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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 1935


PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:53 pm    Post subject: Self defence starts with awareness Reply with quote

Self defence starts with awareness.

If you are being looked at beyond just being looked at. Your movements are being mirrored. You are flashing something that could be of value to someone else, such as a camera or jewelry. Beware!

Being aware or having awareness at all times is like having your radar switched on when out at sea. It will a least give you a chance or some time to react if a situation occurs.

Parties, clubs and pubs are places that need your extra attention. These are the most (statistically) more dangerous places to be harmed or robbed, by others than anywhere else. Shopping is another activity that needs your awareness. Vacation spots are full of desperate people looking for unaware holiday makers.

Being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people, spells trouble. Time to get out.

If you are targeted for robbery for instance and you are aware of it, chances are you will not be robbed. Because you can visually identifie them.

If you are aware that you are being followed, then walk in to a shop and tell a member of staff what you think is happening.

It is the none aware people that fall victim to crimes first.

Be aware of your surroundings.
Be aware of your belongings
Be aware of your safety
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27502
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is very true. All very good points. Self-awareness is the very first concept that should be taught, along with ways to learn to enhance it.
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jaypo
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 520

Styles: Shotokan, Shorin Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the first thing I teach- awareness. It doesn't pay to know a thousand techniques if you get blindsided.
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 1935


PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As traveling abroad is commonly done today, no matter where you are from. Mindfulness and thoughtfulness are two other words that should accompany awareness.

I hear it all the time from friends and family, losing passports. Mobiles getting lost or stolen. Forgetting luggage on the train. Seems as if we can be our worst enemy at times.
Falling victim to our own lack of awareness more often than to what others may do to us.

Let's say you have awerness, what next?
Self defence?

The saying goes 'If you are looking for trouble you will usually find it'
Same holds true the other way also. Avoiding trouble is just using common sense.

Some locations contain more potential risks and problems than others. Locations that people use alcohol or drugs mixed with immaturity spells trouble.

Beyond all that and dealing with the self defense aspects of being physically attacked. It is getting past the freezing up to conflict, to naturally react that is quicker than stopping and thinking.

As martial artists it is our ability to react and move in an instant as opposed to just standing there in a daze feeling the full brunt of incoming force.

With my experience with people in the (physical) self-defense aspects, I am always amazed at one thing. Even with having 100% awareness.
The one thing people do wrong is that they don't move out of the way of things.

On the high-street a heavy set girl was carrying a large heavy package. She just walked through anyone or anything in her way. Knocking people over or just bumping them to the side. People were just not getting out of her way quick or fast enough. She barged through every one and anything. No one knew what hit them till it was too late. (The too late syndrome strikes again)

No matter what it is heading straight towards you, get out of it's way. Dodge it! Side step it! Duck it!
Be it a puch, knife, stick or a speeding car; move out of it's way. This has to be the #1 principle of self defence for potentially being physically attacked or harmed.

Forget about having the right of way or being first, being a lady and expecting priority. Avoid contact, avoid danger.

As martial artists this moving out of the way of incoming objects is or should be second nature to us. The general public doesn't usually train to have this mindset; they have (lumbering awareness).

I practice (consciously) moving out of the way of people and shopping carts, any and all obstacles, in crowded shopping centers or streets. This is having or developing kinetic awareness as opposed to just settling for static awareness.

Awareness should be accompanied with movement, other wise what good is it!
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1673

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are way too many self-defense courses, classes and seminars perpetuating the misconception that self-defense is confined to physical techniques.

The best and probably the hardest to find will be a course where the instructor will help students increase their awareness and learn to spot and effectively avoid dangerous places and potential attackers before physical defense is necessary.

A very effective exercise is to organize a walk around the neighbourhood. Students practise thinking like a predator. They must watch the people going by and look for those that look light easy prey. Role playing is a very effective way to train for this and this kind of training should take up most of the content. The very last part can cover a few simple and quick techniques such as breaking common holds.
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 1935


PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good points Spartacus!

Breaking away from wrists holds is very easy and effect to do. A good place to start from giving confidence to the student.

Building a foundation with self-defense techniques is beneficial for everyone! Physically and physiologically.

As a young teen I was caught in a difficult situation. I told the man that had me cornered that " The man over there is my dad, so I've got to go now OK!" Should have seen how quick he ran away. Of course the man I pointed out wasn't my dad, but he didn't know that.

I've been shot, stabbed and beaten. So I'm all for self defence.

People first need to know their abilities and build upon them. Class room (dojo) self defence, is different than what happens on the street. But it needs to be practiced somewhere safe in the beginning.

Learning how to shake one's entire body (aggressively) to break away or to add momentum to self defence techniques is very useful to learn and practice. I highly recommend this tip to all of those that teach self defence to others.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1673

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another good point of the "predator mind" role play is that anyone can do it and get really good at it, even young school age children. It is perfect for teaching how to look out for potentially dangerous places or people.

This is far from a novel idea as this type of training is given in police academies. It is also very easily found in books and online references explaining how to spot signs of aggression in a person's body language.

Most if not all attacks are 100% avoidable if one is aware and observant. The problem is that unlike other animals, people have a stupid knack for ignoring their own senses. In this modern society, the only ones who take advantage of natural human senses are those whose life and livelihood depend on it. This is very unfortunate because training is not hard to do and takes only a few minutes I the entire day.
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 1935


PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make others aware!
Another method of attracting attention to be assisted if attacked is to scream "Help"

Make others aware!
May seem simplistic to scream for help, but for bystanders watching what is unfolding as a man is attacking a woman for instance, it could be a domestic dispute and many people don't want to interfere or get involved if this is the case.

Make others aware!
Shout out 'police' 'police' 'help'
If not, bystanders could continue going on about their business and just ignore the situation altogether.

Make others aware!
Be aware that people/strangers will help you if you are in danger or in need of assistance, but they need a clear message or signal from 'YOU' before they will proceed.

Be aware and if you need help make others aware also (VERBALLY) with as much noise as possible.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14145
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shouting out "Fire" has proved to be an effective way to gain some help. However, let's never forget to be careful in attaining ones attention because no one's for sure if the help provided will actually help you or your attacker.



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