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Old 04-12-2009, 07:51 PM   #1
salim
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Bad Advice and Self Defense

I ran across this story from another blog and thought I would share. Interesting enough, good self defense and good common sense seem to be lacking tremendously these days. So many romanticize about ideas of self defense. In a lot of cases instant gratification self defense or unproven techniques, set a person up for horrible failures. See the story below.

Yesterday, I passed by a co-worker of mine, who was explaining to her female colleagues how great was a self-defense course she took.

Apparently, she saw an infomercial for a "rape-prevention/self-defense" course, and decided to give it a try. She went for the full certification, and diligently attended all of the three classes they had.

So after three hours, she felt ready to face the scum of the underworld and believed that she will be victorious.

I stood there shaking my head in disbelief, but the other women seemed quite interested in these courses.

Some of the amazing self-defense tricks these people were taught were:
1. Kick the pervert in the crotch. (I can sort-a buy this one)

2. Never run away from a man trying to grab you. Instead run at him and get as close as possible to him. (I can only try and picture the imbecile, who thought of that... take a weak person and move her very close to a physically stronger opponent... oh yeah.. why don't they just take the panties off while they are at it.)

3. Put your hand on his throat (kind-a like a "judo chop") and then hit it with the other hand to "break his throat and kill him instantly". (I am sure that the assailant will be very cooperative with this particular move)

4. Grab his Adam's apple with your thumb and index finger, and rip it off (I guess this has the same probability of working as the one above)

5. the insanity just keeps on piling.... from using secret crotch twisting techniques (tweezers can be deadly ) to implying that you can out-muscle a big guy by manipulating his pressure points (these don't even work in randori.. let alone shiai... or a real life situation)

At the end of her "presentation" I just told her that the best thing she can ever do is running away from the guy, not towards him. My comment did not make much sense to her....

So I am thinking how many women have been given a very false sense of security.. and how many of them will get into much worse trouble by using the "secret military techniques" reserved for the likes of ninjas.....

Thank again, maybe this is Darwinism in action....
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:20 PM   #2
wideawakedreamer
 
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

*sigh*

I just feel bad for your friend and all those other women duped by those so-called "self-defense instructors" who just want to make a buck. On the other hand, there would be no con artists if there weren't people willing to be conned.

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Old 04-12-2009, 08:36 PM   #3
Bob Blackburn
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

But she is certified.

These people can be dangerous offering bad advise and over confidence.

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Old 04-12-2009, 11:07 PM   #4
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

The only bad advice I see in this thing is that :

1. Nothing was said about knowing the laws of your state is a self-defense situation. What you can and can't do to protect yourself- how far can you go. Does ripping a guy's Adam Apple out of the attacker's throat killing him acceptable when he is unarmed, for example. Stuff like that.

2. One size doesn't fit all. Simply running toward an attacker- for all the common and obvious reasons. It is pretty poorly thought out advice considering the dynamics and variables of so many different types of attacks and attackers.

3. The Assumptive, "Your Invincible" Propaganda, what implied. I don't care what martial arts you studied for how many years, or what kind of expert you are, you have to be responsible enough to provide the people you teach with realistic and reasonable information. For instance, there is a chance things can go wrong with any number of variables not favoring the victim. There is no magic, and not everyone is a winner. It isn't like riding a bike. The body forgets over time if not practiced. You have to have hands on experience, lectures alone don't cut it. You have to do things that will be uncomfortable or don't fit into your life philosophy, i.e. you do have to look over your shoulder. You are not safe. That kind of stuff too.

4. Not everyone who talks a good talk, walks the walk. Just because someone gives advice doesn't mean it is good, or it is something that person just picked up having no or little experience.

5. "I am expert cuz I got a black belt. Or cuz I say I am." Just because you do or teach a martial arts or have a black belt, doesn't make you an expert, or an expert in women's self-defense.

6. Being Assumptive. Women are generally likely to be more persuaded by a good talker, a charmer,etc. then someone who can't articulate the self defense stuff very well. Therefore, women generally, give sweet talkers more credibility over those who don't articulate as well. Despite the fact the sweet talker is pulling legs, and the other one could be the real expert.

7. The crux of ignorance -women who have not been attacked. Many women don't grow up being physically bullied where they develop a perspective and knowledge base about self-defense. So it really isn't Darwinism, or Barnum, "A sucker born every minute." It is women experience violence at a latter time in life that is on an adult intensity level of violence and harm. Boys can be beat close to death, or shot at, knives pulled etc. But that is coming mostly from peers who haven't honed or developed their violence. Where as women face developed and trained attackers, from boyfriends beating them to really sick and disturbed stuff done to them. Because of that it is something that doesn't happen on a level of frequency to a very large number of women. For example, on the same scale where 1 out of 5 women or the majority are brutally attacked constantly, something they have to live with daily. Therefore, to them it is something like game of chance, it happens to a few women (based only on news coverage) and not all women. And you got to throw in how women are socialize etc. Sadly, many women function in ignorance of what is self-defense, and what it should be. It isn't Darwin, or what have you.

Women don't generally have a kill or be killed mentality. Whether it is a result of socialization, or the way women's brains are, or both. But, it seems the only time many women really act on self-defense is when they are scared enough into it. At this point they are working from a reactive emotional base- of panic, and not from a proactive preplanned base- cause an attack some how has hits too close to home. Thus, many woman jump on the first source that sounds good they find. They don't prepare for a possible attack, or one that may never come, or the one right around the corner like they do with so many other things. Now it is my experience that women say 55 and up are much more proactive about and in self-defense. IMO, that is good, but way too late to get serious about it.

Now with all that said, I have come across some women not of my own western culture, who are beastly fierce. Who have downed a male attacker bigger and stronger then themselves with the precision and fearlessness of a Navy Seal. I caulk it up to socialization and culture they where raised in. I question the myth that women are any less capable then a man in defending themselves,it is all depending on how they are raised, and the attitude they have.

Last edited by Buck : 04-12-2009 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:38 AM   #5
eyrie
 
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Unfortunately, as long as there are gullible people out there, there will always be Darwinist shysters...

Ignatius
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:22 AM   #6
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

A former sensei of mine use to say in reply to the question of self defense, " Get away, run like hell so you can watch the 11 o'clock news not be on the 11 o'clock news."

David
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:20 AM   #7
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

There is a great deal of money to be made in telling people what they want to believe. In this case, you have one woman (and apparently others) who want to believe that they can learn to be safe in three easy lessons. It's silly, but no sillier than the many, many men (to judge by this and other forums) who believe that they need to learn to defend themselves from some kind of stereotypical attacker who is much more commonly found in comic books than on "the street". It's no sillier than a populace believing politicians who tell them that if they just sign on the dotted line, that war will be all over with in a matter of days and they'll be all safe and snug. Frankly, I don't look for self-proclaimed self-defense instructors to develop a sense of ethics when it comes to telling people the truth about safety until some time after politicians and leaders do the same.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:29 AM   #8
charyuop
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Let's see...a criminal who runs for his living, runs from cops, from other bad guys and runs to quickly assalt victims.
A woman who probably never runs if not going in the morning for a quick jogging or a fast pace walk.
What are the chances of out-running an attacker? What is the use of giving him her back and get assalted from behind?
If you have hundres of feet advantage ok run, but since when you realize you are being attack, if not really during the attack, it will be with the attacker basically in front of you...I think suggesting turn your back to him and run is not really wise.
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:15 PM   #9
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Well the thing about attacks is that you usually can't run from them effectively so you have to deal with them. In many respects the "rule of 21" applies for most women that are attacked.

The attacker has closed distance and gotten himself into a position in which the women cannot escape so is running really something we teach them as an effective means of self defense?

OR,

do we teach them how to survive as best we can in various situations and prepare them emotionally for what a violent attack may entail?

I personally do not subscribe to the quick fix seminar method of self defense and don't feel qualified to or feel I have the ability to teach someone properly in "12 easy lessons".

I also think that it is a huge responsibility to put someone through a very quick and intensive, emotionally charged "cauldron" without really assessing the pyschological state of someone to handle that type of training.

It is a tough one I think, but I feel more comfortable bring people along slowly and successfully through a process of Budo training where they build a sound base and are brought along mentally, spiritually, and physically until the instructor/s gain a clear picture of the individual.

It is a huge tremendous responsibility.

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Old 04-13-2009, 08:14 PM   #10
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Quote:
Gianluigi Pizzuto wrote: View Post
Let's see...a criminal who runs for his living, runs from cops, from other bad guys and runs to quickly assalt victims.
A woman who probably never runs if not going in the morning for a quick jogging or a fast pace walk.
That doesn't really fit with my perception of the average criminal...though I'm not sure about the average woman, I do tend to think the average person is pretty sedentary...relatively speaking of course. I know very little time is spent running from cops and other criminals among the criminals I've known. Still, I would agree that learning how to defend yourself is a more direct way of, well, knowing something about how to defend yourself.

Quote:
What is the use of giving him her back and get assalted from behind?
Having played soccer for a long time, I think it's possible to look backwards pretty effectively while running...so you can know when you have to act if they're catching up to you. Unless they've already locked onto you somehow or they have a weapon with range or are herding you into an awaiting partner, etc., it's simply a matter of who's faster. As a guy who has played soccer for over 20 years, my ability to run is one of the best assets I have in evading a physical attack, I can see how the same could be true for a lot of women, many of whome run far faster and longer than I do.

Quote:
If you have hundres of feet advantage ok run,
Hundreds of feet?! Planes fly at hundreds of feet. I learned a lot about how to not let another person catch me by playing tag or "smear the guy with the ball" in about a 20 foot by 20 foot area. Of course, when they did catch me it was a different situation.

Quote:
...but since when you realize you are being attack, if not really during the attack, it will be with the attacker basically in front of you...I think suggesting turn your back to him and run is not really wise.
I suppose an even wiser option might be to cover both bases: run when you can; kick butt when you have to.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 04-13-2009 at 08:24 PM.

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Old 04-13-2009, 09:22 PM   #11
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Running might be a good idea if a someone attacks a woman in a secluded spot and the woman runs into a more public area?

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:41 PM   #12
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Sure, but it is all predicated on the situation and choice. Choice is a luxury she may not have. Emotionally we always want to think that we have this ability or choice.

Is this how we should train though? or do we train for failure or worst case?

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Old 04-14-2009, 12:23 AM   #13
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Too true!

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:25 AM   #14
Marc Abrams
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

The unspoken "crime" with these people who readily take money while leaving a person with a false sense of security has to do with the "Learning Curve." This woman, having spent three classes working on a certain skill set, should be able to replicate that skill set for a BRIEF period of time after the learning. The ability to replicate this skill set quickly declines until it reaches a baseline that is somewhat above the previous baseline.

The moral of the story is unless you actively practice your skill sets under conditions in which they are likely to occur, then the likelihood of you being able to fully utilize that skill set is not that good. There are few situations more dangerous that people with a little knowledge and skills assuming and acting as though they have a lot of knowledge and skills.

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:34 AM   #15
Dieter Haffner
 
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

I saw a documentary where they stated that woman that look vulnerable are more likely to be assaulted.
So the confidence that woman show after such a course (although based on false skills) might indeed keep them safer from a possible assault.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:13 AM   #16
Marc Abrams
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Quote:
Dieter Haffner wrote: View Post
I saw a documentary where they stated that woman that look vulnerable are more likely to be assaulted.
So the confidence that woman show after such a course (although based on false skills) might indeed keep them safer from a possible assault.
Dieter:

That is not entirely accurate. What you are referring to has to do with self-protection skills, NOT self-defense skills. Few self-defense classes teach self-protection skills. My friend and I teach a self-protection course for women and our motto is "If you have to defend yourself, it is probably too late."

The attacker hunts for prey. They look for people who stand out from the environment, are typically unaware and preoccupied and visibly unprepared to respond to an attack. A confident look will not help a woman who is chatting obliviously on the cellphone or listening to the I-Pod, and has both hands filled carrying the day's purchases.

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:26 AM   #17
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Self-defense is a loaded industry. Those that have been assaulted or those that want to be prepared in the event they or someone they know are attacked are looking for a specific product. Where there is a need for a product there will be someone to fill that need.

What most are looking for however it that "magic bullet." What they don't realize or want to admit to is there is no such thing. Until they realize that like everything else in life if you want it you have to work for it.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:16 PM   #18
charyuop
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Sadly in my country (Italy) there has been a period recently where several women where assaulted and raped (it caused several racist counter assault, but this all another story). The situations were very different, but for sure none of them had the time to run. In one case 2 people assaulted a guy with his fiancee. He got beaten up badly while she was raped. A couple of guys who got caught where for sure not sedentary people, but 2 very well fit young men who would have outrun easily many women...and me too
I played soccer too and I seriously doubt you can run faster than someone chasing you by watching behind you...not to mention that you are not in a soccer field, thus you need to look where you step.
Do not forget fear, that will have people react differently, some women might get an extra sprint or breath, some might lose all their breath in the first 10 steps because of it.

In my humble opinion the best self defense class is not the one that teaches you to run or to strike first, but the one that teaches you how to examine the situation and act consequently. You might have the chance to strike the groin and run, you might have the chance just to run or yell for help...but you might find yourself compelled to comply with the criminal's "requests" till you find the right occasion to do something. I would never raccommend a woman to fight when she has a knife pointed at her chest (many expert MAist died because of a knife), but by complying initially might offer a chance to react when the assailant loosen up to get what he wants.

So in a class yes teach women to run, how to strike to create a time opening to run or some good techniques to strike weak areas in case of close body fight. But first of all, they (well we all, not only women) need to be taught how to assess the situation and make the right choice.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:20 PM   #19
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Quote:
Gianluigi Pizzuto wrote: View Post
In one case 2 people assaulted a guy with his fiancee. He got beaten up badly while she was raped. A couple of guys who got caught where for sure not sedentary people, but 2 very well fit young men who would have outrun easily many women...and me too
It's a good point to make that simply being able to run fast will not necessarily keep you safe...particularly when you're with another person who might be slower. I'm just saying that in my personal hierarchy of behavior, "getting out of Dodge" is my first option to work toward, and running is a good way to do that. The ability to cover a lot of ground fast has helped me avoid several possible problems.
Your example brings up an issue I almost included in my last post, and that is the fact that I now have a pregnant wife and will soon have a child to care for. Fittingly enough, it's reinforced my desire to train more seriously.

Quote:
I played soccer too and I seriously doubt you can run faster than someone chasing you by watching behind you.
I've done it, but again, it depends on who's faster, my point is simply that it can be an option for many people. You seemed to think running is only an option when you're already quite a distance away and I think it can be at only a few inches away...when the circumstances are right, of course.
Quote:
...not to mention that you are not in a soccer field, thus you need to look where you step.
Good point, but as a paintball player I'm used to running one way while regularly looking in another direction...same is true for playing soccer when challenging a head ball for example. It doesn't always look pretty though and can make for some good blooper reels. You're right, running in the woods, for example, will be much more difficult than running down the street...and different streets have more obstacles than others. I don't mean to make it sound like an automatically easy task if I'm coming across that way.

Quote:
Do not forget fear, that will have people react differently, some women might get an extra sprint or breath, some might lose all their breath in the first 10 steps because of it.
Good point, no sense being tired when you start to tangle. In this kind of situation I suppose it's a gamble since you'll certainly have less energy after a hard and long sprint.

Quote:
In my humble opinion the best self defense class is not the one that teaches you to run or to strike first, but the one that teaches you how to examine the situation and act consequently.
It sounds like we agree overall. In my mind protecting yourself has always been about having enough awareness to evaluate a situation and respond accordingly. Simply learning how to grapple or strike or run isn't the best way to keep yourself safe from an attack, in my opinion.
Good examples, thank you!
take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 04-14-2009 at 03:24 PM.

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Old 04-14-2009, 07:43 PM   #20
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Before condemning the instructors too much, mind your source. Your co-worker is relating what she understood or remembers of the course. She was also telling a story, feeling empowered, etc.

She may have missed, or left out, vital information that was included in the instruction. She may have been trying to impress with the most exciting ideas from the seminar.

Overall, though, I agree. Those defense courses can be great for cognitive self-defense skills, but physical self-defense skills are another issue. Seeing what people accomplish, or fail to accomplish, in martial arts classes, I find it hard to believe that a few days' course will transform someone in some lasting manner.

Having said that, having a few, effective, well-drilled techniques can be very useful in a self-defense situation. I think you give too much credit to many would-be attackers. They are often the lowest rung to the criminal world. They are often relying on intimidation and fear to get what they want and do not possess any specific skill or proficiency in fighting. A sudden, directed burst of violence can be enough to get free of a single attacker, assuming they don't have a weapon and the will to use it. With multiple attackers, you might also be lucky enough to win free by the element of surprise.
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:48 AM   #21
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

I'm reminded of what my Aikido instructor back in Australia once said about women's self-defence courses and the "kick 'em in the crotch" methodolgy:
"Women forget that men spend their entire lives learning to protect their groins".

Warning: Do not bend, fold or otherwise abuse... until we get to the dojo..


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Old 04-18-2009, 04:25 AM   #22
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

I wish it were as easy as kicking them in the crotch.

Certainly a good area to target to disrupt and create distance...depending on the situaiton.

That is not a panacea for everything and it might just make the situation worse.

a very low skill thing that really doesn't address the real problem someone has at that distance.

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Old 04-18-2009, 08:02 AM   #23
rob higgins
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

i have 4 daughters and the advice and techniques that i can give them you don,t get in a self defence class like mentioned,i.e

bite,scratch,gouge,effective use of the head,elbows ,knee,s,foot stamps,along with other very viscious stuff,when dealing with animals you have to become one
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:02 AM   #24
Marc Abrams
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Rob:
One ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure! Teach your daughter's self-protection skills, or enroll them in a self-protection course. Your intentions are good, but some bad consequences can follow. MANY times, the adrenalin dump that a person experiences as they are being attacked freezes the person. Furthermore, if what you teach your daughters is not truly effective the first time, the result (VERY COMMON) is an enraged attacker who ends up hurting the victim far more than would have otherwise been the case. Unless self-defense skills are actively practiced, the skills are typically not able to be employed when they are needed.

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:31 AM   #25
rob higgins
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Re: Bad Advice and Self Defense

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Rob:
One ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure! Teach your daughter's self-protection skills, or enroll them in a self-protection course. Your intentions are good, but some bad consequences can follow. MANY times, the adrenalin dump that a person experiences as they are being attacked freezes the person. Furthermore, if what you teach your daughters is not truly effective the first time, the result (VERY COMMON) is an enraged attacker who ends up hurting the victim far more than would have otherwise been the case. Unless self-defense skills are actively practiced, the skills are typically not able to be employed when they are needed.

Marc Abrams
thanks for the advice Marc,i appreciate it,reading over what i posted originally makes me realise it may be insufficent and could endanger them further,lesson learnt

Last edited by rob higgins : 04-18-2009 at 09:35 AM.
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