what answer you give a fight can happen.  An example of the first kind, could be a potential mugger/attacker, asking you do you know the time?  A simple confident no and a refusal to be stopped, could avoid trouble.  This response also works with someone asking for a light.  The act of looking at your watch or reaching for a cigarette lighter, can be enough of a distraction for an attacker to launch a surprise blitz attack.

Other forms of the Monkey Dance mean no matter what response you give, a fight is unavoidable.  Failing to engage is the only way to avoid trouble, act like you never heard the question.  An example of this could be, are you looking at my girlfriend?  Answer yes and your attacker can act offended and defensive that you were staring at his girlfriend and start a fight.  Answer no and he can claim you are calling his girlfriend ugly and start a fight.  Remember in the Monkey Dance your attacker holds all the cards, no matter what your response if he wants a fight, he will start one.

Another example this time in a bar, would be someone claiming you spilt their drink.  Deny you spilt the drink and you attacker will claim you are calling him a liar.  Say you did spill his drink and that is an excuse to start a fight.  Even in this situation being diplomatic and offering to buy a new drink can enrage someone looking to start a fight.

The Monkey Dance or Interview come in many ways, but they are all designed to force you into a confrontation or to distract you from another threat.  As a friend of mine experienced abroad, a young child kicked a football at him as he walked down the street, in the confusion that followed another child stole his wallet and ran away.  That person pressing against you in the queue, to get on the bus or train may in fact be robbing you, leaving you stranded as the doors close, watching your mugger casually walk away.

The Monkey dance is a ritual with specific steps.

  • Eye contact, hard stare
  • Verbal challenge, (What you looking at?)
  • Close the distance
  • Finger poke or two-handed push to the chest
  • Dominant hand punch

Because it is all about dominance you can usually circumvent the dance with submissive body language, such as lowering your eyes and apologizing.  This has a personal cost.  For most men, backing down from a status conflict is very difficult and does psychological damage.  If you do it out of fear you will feel terrible however if you do it consciously as a ploy, it is far less damaging but de-escalates the situation.

While the Monkey Dance used to be reserved strictly for males, it is beginning to crop up with females also.  Because it is a status thing, men wont usually do the dance with children (no status to be gained) or crazy people (they don’t follow the rules).  If a man monkey dances with a female and she verbally stands up to him, diminishing his status (in his warped eyes) he may seek to punish her.  Punishment is worse than damage.  The Monkey Dance is designed to be non-lethal fatalities when they do occur are nearly always due to falling and hitting the head. Unfortunately, this could be with someone she knows, a partner, family member instead of a stranger.  Conversely if a woman attacks a man, I will not be to show who is boss, she will be seeking to do damage.

Other non-physical tactics include treating the verbal challenges as serious thoughtful questions, acting bored, or crazy.  If its appropriate circumvent the monkey dance by jumping steps.  Pre-emptive strikes if you know the fight is going to kick off is a very good self-defence tactic, just be sure you can articulate Intent, Means and Opportunity of your attacker in the inevitable law suit.  Witnesses will all agree you threw the first punch. Jumping steps and applying a lock works, while waiting a trying to lock a strike is impossible.

Big guys are not immune from the Monkey Dance either.  Because it is designed to be non-lethal going against a bigger guy is a win-win situation for the small guy.  Win the fight and he gains status, lose the fight and he gains status for having the courage to take on a bigger guy.

Avoid the monkey dance, de-escalate if you can’t avoid it.  Avoid places where young men group together, avoid places where mind altering drugs are taken.  But anyone with minimum of training should not lose this fight.

 

Essence of Self Defense is a thin list of things that might get you out alive when you are already screwed.  SGT Rory Miller.

Self Defense is a big topic covering areas such as domestic violence to hostage taking.  It is impossible to train for every scenario.  But correct physical and mental training through Karate can help you be ready mentally.

All Self Defense should be based on avoidence.  Good awearness, posture, confidence and common sense should keep you out of trouble.  Never delegate your safety to someone else.  And never ignore what your eyes see.  You are an expert on human behaviour, trust your gut.

Rule for life, you don’t get to pick what kinds of bad things will happen to you.  Self defense is never a choice.  But if it comes you will be surprised.  Always surprised.  If your not surprised then you had some warning and could/should have taken measures to escape or avoid the situation (see the monkey dance).  Real self defense is about recovering from the shock and surprise, whether that is a punch to the back of the head or a hand wrapping around your mouth.

The most common lead up to an attack on a woman is to show a weapon and order her to obey.

If you put yourself in harms way and are the victim of a surprise assault.  You are a rabbit to the wolf.  The attacker is in predator mindset.  They have planned, trained and rehearsed for this encounter.  They know what they are doing with cold logic.  They have a goal. rob or rape for example.  The attacker is ready for the fight and you are inconsequential.  The shock of an attack can cause you to freeze, wondering whats happening and why.  Reasons or excuses are irrelevant when you are fighting for your life.

The predator is looking for weak, dostracted & passive victims.  Practicing good awareness on the street is vital.  Be alert to your surroundings and those around you.  Look for places where attackers could hide.   Display confidence in your body language.  Avoidence is far better then fighting and know that if you do fight, you will fight far less effectively then how you trained.

Fine motor skills degrade or go completely, gross motor skills can degrade also.  Under the extreme stress, that can’t be reproduced in the dojo, a host of chemicals will be released into your system that will effect you mentally and physically.  Skilled techniques degrade under stress, peripheral vision is lost and tunnel vision occurs, depth perception is lost or alltered, auditory exclusion occur, blood pools in internal organs and is drawn away from yor limbs, meaning your legs and arms feel weak, cold or clammy.  Complex motor skills will be hampered.  Perception and memory can be wildly distorted and time may seem to slow.  You can even find irrelevent thoughts will intrude..

All this means that you wont feel most pain and neither does your threat.  Add to that cocktail a mix of adrenalin, alcohol and drugs and it means complience locks and nerve points may not work.  In full survival mode fighting for your life it is not the same state of mind as you where when a wristlock in training hurt.

Tactical training part 2

There is a time and a place for pre-emptive strikes.  If you have tried everything, been diplomatic, tried walking away but you know a fight is about to start, sometimes striking first is the best form of self defence.  Again if you absolutely know a fight is about to start, why put yourself in further danger by giving your attacker the chance to throw the first shot, he may get lucky and hit you.  Against multiple attackers a pre emptive strike makes even more sense, taking out the leader before the gang have ramped up and kicked off, may actually cause them to lose heart and flee.  A word of warning here, pre emptive strikes may help you survive your first fight, but could seriously damage your defence in the second fight, years later in court.  A witness that was too far away to hear “the interview” or argument, but “witnessed” everything, may in court swear that you indeed throw the first punch, thus starting the fight, making you in court years later they accused rather than the defendant.

In relation to witnesses, practising open handed strikes is vital.  A slap delivered by a well trained martial artists may carry the same knock out power as a punch, but when described in court to a jury who have never been in a fight, its sounds much better when the witness says, “ Yes, Your Honour, the defendant slapped the man attacking him”.  As opposed to, “he punched him”.

Maintain your awareness once the fight has started, or especially when you think the fight is over.  Don’t go from a red level to green, simply because you dealt with one obvious attacker.  Every dickhead has a friend, who as you start to walk away completely unaware that they are running out of the bar to help their friend who is being attacked/fighting.

If you are faced with multiple attackers, identify and take out the leader first.  Keep moving and use your footwork to herd them together and into bad positions/obstacles.  Herding them together may mean they get in each other’s way, but also you will only be dealing with attacks coming from one direction, and not from all around or possible be blindsided.

Remember the 30 feet rule – under 30 feet the knife is more lethal than a gun, unless the gun is already drawn.  Under 30 feet a knife wielding attacker can cover the distance and kill his victim before they can draw, aim and fire their gun.  Knives are serious threats in modern day Ireland, if you are involved in a confrontation assume a knife is involved even if you can’t see it.

 

Rape Prevention And Safety Tips Through a Rapist’s Eyes

This is important information for all males and females of ALL ages to know. It is worth noting that the following point refer to an ambush attack primarily, whilst most victims of rape in fact knew their attacker.  This survey was carried out in America, any legal sanctions are under American law.

A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:

1) The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

2) The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women whose clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around specifically to cut clothing.

3) They also look for women on their cell phone, searching through their purse, or doing other activities while walking because they are off-guard and can be easily overpowered.

4) Men are most likely to attack & rape in the early morning, between 5:00 a.m. And 8:30 a.m.

5) The number one place women are abducted from/attacked is grocery store parking lots. Number two: Are office parking lots/garages. Number three: Are public restrooms.

6) The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to another location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.

7) Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years.

8) If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.

9) These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.
Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it.

10) Several defense mechanisms he taught us are: If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk: ‘I can’t believe it is so cold out here,’ ‘we’re in for a bad winter.’ Now you’ve seen their face and could identify them in a lineup; you lose appeal as a target.

11) If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell STOP or STAY BACK! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they’d leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

12) If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes), yell I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.

13) If someone grabs you, you can’t beat them with strength but you can by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm (between the elbow and armpit) OR in the upper inner thigh VERY VERY HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands — the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it – it hurts .

14) After the initial hit, always GO for the GROIN. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble and he’s out of there.

15) When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

16) Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and If you see any odd behaviour, don’t dismiss it, go with your instincts!!!

You may feel a little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.
Self defence tips

  1. The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

    2. Learned this from a tourist guide in New Orleans. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you….chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

    3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

  2. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.) DON’T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.

    A. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

    5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot or parking garage:

    A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.

    B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

    C.) Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.

Fight Psychology

In a fight or self defense situation attitude is everything, technique or skill sets are beneficial and will reduce your risk of attack and injury, but the right attitude will determine whether you survive or not and how you deal with it emotionally afterwards.

Let me stress this now.  Unless you are psychotic you will not walk away from a violent altercation unscathed, you may be uninjured physically but there is a psychological damage anytime a person faces violence.  Violence is a horrible traumatic event that can stay with you long after your physical injuries have healed.   Think Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Once again use your tactical training, street awareness and common sense to avoid trouble whenever possible.  But if you are forced to face violence and defend yourself or others, your attitude is of vital importance.  Think Rocky Balboa or John McClane in the Die Hard movies.  That never-give-up attitude, no matter what.  Once you’re in a fight you must keep fighting until you’re safe or the last breath has left your body.  Attitude is everything, it’s why you hear of grandmothers fighting off would be muggers with their purse, and martial arts trainees being attacked.  Some of this attitude comes out of years of life experience but can also be developed in the dojo (training hall).  There is an old karate saying, “The more blood, sweat and tears shed in the dojo, the less you shed on the street”.

Determine today to make the decision (and train it in the dojo) to do whatever it takes to protect yourself.  You may be hurt, you may even be bleeding, but you must keep on fighting until the fight is over.  You will know it’s over when you are safe or have escaped the situation.  A part of the right attitude to keep fighting no matter what means if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.  If a kick doesn’t work, try punching, if punching doesn’t work try elbows or knees, or biting, clawing or poking.  Keep fighting until your safe, your attacker is not a threat or backs off to find an easier victim.

Don’t believe your attacker, just because they say they won’t hurt you, doesn’t make it a fact. Stay alert and aware of all possible threats.  A few years ago a group of nurses sharing a house together, woke up to find an armed intruder in their home.  The burglar brought them all together in one bedroom, assuring them he would not hurt them that he only wanted money and jewellery  to feed his drug habit. One at a time he took each nurse to their room leaving the other scared and alone.  One of the nurses urged her friends to overpower the intruder when he returned to the room.  To scared to work together they argued if they did what he wanted he would leave them alone.  Hoping the intruder had not counted his victims before locking the door, she hid under the bed as each of her friends was led from the room.  She only climbed out the next morning when an alarm clock was not turned off, to find her friends and colleagues, stabbed to death.  She lived because she refused to believe her attacker.

Another reason not to believe any attacker is if you appear too passive the crime may escalate.  Quite often minor crimes become combination crimes, a mugger facing no resistance on demanding a purse decides to rape or assault a victim.

Preparation for an encounter is a necessity.  A self defense course is a good start, regular martial arts training is even better. This preparation is similar to wearing a seat belt when you get in a car.  When you strap yourself in, you are not saying “today I expect to have a car accident”.  But you are prepared in case somebody else driving has a bad day.  You must develop the same heightened awareness and casualness about self defence.  Being aware of your surroundings, potential threats and your own actions can all lead to better threat management.  All this plus regular training can insure you don’t become a victim.

In becoming prepared to fight you must ask yourself, “What are you afraid of?”  And give yourself an honest answer.  Are you afraid walking down the street?  Are you afraid to ride public transport?  Are you afraid when you see a particular type of person?  Facing your fears and planning strategies to counter or avoid these situations will diminish your fears and empower you if you are forced into a situation.

Research has shown that forceful physical and verbal resistance strategies (e.g., biting, hitting, fighting back, yelling, screaming, forcefully fleeing or using a weapon, martial arts or other physical self-defense techniques) are effective in thwarting assaults on women. Moreover, these strategies do not appear to significantly increase the risk of serious injury.

Conversely, non-forceful strategies (e.g., pleading, crying, reasoning) and not resisting (e.g., freezing) are generally not effective. Some evidence suggests that passive strategies can even increase the risk of injury.

Fighting back also has mental health benefits. According to Judith Herman, M.D., author of “Trauma & Recovery,” “The women who fought to the best of their abilities were not only more likely to be successful in thwarting the rape attempt, but less likely to suffer severe distress symptoms even if their efforts ultimately failed. By contrast, women who submitted without a struggle were more likely to be highly self critical and depressed in the aftermath.”

I’m not suggesting that you should always fight back in a sexual assault. There’s no substitute for good judgment in the moment. Only you can assess all the variables. What’s most important is remembering that you possess the option to fight, and the readiness of heart and presence of mind to back it up. This means becoming physically literate in the strategies of combat.

 

 

Street Awareness

The 1st rule of street awareness is to trust your instincts, 90% of people in prison probably fit the stereotype.  A gut feeling or instinct could probable be explained by your senses (RAS) picking up something unconsciously.  Ignoring your instincts to be fair to a stranger or potential attacker is being unfair to yourself.  Better to keep yourself safe then putting yourself in harm’s way so as not to offend a stranger passing by on the street.  Crossing the street and risking offending someone you don’t like the look of, is far better than being attacked or killed by someone you don’t like the look of.  Remember criminals won’t always look the part, pick pockets could be dressed in 3 piece suits, or that child running up and down the train/luas/bus, or the little old lady who is a professional shop lifter.

When outside of the house, your awareness must act like a radar, constantly scanning for danger.  The American army uses a colour coding system, think traffic lights, to assess the threat level.  Green means no danger (sitting at home watching TV), orange means being aware  there is a potential for danger but none has been identified (riding a bus, walking through town, being in a bar), red means imminent danger, you are under threat and in danger.  Good common sense and tactical training, should insure you always stay in the green, and you will take decisive action if you enter a level orange.

The interview

The interview is basically a precursor to a fight.  It’s the set up.  From a self defence view point, you should never engage in “the interview”.  Avoiding the interview is the only sure fire way to avoid a fight.   Some variations of the interview, allow you to avoid a fight, some variations mean no matter what answer you give a fight can happen.  An example of the first kind, could be a potential mugger/attacker, asking you do you know the time?  A simple confident no and a refusal to be stopped, could avoid trouble.  This response also works with someone asking for a light.  The act of looking at your watch or reaching for a cigarette lighter, can be enough of a distraction for an attacker to launch a surprise blitz attack.

Other forms of the interview, means no matter what response you give, a fight is unavoidable.  Failing to engage is the only way to avoid trouble, act like you never heard the question.  An example of this could be, are you looking at my girlfriend?  Answer yes and your attacker can act offended and defensive that you where staring at his girlfriend and start a fight.  Answer no and he can claim you are calling his girlfriend ugly and start a fight.  Remember in a interview your attacker holds all the cards, no matter what your response if he wants a fight he will start one.

Another example this time in a bar, would be someone claiming you spilt their drink.  Deny you spilt the drink and you attacker will claim you are calling him a liar.  Say you did spill his drink and that is an excuse to start a fight.  Even in this situation being diplomatic and offering to buy a new drink can enrage someone looking to start a fight.

Interviews come in many different ways but they are all designed to force you into a confrontation or to distract you from another threat.  As a friend of mine experienced abroad, a young child kicked a football at him as he walked down the street, in the confusion that followed another child stole his wallet and ran away.  That person pressing against you in the queue, to get on the bus or train may in fact be robbing you, leaving you stranded as the doors close, watching your mugger casually walk away.

Elite Karate Academy will host a free Self Defence Seminar on Saturday 4th November 2017 between 1pm-3pm.  Places are limited and only by advanced booking.  Contact us on here or on Facebook or text/phone 086 822 4902 to secure a place.  We will be covering simple effective techniques, tactical training, armed attack survival, threat management, fight psychology and street awareness.  All the topics about to be covered in this 4 part free online course.

Threat Management

TRUST YOUR INSTICTS, ALWAYS.  Being fair to a potential attacker is being unfair to yourself.  If you feel unsafe/unsure/threatened take action, better to prejudge a stranger wrongly then allow yourself to enter an unsafe situation.  Thinking like an attacker/criminal and being aware of potential threats, and taking steps to avoid compromising situations, will greatly reduce the risks of you being a victim of a crime or attack.

Remember all cases will be treated independently in a court of law, maybe months or years after the event.  Always use reasonable force in defending yourself.  Only you can decide if you must use physical force to defend yourself.

When human beings communicate 7% is verbal, 38% is tonality, and 55% is physiology or body language.  Your brain processes approximately 2,000,000 pieces of data through your five senses every second.  To maintain your sanity, this deluge is filtered through a network of cells in your brain so only a minute proportion of the information gets through to the brain.  This network is called the Reticular Activating System (RAS).  The RAS works like antenna noticing stimuli and alerting your brain to pay attention.  The RAS lets in only data that meets one of the following 3 criteria:

  1. It is important to your survival.  For example when you are in a deep sleep but wake up because you hear a strange noise in the house of if you are walking and in a daydream you will be alerted to traffic bearing down on you.
  2. it has novelty value
  3. it has a high emotional content.  For example the survival aspect also applies to others than yourself and you will be alert instantly if your baby’s breathing changes but sleep through your husband’s snoring or mumbling in his sleep.

With some forethought and mental training, the RAS can be trained to be more alert to potential risks.  So trust your instincts, you may have noticed something you were unaware of at the time, i.e. a gesture, or a weapon.

When something shocks us, we typically freeze, and that’s what the bad guys rely on. The key to not freezing is having a plan.   Plan your run, your trip home, how you will exit your home in case of fire, if somebody threatens or attempts to causes you harm.

 

If you see an unsavoury character or potential threat ahead of you on the street, cross the street, if it is an innocent member of the public nothing happens, if the person crosses after you, he/she has given you some notice of their intentions.

When passing a group on the street you must take in to a number of factors.  Firstly that group may have been there for a long time and is probably bored.  By continuing to walk into the midst you may be presenting them with a pleasant diversion.  If there are displaying mocking fighting or rough housing behaviour beware they could start this on you if you give them the chance.  If you must walk through a group or gang, beware of groups that try and stop you with a question. Do you have a match?  Do you have the time?  This is called the “interview” and may be used to distract you to pick pocket you or attack you.  As long as you keep walking they won’t be able to corner you.  Do not engage them in conversation either, they have all the answers, and some statements no matter how you answer them will lead to a fight.

If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you…. Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!  What about carrying a fake/empty wallet?

A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

  • Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor and in the back seat.
  • If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.  Hopefully this is more appropriate for the US of America…
  • Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side… If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

As women, you are taught to always try and be sympathetic: STOP.  It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked ‘for help’ into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

If you think you are being followed, walking into a shop or knock on the door of a house.  If the person remains outside, phone the police.  DO NOT LEAD THEM TO YOUR HOME.

Not all criminals are adults.  Unfortunately in this day and age young children are trained to be criminals.  The child running around on the train or street may be trained to pick pockets etc.

Verbal street harassment, by acknowledging it, you are giving him what he want; attention.  Sticks and stones can break you bones, but words should never hurt you.   It can be humiliating or offensive but you gain nothing by answering, but risk the situation escalating.

Getting into a taxi notice the taxi number?  Is the driver displaying his details?  Tell the taxi driver you are texting a friend or family member his taxi number, legitimate drivers will not be offended and will greatly reduce the risk of you being attacked.

When running, plan your route be at your freshest at the darkest dangerous part of the run.  Bad guys don’t work office hours.  Many rapists have described woman running as akin a “call of the wild”.

You’re in a parking garage and you’re loaded down with lots of shopping bags. This is an ideal opportunity for an attacker.

Do:

  • Walk toward your car with your keys ready. Don’t be distracted with your shopping bags.
  • If he’s asking for your property — purse, money, car keys — give it to him.
  • Run, preferably toward a well lit, public area where there will be people.
  • If he’s trying to get you into your vehicle, fight! Scream, scratch, bite, kick, strike — do as much damage as possible to stun the attacker, so you can run away.   If possible take your keys with you.
  • Use your environment. In survival confrontations, everything at hand can be used to help you escape. Throw your keys, purse, coins, sand, gravel, rocks at the attacker’s face. Use it as a distraction so you can escape.

    Don’t:

  • Don’t get into a vehicle with the attacker. You never want to let him take you to a second location. Statistically, it is not in your best interest. If you get into the vehicle, he has a much better opportunity to drive to a quiet place where you’ll be 100 percent at his mercy and have no way of getting help. Even if he’s pointing a knife or gun at you, do whatever you can to get away. It’s much more likely that he will leave to find an easier target than chase you and draw attention to himself.

    You’re at the ATM and have just gotten cash. As you walk away, you’re distracted with putting your money away.

    Do:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings. The number one self-defense technique is being aware of potential threats. Know what the possible dangers are. Note where the exits are.
  • Notice the people in your area. Make eye contact — aggressors tend to back down if they notice you noticing them.
  • Put your money into a pocket immediately.
  • If you see a suspicious person nearby watching you, change your route and walk in the opposite direction.
  • Act confident. Do not act or look like an easy target.

    Don’t:

  • Don’t be oblivious of your surroundings.
  • Don’t count your money or be putting it in your purse as you walk away. This distracts you and is a perfect opportunity for the attacker.
  • Don’t wander without direction. Walk briskly, head up, with purpose. Don’t look intimidated

 

Self Defence Course Part 3 – Fight Psychology coming soon (the mindset of self defense)

Self Defence Course Part 4 – Street Awareness coming soon (being more aware of danger)

Self Defence Concepts Free Seminar

Elite Karate Academy will host a free Self Defence Seminar on Saturday 4th November 2017 between 1pm-3pm.

Places are limited and only by advanced booking.  Contact us on here or on Facebook or text/phone 086 822 4902 to secure a place.

Course content will be covering simple effective techniques, ones anyone can learn and remember.

Tactical training,  what to do in a threatening situation.

Armed attack survival, How to deal with edged weapons.

Threat management, How to handle or avoid a scary situation.

Fight psychology, the mindset of a fight, making a decision to stay safe and

Street awareness. raising your awareness of the dangers around you.

All the topics will be covered in our 4 part free online course.  Part 1 available here

To Sign up we simply require a name and contact number or email, use our contact us page or on Facebook or text/phone 086 822 4902.  Places will be limited and are on a first come first served basis.  Participants must be over 15 years of age.

 

Elite Karate Academy Self Defence Blog.  We will be covering simple effective techniques, tactical training, armed attack survival, threat management, fight psychology and street awareness.  All the topics about to be covered in this 3 part free online course.

Self Defence Course Part 1 Tactical Training

A first aid course teaches you a basics medical knowledge and the confidence to help in a crises.  It does not train you to be a doctor.  That takes years of training and continual practice.  It is exactly the same with a self defence course.  It should give you the confidence to walk the street and lay the ground work to build your own self defense procedures.  But ultimately if you are afraid, long term training in martial arts is what you require.  This course wont deal with how and where to hit (we cover that in class), if you need these techniques, your self defence plan has already failed.  This course will deal with tactical training (the tactics used in a fight), armed attack survival (how to deal with knives), threat management (how to deal with threatening situations), fight psychology (the mindset of self defense) and street awareness (being more aware of danger).  For a true self defense plan to work, it should involve small changes in behaviour and increased awareness of your surroundings, leading to you or your family never being in a threatening situation.

Most people even advanced students forget their greatest weapons.  Your Voice and Mental Attitude.  Screaming and shouting can scare of a potential attacker to draw others to your rescue.  A never-give-up attitude builds from years of experiences and it the reason why 86 year old women fight off muggers with umbrellas, while younger women may freeze.

Simple Effective Techniques – Where to hit and with what?

What are your Greatest Weapons?              Your Voice and Your Mental Attitude

Technique                                                          Some Targets

Front Punch                                                        Nose/Jaw/Throat/Ribs/Liver/Kidneys/Solar Plexus/Groin/Knee

Opposite Punch                                                Nose/Jaw/Throat/Ribs/Liver/Kidneys/Solar Plexus/Groin/Knee

Hammer fist                                                       Temple/Side of jaw/Nose/Side of Neck/Ribs/Kidneys/Liver/Groin/Knee

Hook Punch                                                        Temple/Side of nose/Side of Jaw/Ribs/Liver/Kidneys/Solar                                                                                                       Plexus/Stomach/Knee

Palm Heel                                                            Ears/Nose/Jaw/Groin/Knee

Knife Hand/Chop                                             Neck/Throat/Ribs/Groin

Elbows                                                                  Temple/Face/Nose/jaw/Neck/Throat/Ribs/Groin/Knee

Finger pokes                                                      Eyes/Throat/Groin

Front Kick                                                            Shin/Knees/Groin/Stomach/if attacker is bent over Head

Side Kick                                                              Shin/Knee/Thigh

Foot Stamp                                                         Foot/Ankle/Knee

Knee                                                                     Knee/Thigh/Groin/Stomach/Ribs/Head

Sweeps & Takedowns                                    Ankle/knees/hips

Wrist escapes, locks and sweeps may only be used to restrain/control or take an attacker to the ground after you have hit them.

Learning Self defence techniques properly is about skills acquisition, any technique learnt needs to be reinforced, ideally by continued regular practice.  Contact Elite Karate Academy for classes or to host your own self defense course in work or school.

Tactical Training 10 points to get you thinking

1  AVOID TROUBLE WHEREVER AND WHENEVER YOU CAN.    All self defence procedures should start with avoidance.  The best way to block a punch is not to be there.  If you turn a corner and see an unsavoury character or group, turn around and walk back around the corner.

2  Use your voice, make a scene, scream, shout, this can attract help, and can also deter your attacker.  Screaming or shouting will also build your confidence, can aid in breaking you out of “the deer caught in headlights” effect often associated with the fight or flight reflex, which may make you freeze up.  Using your voice can also unleashes anger, anger at the injustice at being attacked, the fear of being hurt, use this anger to increase the power of your techniques.

3  You have 2 battles to survive.  The first is the immediate physical confrontation; the second is a possible legal battle to defend your actions, months or years later.

4   Four stages in defending yourself

  1. Defend – block/evade/avoid/deflect/run
  2. Disable- strike/punch/kick/slap/claw/bite
  3. Disarm – lock/sweep/throw/disarm
  4. Escape

5  Use your environment.  Attackers can be pushed into walls or you can support yourself against a wall to increase balance and power of kicks.  Push attackers into tables and chairs to hurt them or cause them to stumble etc.

6  Don’t get out of cars to confront attackers, use your car as protection and or as a weapon.

7  Use natural weapons – DO NOT CARRY ILLEGAL/LEGAL WEAPONS.  Do however use everyday items you may have on your person, keys held between the fingers can cut, slash or poke, combs may be racked across the face, pens used like a hammer fist or poked into eyes.  You have felt the pain of a mascara stick in the eye and that wasn’t done with force etc.

8  Where to hit?

Hit hard parts of your attacker’s body with soft parts of yours.  For example jaw with your palm heel.

Hit soft parts of your attacker’s body with hard parts of yours.  For example groin with your knee.

Hit and run. Cause him pain and get away.

9  A physical action demands a physical response.  If he puts his hand on you, a verbal response like “Please remove your hand”, may not be enough, removing his hand yourself sends a stronger message and you appear more confident.  (even if you’re not)

10  Your goal is to disable an attacker and get away.  Run. Run away fast.  Don’t drop your attention until you are in a secure safe place.

Over the next three parts we will deal

Self Defence Course Part 2 – Threat management Coming 23rd October 2017 (how to deal with threatening situations)

Self Defence Course Part 3 – Fight Psychology coming soon (the mindset of self defense)

Self Defence Course Part 4 – Street Awareness coming soon (being more aware of danger)