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Martin Allerby
11th February 2003, 14:50
Hello all!

I’d like know the general opinion about “self-defence courses” (such as for instance female self defence). Do you think it is something that Shorinjikempo branches should be involved in? I see at least two different aspects.

1. No, you shouldn’t get involved in these. They are all humbug/fake! It is not possible to teach anyone anything like self-defence in a course? It takes years/long time to develop skills that enables you just to improve your ability.

2. Yes you should get involved. It’s a perfect opportunity to reach new students and yes you can teach them some basic “tricks” (weak areas, atemi, etc.) that will improve their chances to get away in a critical situation.

Curious to know your opinion!

Regards,

Martin Allerby

Kimpatsu
12th February 2003, 07:24
Gassho, Martin.
Personally, I feel that Option (1) is correct. True self-defence isn't only about techniques, it's also attitude (kokoro-gamae, or "where your heart is"). To learn to perform the techniques well, under pressure, takes years of training, as does learning to keep your cool when faced with genuine agression. At London University, they ran (maybe they still do) a women's self-defence course, and I once spoke to the woman who taught it. She claimed she could defend against any standard grab or punch, so I made a blood-curdling kiai. She jumped out of her skin and in that instant I wrestled her to the ground and pinned her with my superior body weight, all without recourse to a single Shorinji Kempo technique (which might have been considered "cheating"). She was only able to apply her techniques in a controlled environment, and as soon as I took her support structure away, her confidence crumbled.
Anyway, that's my take on your question.
Kesshu.

Tripitaka of AA
12th February 2003, 08:43
Self-Defence classes usually talk about increasing self-confidence and giving practical advice on avoiding danger.

The most important thing I learned about Self-Defence was to do with "not being there in the first place". Any honest Self-Defence class will end up scaring the students half-to-death with the range of attack scenarios and lack of suitable responses that will really work for the average person. I think Self-Confidence is often destroyed by a good Self-Defence class - and artificially raised by an inadequate class. That paradox should not prevent people from trying to learn or teach Self-Defence, but they do have to be clear in their own minds what the true objective is.

The use of "fancy" techniques to evade attack or reverse it toward the attacker is dangerous and to teach it in short-courses or seminars would be irresponsible. To do so as a way of attracting new members to a proper class (where they could train for years to attain a level where they might be able to make use of advanced techniques under the pressure of a live situation), would be unethical, or at least a little misleading.





There was a TV program on British TV recently (presented by Lord Winston, the Fertility expert) which showed an experiment where people were shown photographs of faces and asked to identify the emotion that was being expressed. The people being tested were of all ages and types. The emotions of the faces included "happy", "sad", "angry", etc. The startling discovery was that under-18s could not recognise "fear". They mistook "terror" for "laughter". Does this go some way to explain why I thought nothing of walking home from a Nightclub at 2am when I was a teenager, but would definitely book a minicab if I were to find myself in a similar position now.

Fear is a useful mechanism for Self-Defence. It seems that young people may have a genetically controlled shortage of fear, that contributes to their increased chances of becoming victims.


Sorry Martin, I'm rambling. I agree more with your first option than your second option. I have to qualify that by saying that there is a huge difference between a well-planned class taught well, and a thrown-together collection of fancy moves that will only get people into trouble. A good class could make the second option more acceptable.

tony leith
12th February 2003, 10:20
I would go along with the consensus thus far that self defence courses aren't that likely to be helpful. I find myself in agreement with Kimpatsu (!) (bloody hell, Tony, is the end of the world nigh?)- you need the repetition and pressure testing of regular training for learned 'reflexes' to take hold, and even then if you take any of us out of the controlled environment of the dojo it might be a different story. That being said, I can see a function for self defence classes if they're about teaching basic tactical awareness to epople who might lack it.
I once witnessed a karate instructor teaching the unitiated karate KATA as a self defence class (these weren't karateka, just women that had come along to learn self defence). One member of staff at the building where this was happening was spitting fire outside the door (as an ex SBS unarmed combat instructor and Muay Thai exponent as well as being a 3rd dan in Shotokan, he knew whereof he spoke..) and said to me and couple of other kenshi 'Look I can't do anything about this, but why don't you guys go in there and give that idiot (I paraphrase) a doing'. Alas discretion prevailed, but it was one of more outrageously irresponsible things I'veseen in a martial arts context.

Tony leith

Kimpatsu
12th February 2003, 11:11
Gassho.
Nah, Tony, agreeing with me ain't the end of the world, it's just a Two-Tone effort. 'SKA-y to agree, I s'pose. :D
Slightly off-topic, and this is perhaps better suited to the Bad Budo forum, but I've been reminded of it by David's post. Again at London University (clearly a hotbed for bad budo, Shorinji Kempo excepted, of course!) there was also a man who taught a MA similar in spirit, if not form, to Kateda (or KIXA or whatever they're calling themselves this week), who claimed to be able to dodge bullets. His poster showed him performing a one-handed daisharin as he removed a pistol from the gunman (read student-patsy)'s hand, emblazoned with the slogan, "Learn Defence Against Weapons!"
Anyone care to comment?
Kesshu.

jonboy
12th February 2003, 11:43
Anyone care to comment?

Is there any need?

Ok, so I pretty much agree with you all so far, but I'm going to throw in a comment FOR self defense classes.

Yes, we all know that it takes years to learn how to pull off techniques, but I want to make a case for self confidence, whether it be falsely aquired or not. I was reading a TKD (I think) thread on Budoseek and there was a policeman (or maybe ex police, but you get the idea) who had interviewed a whole lot of convicted criminals about their victims. It turns out that rather unsurprisingly the majority of victims were those who made themselves look vulnerable.

So whether you can pull off defensive moves or not, if you are walking around in a very assertive (is that the word i'm looking for?) way as a result of attending a class, then perhaps the self defense class has been of benefit.

jon

tony leith
12th February 2003, 14:23
Jon makes a valid point about the importance of assertive body language in deterring potential attackers. Likewise, I believe current police advice (again reflecting research with offenders and ex offenders) is that asserting yourself vocally if threatened can be very important (viz the psychological effect of kiai). Yes, I would concede that a resonsibly taught self defence course might well emphasise points like this as well as the general tactical awareness I alluded to in my early post, and that this might well be beneficial. I suppose it all depends on who's doing the instruction and the approach they take - as I said, I personally have seen stuff that would do much more harm than good, but this shouldn't necessarily colour my opinions about self defence courses as such.

Another interesting aspect of this kind of area is martial arts and the law. One of the Edinburgh kenshi is a serving police officer, and he gave us a seminar on the legal implications of Kempo used in self defence - I unfortunately only got the edited highlights, but it's worth bearing in mind that the law does take a view on what is legitimate in self defence and what isn't. Of course successful application of the principles of futsatsu katsujin and shusu koju should hopefully mean that we might be less likely to fall foul of the law than the 'strike first, strike hard, show no mercy' schools, but still..

Tony leith

luar
12th February 2003, 15:42
Whether you believe self-defence courses are a good or bad thing, how would you guys design it if you were realistically asked to put one together?

Kimpatsu
12th February 2003, 21:53
Gassho.
I think it's the wrong question, Raul. I for one would never recommend a quickie self-defence course to anyone; they should commit to Shorinji Kempo and learn the whole package, including the philosophy, seiho, the works. As stated earlier, true proficiency in techniques only comes after years of practice; a six-week course once or twice a week comes nowhere close to fulfilling those requirements.
But then again, I'm a purist who expects everyone to wear dogi, apprentice themselves to a sensei, and use Japanese in the dojo. :)
Kesshu.

tony leith
13th February 2003, 10:43
While (again) I'm basically in agreement with Kimpatsu, though not about the learning Japanese bit, it's an interesting thought experiment. I would start from the basis of trying to instill basictactical awareness - trying to make sensible assessments of risks incurred through particular courses of action. The precise nature of any training offered would depend on the students; self defence training would presumably be scenario based, and the kind of self defence scenarios that women would be confronted with might be very different from those applicable to men.

To this end, eluding and throwing techniques would be useful, though emphasising the importance of atemi. I would certainly use pads, and encourage women to use strikes like kamade and hiji ate rather than zuki waza. Groundwork defences would also be important. Keeping it very simple would be critical if there was going to be any chance of this actually being useful - things like getting people to deliver an atemi to the eyes and follow up to kinteki, basic awareness of vulnerable parts of an attacker. It would also be necessary to give people some idea of the shock caused by being assaulted, which is where conditioned reflexes from years of training come in of course.

Tony leith

jonboy
13th February 2003, 11:38
Yet again, I agree in principle, but awareness skills are hard to pick up and in my opinion are more suited to being taught in a kind of lecture environment. Perhaps the time spent in training (given the fact that we have said previously there is not much you can learn in such a short period of time) should be on a purely physical basis? More of a question then a statement.

Also I think throwing techniques are no good (if learning for such a short period of time) because unless you can do them well, people do normally have quite a good sense of balance in my experience.

Eludes and strikes yes, especially things like meuchi and kinetki strikes. I also think women are often more likely to get smothered - maybe like a bear hug. These types of attacks are difficult to escape, but I remember some things from my very limited time doing karate that have not come up in SK so far.

The basic rule was 'do whatever it takes' so for an example if you are being smothered whilst facing your agressor then dig your teeth into whatever you can and yes, you might feel sick from the tendons pinging loose in your mouth, but think of what its doing to them (not very Fusatsu Katsujin though).

I'm rambling now, but the point I'm trying to make is that you have to keep things simple.

jon

tony leith
13th February 2003, 13:01
Sorry I wasn't making myself clear are. throwing techniques. Even basic gote waza take quite a long time to work dependeably, and longer still to learn how to apply on any random collection of physiological quirks that's presented to you by an attacker (one of things I'm always awestruck by in senior instructors is their ability to 'read' attackers almost instantaneously). The kind of 'throws' I had in mind are simple hip throws etc in case of attack from behind, and even then I'd put heavy emphasis on backwards head butts, stamping and raking down shins etc rather than just expecting a hip throw to work.
While acknowledging that the teachings of Kempo dictate that the preferred option is always to inflict minimum harm on an opponent, in all conscience if faced with an attacker intent on rape or murder as far as I'm concerned pretty much anything is legitimate in self defence. The intent should never be to kill, but if that's the only option for someboy to avoid being killed or sexually assaulted, then the fault lies with the attacker not the victim. I know some people will disagree and say it should never come to that, but for a smaller weaker defender there might not be much choice...
NB I am NOT saying here that carrying lethal weapons is legitimate or sensible, but would prefer not to reignite that particular debate..

Tony leith

jonboy
13th February 2003, 13:19
Fair enough. Just wanted to agree with you on the use of pads being necessary. I was at a self defence course not too long ago when the instructor told lots of the graded kenshi (who were there to help out) there to put on dos so that they participants could hit us. Unfortunately there were not enough to go round so the more junior grades got to wear them.

Trouble is the instructor told the members of the class to punch or kick us as hard as they could even if we weren't wearing a do, because we could take it. I was in that category. It did hurt, but not all that much.

I wonder if this would have disheartened these members of the class in such a way that they know they couldn't really hurt anyone and so they lose the self confidence that would have otherwise been built into them if they were striking someone with a do on?

It leads to the above question - is this what is desired (i.e. a reality check)?

So if you're going to use pads then make everybody use them.

jon

tony leith
13th February 2003, 15:07
I think periodic reality checks are pretty valuable for all of us. I have to admit that even though I've been training for twelve years, I I am all of five foot four. I'm fairly strong for my height, but body mass counts for quite a lot in terms of the ability both to absorb and mete out punishment, and I do wonder sometimes just how effective my atemi would be if delivered against a much larger opponent for real. The ability to flatten hapless partners in training (as I admit I've been known to do) is not necessarily any indication of what would happen for real - in training you're likely to be much more relaxed and delivering a much higher percentage of your potential power. That being said, your ability to commit all of your body weight to strikes (whatever that might be) will increase with practice - I'm a firm subscriber to the view that there's no substitute for hitting things in learning to hit things.

There are people out there who can take more or less anything you could throw at them. Here's where using keimyaku hiko does make a difference - meiuchi and kinteki geri should work on more or less anybody, and accuracy and speed is more important than power. One of the best strikes i've ever had inlicted on me was courtesy of Rob Villiers doing ransori at Birxton - he melted out of my way with ryusi geri, delivered lightly to suigetsu. There didn't seenm to be anything in it, but it stoppoed me as effectively as if I'd ran into a brick wall. Again, this kind of thing requires years of practice.

Tony leith

Onno
13th February 2003, 16:17
Gassho __||__

Well well, nice debate we have here. I'm sorry I did not jump in earlier.

I agree with all the comments about bad self defence courses being more harmful than helpful. Also that Shorinji Kempo techniques take years to preform correctly out of the Dojo ( I'm not sure how many years yet, but I'll let you know when I find out ;) ). Heck, I try to encourage as much Japanese in the class as possible. However, I think we are missing a crucial point. Why did Kaiso start Shorinji Kempo? What is our responsibility as Kenshi? Are we not suppose to help better our communities? If, using our knowledge of Shorinji Kempo, we can make our community a little safer by teaching some important aspects to people, should we not do so? Yes, proper techniques take many years to learn, it is pointless to consider teaching them. Almost criminal negligence in my opinion. However, our years of practice and study have taught us many important principals behind these techniques. Keeping that knowledge to ourselves is selfish.

Personal safety is a lot more than just a few self defence moves ( the story about the Karate kata makes me shudder ). Any course should include real information that the students can use and basic useful techniques. The techniques should be based on simple principals that can be applied in a variety of situations. The students should not be lulled into a false sense of security, but rather a heightened state of awareness and become more proactive in regards to their personal safety.

We have given a few Self defence classes for the local community. We have lawyers come in to discuss self defence and the law. They also address what people often do wrong just before an incident. Most of them are common sense that is not so common. We also bring in a police officer from the local community to speak about the types of crimes in the area.

It would be very difficult to teach anyone to defend themselves from a surprise knife attack from behind. But, if we can help only a few people to avoid a physical confrontation, is it not worth the effort? My wife, after only just beginning Shorinji Kempo in high school, was able to avoid the perverts on trains solely because of her "Ki". Just the way she carried her self, and the type of glare she gave a pervert was enough to stop any further aggression. You do not have to always apply techniques for them to be useful.

Whoa... that must be my longest post to date. Sorry, just my humble opinion.

Take care all.

Kesshu

Onno Kok
Alberta Shibu
Calgary Canada

Frost
14th February 2003, 08:22
A question from a friend of mine appeard to me in a similar discussion like this one.

For the record he is a medical student.

He said if you were a medical student, would you trust the Professor teaching how to do a hart transplant if he only removed an appendix once and only read about how to perform the hart transplant..

Well so what’s my point then..

If one were to teach in self-defense, I think it’s a good Idea that the teacher has the experience of it.....

Or?

Jan

jonboy
14th February 2003, 09:21
If one were to teach in self-defense, I think it’s a good Idea that the teacher has the experience of it.....

I am about to group what we are calling self defence classes in this thread and martial arts classes together here (after all both are learning self defense), but I'm sorry, I can't except that. A good teacher would know about avoiding trouble, as has been talked about earlier in this thread (teaching students to be aware...). They might even never have their combat skills tested at all for that very reason. What better record could you hope for?

Maybe this next point counts as having experience of it - I don't know, but I would respect a teacher who has turned his back and walked away rather than got involved (assuming they have left nobody else in danger) a whole lot more.

jon

Frost
14th February 2003, 09:46
Yes I highly regard those who walk away, or should I say are able to do so.
The mental aspect of self-defense is very important, for example to keep calm, the split wison, etc.
But what IF it gets physical...

If I say I teach self-defense with out ever been in a hand to hand combat situation, who am I to say that the techniques works, or what state of mind I should be in or what happens to the body mentally and physical, if I never been down that road before..
Sure it works in the Dojo.
The deferens is that no one try’s to mug, or assault you with a knife with the intention to harm or even to kill.

I am not saying the Shorinjikempos techniques are worthless, I know from own experiences that they are NOT.
I am just saying be careful to call yourself self-defense instructors
If you don’t have the real life experience

I don´t teach self-defense, I teach Shorinjikempo, wich happens to be a good way do defend you self.
I don't know, but I would respect a teacher who has turned his back and walked away rather than got involved (assuming they have left nobody else in danger) a whole lot more.

jonboy
14th February 2003, 10:06
But what IF it gets physical...

There are so many what ifs in life....all situations are different and as for knowing what it feels like to be in a physical confrontation, it will be different for each and every person.

So are you saying if somebody attacked your instructor for, lets keep this simple, uchi uke zuki, which he/she pulled off like thay have thousands of times before then they can defend themselves against gyaku gote? Just because they have 'experience' in a fight?

You would only know that uchi uke zuki works! So what would be the point in learning the rest of the techniques from your instructor if they don't know that they work.

The point is you have to have an element of trust in generations of students developing very old techniques.

jon

Frost
14th February 2003, 10:45
Originally posted by jonboy


There are so many what ifs in life....all situations are different and as for knowing what it feels like to be in a physical confrontation, it will be different for each and every person.

So are you saying if somebody attacked your instructor for, lets keep this simple, uchi uke zuki, which he/she pulled off like thay have thousands of times before then they can defend themselves against gyaku gote? Just because they have 'experience' in a fight?

You would only know that uchi uke zuki works! So what would be the point in learning the rest of the techniques from your instructor if they don't know that they work.

The point is you have to have an element of trust in generations of students developing very old techniques.



jon


Yes I trust the old techniques but I do not trust a teacher
Telling this is how a self-defense situation works, and this is what you should do if you ever get into one, IF THAT PERSON NEVER BEEN IN AN ACTUALL COMBAT, that’s my point.

All (well ok most of them ;)) techniques work in the Dojo, but you don’t know if you can perform it in an actual street fight...

Tripitaka of AA
14th February 2003, 10:56
I remember one time, when we had some unwelcome visitors at the Abbey Dojo. The classes there used to run late, as we had the keys to the hall and would lock up when we left. Some local lads came in to use the Payphone in the lobby (or that's what they said), but then hunhg around outside the training room making snide comments. It became apparent that they wanted to disrupt the class, and possibly goad us into some kind of action. Of course it was a no-win situation, with any recourse to violence likely to harm the club's good name and place in the community.

It was still quite difficult to watch my hero Sensei, the man who can read my mind and deflect any attack I might have to offer... calling the local police and asking them to help eject the trespassers. I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed that we couldn't show the lads the error of their ways. But it was a valuable lesson in one of the key aspects of Self-Defence; "be prepared to back down", or "he who runs away, lives to fight another day". If you really examine the possible consequences of getting physical then it is really the wisest choice (although pride is surprisingly difficult to swallow). These boys (and they were only 15-16 or thereabouts), would have cried like babies and made the covers of National newspapers if we had let them goad us into getting physical.

Of course, you understand, Sensei was at all times courteous and civil to the lads. Polite yet firm , and showing no signs of losing his composure. I noticed that he was standing in his relaxed "arms-lightly-folded" pose that he showed us when suggesting Self-Defence postures. He was ready. But he chose to avoid the physical confrontation that would have been to the opponents advantage.



Self-Defence is oh-so-much more than techniques - and often, so much less!

Tripitaka of AA
14th February 2003, 11:09
If I wanted to run a "successful" (read "profitable") Self Defence class, then I would use all sorts of wrist locks, throws and weapons defenses. I would have petite young girls disarming 6'5" hairy geezers (them wielding machete and Uzi) while dressed like Britney Spears.

It would be easy to photoraph, attractive to a wide range of people andeasy to run (minimum equipment).

It might work on some levels. Making people feel better about themselves. Giving people some reassuring fantasy, like a personal shield of invincibility, that helps them to walk with confidence, exuding that "ki" that tells a potential attacker to "go look for someone else".


But would that be honest?

Frost
14th February 2003, 11:10
Originally posted by Tripitaka of AA
I remember one time, when we had some unwelcome visitors at the Abbey Dojo. The classes there used to run late, as we had the keys to the hall and would lock up when we left. Some local lads came in to use the Payphone in the lobby (or that's what they said), but then hunhg around outside the training room making snide comments. It became apparent that they wanted to disrupt the class, and possibly goad us into some kind of action. Of course it was a no-win situation, with any recourse to violence likely to harm the club's good name and place in the community.

It was still quite difficult to watch my hero Sensei, the man who can read my mind and deflect any attack I might have to offer... calling the local police and asking them to help eject the trespassers. I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed that we couldn't show the lads the error of their ways. But it was a valuable lesson in one of the key aspects of Self-Defence; "be prepared to back down", or "he who runs away, lives to fight another day". If you really examine the possible consequences of getting physical then it is really the wisest choice (although pride is surprisingly difficult to swallow). These boys (and they were only 15-16 or thereabouts), would have cried like babies and made the covers of National newspapers if we had let them goad us into getting physical.

Of course, you understand, Sensei was at all times courteous and civil to the lads. Polite yet firm , and showing no signs of losing his composure. I noticed that he was standing in his relaxed "arms-lightly-folded" pose that he showed us when suggesting Self-Defence postures. He was ready. But he chose to avoid the physical confrontation that would have been to the opponents advantage.



Self-Defence is oh-so-much more than techniques - and often, so much less!

Very nice and good story, proving the point of being calm :)

In Gothenburg there are some women (mostly) having seminars in feminine-self defense, a weekend course or some times longer.
The thing that strikes me is that some of these women have none or little real-life self-defense experience, and that’s scares me.
I feel that they send out a false message to those girls that attend these seminars, giving them a false sense of being safe..
I saw a woman teaching on of these seminars, one that I liked, why?
Well she is a bouncer and a Bodyguard, she has the experience and the right to call her classes’ self-defense, because she has been down that road so many times and knows what’s self-defense is about..

jonboy
14th February 2003, 12:50
Frost,

Don't get me wrong, I do hear what you are saying, but to say you trust the techniques and then to say you don't KNOW if techniques work in an actual street fight until you know someone has tested them is a little strange to me.

Certain techniques will work for certain people.

Though I do dare say this bouncer probably had some really nice tricks up her sleeve.

jon

tony leith
14th February 2003, 12:50
I agree that people who have had extensive experience of actual fighting have much more to teach us about what is practicable in self defence (I once heard Aosaka Sensei comment that he'd been in hundreds of fights, though he wouldn't count himself as the victor because his opponents had all lived - one couldn't help but notice that for somebody who'd been in lots of fights, his experiences had left him strangely unmarked, which left me wondering about the other guys). One of the points about doing kempo (indeed being human) is that you can profit from other people's experiences without actually having to go through them yourself - this is one of the meanings of hokei.

As I've mentioned previously, in 12 years of doing kempo I've delivered two atemi and used one restraint technique for real in seperate incidents. I don't see what else I'm supposed to do re. gaining real world experience - short of donning a cape and mask to fight crime, potentially violent situations are (should be) fairly infrequent occurences. I'm reassured when I hear or read stories like the one told about Sensei Jee; the best way to deal with potentially violent situations is to control them at a psychological level - this of course may not work if your prospective antagonist is just bent on having the fight, and you have to be ready for that possibility.

The only alternative I can see is trying a combat sport. I personally find that morallly unconcionable - if somebody attacks me in the street I'm prepared to do what I have to do to proptect myself, but putting myself in a situation where my objective is to inflict permanent harm on another person (which is what smacking them repeatedly in the head will do) is not acceptable to me. I stress that 's my personal moral point of view, not something I would prescribe for others.

Tony leith

Frost
14th February 2003, 13:13
Originally posted by jonboy
Frost,

Don't get me wrong, I do hear what you are saying, but to say you trust the techniques and then to say you don't KNOW if techniques work in an actual street fight until you know someone has tested them is a little strange to me.

Certain techniques will work for certain people.

Though I do dare say this bouncer probably had some really nice tricks up her sleeve.

jon


I trust the techniques, and I do know for a fact that some of them work.
My point is that if I haven’t been in a situation were my life threatened, I don’t know how I will react to it.
I might perform very well in a dojo, but when someone is shouting and physically wants to hurt me out side of that safe environment, I might have a "black out".
Since it’s new and stressful experience I might not perform at all.

So the technique worked in the dojo but not in the street fight, it's individual

Thats my point about the techniques
Jan

Tripitaka of AA
14th February 2003, 18:48
My earlier posts were a little rushed (hence the many spelling errors), which may have been a little confusing to read. I still haven't fully assembled my thoughts but I shall offer the counterpoint to the earlier "profitable Self-Defence Class" scenario.

The "honest" Self-Defence class;
A series of lectures, using CCTV footage of real-life violent incidents, broken down into categories based on victims' age/sex/location/activity. The theme of the lecture being to identify the different threat levels appropriate to time and place, eg. Outside the Disco at 2am on a Saturday morning, or in the local park at 5pm on a sunny afternoon.

Statistical and factual information to show who are the likely victims and the likely attackers (Males 16-25, for both categories, way out ahead of the "little old ladies" or "single attractive females").

Witness statements from court cases, Police reports and Hospital descriptions of injuries.


Sounds complicated. Sounds like a difficult course to assemble, requiring a lot of research and best illustrated with a variety of audio-visual materials. Hard work. Difficult to get people worked up about it. How would you advertise it? Would you really find people queueing up to listen to a lecture on facts and figures?

The end result of the lectures could be to leave the participants feeling less safe, more scared of possible scenarios and less confident. A possible case of "too much information" being a "dangerous thing"!


You decide.

Kimpatsu
14th February 2003, 21:52
Originally posted by Tripitaka of AA
Would you really find people queueing up to listen to a lecture on facts and figures?
Gassho.
This statement is way off base from the reality of the situation, which is that people want to learn to be invincible by yesterday. Quickie courses promising maximum yield (invulnerability) with minimum effort will always sell, because the people who take them have unrealistic expectations.
Kesshu.

Tripitaka of AA
15th February 2003, 10:26
That is one of the points I'm making Tony. If you can manage to divine the pertinent points from my fluffy clouds of posted nonsense, you'll be doing a better job than me :)

Quickie courses sell. But sell what?...

Is the best Self-Defence the type that involves no use of physical force at all... or is that a Utopian dream. Surely there is still a need for some kind of practical advice for the situations that go too far too soon?

Kimpatsu
15th February 2003, 12:53
Gassho.
Sorry for misunderstanding you, David.
Bruce Baker thinks he can render people unconscious using just the power of his mind... :rolleyes:
Quickie courses certainly sell, because people want to avoid commitment or effort, a flaw in the human condition that even Socrates recognised and commented upon. The unpalatable truth is that genuine competence takes years of hard work. This is true of anything, not just MA, but people seem to accord MA a special status. This is probably derived from movies, in which, for example, the Karate Kid went from beginner to black belt in a mere six weeks. (Or two hours of actual movie time.) Hong Kong movies such as Eight Steps of Snake and Crane, starring a very young Jackie Chan, has people on a quest to find a book that will teach them invincible kung fu instantly. In the Matrix, Keanu Reeves learned MA in 11 hours. Why bother with years in the dojo when you can have that?
Education in the realities would be a start, but people don't want to hear the truth because of the concomitent requirement to make an effort. It may be unrealistic, but that's how people feel.
Kesshu.

Tripitaka of AA
15th February 2003, 16:48
Originally posted by Kimpatsu

Bruce Baker thinks he can render people unconscious using just the power of his mind... :rolleyes:


Actually, having read some of his posts (before he deleted them), I think he must be an adept. He had me quite whoozy for a minute, good job there was a nearby cup of coffee to revive me.:o



So would there be any Quickie Course worth running? Given that we all agree that any physical defences to surprise violent attacks require reflexes and proficiency in technique that can only be learned/absorbed through years of training and practice, would a "wake-up" course be a useful tool. A class of cold hard reality to scare people into working on their own defences. Or would it be an unkind thing to do, to make people into nervous wrecks that are scared of their own shadow.

tony leith
17th February 2003, 12:09
As ever, the only answer I cancome up with to a straigthforward question - is there any point in self defence courses - is an equivocation. I tend towards Kimpatsu's view that for self defence purposes you need the ingrained conditioned reflexes that will only come with training over a period of time. On the other hand, I can imagine that some basic principles - of how and where to strike for example - could be taught relatively rapidly, at least in terms of giving somebody with no previous experience some opportunity to fight back against an assailant. I don't believe that current police advice is generally to be compliant with an attacker. It seems a little unfair for those of us with some knowledge of self defence - at least on a theoretical level - to withold it from people that might need it on the grounds that they're not fully paid up martial artists, though of course it would only be sensible to stress the limitations of this kind of training.

Tony leith

Kimpatsu
17th February 2003, 13:52
Gassho.
Tony-san, a police officer in Britain told me explicitly that the police don't want you to fight back, because it "muddies the waters". Far better to have an innocent corpse and a clear-cut villain, than a villain with a broken nose and an unharmed MAer. Fair? No, of course not. But the reality of Britain today.
As for SD courses themselves, the greatest problem, as I've said, is best illustrated by my encounter with the SD course instructor. Shorn of her role of command, she went to pieces, and I didn't try to hit her, I just made kiai. If the instructor can't apply her "basic techniques", what chance do the students have?
Kesshu.

tony leith
17th February 2003, 15:28
Whatever the police might prefer for their administrative convenience, any citizen does have a right to use justifable levels of force in self defence. Of course, the law does set limits to what might be deemed reasonable. Hence the controversy over the Tony Martin case, where a householder shot a teenage burglar in the back as he was attempting to flee. The key determinant appears to be the level of present threat that the person at risk might reasonably conclude they are confronted by. You might well have to deal with legal consequences of your actions in self defence - in a civilised society I suppose none of us should expect to be above the law (I seem to remember this was the title of one of Steven Seagal's efforts). I'd rather take those consequences than be dead.

As to the self defence instructor collapsing in a heap because you shouted at her, fair enough, but that's one instructor and not necessarily an argument about the generality of self defence courses. The truth of it is that the ability to actually apply martial arts experience, never mind self defence training, to real world situation will vary from individual to individual, and probably even depending on the cirmcumstances for each individual. A friend of mine who did karate and wing chung for a number of years on one occaision was jumped by three guys and took them out in short order - on another occaision he was jumped, the assailants got the upper hand, and he ended up with a broken nose (though being a former rugby player and at the time American footballer, this didn't bother him unduly - what his training did enable him to do was to block a bottle aimed at his head). Training only approximates the stress of being in a real life situation - it can't really duplicate it.

Tony leith

Kimpatsu
17th February 2003, 15:35
Gassho.
Agreed that one instructor does not a pattern make. However, I would still argue that self-defence courses per se teach an unwarranted self-confidence.
As to the police argument, I live in a country where there is no habeus corpus, and police torture is routine, so if I appear a little paranoid about the police, please understand my caution.
Kesshu.

tony leith
18th February 2003, 10:24
As a prospective visitor to Japan, can I just thank Mr. Keyhoe for mentioning the sort of thing that never seems to make it into the guidebooks? Of course, I myself (like the other Tony I imagine) am still technically the subject of a feudal monarchy with no rights whatsoever if the sovereign so disposes. Britain, a constitutional monarchy without an actual constitution. Ingenious.


Tony leith

Tripitaka of AA
18th February 2003, 10:38
Originally posted by tony leith
can I just thank Mr. Keyhoe

Tony, are you making a Freudian spilling slep when thanking Mr Kehoe for his glimpse through the keyhole?

tony leith
18th February 2003, 14:17
Re. Tripitaka's question, nope, I just can't type for toffee.

PS I always preferred Jung to Freud, if you're going to live in castles in the sky they might as well be big airy spacious ones...

Tony leith

Kimpatsu
18th February 2003, 21:53
Gassho.
Tony-san, when you get here, let me know. Roppongi awaits...
Yours in peeking through the keyhole.
Kesshu.