Friday, May 30, 2014

Self Defense - 101

     Self defense is a hot topic, often people will ask for one go to move.  The reality is, there is not, it depends on the situation and surroundings.  Is it self-defense from an unknown attacker or a fight that breaks out with someone you know?  When I teach self defense class we talk about three boundaries;

1) Gut Feeling - this is your own instinct that tells you when things are bad, or have that potential. It is at this stage that you need to remove yourself from the area.  Don't let your ego trick your mind in thinking that nothing bad will happen, or at least not to you.  Even if you have trained in martial arts or done a few classes, there are so many variables that can cause a situation to go bad.

2) Verbal Boundary - It is at this stage if you are really aware, and you listen to someone you may be able to de-escalate the situation and control it. If during a heated argument the other person says "Shut up or I am going to punch you in the face!"  What stands out from that comment?  For most people it "I am going to punch you in the face!"  and rightly so.  But that is just part of it.  That person has just told you what they want...for you to stop talking.  You have said something, intentionally or not that they can not process in any other way than to threaten you.

During this De-escalation phase - there are opportunities for you to be able to walk away without having to fight or defend yourself physically.  
     A) Get your ego out of the way, and accept that you said something that offended them and apologize.  
    B) Avoid threatening them.  Saying something like "Try it and I will kick your teeth in!" Is not going to allow you to walk away.
    C) Don't deny that they will carry their threat through "No you won't, you're chicken!"  Another way to start a fight.
     D) Allow them to leave with dignity  You have said everything you need to, to calm them down and instead of walking away, you say something like "I thought so!"  Yes, you had better be ready to defend yourself.

3) Physical boundary - This is the go stage, where you have tried to calm the other person down verbally and it does not work.  You have to be prepared to physically defend yourself.  This is where you need to get off the couch and practice!  There is NO class that you can do once and feel really safe.  You need to practice the skills over and over so that they become your habit.  The skills should involve gross motor skills, because under stress your fine motor skills will be less effective.  So we focus on elbows, knees, palm heal strikes and hammer fists.

If you have thought about getting involved and learning to defend yourself and your family or want information on our next class give us a call 250-869-0111!


Chris Rowe

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