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DWx
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6443
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2022 10:03 am    Post subject: Teaching a self defence courses Reply with quote

Has anyone here ran a self defence course before? What would be your essentials for inclusion?

I have a friend who has just taken on a new role at our local council; the job is basically community outreach with the goal of getting as many inactive people into sport or some sort of exercise as possible. One of their ideas is to run a women's self defence course which will also include a basic introduction to strength training and they've asked whether I would run it.

The strength part I don't have to do as a PT will do that. But I'll have to create the self defence portion. We haven't discussed details but its likely to be several sessions over several weeks. The people attending will likely have limited activity levels.

Because this is more a fitness thing than self defence, alongside general pointers about situational awareness etc, I was thinking of teaching:

* a basic stance and the fence position
* basic padwork: palm strikes, hammer fist, elbows, low kicks, stomps...
* very basic defences against grabs

Does this sound about right? anything I should include or any resources I can borrow for this?
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Wastelander
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Joined: 18 Oct 2010
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2022 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I've done them, before, awareness was nearly half the session, but as you mention, that doesn't really fit into the fitness focus, here. For the physical components, we usually also taught what you listed, as well as a basic mount escape, a basic guard sweep, and improvised weapons (too many people still think the keys between the fingers thing is a good idea).
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crash
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Joined: 21 Jan 2003
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Styles: karate,

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2022 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as stated above, situational awareness, confidence, etc..are usually the main focus in a "womens self defense" type series of classes. with this being geared towards the fitness side you could include rapid stance changes with jabs, straight puncehs etc... just basic moves with a cardio emphasis.. also stretching and light strength type exercises such as planks and leg lifts/flutter kicks... depending on the average age of the participants., you will have to evaluate and build from there.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15853
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2022 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just how does nowadays self-defense classes prepare the student for the reality of a determined attack??

Better to have learned something than to have not learned anything??

For me, the honest answer to these questions are the reasons why I've not taught self-defense classes in quite a very long time. Takes far more than a weekend to become effective with what's taught at any given self-defense. For the most, and it depends on the student first, and the CI second, self-defense classes foster false security because how it is outside of the safety of the dojo/dojang is not how it is on the outside; an attacker doesn't just stand there doing nothing.

Getting back to Danielle's question...

Quote:
* a basic stance and the fence position
* basic padwork: palm strikes, hammer fist, elbows, low kicks, stomps...
* very basic defences against grabs


That sounds about right. A student with that to work with, and DOES PRACTICE seriously, that student just might become effective at the moment of truth.

Teaching basic defense against grabs isn't that basic. Reactions are NOT in general terms when it comes to grabs because even basic grab defense can't be applied the same against any given attacker expecting the same reaction across the board.

Got to start somewhere, so one might as well start there. While I've my opinions about self-defense classes, I can't and will not ever discourage a person from wanting to learn something that might save them against an determined attacked.

How one carries themselves in the public can thwart a supposed attack; by not appearing like a victim to others can dissuade the possibility. Act like a victim, then there's a greater chance that you'll become THAT victim.

Train hard and train well!!



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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2022 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm actually getting ready to give one tomorrow, and my old DT coach used to give them on the regular. They were really focused on just a few wrist releases, several choke defenses, a little ground stuff like defending with someone inside your guard, and some basic kicking like front kicks, and basic striking like hammerfists, palm strikes, and elbow strikes.

The session will be pretty low impact, so no one gets hurt, but with lots of reps.
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DarthPenguin
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Joined: 03 Dec 2021
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2022 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Just how does nowadays self-defense classes prepare the student for the reality of a determined attack??

Better to have learned something than to have not learned anything??

For me, the honest answer to these questions are the reasons why I've not taught self-defense classes in quite a very long time. Takes far more than a weekend to become effective with what's taught at any given self-defense. For the most, and it depends on the student first, and the CI second, self-defense classes foster false security because how it is outside of the safety of the dojo/dojang is not how it is on the outside; an attacker doesn't just stand there doing nothing.


Totally agree with this 100%. I have always been extremely wary of self defence courses as they can breed a false confidence in someone and could lead to a very nasty situation. That second of thinking "i could do X" rather than just running can lead to something very nasty.

As a taster to things that someone could learn over the longer term in a proper class environment i can see the benefit, but otherwise, unless taught extremely carefully they are risky.

Personally if i was to teach one i would opt for simple, easy to remember techniques that can be practised in a solo manner. For me, the things that come to mind are:
- a simple jab
- a simple rear hand punch
- the 'technical stand up' from the ground with hands raised to defend yourself
- low level front kick to knee
- the concept of bridging on the ground (this can be practiced to build strength and then leads naturally into getting someone off you)

All of the above can be practiced alone, without a partner to get used to the movement.

Things like defences from grabs etc in reality rely a lot on feel, judgement of which technique to use based on opponents positioning, relative size etc and i think that would be hard to get across in a self defence environment

Possibly controversially i could also see the value on demonstrating chokes on people and being mounted/pinned. Not everyone has had this happen to them and they may have an unrealistic view of the unpleasantness and think 'oh i could get out of that easy' or believe some of the silly ideas like "if they try to choke me like that i'll punch them in the balls or eye gouge them". Teaching them that this is not the case may be a very valuable self defence lesson
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LionsDen
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Joined: 06 May 2022
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2022 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

edit

if the focus is largely fitness i'd honestly more or less turn it into a tae bo type of thing, and at the end of every session tell the participants if they had fun, and want serious self defense training or just further training, to look at the gyms/dojos in the area.
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scohen0300
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2022 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like it could be fun!

Iíll skip over my thoughts about self defense classes/courses in general, as everyoneís said everything already.

I think what you have sounds great. If itís fitness focused, might I suggest introducing the pre-fatigue method? Basically, have them doing some kind of exercise, or a lot of exercise, and then have them perform the technique while their muscles are tired. Something my students have enjoyed (and not enjoyed) is when I have them do a bunch of leg exercises - squats, lunges, etc. and then Iíll have them do 30 front/groin kicks per leg to a pad as fast as they can. What if they get jumped while theyíre out for a jog?

Also, especially for a womens self defense class, I try to emphasize what to do when someone grabs your hair from the front, side or rear. But the most important, in my opinion, is an escape from mount and an escape from guard positions on the ground, and effectively getting back up to their feet. God forbid a female loved one of mine ever finds themselves in that position with a sicko attacking them, those are three things Iíd want them to know.

To add fitness to that, a good drill:
- Partner A is on top of partner B in the mount position. Partner B has to escape, and partner A resists. You can go for 1 minute rounds, then the partners switch roles/partners.
- do the same with Partner A on their backs with partner B in their guard. Partner B has to escape guard, while partner A either maintains guard or tries to sweep them and take mount.

Honorable mention/flow drill:
This one can be kinda hard, itís also
- Partner A is on their back, with partner B mounted on top. Partner A has to bridge out to escape mount, pass guard to gain mount, and effectively stand up to escape.

Last thing. With wrist grabs, some people teach the technique for breaking the attackers grip and then the practice stops there. Teach a follow up attack to better eliminate the threat! Something quick would be a hammer fist and a palm strike before running away.

I hope this helps! Of course, I donít know everything, but these are just things that I like to consider.
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