Friday, March 6, 2009

Active Self-Defense - Violence

Last night (Wednesday) we had another self-defense class. I must say I'm very impressed with how well the students are grasping the concepts.

We operate under the premise of educate-prevent-implement. It is important to understand the basics of self defense and educate yourself or get educated. It is important that whenever possible, you want to avoid and prevent any type of physical confrontation, whether that be by changing direction, crossing the street, entering a crowded area, or dialing 911. The last part of the training is the implementation.

In self-defense the actual physical aspect of self defense is a very small percentage. This doesn't mean it's not useful or practical to know how the body works and how to manipulate an attacker's body. I always say that the physical aspect of self defense is used when you are ambushed and facing imminent harm. Someone who broadcasts to you that they want to hurt you, is giving you your greatest weapon: Time. They are letting you get prepared to flee, if you can, deescalate, if need be, or get a weapon if absolutely necessary.

Self-defense is most importantly about using your head. It's about cultivating awareness, and yes I beat that concept into the ground each and every class because we have a tendency to walk around in a fog, unconscious, unaware of our surroundings and the people within them. So each class we expand a bit on the concepts and techniques, with the knowledge that we are not training to go toe to toe with an attacker. Our purpose is to incapacitate, distract, create an opening and get somewhere safe as quickly as possible with as little harm to ourselves as possible. I emphasize that many times.

We hear or read about violence and we never imagine that it can occur to us. We have this frame of mind that we are generally nice people and could never imagine being violent with another person, so we expect and wrongly assume that everyone else thinks the same way.

Violence is real, it can happen to you and it can happen to me. The sooner we grasp that idea, the sooner we can react to avoid or prevent it from happening to any of us.

I want to thank our newcomers last night: Tammy, Ron and Rosanna for joining us. Each time someone new joins, it brings new energy and makes the class that more enjoyable and satisfying. Thanks to all of you, who continue to attend each week, learning, practicing and asking the tough questions.

be safe

Sensei Orlando

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