Self-Defense

Sample Bullying Column

Posted by on Aug 18, 2014 in Self-Defense | Comments Off on Sample Bullying Column

People, Not Policies, Stop Bullies by Marcy Shoberg It’s great that bullying is now recognized as a serious problem and that policymakers seek to solve school, workplace, and household bullying problems. But, policies don’t stop bullies—People stop bullies. Policies don’t stop bullies because a bully always has mental justification for their actions. While bullying, they may believe themselves rightfully angry. Or, they may be acting on impulse, simply stating their negative opinion. They might even think they are doing their victim a favor by teaching them a lesson. Those who bully—(If you think you never do, reconsider.)— can learn what bullying is and vow not to act like that. Definitions include “when one purposefully hurts or scares another, knowing they don’t like it” and “when someone makes another feel bad to make themselves feel good.” Realize no one will ever be bullied into changing an opinion or becoming a better person, and learn other ways to influence people and to feel proud. We self-defense teachers teach those targeted by bullies to use assertive body language and verbal response to stop bullying incidents before they become physical. One who learns verbal and physical self-protection skills becomes much less likely to experience bullying. But, this cannot eradicate bullying since those most likely to be targeted often aren’t brave enough to seek training. Those in the best position to stop bullying are bystanders. These are people who witness, but are not directly involved in, bullying incidents. If a witness points out to a bully that they are hurting the other person, they might stop. At the very least, they will learn they do not impress all bystanders with their actions, something a bully often intends to do. Alternatively, the bystander might invite the victim to join them, leaving the bullies presence. It’s not always easy for bystanders to act. A self-defense student once witnessed a man at a sporting event bullying his family and had great mental stress while considering getting involved. When she finally approached him, several other bystanders followed. It’s not always safe for bystanders to get involved. Another student once witnessed a man bullying a woman about a parking space and decided to get involved. He reports that if he didn’t have verbal de-escalation training, he’d never have managed to avoid physically fighting the man. Stopping bullying may not be easy, and may not be entirely safe, but it’s the right thing for all to do. Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this...

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Security Guard Training and Self-Defense Classes

Posted by on Mar 26, 2013 in Self-Defense | Comments Off on Security Guard Training and Self-Defense Classes

Self-Defense for Security Guard Training? I respect anyone willing to protect people and property for the little money security guards make. The typical security guard training is not the same training police officers receive, nor is it as difficult to qualify for the job; still, they perform a useful service. One function of a security guard is to watch for potential danger, calling police when necessary. Their main function however, is to prevent crime simply because their presence makes a place seem, to a bad-guy, a less attractive choice of location for any type of crime. Similarly, security at a party prevents fights because someone considering fighting usually thinks twice about it if they see any authority figure nearby. However, any guard is also a potential target for violence. I learned in Meditations on Violence, by Rory Miller, that a partygoer in the mood to pick a fight may consider a tough-looking security guard a great choice because their friends will be impressed whether they win or lose. Something like this happened to one of my best friends while he was working security the other night.  He is trained in martial art, but also in self-defense, so he recognizes that the easiest way to deal with a threat is generally the best way. A bar patron had decided to physically fight him and began pulling his T-shirt off (to let his muscular chest show I guess). My friend sprayed him with mace as the shirt came over his head. With his understanding of self-defense, my friend knew it was time to evaluate the results of the mace.  He soon decided the man was still coming at him, undeterred by the spray.  A groin kick resolved the situation and another security guard handcuffed the man to await the police. Among many martial arts people, groin kicks have a bad reputation.  Some believe they are hard to pull off in real-life situations since they are hard to score with in the few sport-fights that allow them. In fact however, the way someone stands when mad enough to strike another is not like a sport fighter stands in the ring, and often leaves an opportunity for a groin kick as it did in this case. Some believe kicking an opponent in the groin is unethical, as if it’s more honorable somehow to protect themselves from an attacker using head kicks, boxing skills, or arm locks.  Again, anyone who really gets self-defense recognizes the value in stopping a threat with the fewest non-lethal blows possible. Not all security guard training includes any hand-to-hand combat skills. For one reason, owners of security guard companies fear that, if trained, their guards might open them to legal liability by using physical force when verbal commands, mace, or common sense would have been a better choice. Good self-defense training, though, teaches verbal responses and practices decision making. I know of instances where security guards seemed to react in anger and strike a person who was already subdued.  This angry reaction can happen to anyone and is less an effect of martial arts training or watching televised sport fights and more of an effect of adrenaline felt during a confrontation.  Good self-defense training teaches a person to make decisions under the effect of adrenaline and especially emphasizes noticing when self-defense is finished and revenge about to begin. Marcy Shoberg is the creator of “Bring Out Your Inner Bodyguard in Two Weeks or Less” home study course for adults and seniors. See www.theselfdefenselady.com. Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet...

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Prevent Burglary (and fear) Tip

Posted by on Mar 18, 2013 in Self-Defense | Comments Off on Prevent Burglary (and fear) Tip

Prevent Burglary (and fear) Tip

Do you ever get chain emails warning of a “new” criminal enterprise?  I assume everyone does, but possibly I get more emails with tips on how to prevent burglary and other crimes than do most people.  I got one the other day about thieves who break into cars in public parking lots and use the GPS to find the owner’s house, then use the garage door remote to break into it. Depending on where they found the car (airport, sporting event, etc.) they may also be able to estimate how long the owner of the home will be gone. The good thing about emails like these is they make people aware of dangers.  By being aware, we become less attractive targets to almost all criminals. A few things bothered me about this particular email, though. For one, the title was “not all thieves are stupid.”  I never had the perception they were, and worry for the safety of my readers if it is common to believe all thieves are stupid.  Just as no one in a law-abiding profession is going to succeed if they are “stupid,” no thief is going to stay in the business very long if they aren’t any good at it. Please do not consider any type of “bad guy” to be “stupid.” By accepting that a person who wants to abduct a victim, rob a house, bully someone, or scam a person out of money follows a certain logic in their decisions and actions, we increase our ability to protect ourselves and prevent burglary and other crimes and dangers. I learned in “Whoever Fights Monsters” by Robert K. Ressler and Tom Shachtman, that there are serial killers with logic understandable only to themselves who choose victims based on internal voices for example.  However, he estimates these “disorganized” offenders to be only one third of the total serial murderer population.  Certainly, people who break into homes seeking financial gain plan their crimes. Understanding this, when we hear of a crime, we can seek lessons to protect ourselves from that type of crime.  The email I received suggested putting the address of the closest gas station to your house as “home” on your GPS and making sure you take any papers with your address out of your vehicle before parking it for an extended time. I have no doubt these actions could could contribute to a person’s ability to prevent burglary. The other thing that bothered me about the email warning I received was that someone had made a comment like “Here’s something else to worry about.”  If they read this column, I hope they don’t take offense at what I‘m about to say.  Of course, I don’t know exactly what they meant by their words and they may have caused another reader of the email to take notice, thus increasing their awareness thus protecting them from danger. But, I want to say that I do not consider any report of any crime or any bad thing happening to anyone as “one more thing to worry about.”  Instead, these are all “one more thing to take steps to protect ourselves from.”  I once came across an anonymous quote on the internet which goes “Worry is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do but doesn’t go anywhere.” I hope no one considers my articles adding to their list of things to worry about.   We should all change our “worry” lists into “action” lists. I think I’ll take my own advice now and stop “worrying” for your safety.   Marcy Shoberg is the creator of “Bring...

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Armored Assailant Training: What is it?

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Self-Defense | Comments Off on Armored Assailant Training: What is it?

Armored Assailant Training: What is it?

What’s Armored Assailant Training? Today’s column is about the “new” self-defense teaching method of armored assailant training.  I chose this topic because I’m so excited to now own state-of-the-art “instructor armor“ I can’t think about anything else!  (I took possession of a “Predator Suit” from Bill Kipp last week and practiced using it with my students over the weekend.) Modern self-defense “instructor armor” has actually been around for decades.  Basically, it’s a protective suit worn by an instructor so students can strike his or her head and groin full-force with little chance of injury to either student or instructor.  After students learn basic striking, the instructor simulates an actual confrontation with threatening statements and body movement, but does not actually strike the student.  The student, however, strikes the instructor as hard as they can (beginning when verbal defense is clearly insufficient) until the instructor decides it’s time to “play dead,” ending the fight. I began to understand the value of “instructor armor” when I took an IMPACT women’s basics self-defense class, in Santa Fe, a few years ago.  The reason I took this class was to experience this “great new thing” called padded assailant training.  I wondered how far into the twenty-hour course we’d be before we hit the armored assailant.  In fact, we eight (6 complete beginners, myself, and another martial art instructor) began striking our padded assailant just three hours into our first day! Sure, it was scary.  But, it was also empowering.  When I saw how much those six beginners learned in only hours, I understood the value of the armor. For one, it’s a teaching tool decreasing the time required to become proficient in applying self-defense strikes. For another, practicing against an armored assailant trains a person to deal with the “emotions” of a confrontation, something other teaching methods simply cannot do. It is not a “test” of one’s self-defense ability.  In fact, there is no such thing.  Practicing against an armored assailant is also much more than hitting a moving human-shaped punching bag.  For example, the instructor manipulates the location of your fight to keep you from breaking a window or landing in the lap of the person waiting to go next. Armored assailant training, which I am excited to now offer, is a teaching tool completely in its own league.  Not only does it cause students to learn things no other training will, but it’s really fun, for both the student and the instructor. As my readers know, I believe everyone with a body should learn as much as they can about how to protect it.  But, with armored assailant training, learning self-defense feels more like an amusement park ride than a chore. If you ever get a chance to experience armored assailant training, after you’ve finished, you’ll be so excited you’ll feel compelled to talk about the experience with those you shared it with as well as your friends and family.  That’s how it was for the women who took the class with me in Santa Fe, and for my students who helped us practice using our new armor last weekend. Even if you never get a chance to experience it though, remember that any self-defense training can be something you really enjoy, that benefits you in multiple ways, even if you never need to use your skills to protect yourself.   Marcy Shoberg is the creator of “Bring Out Your Inner Bodyguard in Two Weeks or Less” home study course for adults and seniors. See www.theselfdefenselady.com. Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers...

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Is karate self defense?

Posted by on Mar 4, 2013 in Self-Defense | Comments Off on Is karate self defense?

Is karate self defense?

Is any Martial Art Self-Defense? Karate self defense? Taekwondo self defense? It’s been my experience that many students of martial art consider themselves to be studying self-defense.  But, is karate self defense? taekwondo? is any martial art?  Though I teach both martial art and self-defense, I don’t consider them to be the same. Martial art is commonly believed to have developed from ancient humans training to improve their ability to defend against danger. Taekwondo (Korean martial art) and karate (Japanese martial art), though, started to become what they are today in only the mid 1900s.  While these arts are based on moves that can theoretically be used against attackers (punches, blocks, and kicks), whether taekwondo and karate were ever intended to be self-defense systems is debatable. Taekwondo and karate were definitely physical education systems, used by militaries and schools, to build strength, endurance, and character in participants.  The practice of learning to do kicks, punches, and blocks was—and still is—good physical and mental exercise. And, although any fitness activity can build character, martial art teachers often focus on character-building more than do coaches of other sports. However, there are significant differences between the way that taekwondo and karate self defense are commonly practiced and good self-defense training. For one, martial art classes focus their self-defense training almost exclusively on the time during an altercation with physical contact.  To truly learn to protect one’s self from dangerous people though, one also needs training in body language and verbal response options for the time immediately before contact is made, and in recognizing and avoiding potential danger. Second, when we martial artists practice striking each other in our padded gyms with uniforms and bare feet, we are taking out many of the variables that would affect how moves would actually be applied.   In real self-defense, one may be hampered by their clothing or other obstacles; and, their adversary will behave much more unpredictably than does a training partner. Finally, although complicated martial art moves look good in movies, the effect of adrenaline during an actual confrontation makes most of them impossible to remember and apply.  Martial art instructors hope that lots of practice can overcome the negative effects of adrenaline: Self-defense instructors teach students to use adrenaline to their advantage. Although the general public may consider “What martial art is best for self-defense?” a valid question, the name of a martial art doesn’t make it any better or worse for self-defense, or more or less likely to be used in anger.  Any teacher of any martial art is free to choose how much they will emphasize the self-defense aspects of their art, and how much they will teach their students about the importance of avoiding fights. I wish the general public realized that there is such a thing as a self-defense class that is not martial art based. In fact, there are several. In the technique-based self-defense system of krav maga, moves are specifically chosen to be easier to remember and use under the effect of adrenaline. In the non-technique-based self-defense-system of FAST Defense, people use simple moves and practice them in an adrenalized state to make them usable in a confrontation.  The Rocky Mountain Combat Applications Training Center (RMCAT) is another “school” of self-defense started by two martial artists, who had worked as body guards and bouncers, with the intention of teaching only moves they had personally used successfully in actual dangerous situations. Marcy Shoberg is the creator of “Bring Out Your Inner Bodyguard in Two Weeks or Less” home study course for adults and seniors. See www.theselfdefenselady.com.   Bookmark on...

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Self Defense Logic or Instincts?

Posted by on Feb 25, 2013 in Self-Defense | Comments Off on Self Defense Logic or Instincts?

Self Defense Logic or Instincts?

Should You Trust Your Self-Defense Logic or Your Instincts? Not all people are blessed with the same sense of good judgment when it comes to keeping safe.  Some have good self defense logic and some don’t.  Possibly, some have better self defense instincts than others. But, possibly we all have good self defense instincts; yet some ignore them. One thing that makes self defense logic difficult is that we don’t get attacked often, so we don’t have much experience to draw on.   The fact that the last 500 strangers you had pleasant conversation with were not predators attempting to elicit information or gain your trust may make you decide that any stranger who approaches you today is highly unlikely to be dangerous. Note however, that that does not prove them safe.  Does the fact that, the last hundred times you stopped at a certain stop-sign, no one was coming the other way mean you shouldn’t look both ways? The reverse logic problem can happen, too:  A person who has been attacked may see danger where it is not. But, thinking logically, each and every pleasant stranger may or may not be dangerous.  By accepting this, we let our instincts work better. Your brain may register details about a stranger, and the location in which you meet, that you don’t know you noticed.  As your subconscious puts details together, it may decide that you should feel uneasy.  If it does, that doesn’t guarantee that the stranger is a bad-guy.  But, know that your intuition must have picked up on some small detail you didn’t consciously notice, and you are safer to trust it than explain the feeling away. I once led a class where, while we were talking about how you can’t be sure you can trust a stranger, someone mentioned that they were recently the victim of an attempted phone scam. The caller claimed to work for the DEA and need information about a suspicious package that had been confiscated with his wife’s name on the return address.   My student attempted to clarify the officer’s name and where he worked.  When he noticed the “agent” getting more agitated and speaking faster with each answer, he knew it was not a legitimate call, but some type of scam. Another person in the class knew of multiple people who had received calls from “a Mexican jail” asking money to be wired to bail out a friend or family member. Some of the people they knew had good self defense logic or instincts, and others had lost thousands of dollars. To develop your self defense logic and instincts, read The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker, take a short-term self defense class, and study self defense “tip sheets” thinking about the advice instead of taking it at face value. Another good exercise is to watch crime shows on television and consider what victims should or should not have done differently. Remember though, some fictional shows are more realistic than others; and, if characters never made self defense mistakes, we would have no dramatic scenes to watch. See if you can spot the mistakes the characters make, in word or deed, which put them in more danger. Sometimes, they become too focused on one suspicious thing and are attacked from the back. Sometimes, they freeze and take no action when they should be running or striking. Sometimes, they say things that escalate a situation towards physical danger. Marcy Shoberg is the creator of “Bring Out Your Inner Bodyguard in Two Weeks or Less” home study course for adults and seniors. See www.theselfdefenselady.com. Bookmark...

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