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 needs 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 yo 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 thema 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 alomost never the problem. Actually acting or beating the freeze is the issue.

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

Elite Karate Academy teaches traditional Wado Ryu Karate-Do (The Way of Harmony). We know correct training leads to character development and self improvement and is more than simply fighting.  Learning the correct mental attitude and fighting spirit of the Samurai improves concentration levels, mind control and stress relief leading to a more positive attitude towards life.  If you train correctly.

This is why we have developed our unique special programmes, for example “Word of the Week” and “Dojo Kun” (see website for more details).  We teach virtues such as Courtesy, Growth, Courage, Sincerity, Honesty, Obedience, Humility, Perseverance, Honour, Loyalty, Self-Control, Knowledge, Respect and Integrity not simple as words but ways to live your life.  In our Academy we build strong character not just strong technique.  Students who can face the challenges of the real world head on like warriors.

Training will sometimes be tough, uncomfortable and push you or your child outside their comfort zone.  Sometimes you/they won’t want to go.  You must.  Pain is a great teacher, but no ones wants to attend class.   Sometimes you will disagree with the training or the Instructors.  But our Academy’s goal is to create strong character that can succeed in life.  No matter what life throws at our students, bullying, loss, fear, uncertainty or stress.  We teach our students to succeed in life and not to be victims.  Perseverance, Discipline, a never give up attitude is vital in martial arts as in life.  Not to be victims of bullying (school or workplace), not victims of loss, insecurity or fear to chase their dreams.  We don’t want students (or their parents if applicable) who quit at the first sign things get uncomfortable.  Don’t teach your child to be a quitter.

Remember you are signing up to learn a fighting art.  Students will be kicked at, punched at, thrown, muscles can hurt, accidents can happen in training or in sparring but fighting in real life hurts more then tough training and been pushed outside your comfort zone.  Outside your comfort zone is where you grow, change and become the best version of ourselves.  We produce leaders not snowflakes.  Students who overcome difficulties or obstacles.  Students who learn through karate to face their problems straight on, that they can succeed through their own efforts.

Do you want yourself or your child to like themselves?

Do you want you or your child to have the ability to be winners and make their dreams come true?

Do you want you or your child to become the best version of themselves they can be, to be truly happy and content and to make the world around them a better place?

Elite Karate Academy Chief Instructor Sensei Gareth FitzGerald has changed thousands of lives with the power of karate many who have never fought a real fight but succeed to win the battles in their lives because of the lessons taught in class.

Elite Karate Academy foremost concern is the safety of their students.  While we teach a non contact form of karate sparring, and sparring itself is never compulsory, as with all sports accidents can happen.  Students wishing to spar will not be allowed to until deemed to have the required defensive skills and technical control.  Protective gloves and boots are mandatory. qqq

Do You Want To Feel Safer, Have More Confidence, Higher Self-Esteem, Better Discipline, Increased Fitness And A Happier More Positive Outlook On Life? Our Teenage/Adult Karate Classes Are For You? Join Before 31st January 2019 Pay For 1 Month Get A 2nd Month Free…

Regardless of age or fitness levels, a student will benefit physically from training. Improvements in flexibility, strength, stamina and aerobic fitness are just some of the benefits to be gained. With correct training under proper instruction students can improve concentration, self confidence, self esteem, discipline, leading to increased positivity, mind control, stress relief, leading to peace of mind and a healthier attitude to life.

Elite Karate Academy teaches traditional Wado Ryu Karate-Do (The Way of Harmony). We know correct training leads to character development and self improvement and is more than simply fighting. Learning the correct mental attitude and fighting spirit of the Samurai improves concentration levels, mind control and stress relief leading to a more positive attitude towards life.

Our Adult classes focus on personal development while building strong self defence skills.

Adult/Teen beginner classes are 8-9.15pm Monday and Wednesday.Contact me by phone or text on 086 822 4902 or email info@elitekarateacademy.com to arrange a FREE TRIAL.

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 hihghly recommend the book

Meditation on Violence by Rory Miller

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 expect 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.

FAST Defense: 10 Safety Tips for Children

  1. Don’t look like an easy victim. Present assertive, self-confident body language and eye contact, not passive, not aggressive behavior.
  2. Know your numbers. Memorize important phone numbers, address, and practice how to make phone calls from a payphone.
  3. Have a Password, and family strategies for being home alone and answering the phone, and the door.
  4. Never go anywhere with a strange adult or child. Also, never go anywhere with anyone you do know without your parent’s permission.  The above password can help when a child is being collected etc.
  5. Have a strategy for getting lost. Empower your children to practice designating “safe places” like a store clerk or security station whenever you go shopping or to other places.
  6. Know your neighborhood and other common routes. Designate safe places to go to in an emergency, (a neighbor’s house, store, etc…).
  7. Never accept anything from a stranger. Always trust your guts whenever anything feels funny to you, and be on alert!
  8. Fire Proof Your Children. Work out an escape plan and basic fire strategies.
  9. Unwanted Touch. No one has the right to touch a child in a way that feels uncomfortable. Empower children to say “No” to an adult or another child in this situation.
  10. 10.Teamwork Rocks! There is safety in numbers. Watch out for your friends and each other. Report anything strange that happens, to your parents, a teacher, or principal. NO Secrets!

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 defernce 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 dwfence 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)