Personal Safety

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aarondenal's picture
aarondenal
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Personal Safety

I am interested in people's suggestions for maintaining personal safety.  I do not want to carry the worry anymore of "what if..."  I see enough "real life" including death in my training as a midwife and therefore I am not interested in guns.  That said, I am interested in formulating a plan for personal defense, and more importantly to protect my very small children, if the need should arise.

I am pretty sturdy, a large woman (5'10'') but am aware that my strength alone will not be sufficient against all types of force.  I am interested in resources, methodology, and also items that may be most helpful.

 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
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Re: Personal Safety
aarondenal wrote:

I am interested in people's suggestions for maintaining personal safety.  I do not want to carry the worry anymore of "what if..."  I see enough "real life" including death in my training as a midwife and therefore I am not interested in guns.  That said, I am interested in formulating a plan for personal defense, and more importantly to protect my very small children, if the need should arise. 

Just my opinion of course, so take it for what it's worth.  You say you are not interested in guns, yet you want to formulate a plan for personal defense and defense of your children.

Why would you eliminate a tool from your tool kit?  Or does your plan assume that a potential threat would also not be interested in guns?  If so, I think your personal defense plan will be (potentially) fatally flawed.

But if guns are an absolute non-starter for you, I would recommend enrolling in a Muay Thai, Krav Magaw or blended martial arts studio.  Muay Thai and Krav Magaw are very effective street techniques that do not depend on strict adherence to katas or forms.  Neither Muay Thai or Krav Magaw depend on fine muscle movement control - which is compromised by the adrenaline rush you get in a confrontational situation. 

A blended arts studio is a great option.  In my opinion and experience a blended school should teach a combination of a striking style (Muay Thai, Krav Magaw), ground work (Silat, judo or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), and an empty hand, edged weapon and stick technique (Eskrima kali, pekiti tersia, wing chun, jun fan jeet kune do).  Your pace of advancement in a blended studio approach will not be as rapid as a focused or dedicated style.  But you will also have a more complete repetoire of styles to employ if needed.  You can be a superb practitioner of Tae Kwon Do - but if you end up on the ground (95% of all physical confrontations end up on the ground) without some exposure to a ground style art, your Tae Kwon Do will be largely ineffective.  Similarly, you may be a superb ground fighter, but if you get tagged with a Muay Thai elbow strike you will be unconcious before you hit the ground.  A good studio will teach you techniques (skill set) - a superb studio will teach you technique, mind set and awareness - which when combined, facilitates the adaptability and non-linear application of skill set as needed.

I have been practicing and instructing blended martial arts for over 15 years now and am quite satisfied with my skill set.  My areas of cocentration are Muay Thai (Certified Instructor under Ajarn Chai Sirsute), Eskrima/Lameco Kali and Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do (Certified Apprentice Instructor under Guro Dan Inosanto), Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt (under Master Pedro Sauer), Pekiti Tersia (Certified Apprentice Instructor under Tuhon Leo Gaje), Tae Kwon Do Black Belt and Hapkido Brown Belt.

I also carry a SOG flash assisted opening knife everywhere I go and I carry a handgun concealed everywhere it is legal to do so.  In 49 years, I have never needed to go beyond the knife - but the full range of options are there if needed.

Like I said, just my $.02.  Good luck in your endeavor - let us know how it goes and what you decide.

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Re: Personal Safety

 

 non-lethal defense ?

 1) Situational awareness.. avoiding trouble is easier than defending against it.

 2) pepper spray ?

 3) a gun. (ok, there's no ammunition in it.. but that's your little secret. )

 

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Re: Personal Safety

Or

You could do what a lot of people do in more violent countries.

Put bars on your windows and extra locks on your doors.  Avoid going out alone at night, and be sure your kids are chaperoned. Don't put yourself in places where your safety is questionable.  Carry mace or a loud whistle or something of that nature just in case if you have to be out.  Drive a car that has automatic door locks.  Go out in groups.

This would help a person who has no intention of confronting a thug at night.

aarondenal's picture
aarondenal
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Re: Personal Safety

Dogs,

Whew.  I wish you lived in Boulder, you sound like a tough cookie.  Your info was exactly the type of thing I can get behind, let us stay at the non-firearm approach for now.  Martial arts do seem to be quite involved, and I wonder how long it would take to get "comfortable with my skill set"?  Given that I do not have more than a few hours a week to devote to training.  I will investigate your suggestions...

Plato,

Non-lethal defense is a good term. 

Maceves,

Point taken, however I was thinking about the possibility of being in an unexpected scenario.  I just can no longer trust that I will be able to completely avoid altogether any person or group who means to do me harm, or take what is mine.

Pepper spray/Mace is a good idea, I will check into that.  I would be afraid of cutting my hand off if I carried a knife.  I am clumsy, which is one of the main reasons why I dont want a gun around.

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Poet
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Re: Personal Safety

 

I know midwives (and their assistants) are called to all kinds of unfamiliar locations at all hours of the day and night. Oftentimes, they are pre-occupied with the emergency or labor situation they are responding to, and may not have their full wits about them. Therefore whatever you learn will be immediately applicable to what you do.

I agree with both Dogs and with Maceves in their suggestions. First with Maceves because the first line of defense is to not get into situations, secondly with Dogs because inevitably trouble will come looking for you when you find yourself arriving at a birth in an unfamiliar part of town at 2 o'clock in the morning.

Hopefully you can get some training and skills.

Poet

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Re: Personal Safety

Aarondenal,

Please keep in mind that handling any sort of weapon is a skill - with time, the poor coordination will fix itself.

In my opinion (and I'd suspect Dogs as well) a "weapon" is about 5% of a "confrontation".
The other 95% can be broken down as follows:

35% - Situational Awareness
25% - Positioning  
25% - Physical Conditioning 
10% - Tenacity 

That said, when it comes to persecuting a fight,  these numbers change radically in favor of Skillset, Tenacity and proper equipment.

For this reason, if you're primary focus isn't on Skillset and Tenacity, you'd be best served developing a functional, solid set of personal protection measures based on avoidance:

1. Be aware of your Surroundings
2. Don't let anyone inside your personal space
3. Get educated in the ways of criminal ploys
4. Focus on Fitness

Once you've developed these (Run-Fu) you can start assessing whether or not you feel your skillset is in need of further adjustment.
"The more you know, the more you need to know" is generally how this stuff works.

Pepper spray, Tasers and truncheon type weapons are not for most people.
Pepper spray is an "area" weapon - if you're not continually cognizant of your surroundings, you may mace people unintentionally, or worse - mace yourself in the process of defending yourself.

Tasers require that someone is inside your personal bubble - a strong indication you've "failed" at Situational Awareness (SA).

Further, they're a "tool" and the last thing you want to do in an altercation is fixate on getting to a weapon. 

As Dogs suggested, taking some martial arts is a good idea - but keep in mind that it only fills the a small portion of the overall paradigm. 
Introduction of weaponry is likely to negate any advantage you build here unless you're extremely proficient. Martial Arts are a great way to satisfy the unarmed approach and develop fitness, so get into it knowing its limitations and you'll have a good "head start". 

Just remember not to become unconsciously incompetant - know the limitations of any skillset; be it weapon based or hand to hand.

Cheers, and good luck,

Aaron

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Re: Personal Safety

+1 to everything, especially the awareness and positioning.

I've been involved in martial arts for over 10 years (though I have to say not with the intensity that Dogs apparently has!), and in that whole time I've never been attacked or had things progress to a physical fight.  For me, the 'self-defense' skills that have paid the most dividends have been awareness (spotting the trouble or potential trouble), positioning (preventing the situation from escalating or leaving the area), and self-awareness (not feeling I 'have to fight' or have something to prove).  That and learning the right way to react to a fall so I don't hurt myself, which in icy climes comes in real handy  Tongue out

Based on that, I'd say the best initial investments would be self-defense training in whatever system is big on teaching situational awareness and positioning (in my limited experience Krav Maga did well in that regard), and focusing on increased home security measures. 

Beyond that, I like what Dogs said about a blended martial art studio.  My favorite studio for years has been a shared one between kung fu san soo and brazilian jujitsu schools, and students from one would typically cross-train in the other.

- Nickbert 

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Re: Personal Safety
Aaron Moyer wrote:

Aarondenal,

Please keep in mind that handling any sort of weapon is a skill - with time, the poor coordination will fix itself.

In my opinion (and I'd suspect Dogs as well) a "weapon" is about 5% of a "confrontation".
The other 95% can be broken down as follows:

35% - Situational Awareness
25% - Positioning  
25% - Physical Conditioning 
10% - Tenacity 

A quote from one of my instructors that has stuck with me and resonated for years, is basically a restatement of Aaron's breakdown quoted above.  In this case the 95% was SA and positioning

"5% of this instruction teaches you what you need to do when you screw up and forget the other 95%"  Sifu Frank Cucci

For Aaron and nickbert, you will appreciate this.  Sifu Cucci is a semi-retired SEAL who runs a Muay Thai, BJJ, Jeet Kune Do and Inosanto/Lameco Kali studio here in SE VA.  His approach to physical conditioning and tenacity was modeled after the SEALs approach to combat - visit the most amount of physical damage upon your adversary in the least amount of time with every weapon possible.  There is no such thing as too much or disproportionate response when your life or the life of your loved ones is at risk. 

And at 49 with two reconstructed shoulders and a rebuilt knee, the last thing I want to do is get into and extended confrontation.  Cool

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Re: Personal Safety

Learn to swing a big purse...

Might put some blanks in a handgun....noise maybe pretty effective. 

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Re: Personal Safety
aarondenal wrote:

Dogs,

Whew.  I wish you lived in Boulder, you sound like a tough cookie.  Your info was exactly the type of thing I can get behind, let us stay at the non-firearm approach for now.  Martial arts do seem to be quite involved, and I wonder how long it would take to get "comfortable with my skill set"?  Given that I do not have more than a few hours a week to devote to training.  I will investigate your suggestions...

aarondenal -

Here's another, much closer suggestion for you.......Laughing up in North Boulder on Lee Hill.  This school is listed in the Filipino Martial Arts directory and the program blending Quigong, Wing Chung, Pekiti Tersia and Muay Thai looks very appealing.  I would definitely check this one out.  I don't know any of these guys personally, but I asked around and Stephen Joffe has a reputation as an accomplished martial artist and more importantly a solid, disciplined instructor.  Ian Venter is certified under Tuhon Gaje - nothing more need be said.  Tom Herbstritt brings a superb resume in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and although he is listed as a Wing Chung instructor you could probably get some exposure to ground work styles.

http://martialworks.com/programs/

A little farther away down in Denver is the Colorado Filipino Combat Sytsem run by Guro Mike Jennings.  He is the real deal.  The only drawback is the school is almost exclusively focused on Filipino styles utilizing weapons and doesn't have a dedicated course of instruction in Silat, (Pencak Silat Mande Muda or Maphilindo Silat), BJJ or another ground style.  It does have a course of instruction in Sikaran which is a superb foot and leg fighting discipline - it is "simple" in that it only has two basic kicks, a paralyzing kick (panghilo) and a lethal kick (pamatay).  Getting each kick to its appropriate target is what is not so simple!

http://www.coloradofcs.com/

I get out your way once or twice a year supporting a 501.c3 HQed in Boulder, have seen many a fine show at the Fox and Boulder Theatres and weather and schedule allowing I try to get the Gregory Canyon hike to the summit of Green Mountain in every time I'm out there.

 

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Re: Personal Safety

Dogs,

That's awesome. That figure (like most statistics) was "made up" to represent what I percieve as important. 
It's cool to hear that others are drawing similar conclusions, especially when they have significantly more experience.

There is always a disproportional emphasis on weapons because they're a lot more invigorating to discuss than how to spot someone who looks dicey, or where to sit in a crowded room. The amount of time people spend talking about guns and gear reminds me of 'scientists' in the 1500's discussing the Sun's orbit around the earth.

Primary weapon? Brain body harmony, brother!

Cheers, and thanks for sharing that. That's really fascinating. Hopefully, one of these days we'll get to train together.

Aaron

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Re: Personal Safety

How you carry yourself is very important. Look relaxed and confident, and when sharing the street with a guy you might think looks a little shady, I always think it's better to be polite and make eye contact and smile a little (assume they aren't out to get you). In other words "be cool."

If you act afraid, or alternately, aggressive, that's where I think people get into problems.

Of course this won't help in all situations. Just something I noticed seemed to work living in a city with a lot of gang members around.

Don't instigate - I learned early on in LA that you should not flip off drivers like you do in the midwest. Bad move. Two gang members getting out of their cars and threatening me cured me of that.

I think all women should consider letting go of the heels except for special occasions. They really put you at a disadvantage. You can't run in them. Good walking shoes can be a lifesaver (in more ways than one).

In terms of martial arts, I've taken Krav Maga, which is good, as well as Jeet Kune Do and a smidgen of Karate. I think Krav Maga is slightly more practical than Jeet Kune Do and Karate if you are a woman. Though Jeet Kune Do is more "street" than Karate and so pretty decent. Krav Maga is basically how to get out of bad situations and do as much damage as you can to your attacker - it's not about perfecting a roundhouse kick, which is not very likely to be used if you are a woman being attacked.

Aikido is also good if you are a woman since you don't have to be strong to use it, but you need to practice a lot before it can be helpful in a street situation.

Hope that helps.

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Personal Safety
plato1965 wrote:

 3) a gun. (ok, there's no ammunition in it.. but that's your little secret. )

idoctor wrote:

Might put some blanks in a handgun....noise maybe pretty effective. 

I realize these remarks were probably flippant, but I want to caution readers that both are very bad ideas.  If you point a deadly weapon at someone it had better be fully functional, and you must be prepared to use it to full effect.  Otherwise you may cause someone to call your bluff with disastrous results.  If they back off, and deadly force was not justified, you could be prosecuted for a serious crime, because the law assumes the gun was loaded, no matter what you say.  Warning shots can be a serious crime because you used a deadly weapon incorrectly.  If you did not feel threatened enough to shoot the attacker, then your use of deadly force was not legally justified.

Idoctor -- Thanks for the help with the video in the other thread.

Travlin 

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aarondenal
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Re: Personal Safety

Dogs and everyone, thanks for all the input.

Especially Steph,

I hope no one mistakes this, but I am curious to hear from more ladies.  or stories of ladies.  I think the fundamental ideas are the same, but maybe the details vary...there are slightly different concerns for us and i would think certain advantages we can exploit.  i hope I have not rubbed anyone the wrong way.  i still want to hear from everyone, but so far it has been mostly the male population responding.  Maybe that is just the demographics of the site, but stlil.  Do any of you have an opinion on this?

Poet's picture
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Re: Personal Safety
aarondenal wrote:

i still want to hear from everyone, but so far it has been mostly the male population responding.  Maybe that is just the demographics of the site, but stlil.  Do any of you have an opinion on this?

Maceves is also a lady, and a well-respected one here at that.
http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/making-soap/50453

Poet

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aarondenal
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Re: Personal Safety
Poet wrote:

Maceves is also a lady, and a well-respected one here at that.

Sigh.  I am not making myself clear.  My questions do not pertain to one's gender.  I am simply looking for some inspiration.  What can be done?  I have not been spending the last um-teen years training in ten various martial arts, nor shooting pistols.  I am a 38yo mother of two and have only recently gotten acquainted with the issues related to this site.  I have limited time.  What have folks done so amass a sense of security where they had relatively none before?  I like Dogs' and others suggestions to look into martial arts and I will (although at first glance cost may be an issue for me).  I love Aaron Moyers' Run-Fu.  There is a lot to that, although I am not satisfied with only getting in better shape.

When I was in college it seemed like every other week there was some course on Self-Defense being taught.  There was a group that met weely to spar.  Does anyone have this where they live?  I have seen nary a peep about these things where I am now, although granted I have had my awareness in other directions. 

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Re: Personal Safety
aarondenal wrote:
Poet wrote:

Maceves is also a lady, and a well-respected one here at that.

Sigh.  I am not making myself clear.  My questions do not pertain to one's gender.  I am simply looking for some inspiration.  What can be done?  I have not been spending the last um-teen years training in ten various martial arts, nor shooting pistols.  I am a 38yo mother of two and have only recently gotten acquainted with the issues related to this site.  I have limited time.  What have folks done so amass a sense of security where they had relatively none before?  I like Dogs' and others suggestions to look into martial arts and I will (although at first glance cost may be an issue for me).  I love Aaron Moyers' Run-Fu.  There is a lot to that, although I am not satisfied with only getting in better shape.

When I was in college it seemed like every other week there was some course on Self-Defense being taught.  There was a group that met weely to spar.  Does anyone have this where they live?  I have seen nary a peep about these things where I am now, although granted I have had my awareness in other directions. 

I think you've got the right idea with the self-defense class.  Try to find a highly recommended women's self-defense class in your area.  They're typically given over a period of several days or several weeks and try to highlight the most critical aspects of self-defense and a handful of effective techniques that are easy to learn and practice.  Find one that preferably has a minimum of 6-8 sessions if possible.... while you certainly can learn some things in a single half-day class, the more times you get to practice and ask questions over a period of time the better off you'll be (you'll also be inclined to practice more at home).  Another nice thing is such classes are typically offered at much lower cost than the standard martial arts instruction.

In a town the size of Boulder I'm sure there are at least a few good options.  Maybe someone else here knows of one?

P.S.- If you can try and get some friends/family to sign up with you... that gives you extra incentive and opportunity to practice at home! 

- Nickbert

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Re: Personal Safety

aarondenal, in your pursuit of protection for yourself and your family my advise to you is this; where there is the threat of violence and victimization, do not be there.  If people are protesting in the streets, do not be one of them.  Where there are lines for food, do not be in them.  During the initial stages of collapse be like the ant in the fable "The Ant And The Grasshopper" ; be removed, warm, feed and protected.  Do not stick your head up, advertise nothing, let no one know you are there.

. . . . .and when the initial carnage has exhausted itself; wait, listen and be prepared.  If violence is going to come to you, do your best to meet it on your terms and to your best advantage.  Work hard and outside your comfort zone to develop the skill sets necessary to accomplish this.  If you are unwilling or unable to do this then you must ally yourself with people that will.

Make no mistake, we are at the precipious of a post "Peak Oil" and post "Fiat Money Meltdown" collapse.  Increased violence is guaranteed.  There are groups of good people all across this Country preparing for this very threat.  Locate one the meets your needs then develop a skill set that will make you indespensible to them.  Not everyone is a fighter just as not everyone is master gardener or midwife or ham radio operator or diesel mechanic or dentist or that valuable person who can make long-term food storage something you look forward to eating.  Become that person.

I believe time is short and the stakes are high as is the threat of being lulled back to sleep.  You must act now.  Good luck, Nacci.

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Re: Personal Safety
aarondenal wrote:

 What have folks done so amass a sense of security where they had relatively none before?  

There is no "real" security. You could be walking down the sidewalk and a drunk driver could come swerving up over the curb and nail you. You probably have more of a chance of getting hurt in a car accident than being physically attacked. So the first step is to get a hold on your fear and wild speculations of what might happen and take a realistic assessment of your situation.

If someone is going to attack you on the street, they are much more likely to do so if you are appearing fearful and timid...though you have your height at your advantage, so that helps.

I checked the crime stats in Boulder on SpotCrime.com and really, compared to many people in most major cities, you should feel lucky you live in such a safe place:

http://spotcrime.com/co/boulder

When I checked it, it had one little robbery down in the right-hand corner.

Compare this to the small *neighborhood* where I used to live in Los Angeles last year:

http://spotcrime.com/#charnock/midvale%20los%20angeles%2C%20ca%2090034

Robbery, theft, assault, etc. All within walking distance. Police helicopters regularly flew around at night. And I wasn't living in the "ghetto" or anything - just West LA.

I had my bike stolen from the back of the apartment building when I lived there, but that was the extent of the problems I had. I regularly walked in the neighborhood and never had anyone give me any grief. The neighbors across the street looked like gang members and spent their time jacking up the car to make the stereo system really loud. I actually asked them politely to try to turn the bass down - they were very nice about it. (So don't assume that someone who "looks" like a gang member is going to pull a gun and shoot you.) Of course, this doesn't mean you want to be nagging strangers regularly (and I did mention in my last post, don't flip people off!) but there's no reason to be scared of every strange, scruffy looking man who might come your way.

Now, I did leave Los Angeles in part because I don't think it will be safe if things get really bad. Not so much that I would worry about being personally accosted - but that if people can't get food there is likely to be rioting and I don't want to be caught in the middle. But I was not particularly worried about being targeted as a single white female in LA - the gangs there are more interested in each other, not you.

Boulder is not Los Angeles by any stretch of the imagination, and I doubt you have much of a gang problem there. Your biggest issue may be people coming to steal your food and supplies when things get bad, but perhaps a good number of those people won't even be violent, but desperate and starving. 

Get  a guard dog and maybe take some shooting lessons if you want to protect your home. I would not otherwise freak out too much - you are not in a big massive city that is likely to get caught up in civil unrest. If you feel Boulder is going to have riots then move to a smaller town but I personally would not be overly worried in a place like that. You're probably well-situated there, in a small city that is relatively safe and not close to any truly dangerous metropolitan areas like Los Angeles or New York City. 

You should be fine.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Re: Personal Safety
aarondenal wrote:

Sigh.  I am not making myself clear.  My questions do not pertain to one's gender.  I am simply looking for some inspiration.  What can be done?  I have not been spending the last um-teen years training in ten various martial arts, nor shooting pistols.  I am a 38yo mother of two and have only recently gotten acquainted with the issues related to this site.  I have limited time.  What have folks done so amass a sense of security where they had relatively none before?  I like Dogs' and others suggestions to look into martial arts and I will (although at first glance cost may be an issue for me).  I love Aaron Moyers' Run-Fu.  There is a lot to that, although I am not satisfied with only getting in better shape.

Plenty clear to me and if this works to inspire you then mission accomplished.

Given that time and cost are constraints for you (and all of us to varying degrees) I still think you can find a program that will establish and/or raise your current level of proficiency to the point where you can extract a sense of security from your efforts.

Will you be competing in the MMA Octogan and knocking people out within two years?  Probably not.  Even after 15+ years, if I saw Anderson Silva coming across the ring at me, I'd tap out as soon as the bell rang.  Laughing

The point I'm trying to make is whatever you do, whatever you can do from a cost and time constrained perspective is going to be better than doing nothing.  Sifu Bruce Lee has a great saying "Everyone knows something you do not.  Learn from them."  Time and money spent in a martial arts studio, music lesson, art class, yoga class, whatever it may be is in almost all cases going to be worth it.  If you learn something you did not know when you went in then you had a successful session. 

Guro Inosanto used to remind us at his seminars that we need to focus on what we learned from what was presented.  Given the spectrum of experience in the students, he would present material from beginnner to advanced practitioner.  The beginners might "get" 2-3 techniques of 15 presented because that is all they were capable of processing given their current experience and proficiency level.  Conversely, the advanced students "only" learned 2-3 techniques of the 15 presented because they already knew the other 12.  With time you add another layer of proficiency that can help build that sense of security and confidence you are looking for.  Focus on what you learned and your personal growth rather than whether or not you think you are learning it fast enough or getting "good" enough.

And you will likely be pleasantly surprised at how much you learn in what you will look back on and consider to be a short time frame.

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Re: Personal Safety

I will offer a different perspective than others who have posted here I believe.  I am 80 1/2 years old.  My great grandson tells me he is 8 3/4 years old.  Thirty years ago I took some Karate courses and felt I could defend myself reasonably well.  Now I am 30 years older and stiff of joints and short of breath.  I swim, on average, 3 times a week, from 30 to 45 minutes, but set absolutely no olympic records. 

When you are confronted by a bad guy or two, and they are seconds from you, the police are minutes away.  If  you are attacked, the police will show up, perhaps call an ambulance, file their reports and their job is done.  Personal safety is a right and responsibility of all of us.  I carry a gun because carrying a policeman around is too heavy and awkward. 

Mace and pepper spray are alternatives.  Also, when you are walking out of a store, if you have your key fob in your hand, hitting the alarm button will attract a lot of attention.  Being alert is very important.  Bad guys want the advantage of surprise. 

The time hasn't come yet, but is on the way, when personal protection will be an important issue.  If you have watched the CM course, you know it is coming.  Owning a gun doesn't mean you can protect yourself.  Just like any tool, you must learn how to use it and you must practice, practice, practice.  I suggest the services of a hand gun instructor.  I can draw and fire my weapon in less than two seconds.  And hit the target. Unless I am not paying any attention, that will be quick enough.  And use personal protection ammunition, hollow points, for protection.

This is my opinion.  Just like noses, everyone has one. 

Juli B's picture
Juli B
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 28 2009
Posts: 87
Re: Personal Safety

Aarondenal, I can add a couple of observations from a woman's perspective, if that helps. When (much!) younger, I took Tae Qwan Do--some Kung Fu. I found Tae Qwan Do was very hard on my back (lower lumbar vertebrae) from the snap that creates force behind the punches, even though I had been dancing for several years and was in good physical shape. I had many years of back problems from the damaged vertebrae  till swimming, dance exercises and yoga helped do away with a lot of that. 

Other woman friends in my class ended up with damaged knees (we were all in our late teens/early twenties). A lower center of gravity and wide hips contributed to my back issues and I suspect the slightly looser ligaments that some female hormones promote (think a lot of stretching going on in childbirth) might have acerbated the knee issues, etc. I found Kung Fu an easier discipline physically. Learning Tai Chi and doing yoga for teaching your body how to deal with panic so you don't hyperventilate and you can keep breathing deeply is a good practice that pays off. Both arts did provide training in situational awareness as well as a sense of self-confidence that sent messages while walking in some questionable areas around campus that " this is not a victim here." 

About seven years later,  I took my son through hunter safety as a single mom and our range instructor, who taught police and FBI, wanted to teach a women's course in self-defense. About 7-8 of us signed up. Without exception, it was the best training I ever had and it was almost entirely about situational awareness and training your body/mind to react appropriately to potential threats. He had us role-playing responses till we had patterned reactions that were survival-oriented. I still carry a Mag flashlight in the car and know why you never answer a door with a gun in your hand after you have called 911 to report a shooting (!?) (guess?) What we found out when role-playing having an intruder enter your bedroom while sleeping was that every one of us waited too long to pull the trigger when we had access to a concealed gun within reach. So better training or no gun.

I concur about getting ground-based training, as the height/weight differences can be lessened if you and your assailant are both on the ground (assuming your assailant is bigger and more powerful phyically than you are.) Many people, especially women, apparently resist going down when in some situations it may be your best option.

Aaron's Run Fu was 'translated' for us as "Fleet Feet."  Put them down and run like h*ll, was our mantra. Being prepared to fight "dirty" if such a concept exists is totally necessary--you do what you can with what you have to deal with the situation and get out, as fast as possible.

(If a gun starts to look a necessary option, given your profession as a midwife,  there are women's shooting chapters that meet for practice and to share resources. Check out your local gun range for information.)

Good luck and cultivate all six senses.

juli

aarondenal's picture
aarondenal
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 24 2010
Posts: 59
Re: Personal Safety

Thanks everyone.  Great stuff. 

Nacci, being self-reliant and staying out of the way, at least during major panics, is what I am cultivating all the time.  Thanks for the clear message.

Dogs and nickbert, you are a wealth of info. 

Juli, very good info to consider, especially regarding the last bit that was most helpful.  Do you remember what it was called that you did?  Have you seen or heard of anything like it since?  I appreciate it very much.

Golden age, I appreciate your input, although am not certain about my relationship with a gun at this time. I have the little ones to consider...

Here's where I am:

I am currently getting more amped for "Run-Fu" training, although I am doing okay on that score.  I need to work on endurance, as exercise for me mostly consists of hauling my 30lb+ 18mo. boy around and chasing my 4 year old. 

I have looked into several resources for general self-defense and also ongoing training in a martial art.  I like the philosophy of some of the martial arts stuff too.

I am interested in the "learning about your surroundings" bit.

 

Travlin's picture
Travlin
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 15 2010
Posts: 1322
Re: Personal Safety
aarondenal wrote:

Golden age, I appreciate your input, although am not certain about my relationship with a gun at this time. I have the little ones to consider...

If you would like to think about this some more, the website The Cornered Cat has a wealth of information.  It is written specifically for women, by a woman who is a firearms instructor.  It deals with all the issues one should consider, including ethical questions, and children in the home.  I highly recommend it for men as well.  Kathy Jackson is superb.

http://www.corneredcat.com/

Travlin

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2244
Thoughts on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for kids?

I am thinking of having my pre-teen son take up martial arts, both for the self-defense aspect of it, and for the mental/physical discipline aspect of it.  He is a little bit of a couch potato, and I would like to get him on a better path before it is too late (well, never too late, but harder).  I also want him to be able to defend himself in the world he's going to grow up in.

There are a number of classes offerred locally.  One that caught my eye was Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for kids.  They describe it as "martial arts, combat sport & self-defense system."  They say that the principle is that a smaller, weaker person can defend against a bigger, stronger assailant with leverage and proper technique, such as joint-locks and chokeholds. 

They also offer Combat Submission Wrestling (CSW) for kids, a blended grappling and striking system.  They claim is offers the best standing, clinch, takedowns tackles, submissions, strokes and throws from a number of other disciplines (judo, freestyle wrestling, Brazilian Jio-Jitsu, etc).

My son loves wrestling around with his dad, and likes "posing" like he knows how to kick-box.  But I am interested in him having him develop some real substance skill-wise behind the "show" he puts on now, while pursuing a discipline that he may really enjoy learning.

Can you folks who know about martial arts give me your thoughts and advice?  If you have alternative suggestions, I welcome them as well.

Thanks in advance!

 

nickbert's picture
nickbert
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1208
Re: Thoughts on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for kids?

One thing I can tell you for certain is BJJ (Brazilian Ju Jitsu) will definitely give him a FULL workout...

I have only a modest amount of experience with BJJ, mostly as cross-over training where my Kung Fu San Soo classes shared a studio with BJJ classes, but IMO it's a very useful discipline.  My instructor encouraged us to cross-train with the BJJ class, because as he said "a little ground-fighting knowledge goes a long way".  He's right... I may not be very polished with many of the joint-locks and some of the offensive techniques, but I know what to do (or more importantly, what NOT to do) and how to defend when taken to the ground or faced with a ground-fighter.  And yes, many of the techniques work very well irrespective of size differences.  Being a grappling and ground-fighting style it loses some utility when faced with more than one attacker, but that's a small quibble and it's nothing that a little cross-training in other disciplines doesn't easily make up for (and quite often BJJ practitioners are cross-trained some in a striking discipline of some sort, at least in my limited experience).  Not everyone enjoys or 'takes' to grappling and ground-work, but it is really useful and I recommend it.  Even if he ends up hating it, he should still learn a lot.

I don't know anything about their Combat Submission Wrestling, but it sounds a little like the mixed martial arts disciplines that are growing in popularity.  It might be useful or it might be "meh", as the MMA experience and teaching can vary widely.  But if they do dedicated BJJ classes there, odds are it has some value.  I'd say maybe start him with BJJ, and later see if he wants to try the CSW as well.  Some studios that offer multiple classes will let you take both kinds for little extra cost. 

Whatever you pick, I think the biggest benefit for him might be (earned) self-confidence and self-awareness, which will help him avoid fights he doesn't need to get into in the first place.  It's better for him to pick that up early than learn the hard (and painful) way later .

- Nickbert

JAG's picture
JAG
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 26 2008
Posts: 2492
Martial Arts

 Hi Pinecarr,

As an old-timer martial artist, I would say go with the Brazilian JJ class first. These days, I see a lot of people train in hybrid mixed-martial art systems, and while they tend to learn a large spectrum of techniques, they never "master" any particular technique or skill set.

The key to effective self-defense and personal development is training techniques until they become unconscious reflex patterns originating in the lower brain and spinal cord. If you have to "think" about your technique in a real world situation, you are already too late. Your son is much more likely to develop his technique to this level in a more traditional martial art class like BJJ,  than in the CSW class IMO.

Having said this, the most important thing that you could do as his parent is let him choose the class to take. Whatever he chooses, he should really be excited about learning it if he is going to get something from it. You will know that he is on the right path when he is practicing his techniques while being a couch potato, lol (but seriously). 

The best thing that I have from gained from my martial arts training over the years is the many life-long friends that I have made from it. I still have two good friends from my first training in Karate over 35 years ago, when I was just 7 years old.  We are all old and fat now, but our friendships remain strong. 

Good luck....Jeff

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2244
Nickbert and JAG, thanks so

Nickbert and JAG, thanks so much for your insights and advice!  I think we will go check out the BJJ class and see what my son thinks about it.  I will let you know what happens if we do!

KBraley's picture
KBraley
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 6 2011
Posts: 1
Technology Helps Too

I personally really like the "Real Alert" app. I have never HAD to use the 911 instant button but it makes me feel better that it is there. Recently, on my school campus there was seen a suspicious character or whatever but there wasn't too many details. This app even has a creepo detail button to immediately input details (a fill in the blank sort of form) for any creepos so all the things are fresh in your mind. It has a locate nearest hospital, instant 911, siren, and a friend button if you want to just have a friend on the phone if you feel in a bad situation but it isn't a situation to call 911. Over all an awesome app. I suggest everyone, male and female, download it. Hopefully you never have to use it but it is nice to have! "Real Alert" I think it is on iPhone and Android. Not sure about Microsoft phones though.

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
technology trumps technology
KBraley wrote:

I personally really like the "Real Alert" app. I have never HAD to use the 911 instant button but it makes me feel better that it is there. Recently, on my school campus there was seen a suspicious character or whatever but there wasn't too many details. This app even has a creepo detail button to immediately input details (a fill in the blank sort of form) for any creepos so all the things are fresh in your mind. It has a locate nearest hospital, instant 911, siren, and a friend button if you want to just have a friend on the phone if you feel in a bad situation but it isn't a situation to call 911. Over all an awesome app. I suggest everyone, male and female, download it. Hopefully you never have to use it but it is nice to have! "Real Alert" I think it is on iPhone and Android. Not sure about Microsoft phones though.

That app is a great idea.  Technology is wonderful.  The problem is, technology is also vulnerable.  That's why I'd ALWAYS have other options in place for saving my butt other than technology.  Here's just one reason why:

http://www.jammerall.com/products/High-Power-Portable-Signal-Jammer-for-Cell-Phone-%28CDMA-GSM-DCS-PCS-3G%29.html

The scenario:

You have your cell phone and your Real Alert app.  You are approached by a serious creep.  You hit the instant 911 button.  You frantically wonder why you're not connecting.  Creep laughs maliciously.  Creep knows you're dead meat.  Creep is jamming your cell signal.  Game over.

 

 

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