View Full Version : Self-defense demonstration

5th June 2003, 13:25
I was asked to give a public self-defense demonstration with the typical ´male aggressor´ vs. ´female victim´ scenario to demonstrate the possibilities karate offers for self-defense.
My wife plays the victim and I will be the ´bad guy´. :D

Still in the planning stage I have a problem:
What are the typical ways women are attacked?
My first thoughts are clinch from behind, slap in the face, arm on the shoulder trying to hug.
But I´m not sure about this.

Is there anybody who knows something about it or has some ideas?

Thank you!

5th June 2003, 14:14
I have been told by the majority of females, the most common grab in public is around the upper arm to be lead somewhere.
Just an idea.

5th June 2003, 14:59
They will often try to silence the victim by covering her mouth whilst trying to drag her from behind to another more place where they are less likely to be disturbed.

6th June 2003, 05:18
Thank you for your suggestions.
That will really help me.
I think especially "grab the arm" and "silence the victim" are some kinds of assaults that never would happen to a male "victim".

Thanks a lot for that!

Mitch Saret
6th June 2003, 21:15
How about dealing with some specific situations. For example: pinned against a car in a carjacking scenario. Or a date rape scenario: sitting together on a couch (use two folding chairs for a demo) and the guy doesn't take no for an answer. Or even a bar scenario. The big bully of a guy is hitting on the girl and because he is a little drunk, gets too aggressive.

There are lots of specific scenarios that are common. Remember, the majority of reported rapes are by someone the victim knows. I say reported because we can't determine the number of unreported stats. Also, by using some scenarios like these, they might be familiar to some people. I had a girl who was going away to college come to me for self defense before she left. She was moving from a small town here in Central IL, to Chicago. I did just the reverse. With talking and so forth, she realized her boyfriend was a date rapist. She just felt she couldn't say no. Whatever you do with the demo, please be sure to include verbal boundries and a lot of "NO" shouting, or stop, or whatever...you get the idea.

7th June 2003, 01:43
This has been my experience:

It is very hard to come up with "realistic" self-defense demos for women. Women are attacked by arms and legs just like men.

As is pointed out by Mr. Saret, it is the social context that is often the deciding factor, not the physical attacks. Stranger attacks on women are pretty rare, statistically speaking.

One thing my wife and I used to do to get the audience's attention was to have my wife start lecturing. At a hidden signal I would spring on her with a rear naked choke and scream, "you f*cking Bitch!). She would then proceed to stomp the crud out of my foot or some other loosening technique and then finish a defense.

The reason for this was to get the audience in an adrenalized situation, it worked like a charm. Then we explained that this is how you will feel when attacked, only you will experience it at 2 to 3 times the level you feel now. Don't fool yourself about physical protection, it takes training, training, and more training.

We then moved on and talked about stranger vs. acquaintence attacks. We asked them to raise their hands if they felt they could do what my wife just did. Of course, in this time of self-empowerment for women, almost all the hands shoot straight up, this is good. However, we then asked, what if it was your father, your boyfriend, or your brother. UH OH, we see about 2/3 of the hands waiver and/or fall. Bingo, self-confidence is great, but what are you self-confident about? If it is the faceless stranger in the bushes in the trenchcoat with vaseline dripping from his masturbating fingers, then rest assured you are probably safe without much SD training.

After we gave a short talk on the realities of self-defense for young women (particularly on college campuses), we then went into some basics of self-defense. Particularly trash talking (see above example), as most of their attackers will use strong language and yelling to emotionally stun them if they resist. Keeping emotionally focussed is way more important than physical techniques.

The bottom line is, if you are looking to put on a "karate show," then don't call it a self-defense demo. It will all look like kung-fu theatre to them, no matter how realistic you make it seem from your perspective.

Give them a good show, then maybe wrap it up with the more practical side of SD training. Separate the myth from the reality.

Jay Vail
7th June 2003, 09:46
You might also consider showing what to do when the man is in the top mount position (wrestling, guys, not you know what) straddling the stomach. As I recall, there was a rather famous case from NM in which a woman was awakened in her bedroom by a pistol armed man when he sat on her. She was able to escape the mount, grab the pistol and shoot the guy, who turned out to be a serial rapist just recently released from prison.