Archive for the ‘Self-Defense’ Category

A lady came into one of my affiliate’s gym in another part of the country. She wanted to learn self-defense immediately because she was divorcing her husband and was afraid of him. As my affiliate told it, you’d never know anything was wrong from the outside. He was actually acquainted with the lady for a while and had met her husband. They just seemed like a normal couple to the outside world, but apparently they harbored secrets. One night they had a fight.  The police were called and a report was taken.  She was really scared and moved out.

The husband continued controlling and stalking behavior.  He wanted everyone to believe that this was just a mis-understanding and even contacted the gym owner to “Tell his side of the story.”  This scenario and these behaviors actually play themselves out daily across the country and across the world.  Anyone going through this in the US is actually “Lucky” in that there are resources available and the police are actually helpful. This is not the case in other parts of the world, where a woman objecting to this type of behavior must either endure it, or bring shame to the family.

If you find yourself in such a situation, the only sensible option is to escape. It may seem difficult or impossible, but if you don’t leave, the abuse will continue and there is a high probability it will end with your death.

In the Portland area, women in crisis can call the Portland Women’s Crisis Line at 503-235-5333 or 888-235-5333 or the Domestic Violence Resource Center at 503-469-8620 or 866-469-8600.

After Krav Class the other night a male student asked if this stuff really works for small women? There was a 16 year old girl in class that probably weighs in around 100 pounds. We were doing the defense for choke from behind with a push. After she left, he asked the question, and quipped, “I could probably pick her up by her neck.” The answer is yes, this stuff does work for small women, but only when done right.

The most important factor is to not put yourself in a bad situation.  If you find yourself in a bad situation, escape if possible. Run, or drive away or hop on a bus or get into a taxi or run into an open business or jump out the window, whatever it takes to escape. If you are still in a bad situation, fight, but only until you can escape.

The mental aspect is very important,  make the decision that if a man tries to rapes me, it will be the hardest thing he ever does. Aggression is very important, it is more important to respond immediately, forcefully and aggressively, than it is to do the moves perfectly. Form often goes out the window in the heat of the moment, but fierce aggression can make up for crappy form. Fight dirty. If you are going to get raped, you have the right to defend yourself. Use your nails, scratch, bite, kick, punch, elbow, scream at the top of your lungs and gouge his eyes out. Stick you thumb into his eye socket and scoop his eyeball out like an avocado pit. Don’t use this move on your boyfriend whom you love and if he is good to you;  save it for the worst day of your life, for use on the worst person you have ever met.

I pay a lot of attention to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), checking website hits and search terms frequently. The name of this blog post was a search term that led someone to my website.  I didn’t have any tips posted for avoiding domestic violence over the holidays, so maybe it was my post on Tips For the Surviving the Holiday Table, along with a few posts on Domestic Violence, that brought the searcher here. But it really caught my attention, that someone would be searching such a thing.

The only tip I really have for avoiding domestic violence over the holidays, is don’t be around the abuser. Whoever searched this term knows that they will be abused. They know who their abuser is. It is probably her husband or boyfriend and he probably has a track record of this behavior.  He probably gets drunk, and starts beating her. It’s probably something really stupid and insignificant that sets him off, like burned potatoes. Them WHAM! “That’ll teach you to burn potatoes you bitch!”

The next morning he’ll be all sorry and promise never to do it again, and she will believe him, again, because it’s easier than doing what she probably knows in her heart she must do: leave.

I teach Krav Maga as self-defense for both men and women, but it’s not really for the situation you find yourself in every Friday night. The only solution for that is to not be there. I realize it is easy for me blog this from the comfort of my office chair, and hard for the woman who must leave her significant other, with her kids, and possibly her only means of support, to avoid being used like a punching bag. But that is what she must do, and the sooner the better, because things really aren’t going to get better until she leaves, or he kills her. Krav Maga may save you a few times, but sooner or later it won’t.  Whoever you are, I wish you the best, and I hope someday very soon you come to your senses and leave him.

Bullycide again! According to foxnews.com a 10-Year-Old North Carolina Girl Hangs Herself After Allegedly Being Bullied at School. I for one am sick of reading these stories. It makes me heartsick and sick to my stomach. As a simpleminded martial Arts teacher, I’d like to think that if every boy and girl would learn martial arts these situations could be avoided. Of course it’s more complex than that. There are so many factors. It is important for the child to be able to communicate with their parents; to able to tell them anything. If not, the parent will be surprised when something like this happens. Often the school staff can’t or won’t do anything or are unaware. It also amazes me that a 10-year old could have the wherewithal and determination to kill themselves. RIP, Jasmine McClain.

Last night I hosted a Free Women’s Self-Defense Seminar & Girls’ Night Out at my facility.  I tried very hard to promote it through Facebook, Twitter & Linked In, as well as through a Flyer and my BNI Chapter. Although there was a lot of grass roots promotion, and my BNI partners invited lots of guests, very few members of the general public attended that were not related to BNI. The only conclusion I can draw from this, is that most Women are not really concerned with Self-Defense. Perhaps it is too inconvenient, or unpleasant to think about. Perhaps most women feel safe. I try to promote women’s self-defense in a positive way, without scare tactics. Perhaps in the future I should resort to scare tactics? Here goes:

According to United States Department of Justice document Criminal Victimization in the United States, there were overall 191,670 victims of rape or sexual assault reported in 2005.  1 of 6 U.S. women has experienced an attempted or completed rape. (according to Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault) [from Wikipedia]

From 2000–2005, 59% of rapes were not reported to law enforcement.[30][31] One factor relating to this is misconception that most rapes are committed by strangers.[32] In reality, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 38% of victims were raped by a friend or acquaintance, 28% by “an intimate” and 7% by another relative, and 26% were committed by a stranger to the victim. About four out of ten sexual assaults take place at the victim’s own home. [from Wikipedia]

Drug use, especially alcohol, is frequently involved in rape. In 47% of rapes, both the victim and the perpetrator had been drinking. In 17%, only the perpetrator had been. 7% of the time, only the victim had been drinking. Rapes where neither the victim nor the perpetrator had been drinking were 29% of all rapes. [from Wikipedia]

In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.1 That’s an average of three women every day. Of all the women murdered in the U.S., about one-third were killed by an intimate partner. [from NOW]

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes every year.4 [from NOW]

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that were not reported to the police, 232,960 women in the U.S. were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006. That’s more than 600 women every day.6 [from NOW]

Women ages 20-24 are at greatest risk of nonfatal domestic violence8, and women age 24 and under suffer from the highest rates of rape.9 The Justice Department estimates that one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape during their college years, and that less than five percent of these rapes will be reported.10   [from NOW]

So, can I interest anyone in a Women’s Self-Defense Seminar?

Please see this link to my event on Facebook.  This event is open to the public and is free.  I am doing this event to raise awareness for violence against women, to give something back to the community, and of course to promote my business in a positive way.  I added the “Girl’s Night Out” part to make it fun for attendees, and to raise awareness for and hopefully create a little business for my partners who are helping me. There will be wine & cheese and hors d’oeuvre, massages, and a jewelry, purse & candle show.  The Self-Defense will last 45 minutes and be all business. The Girl’s Night Out is scheduled to go until 9pm, leave when you want or stay all night. There will be a chance to do a little early Christmas shopping, as all of the show items are for sale.  For address & directions, click here.

Reversing an earlier decision, the Topeka Kansas DA said he will continue to prosecute domestic violence after saying earlier that he would stop doing so due to budget cuts. On the surface, it seemed like a terrible idea, and I suppose the public outcry made him reverse his decision.

But to me, it just seems like another wake up call to women that they need to take more responsibility for their own safety.  That may sound really harsh, but I’ll never be able to understand why women stay in abusive relationships.  I know there are reasons, like they are in love with their beater for some strange reason,  perhaps they can remember a time when everything was wonderful, they have kids together, they are afraid they can’t earn a living and will be homeless.  But abused women should be afraid that their beater will kill them, because statistically, there is a very good chance that they will someday.

I am of course an advocate for and teacher of women’s self-defense, but rule number one is when bad things are happening, don’t be there.  Rule number two is, if you are there, escape. Rule number three is, if you can’t escape fight, but only until you can escape.  Police, prosecutors, can only respond after the fact. They can only prosecute if they have a good case, i.e., sufficient evidence. Here’s hoping more women will take up their own cause.

According to a study done by AC360° in 77% of bullying incidents, no bystanders intervened to help. This reinforces my belief that the only one who can truly help a bullying victim is the victim.  If the incident takes place in an isolated area, parents can’t help, teachers, administrators and even police can’t help, at least not until after the fact.

Again the biased martial arts teacher is going say that studying martial arts can help potential victims help themselves. My oldest child, now 13, started karate at 4 and holds a 1st degree black belt in a traditional Japanese Martial Art, Kyokushin Kai Karate. He says he is not afraid of bullying, and in fact fought one off just yesterday.  It was satisfying to see that the king’s ransom I put into karate lessons over the year were worth it. Also it was satisfying because I personally taught him the krav maga technique that he used only a few weeks ago, and also because he exercised incredible restraint. The finish to move can literally pound the attacker into the ground, and the attacker certainly deserved at a least a little pounding. I have seen my son get stronger and stronger, and when he hits the pads or the heavy bag, (or me) he can hit pretty hard.

I believe so strongly in Self-Defense, that I named my company after it (instead of say the karate style I teach). I also mix Krav Maga techniques and drills into kid’s karate classes, because kid’s need self-defense & they need it now. They can get it from karate, but the traditional approach is in no hurry. I enjoy and believe in the traditional approach and the values that come with it, but I want kids to be prepared to defend themselves within weeks of joining, not years.

When I was a kid, I took Judo lessons, and I loved it. I was good at it. But Judo is more of a sport, and we did very little self-defense there. When we competed, there were weight classes. Judo doesn’t really contemplate fighting off a larger opponent in a self-defense situation. Consequently, when I tried to use it against a larger bully, I ended up flat on my back, pinned, with the bully taunting me and smacking my face. Krav Maga has a technique to escape from that position, and it’s the first style I learned that addresses that and many other attacks and positions.  If you want to bully proof your kid, Krav Maga is it.

Recent “Bullycides” are spurring lawmakers to write laws to prevent these tragedies from happening. As with all such well-meaning legislation, I wonder if it will be effective, or instead have adverse effects.  The web definition of  Bullycide is, “A suicide caused as the result of depression from bullying, especially children.”  Most of the stories I have read about involve teens and pre-teens, so ages ten to 18.  A percentage of these kids are gay, but certainly not all. Some of the cases I have read about go well beyond bullying into outright assault.  That’s why I wonder about new laws, there are already laws on the books against assault. Of course if these new laws really work to prevent bullying, then I am all for them. I’ll guess we’ll have to pass them to see what’s in them, and if they work.

So what’s the answer? Well it’s a complicated issue, so there is no easy answer.  As a martial arts instructor, I am of course biased in my opinion, but do believe self-defense training works. I was bullied as a kid, and I didn’t want my boys to go through that, so I started them both in Karate at age 4.  I posted yesterday about how my son got out of headlock in school.  At first I was a little disappointed that my son didn’t use more force in countering the move, but upon reflection, I think he used the appropriate amount, i.e. just enough, to end the conflict and walk away. I am proud because I taught this Krav Maga move to him only a few weeks ago.  When the other kid threw the headlock, my son thought, “Oh perfect, I know how to get out of this,” then he did. Hopefully this ends it, time will tell.

I keep getting traffic to my website from Google searches Related to Women’s Self-Defense Groin Kick. So perhaps this is keyword spamming, but I thought I’d share this photo for those who are searching. Besides it is inspiring, isn’t it?

Someone asked me yesterday if I only do Women’s self-Defense.  I suppose I could understand the question since I am promoting a Free Women’s Self-Defense Seminar on Nov. 5th, and I do talk and blog about the subject as well.  The answer is no, Krav Maga, and Karate for that matter,  are for Men, Women & Children.  A lot of men are naturally attracted to Martial Arts and Krav Maga,  women, not so much.  Often women need to either be attacked, or have a close call before they start thinking about self-defense. I wish it weren’t true, but that’s just the way it is.  I do these seminars to create awareness and to give back to the community.

I read that 80% of rape victims are between the ages of 16 and 24. That being the case, girls need to get prepared early in life, if they want to avoid becoming a victim. What’s a good age? I just signed up a six year old girl for karate, and she obviously doesn’t have the strength and coordination to do a lot of moves effectively. But if I can keep her interested through her teen years, when she will be strong and coordinated, then she will have a great foundation for self-defense.  So I think as young as possible,  including six, is a great time to start.

But the bottom line is, we teach the same things to men & women, but I feel like women need it more and are less interested; maybe it’s a calling…I want to help women learn to defend themselves against the scum of the earth.

Well now that I pointed out the books that will get you killed, here are the ones that WON’T.  Keep in mind that there is no guarantee, and the best defense is always the NIKE defense: RUN!  This book, Complete Krav Maga: The Ultimate Guide to Over 230 Self-Defense and Combative Techniques  by Darren Levine is good if you are looking for an illustrated guide to techniques. I own this book and refer to it often.  It is hard to learn techniques solely from a book,  but it is not impossible. Of course you need a partner to drill these with.

Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence, written by Sgt. Rory Miller, a corrections officer from the Portland , Oregon area is not a technique based book, but gives some philosophy and a wake up call to people who have been taking traditional martial arts and have been doing things like point sparring and non-contact drills, to let them know that what they have been practicing is probably worse than useless, because in addition to getting you killed, it give you a false sense of security.

Strong on Defense by Sandford Strong a retired San Diego cop, details what actually happened in violent encounters, and points what victims did right and wrong. This book looks into the psychological aspects of preparation and more importantly,  avoidance.

The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence by Gavin de Becker, a renowned security consultant, urges women to trust their sixth sense,  because when it comes to danger, it is usually right. That uneasy feeling you have is telling you something, so listen to it.

So now that I have given you my recommended Self-Defense reading list, I’m thinking I need to re-read all these books!

I stumbled onto this sarcastic post,  5 Self-Defense Books for Women (Who Want to Lose a Fight)  (caution explicit language) on Cracked.com.  Pretty humorous, and it reminded me of this book, Fighting Back: Taekwondo for Women.  I actually took Fighting Back out of the library and skimmed it. It is full of deadly advice.  There are numerous posed pictures of women supposedly defending themselves from male attackers. Perhaps the worst advice is right on the cover, a women doing a high kick against a male  attacker.  In Krav Maga, we teach never to kick above the floating rib (that’s the lowest one).  And even that move can be dangerous.

I learned a technique from one of my teachers, (Soshu Shigeru Oyama, Kyokushin great and  founder of World Oyama Karate) , where you catch a rib height roundhouse kick, while stepping away from it, and kicking out the supporting leg.  This move is pretty effective, and is a great counter and take down. The safest advice is only kick below the waist (that’s if you can’t just run away in the first place).

One photo in Fighting Back has a pretty women in a mini skirt, with teased up 80’s hair, kicking to a man’s face. I was turned on just looking at the photo! What could happen is that the kicking leg is caught, the women get’s taken down, and the attacker goes right up her skirt. Not good.  This book is supposed to prevent that.

I saw a Facebook post yesterday that concluded, women are God’s gift to man.  So that got me to thinking. If you want a child, you will need a woman. Hopefully you will be married to this woman, although it’s not a requirement. Likely this woman will nurture your child(ren). Then there’s the whole sex thing.  If that’s not a gift I don’t what is.  If you are married, your wife may do a lot things for you (besides sex), like cook, clean, do laundry, take care of the kids, and the animals, etc.  She may also work outside the home while doing all this!  She may listen to you complain about your day, snuggle with you, etc. My wife seems like a gift from God; a booby prize sometimes, (emphasis on boobies), but mostly a gift.

So here’s what I don’t get, many men are married to great, loving women, but they beat the crap out them.  And the women stay in the relationship.  Can someone explain this to me?  I have no experience in this.  My wife and I fight sometimes, which is par for the course. She thinks it’s scary when I yell, but I have never, ever hit her (affectionate smacks to the hind quarters excepted).  I don’t plan on starting.

I teach self-defense, and I think it’s really important for Women.  But you shouldn’t learn self-defense so you can win the fight you know you are going to have with your husband or boyfriend every Friday night when they come home and beat you like they always do. You must leave. I know it’s easy to say and hard to do, but that’s what must be done.

I started a Facebook page called Don’t Beat Women, after reading about a Saudi Facebook Campaign calling for men to beat women drivers. If you think beating women is nuts, please like my page.

Here is a story of childhood bullying. It is a horrible story and there are many, many like it.  I too was bullied as a child. That’s why I started both of my kids in Karate at age 4.  Sometimes school administrators and teachers are helpful, sometimes not.  There are many instances, like the one in this story, where bullying becomes assault.  Everyone has the right to defend themselves.  Martial Arts is a great way to do that.  Often having the confidence that comes with knowing how to defend oneself makes the fight not necessary.  When I was a kid, my father told me that I needed to punch the bullies in the face and they would never do it again. I think my was father was right. Unfortunately, no one taught me how to do that.  Punching is a skill that is taught and learned,  just like swinging a baseball bat.

We worked on combos, punching only, followed by punching & kicking. Then we reviewed and drilled choke defenses to make them more instinctive.

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  • Learn Women’s Self-Defense Techniques
  • Massages, Jewelry, Purse & Handbag Show
  • Wine & Cheese, hors d’oeuvre
  • November 5, 2011, 6-9 PM
  • RSVP requested to info@osdnf.com

Click here to view & print a flyer

Held at:

Oregon Self-Defense & Fitness
Tigard Plaza
11945 SW Pacific Hwy
Suite 230
Tigard, OR 97223
 
Phone: 503-968-6400
Email: info@osdnf.com
http://www.osdnf.com

Please see this link to a New York Times article about Krav Maga for Kids.

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