1st Day of Combat Self-Defense course
I signed up for a two-day Combat Self-Defense class this weekend. Unfortunately the fingers on my right hand decided that this was the week for it to swell up and give me trouble. But I still wouldn’t give up, so come this morning, I woke up all excited and hopping to get to class and it didn’t disappoint. It was fun! Most of the people in attendance were a whole lot younger than me & my friend but it was still so much fun. Conversation flowed (I admit I started it and couldn’t stop), the instructor had to keep telling me to stop laughing (more like giggling every time I messed up the moves) and I eventually caved in and told him that I can’t stop laughing cause it’s an inherited disorder 😛
The combat self-defense course is offered by the “Bangladesh Butthan Federation”, you can check them out at www.butthan.com. Dr. Mak Yuree, the founder was there to start off our classes and he presented through out the day on various topics. The walk through history was very interesting and I’ll have to look up links to pass more information.
Anyhow, I noted down the gist of my learning today so I can share it with my community here 🙂
The word “martial” comes from the name of the Greek God of War “Mars”. Martial Arts is the art of unarmed self-defense. Martial arts or rather what is known as Shaolin Kung-fu was brought o China by the Indian monk Bodidharma, the 28th leader of Mahayana Buddhism. He traveled to China to teach Buddhism and brought with him the physical training needed to build a strong body to host a strong mind. Bodidharma was born in Kanchipuram and they still have a temple there dedicated to him, maintained by the “Bodidharma Society”.
“Self-defense is not physical fighting but learning to avoid conflict, diffuse conflict and react using natural instincts. You can read up on a comprehensive study on Self-defense strategies & techniques at www.combat-selfdefense.com.
There are 3 major elements to an assault – Scope, Ability and Will or the SAW to remember more easily. All 3 need to exist for a person to be attacked. We are lectured on how to control creating, giving “Scope” for an assault. Despite Ability & Will of an attacker, without Scope, incidents can’t take place and you can’t be victimized. Hence, importance is placed on eliminating scope as much as possible by using strategies & techniques.
Most cases of assault are far from random and neither are they perpetrated by unknown strangers. Women are far more likely to be assaulted by their partners, boyfriends, husbands, current or past boyfriends, people they consider to be friends, colleagues (present or ex) or know in some other capacity. These people are best placed to know about this particular person’s routines are and therefore the scope of assault is far more.
At this point in our class, our teacher asked us to stop and think for a moment. To make a plan A and a backup plan B, to protect ourselves from becoming a victim of assault in our routine life from these very people. As I have read & experienced before just way too many times, it is better to be a little wary and a little paranoid, then to ignore your instincts and land into such predicaments.
The first physical reaction we were taught in Self-defense today is to “Flinch & Push Back”. It also helps to yell loudly at the same time. You can yell “I don’t want to fight” (adds a legal disclaimer to your actions) while reacting to a physical threat. The first step in a situation that can escalate to physical violence is to take the “thinking” stance. Hands across the body, right hand resting lightly on the chin, right foot a bit forward with the left foot planted to improve balance.
These lessons were followed by a lot of practice. We rushed each other, empty handed ready to pummel blows while our partners fended us off. Parrying our blows and using our own momentum to throw us off-balance, with maybe a knee-blow to the solar plexus or a punch to the temple thrown in. We changed partners to learn to react to unpredictable people, to detect with our peripheral vision, movements before they even occurred. We practiced with plastic pipes and play knifes how to parry & land blows at the same time.
I laughed a lot through these exercises. It’s hard not to when you are getting blown off A LOT and don’t even manage to either land a blow or avoid one coming your way. To stand in one side of the room, while the rest of the class, rushes at you, either one at a time or even two together, to assess and react to all that… it’s not easy. Kung-fu moves somehow seem much more cool and easier in movies. LOL.
The other technique that we didn’t get to practice today, but maybe tomorrow we will is the “one finger” hold. Catch hold of just one finger from your opponents hand, pull him forward towards your side and in that one smooth action, you get him off you, off-balance and keeling to stop from landing face forward, YOU get plenty of time to run off.
The other mantra… just remember “DADDE is the daddy of street survival”.
D = Detect
A = Avoid
D = De-escalate
D = Defend
E = Exit
Detect threats by being aware of your surroundings. Avoid potential problem areas, situations. De-escalate a situation before it arises. If conflict can’t be avoided and your life is threatened, then change mindset to offensive and defend yourself. At the earliest possible opportunity to exit the situation, take it, leave, run away, anything to remove yourself from that situation. You have nothing to prove to a street thug, a mugger or a spouse/partner who assaults you. Your life and limbs are worth a lot more than that.
If you are trying to defuse a high-risk situation, try the following: Signal non-aggression with your body language (e.g. open palm). Catch attention of your would be attacker and engage in conversation, e.g. ask a question. Try to respond as empathetically as possible. The 2 main things to remember is: anticipate and avoid.
When conflict becomes inevitable, follow these Self-defense strategies to engage/defend:
- Engage ONLY if you find all other options closed.
- Act promptly to defend life.
- Maintain confidence to handle all levels of actions.
- Strike the closest and softest spots that are anatomically weak.
- Strike fast with simple moves that are a part of your muscle memory and instinctual.
Most important – project confidence! In yourself, your actions, your words. Spoken words have only 7% impact, while your non-verbal body language has 55% impact on another person. So use that to your advantage!
Now for the grand ending – the 10 softest, weakest parts of the human bodies that should be your primary target in Self-defense situations are:
p.s. I honestly expected my body to hurt a lot more than it is doing now, but we still have day 2 to look forward to tomorrow 🙂
- Just Yell Fire Campus Safety and Self Defense Program for Young Women Selected for 123 Colleges with AOπ Partnership (prweb.com)
- Fighting back: In face of potential attacks, students learn to defend themselves (statenews.com)
- Self-Defense and Stress: You are Your Own Last Line of Defense, by Jessica B. (survivalblog.com)