The diagram above & the acronym (A-OK) give a quick reference to determine whether you are in danger in a particular situation or not. The idea is that all 3 sides need to be present for a crime to be committed. If you become aware of one side it is important to raise your level of awareness & be on the lookout for the other 2. If you are aware of 2 then it would be wise to stop whatever else you are doing & become vigilant & start looking for a way out... ...continue reading "Are You A-OK?"
We have already defined self-defence, but what about martial arts? Like self-defence the definition will vary depending on who you ask. Most will agree that they are systems for combat (life & death - war & self-defence) or fighting (domination, victory). System implies more than a collection of techniques or methods, it includes overarching strategies along with the tactics. Additionally many systems also address discipline, physical health & 'spiritual' aspects. Here I use spiritual to mean a mix of 2 things:
- the mental & emotional calm that is required to deal with violent situations & the aftermath
- the spirit with which one lives e.g. respect & honour.
Put like that martial arts sound like the perfect match for self-defence & of course that is how they are often sold. There is as always however more to the story. ...continue reading "Martial Arts for Self-Defence?"
“In today’s world, if a woman is assaulted, she cannot expect or depend on anyone to help or protect her but herself. Victim behavior is learned behavior... Women can stop rape. They can do so by learning psychological and physical skills effectively to fight back.” - Dr. Judith Fein, Feminist self-defence author.
In this post we'll take a look at the particular problems faced by each gender in self-defence situations. Remember that the majority of violence is personal, the attacker is known to the victim & it is perpetrated against women. That is not to say that men are more violent than women nor even that women don't commit heinous violent acts. It is often argued that with women violence manifests verbally / psychologically & that men would rather not report attacks by women when they do occur (battered husband syndrome). Both of those arguments hold some truth (does verbal violence = physical violence?) but even taken to extreme they don't account for the disparity. Rather I would argue that it is the perception that women are easy victims. ...continue reading "Gender In Equality for Self-Defence"
As with so many questions in life, this one you have to ultimately decide for yourself, however I'd like to offer some points to consider.
If you are attacked by someone with a weapon & you don't have one to even the odds, then it sucks to be you. If you choose not to carry a weapon, then you are purposefully deciding that it will always suck to be you. - paraphrasing Michael D Janich
With that said it is important to remember that... ...continue reading "Weapons for Self-Defence?"
In a previous post, Defining Violence, I hoped to show you that even from a purely intellectual perspective there is more to violence than most of us believe (or have enough experience to comprehend). From a physical real world perspective it is even worse. Even when one is expecting the situation to turn violent the speed & in many cases the absolute viciousness can be stunning (think deer in the headlights). Experienced professionals, trained to respond at a faster tempo, only have a higher probability of surviving (hopefully unscathed), but certainly no guarantees. There are no fool proof systems. It's not like the movies & certainly not the same as being in an open space with a padded floor (even walls), one perfectly executed attack at a time. Not to say that these types of training aren't useful. It's a matter of understanding that the real world is different. As with defining violence, it's a case of there is just so much more. ...continue reading "Understanding Violence"
- powerful, untamed, or devastating force: the violence of the sea
- great strength of feeling, as in language, etc; fervour
- an unjust, unwarranted, or unlawful display of force, esp such as tends to overawe or intimidate
- to inflict harm upon; damage or violate: they did violence to the prisoners
- to distort or twist the sense or intention of: the reporters did violence to my speech
The problem with defining violence is that whatever our definition, there is always so much more. Take the above definitions as an example. Are #2 & #5 a surprise to you? Many who claim to be non-violent or even pacifists seem to miss those 2 definitions. Those are also the 2 that might get you into trouble in self-defence situations, crossing the 'de-escalatory line' & ending up in a fight or antagonising a hardened criminal. Most of us would use #3 as our rough & ready definition, & while not incorrect, it is limited, a fine line on a massive continuum. Both the form & degree of violence are highly variable. Most people only realize how limited their definition is when things spiral out of control at an alarming rate. A case of 'what you don't know could kill you'. ...continue reading "Defining Violence"