Posts Tagged self defense moves

Self Defense and Safety Training Seminar Warning

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 2 March, 2010

I just read an article about another neighborhood that has become fed up with their escalating crime rates. These residents are no longer going to tolerate these crimes without fighting back. The community has decided to host a Self Defense and Safety Awareness Training, much like many, many communities across the United States.

While these programs inherently seem like a good idea, you must also consider the false sense of security that often occurs after spending the hour or two “learning to fight back.”

I discussed this awhile back using the Kim Kardashian self defense episode from her Keeping Up with the Kardashians show. You can click that link to see that whole blog post.

There are a couple major problems with these one-time self defense classes.

Problem #1: Anyone can claim to be a self defense expert and decide to host a training class. It doesn’t matter if the class is offered for free, or they charge cash. The expert instructor may even be a black belt or otherwise trained in some form of martial arts, but if this individual is not well-versed with effective street worthy defense techniques, you are wasting your time, and unknowingly putting yourself at an extreme disadvantage if something unfortunate were to occur.

Problem #2: Once you learn these “techniques of mass destruction”, unless to habitually train and practice these moves, I guarantee you will forget them. Many people think that showing up for an hour session will grant them the keys to the self defense kingdom, and many times the instructor will reinforce these beliefs before you leave, telling you that you are all set to handle anything that comes your way. Then you leave, never giving these moves a second thought until you are put in a situation where you need to utilize those since forgotten techniques.

Problem #3: You give away your secrets beforehand. This typically happens when you try to show someone else what you just learned, and is one of the exact problems Kim Kardashian’s sister illustrated for us. Khloe went home and told her step-dad everything she just learned, and then tried to demonstrate. All of her techniques failed, crushing her recently inflated sense of security and confidence.

Ok, so how do I learn some meaningful self defense techniques then, you ask?

punch in the faceWell, solution #1 is difficult. You expect an instructor standing in front of a room of people to be competent and trustworthy. Many times, It may not necessarily the instructors fault, he might truly feel he is conveying effective methods for defending yourself, but has no real world experience to back up his claims that sound good on paper, or worked fine in a training dojo on targets who acted out their role in what we would refer to a perfect environment.

My best recommendation is to take anything you learn at one of these classes with a grain of salt. Carefully consider its merit, but also realize that you are not going to gain 10 years worth of martial arts training in an hour or 2. Keep your ego in check.

Solution #2 is easy. Practice, practice, practice what you have learned. Did I say make sure you practice?

The worst thing you can do in any situation, whether we are talking about self defense seminar information, buying pepper spray or a stun gun, or even playing basketball, is to not practice.

You need to practice enough to make sure you are comfortable enough to do whatever it takes, and effectively utilize these moves in a stressful situation. If you have to stop and think what that instructor told you, you fail. If you forgot what pocket you stashed your pepper spray, or never flipped the safety switch before until you had a thug in your face, you fail.

And we aren’t even talking about 3 hours of hardcore training every day. You can “get away” with 20 minutes a couple times a week if that is all you can squeeze into your busy schedule. Trust me, if you are ever faced with a situation where you need to kick someone in the groin, or douse someone with pepper spray, you will treasure all of the practice time you put in. This isn’t like winning a gold medal in the Olympics; well maybe it is, but a gold medal in living if your life just happened to depend on it…

Solution #3 isn’t rocket science either. One of your best defenses is the element of surprise. Most of the time, an attacker is not counting on you to fight back. Kim and her sister’s problem was they told her step-dad what to do, and what they were going to do. So to prove a point, the step-dad did not do “what he was supposed to do,” which flustered the Kardashian sister and rendered their entire “two hour” arsenal useless.

When you practice, you need a good partner but you cannot rely on one way of doing things. A good example is if your technique required you to kick your opponent in the groin. One, you need your training partner to act the part, and act like they got kicked. The problem is: what is the correct way to react to a groin kick? What if they bend over and fall backwards, what if they simply drop straight down to one knee, or what if they collapse forward into your body? If you only ever practiced one way, how would you react if they did something off-script? You need to be prepared for an alternate finish. What if your attacker was jacked up on meth, and just stood there with no effect whatsoever? What if you missed the groin kick and hit them in the inner thigh, that reaction will be less than what you expected? I bet your Self Defense and Safety Training seminar instructor didn’t get in to that great of detail.

This is where enrolling in a good martial arts school could help. It would probably cost you up to $100 a month, but you would get regular training sessions a couple times a week, and some personalized instruction and feedback. Just make sure you are studying at a reputable dojo that teaches effective and realistic self defense. Something like a good American Kenpo or Krav Maga school.

Tae Bo and Cardio Kickboxing are great if you are looking to drop a few pounds and get in shape, but do not confuse exercise classes, sport karate or traditional tai chi styled martial arts with real world self defense. Train where you want; just realize what you are getting out of it.

Another option is instructional self defense DVDs. Now before you condemn video instruction, think about what you are getting and how often you watch YouTube clips to learn other tasks. Sure, you are not going to master a martial art by going through prepackaged white belt through black belt video correspondence courses, but instructional self defense videos aren’t bad.

What you are getting is an hour to a couple hours of self defense footage, but the difference between these DVDs and the training awareness seminar is that you can watch the DVD over and over again, practicing correctly and fine tuning your skills. You do not have to worry about forgetting what you learned 3 months ago and the local YMCA. Just rewind and review over and over, and you may even recognize the martial arts expert in the video, not just some Joe Schmoe local expert…

Or, if you can’t be bothered with learning all that martial arts mumbo jumbo, you can quite simply go the pepper spray, stun gun, TASER device or other self defense weapon route. These items are effective when used properly (meaning buy, practice, carry and deploy when needed).

Just like the self defense techniques, none of these self defense tools will do you a lick of good if you don’t carry them, carry them in inconvenient places, buy it and don’t know how to use it, or if you are simply unwilling to pull the trigger.

Don’t get me wrong, any extra information and awareness training you can get is a good idea. Anything that gets people to pay attention to their surroundings, and warns people to stay out of dark alleys at 2 AM is good. Just don’t fall into a false sense of security thinking you are invincible after a short seminar or that your new keychain pepper spray is a magical shield of protection. And don’t think avoidance is the key, sometimes bad things seek out good people in good neighborhoods or in broad daylight.

Teach yourself the difference between losing your purse and staying unharmed, or fighting for your life or the life of a loved one. Self defense isn’t an exact science; it is full of gut instincts, practical experience and practice, practice, practice.

Every little bit helps, just don’t rely on one sole mechanism to protect you. Always stay alert, use your head and assess the situation – the best you can. That is all you can be expected to do.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Keeping up with Kardashian Self Defense

Posted by Rob on Saturday, 30 August, 2008

To say I was watching television the other night isn’t exactly true, it was more like I was using the laptop in the living room and the TV was on in the background. My wife went to bed and handed off the remote and the TV just stayed on. After a few minutes the Democratic National Convention came on covering the nomination. I was mostly oblivious until a 5 minute span of applause with Barrack Obama saying Thank You. (clapping) Thank You. (clapping) Thank You. (clapping) Thank You. (clapping) Thank You. (clapping) Thank You. (clapping) jarred my attention.

Seriously, it went on forever and I tried to just ignore it. But it was the most annoying noise in the world and I was not able to disregard the TV any longer. I grabbed the remote and started clicking, passing a few more stations with the Thank You. (clapping) Thank You. (clapping) Thank You. (clapping) Thank You. (clapping)…

No Thank You Obama, Go away. I’m not sure how much longer this went on after I flipped stations, but I’m sure quite awhile. I wasn’t really interested in watching TV, so I was just looking for something less annoying to fade into the background. I ended up stopping on the Keeping Up With the Kardashians reality show re-run, which I haven’t ever watched before, but it wasn’t as annoying as Thank You. (clapping) Thank You. (clapping)…

Since I was now distracted away from my computer I started to watch a few minutes of the show. The first part I caught was the younger daughter getting busted for paying the local dog walker to do her chores for her. It was kind of funny, she gets $50 to do a few simple household jobs and decided to contract out the dishes, washing the car and cleaning her room to this guy for $20. Not a bad deal until her step-dad Bruce, walks in to the house and sees this guy cleaning the windows in the living room.

So now I’m sucked into this silly reality show to see what else these crazy Kardashian sisters are up to. Then It started to get boring and I started back on the laptop about 50/50. Something about Khloe reluctantly getting setup by her sisters with a dating service… Blah, blah, blah… Eventually after a few lame scenes, the show got good again.

Apparently the 2 lesser famous, non-Kim Kardashian girls own a clothing store. If you are a serious Kardashians viewer, forgive my general recollections of the finer details. I think Kourtney was the one at the shop and this guy comes in and starts throwing stuff around and trashing the place. He rips a shirt, knocks over clothes and throws a drink at her before he leaves the shop. She then calls Khloe who rushed over to the shop and calls the police.

What transpires after the incident is that all of the girls and the mom are now scared for their safety and concerned by the lack of security in the store. Now my interest is sparked again. What are these prissy, giggly, fashion-elite girly girls going to do?

If you said sisters Khloe, Kourtney and Kim Kardashian should take a Karate class, you are correct!

This scene and the next are worth the price of admission. So now the Kardashian sisters are at this self-defense school. The self defense dork, I mean expert instructor starts teaching the gals some moves they can use to help defend themselves. One of the key techniques is some sort of thrusting butt strike, used to defend against someone coming behind you and giving you a bear hug type attack. No, seriously.

Of course this spawns a school-girl like giggle fest between the girls and a couple sisterly comments on something else Kim Kardashian’s butt is good for. Now in Kim’s defense, her butt would probably work well at stopping traffic. However, stopping an attacker on the street… not so good.

So the girls continue to learn some more moves, a couple good elbow strikes, hammer fists, and more butt striking. They even had a guy in a padded suit come out so they could practice hitting a real target. The next couple minutes show the girls both seriously attempting some techniques, but mostly fooling around and goofing off. Surprise, surprise.

The lesson is over and the girls are very confident of their newly learned self defense moves. When they get home, the step-father becomes interested in seeing what they learned. One of the girls, I think Khloe offers to demonstrate. So the step-dad comes up from behind as instructed and applies a good tight bearhug.

Instinctively, Khloe executes a perfectly timed “butt strike”. Sadly, nothing happens. The step-dad now tightens his grip and Khloe, now with a confused and disappointed look on her face tries again, again failing. “Why isn’t this working?” Khloe asks.

Now the step-dad laughs and says “What if I do this?” and picks her up, takes two steps forward, throws her on a chair and holds her down. Kourtney and Kim look on in horror. Now all the girls are upset that their one-hour self-defense mastery course at an upscale McDojo failed.

The mother decides she has the answer to their personal protection dilemma and sets up a special field trip for her and the girls. Next the girls end up at a downtown gun shop and firing range, much to the surprise and discomfort of the Kardashian girls. The mom is dead serious, but the girls don’t quite seem receptive to this idea. Then Kim sees the latest in shooting fashion, an khaki canvas ammo vest. Now that she is properly accessorized, she is ready to go kick some ass.

They proceed to the firing range, where they are given a lesson in using a hand gun and are given the opportunity to fire at paper targets. Luckily paper targets don’t shoot back. Now they are starting to get into this shooting thing. The mother comments on how her girls look like Charlie’s Angels in their designer clothes and high heels while shooting the guns. After blowing away some inanimate objects, Kim asks if there are any bigger guns she can try.

The guy from the gun shop goes and gets the biggest gun he has, an M16 rifle. “Is this what they use in wars?” asks Kim. “Yes,” answers the gun shop owner. “This is what they use in wars.” Kim “Rambo” Kardashian takes some target practice with the M16 and shoots some holes all over the paper target. And not in a tight, well aimed group.

The shooting lesson is over and the mom is all excited about buying hand guns for everyone. The novelty quickly wears off and all of the Kardashian girls are reluctant to actually own a gun and bring one into their clothing store to protect themselves.

And rightly so, after the one-hour karate class fiasco, how can they expect better results after a one-hour shooting class? The last thing you want is Khloe, Kourtney or Kim Kardashian pulling a lethal hand gun in a crowded clothing store. Well, the shop wasn’t ever actually full of customers when I was watching, but still. And everyone except the mom realized that, really quick.


To make a point, their brother Rob, and Kourtney’s boyfriend Scott both dressed up in black clothes, masks and armed themselves with fake guns to pretend to holdup the clothing boutique. Unfortunate for the pranksters, Kourtney immediately recognized her boyfriend’s voice when he yelled for them to get on the ground. The girls were however quite scared for the first few moments when the armed, masked men busted in to the shop late at night.

Ultimately at the end of the show the Kardashian sisters hinted that they might consider hiring a Security Guard.

Hopefully they do something smart.

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You Got Beat Up by a Blind Guy!

Posted by Rob on Friday, 25 April, 2008

In the spirit of the “You Got Beat Up by a Girl!” post
from a few weeks back, now we have a “You Got Beat Up
by a Blind Guy!” story. And no disrespect to the legally
blind man, he kicks some ass.

So as the story goes, this perp breaks into Allan
Kieta’s house in Indianapolis. The dog starts barking
and Allan goes to investigate and comes across the
intruder. The blind home owner pins the guy in the
laundry room and proceeds to pummel him into submission.

After the beating, Allan grabs the intruder by the belt
and drags him to the kitchen where he grabs a knife and
holds him while he calls 911. “Being visually impaired,
I couldn’t get the buttons because I was using my left
hand,” Kieta says “It took me about 20 tries.”

The police arrived a few minutes later and arrested the
man at least for residential entry.

Probably the best quote was “When my wife was cleaning
the blood off, she said, ‘I think it’s all his,’” Kieta
said. Kieta did suffer swollen hands and a sore back, but
no other serious injuries.

Here is one blind man who isn’t going to take any crap
from anyone.

Make sure you are ready to handle the unexpected. Tool
up with the latest self defense gear, brush up on some
self defense moves with an instructional DVD or protect
your home with an alarm or surveillance system.

Be ready for anything and don’t be afraid to lay a smack
down if the situation presents itself.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you,
but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could
be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth
Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your
personal well-being?

Yours in safety,


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