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Old 05-16-2005, 01:53 PM   #1
p00kiethebear
 
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Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

Hey everyone,

A good friend of mine is pregnant now and asked me how she would defend herself if she was carrying her child with her on the street in a sling. I wasn't really sure how to answer this one so if anyone out there had some ideas to throw out (perhaps experienced women?) it would be greatly appreciated.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 05-16-2005, 02:04 PM   #2
rob_liberti
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

There is not much you can do. I suppose the first thing would be to do a threat level analysis. If the threat is high, move to a new safer area, learn to move like Satome sensei, OR stay indoors until you can move away from the area and hire a body guard for the times you must go outside.

Rob
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Old 05-16-2005, 05:58 PM   #3
DevinHammer
 
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

There is a lot you can do! Most, if not all, basic techniques can be adapted for one handed execution. I have trained with several different one-armed aikidoka, and they do just fine. There are even techniques that we practice with no hands, just body movement.

One of the common sections of the shodan exam at my dojo is a "real world" scenario. One that is used frequently is being harassed/attacked while carrying a baby. We use a teddy-bear as a prop.
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Old 05-16-2005, 06:08 PM   #4
Jill N
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

Uh, Devin-
I think this mom is pregnant now, and from the sounds of it, isn't experienced in aikido. I can't see anyone being proficient enough to effectively use aikido one handed with less than 9 months to learn it.

Nathan:
But- having had 2 kids of my own, I think I was probably more dangerous when my kids were babies, (especially if I was carrying them) before I had taken aikido, than I am now (my kids are grown up) with my shodan. Mothering instinct is very strong when babies are little- especially if you are breastfeeding. Tell her to breastfeed and stay away from dark alleys.

Of course, all the normal common (or not so common) sense stuff that most people would teach as the most practical self defense. Avoid dangerous situations, and trust your instincts about people.

e ya later
Jill.

(no offense, Devin, buddy!)
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Old 05-16-2005, 07:03 PM   #5
DevinHammer
 
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

Quote:
Jill Nielsen wrote:
Uh, Devin-
I think this mom is pregnant now, and from the sounds of it, isn't experienced in aikido. I can't see anyone being proficient enough to effectively use aikido one handed with less than 9 months to learn it.
OK, I apologize, Rob, if that's what you meant by "There is not much you can do."

However, I still believe that there are at least some basic principles that she could pick up fairly quickly. And, she may still need to defend her child for quite a few years to come - plenty of time for more training.

Thanks for checking my passion, Jill.
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Old 05-16-2005, 07:49 PM   #6
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

There are plenty of simple self defense techniques and strategies she could learn. Many women find that they can do amazing things to protect themselves and their children. I am sure there is a SD course around where you live.

In my last Sd class I had my students defend themselves carrying a "newborn".....they were amazed at all the things they could do while protecting their "baby".

Mary
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:07 PM   #7
wendyrowe
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

Fiercely protective mothering instincts would definitely help -- I never had to defend myself or my children from an attack, but just ordinary life brings up those instincts so strongly that I can imagine what an attack might do.

The problem with a doll or teddy bear is that you'd be WAY more careful if you were actually holding a baby than you would be holding a prop. It would probably be more realistic if you were holding a sack of eggs. Granted, babies are sturdier than eggs -- but at least until they're sturdy little toddlers, you have to worry so much about shaking/whiplash that you'd probably be afraid to do much.
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:12 PM   #8
eyrie
 
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

Most people who preach "self-defense" will tell you that "stand and fight" is always the last resort. There is a big difference in what we call martial arts and what most people call self-defense. For the most part, not all martial arts are self-defense oriented, and not all self-defense is martial art oriented, although certain martial arts principles and techniques can be used in self-defense.

In addition, a few "easy lessons to learn how to defend yourself" is the worse thing your friend can do. Self-defense is a mindset, not a few lessons in some choice techniques to disable an attacker.

My advice is for your friend to just be aware and to avoid situations which would place her and her child in danger. Basic animal instinct stuff that we as civilized humans have forgotten how to use.

Ignatius
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Old 05-16-2005, 09:19 PM   #9
jester
 
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

Pepper Spray and a whisle
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Old 05-16-2005, 09:34 PM   #10
eyrie
 
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

Note that pepper spray must be sprayed directly into the assailant's eyes or inhaled to be effective.
In addition, weather factors such as wind and rain can reduce its range and effectiveness.

An armed assailant threatening you can mortally injure you in less time than it takes you for to draw and aim a pepper spray. The assailant may also be able to take your canister away from you and use it against you. Your spray could backfire at you in head/cross wind (cross contamination).

Ignatius
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:30 PM   #11
Charles Hill
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

This would be a good time to experiment by putting on a sling and a doll and "play" around until you get some answers. Otherwise you can follow Rob`s advice and learn to move like Saotome Sensei. After the 30-40 years that would take, you`d be just in time to protect some grandkids!

Charles
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Old 05-17-2005, 12:10 AM   #12
Hardware
 
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

I teach a women's self defence seminar and this very question was raised in the last two sessions.

I told the women that there is no one simple answer - the response would have to vary according to the specific situation but some of the things to take into consideration would include:

- the "threat" - is it a drunk guy being a nuisance or two switched on fit people attempting to kidnap your child or you, or both?

- how is the threat being manifested (is the drunk guy trying to get a cheap feel or are the two switched on people trying to get your child into a vehicle)?

- terrain and avenues of escape? Can you tell your child to run somewhere to safety or would that pose a greater threat (i.e. of them possibly running into traffic)?

- proximity of help - are there passersby that will help?

The women were actually asking if they should fight/resist with their children close by or take the time (seconds) to tell their children to run to safety before engaging.

This is the type of scenario where there are far too many variables - there's no one right or wrong answer.
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Old 05-17-2005, 05:16 AM   #13
Nick Simpson
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

She could buy a handgun if she was really worried about self defence...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 05-17-2005, 07:12 AM   #14
Krista DeCoste
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

Hi.

I wanted to add my story of motherly instincts:
I used to be afraid of dogs...until I became a breastfeeding mother.
Trusting your instincts at this time and all times is helpful.
Also, it is imoprtant to keep in mind that, based on statistics, women have more to fear from the people they live with and are in relationships with than the stranger on the street. I think Howard's approach of getting women to think about the situations they may face, not that they always know in advance, can be helpful.

Interesting thread.
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Old 05-17-2005, 07:17 AM   #15
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

That is a great point, Krista. Women, indeed, have to defend themselves much more often from people that they are in relationship with.

If you have doubts about women defending themselves and their children, a great book to read is "Her Wits about Her". It is a collection of true stories where women defended themselves using all sorts of strategies.

Mary
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Old 05-17-2005, 07:43 AM   #16
SmilingNage
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

Soiled Diaper waza, enough said.
A soiled diaper slinging mamma will stop any would be attacker.

Though I am jesting, I think wielding an icky diaper may put some attackers off their guard. Dont know many people who want to be covered in that.

Dont make me, make you, grab my wrist.
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Old 05-17-2005, 08:22 AM   #17
Adman
 
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

I heard on a radio talk show, a few weeks ago, an interview with an expert on drunk-driving/traffic accidents (for lack of a better title). He was asked how someone could become a more responsible driver. He answered with a question. He said something to the effect of, "Here's your chance to win a millions dollars. All you have to do is make the next 48 (or 72 ... whatever) hours without receiving a traffic ticket, being involved in an accident, or driving drunk. What would you do? How would your driving change?"

Change the above to the avoidance of violent crime. Lengthen the time requirement to at least ten years or so (starting today). And change the prize to the successful survival of the most precious thing you have -- something that is priceless and irreplaceable -- your child. Now what would you do?
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:15 AM   #18
Bronson
 
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Note that pepper spray must be sprayed directly into the assailant's eyes or inhaled to be effective.
In addition, weather factors such as wind and rain can reduce its range and effectiveness.

An armed assailant threatening you can mortally injure you in less time than it takes you for to draw and aim a pepper spray. The assailant may also be able to take your canister away from you and use it against you. Your spray could backfire at you in head/cross wind (cross contamination).
That line of thinking can be used to negate any line of self-defense. Empty hand techniques can be reversed or not work, guns can be turned against you, the assailant may be able to run faster than you and catch you if you run, etc. I guess we should all just roll over and give up because anything we try MAY be used against us or not be effective.

Oh, and PEPPER FOAM can cut down on the cross-contamination issue.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:27 AM   #19
ian
 
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Re: Self Defense fors mothers with a baby.

body movement is the key thing in aikido, and this can be achieved even if you are carrying a child. You'll be suprised how effective just moving out of the way of a lunge attack can be. Also, you only need one arm to do aikido! - timing, distance and movement are more important in aikido than trying to wrench someone's arm around. However, carrying some-one can still impede this. Difficult, yes - impossible, no. Also - don't foget, much of self-defence is psychological rather than physical, and starts long before the attack.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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