Bujinkan Buyu Lander

News and Thoughts

Archive for the tag “Women’s Defense”

Balancing Martial and Art

Street-fight-1You begin knowing almost nothing when you start to train.  Maybe you have been in a fight, maybe you just love the idea of the martial arts.  Either way, you show up to gain something that you don’t have.

If you train in classical martial arts, you will begin to ask yourself, “Does this stuff really work?” after you reach a certain level of proficiency.

Martial arts takematsuIf you pursue a nitty-gritty, street fight winning combatives system, you will ask yourself, “Is there a more efficient way to do this?” or, “How do those old guys make it look so easy?”.

The good news is that those two questions can be a fantastic tool for ratcheting up your abilities quickly if you let them.

 

street-fight

Having read several books by Rory Miller, and having trained with him in person at BuYu camp last year, I have pushed our training in a direction that emphasizes using what we already know to prevail in a fight.  It really cleaned up my knowledge of classical martial arts and weeded out some bad habits that I have picked up over the years.  We will pursue this path in the future, but I couldn’t help but notice that I ended up in situations that I handled badly, even though I prevailed.  At that point, I began to wonder if there isn’t a better way…  You see where this is going, right?

Silhouette illustration of two figures doing martial art stanceSo, now it is time to go full circle and study the classical techniques slowly and methodically while trying to understand why these training methods have prevailed for hundreds of years.

I believe that it is important for any student of conflict to steer away from the extremes of martial art zealotry (blind faith) and brute force combative methods (experience based knowledge).  When the balance shifts too far one way or another it is time to re-center yourself between what you already know and what you can be taught.

Advertisements

The old “Kitten in the Grill” ruse.

The following was in our local news:

Police received a call of suspicious activity in the drive through lane at McDonald’s Restaurant Tuesday morning at 7:04 a.m. A woman called police that a man walked up to her vehicle and told her there was a kitten stuck in her grill. He had a tiny tuft of hair that he produced. When calling police later, the woman said she did not look in the grill for a kitten, or get out of her vehicle, but instead drove away to her place of employment so someone there could check. The woman said she did not know if there was a kitten there or not.

1)  She did exactly the right thing!  Even though she was in a low crime area and despite that this is a very public place, this could have been a setup for some sort of criminal action. (I would place my bet on car theft)  By getting out of the car and looking intently at the grill, she would have given a would-be attacker a variety of opportunities.

2)  A kitten in the grill?!?!  Really?  And how would it have gotten there exactly?  So you are driving down the road at 50+ MPH and a winged kitten flies across the road…

This was almost certainly a prank, but in a more isolated location it could have been the setup for something more sinister.

Be Safe.  Trust your instincts.

Martial Arts or Women’s Defense?

That seems to be the big question everybody is asking me these days.  While updating my Women’s Defense curriculum, I found that all of the information and differing opinions about the best way to teach a short, effective defense class tailored to the needs of women was overwhelming, and quite frankly confusing.  Some instructors encourage the use of pepper spray, tasers or firearms, while others claimed that those things are ineffective for most people.  Some national organizations claim that martial arts are ineffective for women, while others encourage you to maintain your skills by continuing to study.  So, how do you sort through it all?  By using the same method that is taught almost universally in any defense system anywhere:  Trust your instincts.  You know what is best for you.

Let me Elaborate…

As of the time that I wrote this, I have spent over 24 years studying unarmed and armed self defense including the use of knives, sticks, firearms and just about anything else that I can.  I have trained with law enforcement officers, soldiers and civilian experts, and I ask a lot of questions.  Does that make me a tough guy?  Not really, but it means is that I have a great deal of information on the subject of self and others defense.

That being said, let me give my completely honest opinion of “Women’s defense”:

Is there a set of skills that you can learn in 3 hours that will enable you to absolutely keep you and your family safe from any physical attack?

Of course not.

Why would police, military and martial artists invest in literally years of training if we could just take a 3 hour “Women’s self defense class” and be done with it?

Is there something so special about being a woman that there are ways of fighting that apply to women exclusively?  No, not really.

So, Should there be special classes for women, and will it really work?  Yes and yes.  Surprised?  Consider this:

  • Many women have been unintentionally taught to be timid and to give in to the demands of an aggressor.
  • Those same women are much less likely to give themselves permission to defend themselves until they have lost the advantage and are in a situation where they have a reduced chance of succeeding.
  • Women who are forced to physically defend themselves are most often targeted by a “predatory” person who is looking for someone smaller and weaker than they are, and who is looking to get something from them, such as money or a sense of power and superiority.
  • Because young women don’t typically physically fight each other for social status the way young men tend to, they often have little understanding of their natural capacity to defend themselves.

In order to break the self doubting mindset that leads to victimization, a “Women’s self defense” class is very valuable, and there are many organizations (including our dojo) who offer just such a class.  The goal of our class is to:

  • Awaken your natural self protection instincts.
  • Make you realize how capable you already are of defending yourself.
  • Encourage you to take the responsibility for your personal safety, especially if you have come to rely on other people to make sure that you are safe.

Can I do that in 3 hours?  Yes I can.  8 hours would be better, but I can get you started in 3.

Is a  Women’s Defense class enough to keep you out of trouble? 

So, what do your instincts tell you?  Trust them.  Only you know the answers to the question.  Let me offer some of the following ideas for you to consider:

  • The Women’s self defense class is essentially an introduction to tactical skills.  It will dramatically increase your odds of survival when being targeted by a predator, but there are more things that you can learn that will increase your skills still more.  Do you feel safe enough, or should you seek further training?
  • The physical defense portion of Women’s Defense teaches that you can dish out more damage than you thought you could.  This is a powerful piece of information to have.  Once you have those skills, you need to keep practicing them.  Is there something you can do that will help you build on what you have learned, and give you many new skills that you have not even considered yet?  There are also some martial arts that will not help you at all.  If you feel that the physical portion of the class was valuable, but you need more, I suggest further unarmed combat training.  What makes one martial art or training program better than another?  It depends on the focus of the training, and your focus while training.  Contact me and I will give you my opinions.

What about a handgun or pepper spray?

Weapons such as pepper spray and tasers are a commitment.  In order for them to be effective, you have to have them ready when you need them.  You also have to be able to use them smoothly, accurately and proficiently.  This requires some training and also requires practice.  They won’t do you any good in the bottom of your purse or back at home when you are surprised…  If you are willing to carry them as a weapon, they can greatly increase your odds of survival, but you have to be willing to adopt certain aspects of a “warrior’s mindset” that goes well beyond the scope of a Women’s defense class.  If they sound like something you are interested in, you will want more training, and I can offer it.

Firearms are even higher maintenance that the other weapons.  I am a strong supporter of carrying firearms, as they can make an 85 pound girl as formidable as a 300 pound football player.  That being said, there is a significant amount of physical, emotional and legal training needed for somebody who carries a firearm.  That training is available, and can be enjoyable.  Don’t skip it if you are going to carry your gun.  Just don’t.

If you are interested in a Women’s Defense Seminar, or more in depth training to reinforce what you have previously learned, please contact me at:

Bujinkan Buyu Lander Dojo

Post Navigation