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Self Defense Workshop - July 27, 2002

By Mark Davis
Copyright © Boston Martial Arts, July 2002
Boston Martial Arts Center
161 Harvard Avenue, Boston Ma 02134

Today's central theme is: awareness, personal control and safety. Safety is an essential theme in self-protection. That's why they call it self-defense. If we were teaching a class to military (or special tactics and weapons teams) this would also include self-offense, team-offense, and self-defense.When thinking about self-defense, understand that you are dealing with predatory behavior. In the animal kingdom you have a resource chain and in this resource chain you have the predators and the prey. The predators will exhibit a certain behavior as will the prey.

Predatory behavior exhibits aggressive, stalking traits.
Prey behavior shows evasive traits.

In the world of human behavior - predatory behavior closely mirrors that of the animal kingdom. Examples of criminal intent and behavior: The human predator stalks the prey for:

- Money
- Sex
- Personal property
- Vengeance
- Envy

When a human predator is stalking a victim DO NOT look at the predator as a rational or sensible person. They are driven by need and control. Therefore, the first most basic element of self-protection is to eliminate their desire and maintain control.What is stalking behavior?Stalking behavior can be broken down into several categories, but today we will only look at two. The first type is the stalking of 'being followed'. Here is where awareness is very important.

- Where are you are going?
- Where are you are coming from?
- Who is in your immediate area - from all different directions?
- What time of day is it?

What is the general layout of the neighborhood or location where you are?A predator will try to get you into a position of disadvantage by manipulating these elements. For example, if you're getting in and out of your car - these are moments when a predator could strike. When you are walking down the street a predator could attack by:

- Pulling or pushing you into bushes
- Pushing you down a hill or into a doorway (to take advantage of you from an unseen position.)

Remember: you are not dealing with a rational, logical thinking human being - do not try to rationalize with them. The other type of behavior is the simple but common 'up close' approach of asking questions. The predator may look innocent as they approach asking very gentle questions like:

- What time is it?
- Do you know how to get to McDonald's?
- Is there a payphone around here?

Examples of evasive actions and techniques of self-defenseThe best and most effective technique against an attack is not to get into the situation to begin with, which involves being aware of your surroundings and not allowing yourself to become distracted by a potential aggressor.Your goal is to take evasive action and get to a safe place. Evasive action could include:

- Running
- Screaming
- Shouting the word FIRE! (Studies show people do not respond to the word HELP!)
- Running to a lit area.
- Using physical defense techniques. It is very important to put a personal wall up between you and the predator to control your personal environment.
- Raise your hands in front of you
- Ask them to stop

Order them in a strong, firm tone that they are getting too close (as you yourself take two steps back - controlling your environment)Physical techniqueIf all other alternatives fail (using verbal and distance control) and the assault starts to happen you want to protect using your physical wall and from this physical wall you will use various:

- Palm strikes
- Eye gauging
- Strategic positioning
- Spitting
- Kicks to the groin
- Stomping feet
- Kicking shins
- Smashing and breaking fingers
- Using available objects as weapons such as keys, umbrellas, pens and whatever you may have with you.

Performing some of these techniques will help facilitate a moment of escape. Always remember that you are dealing with an aggressive predator and the only way to stop them is to physically disable them.


Thank you for attending today's seminar.

Please be safe.

Mark Davis