Student Name:   Darragh Power

Age:   10

Grade:   4th Kyu Purple Belt

Class:   Junior Black Belt Club

Length Training:   3 Years

Favourite Move:   Side Kicks

Favourite Kata:   Pinan Shodan

Hobbies:   Running & Playstation

Sensei Comments:  Really inspired lately.  Training beginning to click.  Has applied concepts outside of the drills where he learnt them.  Beginning to ask really good questions.  Huge improvement from acting the class clown.  Hard work pays off.

People love to use the phrase YOLO (You Only Live Once).  But they are quite mistaken, You Only Die Once.  Each day we are born again.  Each day we are given a choice to change our lives or make them better.  Not everyone has the ability to pack up and live a hedonistic lifestyle travelling the world, most have jobs, children and bills to pay.  Thankfully to live right, you don’t have to move. Simply change your attitude.  I say simple but it takes practice,  The real voyage of discovery consists not of seeking out new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Their is no reality only perception.  Your life is what you see it as.  Emotions are not problems to be solved.  They reflect states of mind & body.  They cannot be solved only felt.  Do you need to justify how you are feeling?

Perception can change in 3 ways;

  1.  See the world in a different light.  Imagine looking over a city landscape as the sun comes out after a summer shower.  Imagine the vivid colours, the sun glistening off raindrops and dew, the shadows evaporating.
  2. See the world in a different place.  Friday evening stressed, stuck in heavy traffic after a long mundane week of work and routine.  But Monday morning you wake you, after having breakfast, you lie all day on a tropical beach.
  3. See the world in a different time. You returning to your childhood family home, you haven’t seen since you where 7.  The rooms look and feel smaller.  Or imagine falling out with a family member, only to regret it at their funeral.

The ability to control your mind or change your perspective is a great skill to have in life or in a fight.  With training you become more aware of the internal voice constantly playing in your head.  Because it runs 24/7 inside your head you can become immune to listening to it.  Ask yourself how you feel, if you’re sad, you’re thinking sad thoughts, if you’re happy, you’re thinking happy thoughts.  Your emotions or moods are a reflection of the internal voice you are playing in your head.  With the correct training, YOU can change your internal landscape irrespective of what is happening around you.   Then it is possible to stop feeling lonely while at a busy party, make your opponent angry, stay calm in a crises, stop feeling sad etc.

Once you become more aware of your internal voice.  You can start the process of changing how it speaks to you.  All of your circumstances in life are a reflection of your subconscious beliefs.  You can change your subconscious beliefs with auto suggestions.  Think of someone wanting to become a  homeowner.  They think they’d like to own their own house, so the start saving.  They change their behavior, maybe not going out every weekend, not buying those unneeded trainers.  Pretty soon, they see their saving increase, and the make further changes, maybe forsaking a holiday.  Then they save enough, get a mortgage and become a homeowner.  The thought changed their beliefs. the beliefs changed their behavior, the behavior made them work towards their dream.

Your unconscious mind cannot process negatives.  You think “I don’t want to be poor”, you brain hears, “I want to be poor”.  Much better to think “I want to be wealthy”.  Your brain receives 2 billion bits of information per second from your senses.  Your conscious mind can deal with 5-9 per second, depending on your interest in the subject.  Your brain use filters.  Its why you can hear your name across a crowd room, because your brain is programmed to hear you name.  Brain filters are deletion, distortion, & generalisations.

Your values determine your filters, which can be changed.  Your values drive you towards pleasure or away from pain.  So learn to listen to your emotions, to control the thoughts in your head, to change your behavior, practice in the dojo, every time you step on the mats, is another opportunity to improve yourself or change the world around you.

Mushin (無心; Japanese mushin; English translation “no mind”) is a mental state into which trained martial artists are said to enter during combat. They also practice this mental state during everyday activities.

Mushin is achieved when a person’s mind is free from thoughts of anger, fear, or ego during combat or everyday life. There is an absence of discursive thought and judgment, so the person is totally free to act and react towards an opponent without hesitation and without disturbance from such thoughts. At this point, a person relies not on what they think should be the next move, but what is their trained natural reaction (or instinct) or what is felt intuitively.  Years of correct training to make each technique natural and instinctive is required, as well as training of the mind.  It is not a state of relaxed, near-sleepfulness, however. The mind could be said to be working at a very high speed, but with no intention, plan or direction.  Sensitivity and flow training combined with Zanshin practice in Kata helps train this mindset.

Some masters believe that mushin is the state where a person finally understands the uselessness of techniques and becomes truly free to move. In fact, those people will no longer even consider themselves as “fighters” but merely living beings moving through space.

The legendary Zen master Takuan Sōhō said:

The mind must always be in the state of ‘flowing,’ for when it stops anywhere that means the flow is interrupted and it is this interruption that is injurious to the well-being of the mind. In the case of the swordsman, it means death.
When the swordsman stands against his opponent, he is not to think of the opponent, nor of himself, nor of his enemy’s sword movements. He just stands there with his sword which, forgetful of all technique, is ready only to follow the dictates of the subconscious. The man has effaced himself as the wielder of the sword. When he strikes, it is not the man but the sword in the hand of the man’s subconscious that strikes.

However, mushin is not just a state of mind that can be achieved during combat. Many martial artists train to achieve this state of mind during kata so that a flawless execution of moves is accomplished — that they may be achieved during combat or at any other time. Once mushin is attained through the practice or study of martial arts (although it can be accomplished through other arts or practices that refine the mind and body), the objective is to then attain this same level of complete awareness in other aspects of the practitioner’s life.  Start by being Mindful, (Obi Wan Kenobi to Luke, be mindful of your emotions, Little one), Then Zanshin (awareness) grows.  Over time with repeated practice Mushin develops.   Trained correctly in class, practice becomes habit, habit becomes a way of life, if the practice is correct.

The concept of Mushin is identical to the Japanese metaphorical expression “Mizu no Kokoro” or the “mind like water.” This mental attitude refers to a mind that is in total harmony with the Cosmos that it resembles a still pond of water without any ripples where the surface reflects a clear and perfectly undistorted image of the surroundings, like a mirror.

Mushin cannot be grasped by the intellect; it must be experienced. A Mushin mind has no Ego and no substance; it is pure Enlightenment and is the perfect realization of the self.

This state of mind takes years and years of practice to achieve. Mushin is achieved when a person’s mind is free from anger, fear, judgment or the ego during combat or everyday life.

Mushin thus implies a state of mental clarity, awareness and enhanced perception (sensory and intuitive) known as pure mind, produced by the absence of conscious thought, ideas, judgments, emotion (fear and anxiety), pre-conception, or self-consciousness. It is a state of total awareness and reaction not impeded by higher mental function or emotion, a mind more open and reactive to subtle sensory input, intuition and spontaneous action. It is a mind that is totally calm — a mind not influenced or caught up in events or others emotion, thus a mind more able to freely perceive and respond.

This required the non-conscious mind and the instinctive trained body to be free. No longer inhibited, slowed, distracted, or clogged, the mind was free to fully perceive, respond and commit to action. The mind is not fixed on anything and is open to everything; a mind expanded through the whole body with total awareness of and focus on everything.

Mushin is not about automatic reactions or lack of thought.  Mindfulness and Mushin may appear to mutually contradictory.  However, they are 2 sides to the same coin.  Mindfulness in the context of karate refers to being present in the moment, aware of one’s actions and environment

If you where training kata on the mats and a door on the other side of the room was partially opened an inch, you would know instantly.  This is Zabshin.  Zanshin (awareness) exists with Mushin.

If when suddenly attacked or startled.  One steps forward to confront the attack, rather then recoiling in fright, this could be said to be a form of Mushin.

 

Every technique you learn has a particular application but also has an underlying theory or concept.  Lower grades learn individual techniques and over time build up an arsenal of weapons, defenses or tactics.  Higher grades however use individual techniques to train concepts.

Here is an example.  If you teach a student to block a punch to the face by using upper block, and then drill them in the use of that technique, it will become effective.  Everytime they are punched to the face they will use the technique they know.

However if the student only knows the technique and not the concept behind it.  When the attackers punch is directed to the stomach.  They will block upwards and be hit.

However if the student understands the concept behind the technique of upper block, ie not to get hit.  Then when punched to the face they will drop the arm to block.  Thus using the concept of blocking.

All techniques have underlying concepts or principles, which can be used with different ranges, strategies or tactics in a fight.  Lower (Kyu) grades when joining our Academy build up an arsenal of defensive or attacking techniques, over time.  Until they get to the senior grades of brown or black (Dan) grades. where a better understanding of the concepts is introduced.

Traditionally there wasn’t much talking in a class and students where given a simple explanation and expected to understand the concepts through repeated practice.  This could lead to students misunderstanding or quitting cause of lack of progress.  These days along with extensive repetitions, verbal teaching can greatly increase  a students understanding, as long as that student is training hard.  Knowing something intellectually will not transfer it into a physical skill.

Simple Concepts include

Kicking, Punching, Blocking, Simple Body Movements, Distance, Timing, Twisting, Jumping, Ducking, Penetrating, Focus, Speed, Relaxation, Power,

Advanced Concepts include

Entering, Evasion, Deflection, Parrying, Absorbing, Flowing, Locking, Throwing, Take Downs,Focus (Kime), Awareness (Zanshin), No Mind (Mushin),  Space/Timing (Ma-ai), Spirit (Kohoro), Eye Control (Metsuke), Shoshaku Joshaku, Three types of Attack (Sen), Mindfulness, Beginner’s Mind (Shoshin).

ELITE KARATE ACADEMY NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2017

Welcome to our January Newsletter. I hope you all had a wonderful Xmas and may 2018 bring you joy and happiness.

This email newsletter will hopefully keep you up to date with all you need to know about what’s going on in Elite Karate Academy over the coming months.  Please feel free to share this newsletter with family and friends, I hope you find it informative.  Feel free to comment on our Facebook (insert link here) page with comments and be sure to like our page while you’re there.  Sign up for our newsletter at https://www.elitekarateacademy.com/contact-us/

News – Updates – Events

  • Congratulations to all those students who graded before Xmas.  Click the following link to view the child’s syllabus​ or adult’s syllabus​, to view what you need for your next grade.
  • If you wish you can now pay your fees by Credit/Debit Card or set up a Standing Order, simply ask for a standing order form to complete the next time you are in the dojo.
  • We are currently offering a special offer of 10% off 3 month term for new members. Click here​ for a lin to send your friends.
  • Donations for St Vincent de Paul of clothes, bedding, toys, books, household items, DVDs etc. as always may be dropped off at the dojo anytime.
  • That so many of you recommend our Academy is a great source of pride for me.  Please go our Facebook​ page and write a review your club and it may be posted on our website.  In February we will be running a referral competition.  More details next month
  • As always parents are invited to join our Cardio Combat Fitness Boot Camp.  Ask Sensei about a FREE TRIAL. Our Fitness Bootcamp class have now been rescheduled and now take place on Monday & Friday from 8.15pm-9.30pm.  See below for more details.

 

Elite Karate Academy Expo

Our 7th Karate Expo will take place on Sunday 15th of April between 2pm-6pm, in the Green Isle Hotel.  All students will once again take part in the Expo and showcase their abilities and standard.  The expo will include gradings, demonstrations by students and instructors, sparring competition, raffle, bake sale and our annual awards ceremony, where we will crown this year’s student of the year.  More details in next month’s newsletter but for now book the date in your diaries.

Sparring Competition

Will take place within class in March and is completely voluntary.  More detail of how to sign up next month.

St Patrick’s Day Parade

Once again this year the Academy will be walking in this year’s Clondalkin Parade.  Students, families, and friends are all invited to join us on the day.

Cardio Fitness Boot Camp

Cardio Combat Fitness Class.  Special Offer 1 Month Trial (8Classes) Only €40 In January.  New Members Welcome Now.  Beginner – Advanced Go at Your Pace. Lose Weight & Get Fit. Mix of Circuits, Core, Fitness & Karate.  New Time Monday & Wednesday 8.15-9.30pm.  Check Out Here​ For More Information.

Stick Fighting Classes

A new stick fighting class starts on Mondays between 6-7pm.  Class are based on Japanese martial arts including principles from Wado Ryu Karate, Ken Jitsu (sword), Bo Jitsu ( long staff), Jo Jitsu (short staff) and FMA stick fighting techniques.  No Previous martial arts experience or fitness is required.  Check out link​ for more details.  Join in January and receive our special introductory offer of 4 classes for only €20.

Character Education Program

Once again, we start our Word of the Week program in class.  Our specially designed word of the week program teaches 14 core values to your child in a 5 minute ‘mat chat’ within their normal class. Your child will grow as people not just stronger and fitter.  No other club offers this type of program.

Our 14 words are: Courtesy, Growth, Honesty, Obedience, Courage, Sincerity, Humility, Perseverance, Honour, Loyalty, Self-Control, Knowledge, Respect, Integrity.

Each week these lessons will be posted on our Facebook page or the full course can be viewed here in our blog​ section of our website.  I strongly urge parents to get involved with their child’s learning by reading these posts or discussing after each class what they learnt.

Website

Every week we have new blogs on our website.  Click here​ to read about them

Dojo Kun Programme – Most club’s dojo rules consist of no shouting, no chewing gum etc. Our Dojo Kun program teaches your child 25 rules of life. These rules teach your child how to follow and make their dreams come true, through hard work, passion, and dedication.

Elite Mental Training – This program teaches students the mental strategy of fighting, topics introduced can be used in all areas of life, reducing stress, and increasing mental wellbeing. Read some lessons covered in our blog section below.

Anti-Bullying Programme – We teach your child how to deal with bullying in a non-aggressive way without having to resort to violence. A great program for boosting confidence and self-belief.  This starts in September.

Newer material will be shared weekly on our Facebook page, much will be of interest even to those who don’t train.

Referral Competition

Next month we will be starting out referral competition and I will give details of how to enter and prizes.

Coming later in the Year

Other events coming up this year after the Expo, will be our Karate Summer Camps and Summer Party.

Testimonials Request

That so many of you praise our Academy is huge source of pride to me.  Please write a review/testimonial here​.  They will then be added to our website.  Student / parents or both may write a review and you may write a new one if you wrote one before.

Zen Tip

To Study Karate Is To Study Ourselves.  To Study Ourselves Is To Forget Ourselves..  Peace comes from within.  Do not seek it without.

Fitness Tip

ASK A FRIEND FOR HELP.  Having someone ask you each week how you are doing is a great source of encouragement and motivation.  People generally work harder for others then they do themselves.  Sad but true.  Having a close friend or family member ask you each week about your progress is more likely to keep you on track.

Start The Journey Today.. Adult & Children Classes.. Special Offer 10% Off 3 Month Term In January Only. Build Confidence, Self-Esteem & Self Belief. Our Specialist Child Programs Teach Character Development, How To Follow Your Dreams, Anti Bullying And Many More…Our Full Time Family Friendly Dojo Builds Self-Confidence, Self-Discipline Relieves Stress & Increases Fitness. Follow The TrainIng Of The Samurai From 5 Years Of Age Upwards. Limited Spaces Available, Message Now Or Chech Out www.elitekarateacadeny.com For More Information

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.

Christmas Gift Ideas. Please order early to insure delivery from wholesaler.  Check out our deals at the bottom of page.

Elite Karate Academy T-shirt

Child Ages 5/6 – 7/8 – 9/10 – 11/12  €10.00

Adults Small – Medium – Large – XL  €12.00

Belts (new)  €6

Second Hand (if in stock)  €3

Elastic Gloves  €10.00

PU Elite Mitts  €20.00

Dipped Foam Gloves (recommended)  €25.00   

Dipped Foam Foot  (recommended)  €25.00  

Wado Lapel Badge  €5 

Wado Keyring  €5

Focus Mitts children pair 1 red 1 blue (recommended)  €30 

Focus Mitts adult pair (recommended)  €40 

Black Belt Duffel bag  €12 

Escrima Sticks  €15

Grading Yearly Passport  €10

Elite Karate Academy Embroidered Suit

100cm – 140cm     White Suit  €25

150cm+                    White Suit  €30

100cm-140 cm        Red Suit  €30

Adult                         White Suit  €30

Adult                          Heavy Instructor’s Suit  €89 

 

Deals

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)