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Thread: Why, and How Do You Practice Self Protection?

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    Default Why, and How Do You Practice Self Protection?

    Our discussions have me interested in how people view personal protection practice, either within their chosen discipline or as a separate practice.

    Why, if at all, do you practice dedicated self protection skills?

    If not, does your art give you what you need in terms of self protection?

    How does your art do this? What does self protection practice look like in your art?

    Do you practice awareness, verbal interaction and de-escalation in a modern context?

    Just for starters....I practice martial arts, but do a dedicated self protection class that is full spectum verbal interaction, evasion, unarmed defense, edged weapons, concealed carry firearms, and professional applications for police and military. This is separate from my martial arts practice. Martial arts, with specific adaptations, is but a small part of the self protection package, so to speak.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Default Wait, there's More...

    Oops! Also wanted to ask these questions:

    Do you practice threat assessment/decision making/reasonable (and legal) force articulation in your self defense practice?


    Do you engage in scenario practice?

    If you train with firearms (even firearms disarming), have you ever practiced shoot-no shoot decision making, and have you ever used Simunition marking cartridges or Airsoft or other projectile training in the context of the above?

    I am asking to both get an idea of this wide and diverse collection of martial artists view on self protection, their experience and interest with dedicated self protection training, and at what levels they have and would be interested in training.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Professionally I've found verbal de-escalation to be a very helpful tool. It also seems to buy time to assess the situation more fully when you arrive on scene. In our academy class we are taught Verbal Judo (or whatever it is called these days). I've found the methods work most of the time. There are always those few that you just can't get through to so you have to use a different tactic.
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Oops! Also wanted to ask these questions:

    Do you practice threat assessment/decision making/reasonable (and legal) force articulation in your self defense practice?


    Do you engage in scenario practice?

    If you train with firearms (even firearms disarming), have you ever practiced shoot-no shoot decision making, and have you ever used Simunition marking cartridges or Airsoft or other projectile training in the context of the above?

    I am asking to both get an idea of this wide and diverse collection of martial artists view on self protection, their experience and interest with dedicated self protection training, and at what levels they have and would be interested in training.
    Yes, to pretty much everything, but then again, you pretty much know my background.
    Tony Urena

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kendoguy9 View Post
    Professionally I've found verbal de-escalation to be a very helpful tool. It also seems to buy time to assess the situation more fully when you arrive on scene. In our academy class we are taught Verbal Judo (or whatever it is called these days). I've found the methods work most of the time. There are always those few that you just can't get through to so you have to use a different tactic.
    Agreed! I work for a county agency where sometimes I arrive on scene after the locals have been there and pissed off the witnesses. Many times I've gotten what I needed by being the calm voice of reason.
    Tony Urena

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Our discussions have me interested in how people view personal protection practice, either within their chosen discipline or as a separate practice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Why, if at all, do you practice dedicated self protection skills?
    All too often, people believe that someone has to have a high rank in martial arts to teach self defense. In fact, this is not true and could be in the opposite. I met many teachers of martial arts, attempting to "teach" self defense, but did not fully understand the concept. As they were in the mindset of their physical practices/methods WERE all that was needed.

    I was once like that, until one of my instructors told me in order to teach self defense, goes beyond martial arts. Therefore, some decades ago, I started on a separate self defense quest. (Now days, more martial artists have also went on that quest)



    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    If not, does your art give you what you need in terms of self protection?
    Per above. I would think that as one went on a separate quest, they could bring it back to their "art" and incorporate a special curriculum



    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    How does your art do this? What does self protection practice look like in your art?
    You keep mentioning "art". If people practice a martial art, then they are tuned to that "art". I would tend to think that Self Defense is its "own art"


    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Do you practice awareness, verbal interaction and de-escalation in a modern context?
    Of course These are more important than learning to defend against a punch

    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Just for starters....I practice martial arts, but do a dedicated self protection class that is full spectum verbal interaction, evasion, unarmed defense, edged weapons, concealed carry firearms, and professional applications for police and military. This is separate from my martial arts practice. Martial arts, with specific adaptations, is but a small part of the self protection package, so to speak.
    As per my above



    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Oops! Also wanted to ask these questions:
    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Do you practice threat assessment/decision making/reasonable (and legal) force articulation in your self defense practice?
    Yes


    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Do you engage in scenario practice?
    Yes. Few examples: Even go as far as to "dress" likewise on the street. Example: wearing nice shoes, or a thick coat, etc. Even did practices on different types of terrain. A lot done "outside" of the class. (One such practice, LEO-police approached as they were called to investigate a brawl, which were us in practice. Under their instruction, we stopped and moved to another, distant location)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    If you train with firearms (even firearms disarming), have you ever practiced shoot-no shoot decision making, and have you ever used Simunition marking cartridges or Airsoft or other projectile training in the context of the above?
    No. I leave firearms practice with its own parimeters


    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    I am asking to both get an idea of this wide and diverse collection of martial artists view on self protection, their experience and interest with dedicated self protection training, and at what levels they have and would be interested in training.

    This is how I started so many decades ago;

    I had to "Learn" before teaching:

    I started to read-study about rape, serial killers, and murders

    I managed through a friend, meet a psychiatrist in the criminal field.

    Then, I started to attend(not teach) a rape seminars (by special invite-observer, through that psychiatrist)

    Then, I became friends with a few LEO, and managed to attend (not teach) few of their seminars by invite-observer

    Went back to one of my former martial art teachers, and we created a separate curriculum
    Few examples:
    For knife, we used a big red marker. People try harder to dodge from getting marked verses a rubber knife
    For gun, there wasn't airsoft back then, we used a water pistol. If you got wet, you got shot

    All of this took about-15-20 years

    As for firearms:
    The LEOs I come to associate with, do not "waste" too much time practicing firearm disarming. They practice more with their firearms and stun guns. In fact, "hand to hand" combat is limited to subdue, rather than "fight"

    Last, I have, over those decades, tried to explain to people, esp martial artists, that martial arts (in a whole setting) is not needed upon self defense.

    That, myself coming from a extensive family on both sides, many have survived defense, without being or training in martial arts
    Last edited by Richard Scardina; 1st December 2013 at 18:49.
    Richard Scardina

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    Chris and Tony -

    Cops kinda don't count, you get most of it on the job, and no modern training curriculum is complete - or legally defensible - without going through the decison makers and stress scenarios.

    Richard -

    Yes, that is the kind of thing I am talking about.

    Other than wearing street clothes, practicing out of doors, and using a marker - I am more interested in how you would conduct the training. How do you simulate self defense encounters in your training?

    What amount of verbal de-escalation do you make use of in training? What are the basic teachings of verbal threat management?

    Do self defense encounters in your practice always get physical? What is the balance between encounters that get physical and those that do not?

    How do you introduce initiative practices, decision making, and "go -no go" elements in practice, or do you basically have two people squaring off, knowing it is going to be a self defense encounter, and one attackers the other while the other defends?
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Kit --

    I recall attending a seminar with a Bulletman. As part of his spiel, he started saying things that would be considered rude if said in daily conversation. When I started retorting in kind, he got annoyed. I have no idea why, because he himself had said, "I'm attacking you, do what you normally do." Which is what I thought I was doing -- I was evading his physical attacks while riffing off his lines, same as I do in any other setting.

    In other words, rather than doing verbal judo, I, like Bulletman, was engaging in trash-talking. My theory is that if they're already throwing fists, it's a little late for verbal judo.

    The goal of trash-talking is to make the other fellow break down in tears, have all his friends start laughing at (not with) him, or provoke him into saying or doing something stupid. Trash-talking is not a very nice game, but then, few games really are that nice. Except maybe boxing. Biddle always did say that one should box as if Christ were the referee.

    I can't recall many martial art classes that even mentioned trash-talking. Most instructors wanted you to pretend that you were respectful and all that. Basketball and football, on the other hand, seem to develop trash-talking skills as part of the standard curriculum.

    Trash-talking is said to be inappropriate in a sporting context. And in the business setting, management definitely frowns on the use of trash-talk. That would imply that trash-talking is an entirely appropriate skill in which to train, if only to learn how management prefers you NOT to react.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post

    Other than wearing street clothes, practicing out of doors, and using a marker - I am more interested in how you would conduct the training. How do you simulate self defense encounters in your training?
    For the most part, we have not performed any "role playing" in the classroom. We found this DOES NOT "stimulate" the responses we look for. I usually, (near the end of the curriculum), have a stranger approach a student in a controlled environment. I know many people owning business establishments (by their permission) which I have a student approached by a stranger of different calibers. (Different business-different strangers-male and female) I use business establishments mainly because, it confines the student to react appropriately. Other areas, like a parking lot, sometimes has the student either react too slow or too fast. Too slow, as they are in a state of surreal bliss. Too fast, as they are eager to perform. Most self defense is not in a "dark alley", as a majority of people have common sense not to be there in the first place

    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    What amount of verbal de-escalation do you make use of in training? What are the basic teachings of verbal threat management?verbal threat management
    Threat management depends on the situation as it "may" unfold. Remaining calm (per not getting upset), listen attentively, maintain eye contact-but not stare, (in some cases, do not make a constant direct eye contact-but focus the eyes on something, likewise something else caught the attention-but remain alert). Keep the voice medium (too low shows weakness likewise to prey-certain assailants will attack), too high-excited-strong, causes the assailant to attack with something to prove). Be patient, respectful, and courteous. Try to change the subject, but beware of signs of the assailant to resist. Make the assailant feel in control, but maintain a vigilance. Assertiveness is a key word, but like anything too much, or too little can be a disaster


    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Do self defense encounters in your practice always get physical? What is the balance between encounters that get physical and those that do not?
    The level and situation of threats vary from a quick bump at the register, parking lot, or a nasty call, or even someone at the workplace. The understanding that a attacker-assailant does not always "look the part". We view the outcome if there was not a physical resort, as the most successful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    How do you introduce initiative practices, decision making, and "go -no go" elements in practice, or do you basically have two people squaring off, knowing it is going to be a self defense encounter, and one attackers the other while the other defends?---NO
    Per all above. But to add, having a LEO and sometimes a attorney come in as guests to discuss and aid in the importance of legal issues and/or legal ramifications. A series of discussions has to be done in order to teach the areas of self defense within legal parameters.

    It takes two to "Trash Talk"

    I can rant on and on, but too many words are not enough than a actual curriculum. In other words, I can only state in brief

    Now your turn, quid pro quo, answer or comment on your own questions.......
    Last edited by Richard Scardina; 2nd December 2013 at 02:53.
    Richard Scardina

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Scardina View Post
    Now your turn, quid pro quo, answer or comment on your own questions.......
    The bold, and large red letters comes across as aggressive and yelling in postings. The red as angry. Please ask nicely next time.

    You can get an idea of what we do at my blog:

    www.northwestcqc.wordpress.com

    I am a police supervisor and use of force trainer and teach a small private group. I've taught cops, citizens, and military full spectrum self protection and officer survival force concepts for nearly two decades. I am familiar with, been involved in, responded to, and investigated everything from simple street confrontations to deadly force encounters. And I have found the assessment and threat management aspects, force on force simulations, and scenario based training to be the most effective kinds of training.


    Sounds like you have a good handle on self defense training - when you say strangers, do you mean unknown people, but the students and strangers are all "in" on the training?

    How does scenario training NOT stimulate the responses you are looking for? I ask this because in the law enforcement and self defense communities this is the primary way of including stress inoculation in training.

    Joe

    I would disagree. The sportive arena is the ONLY place trash talking is appropriate.

    A great deal of street culture and resultant altercations surrounds disrespect. Trash talking will only buy you more problems. Trash talking might get you a fight that would not have happened had trash talk not been interjected.

    Most middle class folks taking self defense courses are also not going to be well versed in street vernacular, nor in the "rituals" that surround such talking. Using trash talk inappropriately or awkwardly will only bolster a potential assailant's confidence. In addition, since most are also not very comfortable with confrontation, attempting to be verbally agile while under the stress of impending assault is simply too much going on for some to maintain composure.

    As well, you want to avoid too much interaction with a potential assailant. A tit-for-tat, back and forth discussion involves a great deal of cogntive tasking and will by definition funnel situational awareness and create a greater lag-time in response to attack.\

    Profanity may be a different matter, but folks have to be comfortable with that as well. If used, it should not be personally directed. It can be used under certain circumstances. Its a debatable point.

    Now training with a role player/partner that IS trash talking is a necessity. Amazing how much it throws people off their game in a formal training environment.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Do you practice threat assessment/decision making/reasonable (and legal) force articulation in your self defense practice?

    Yes and no. We will have periodic breaks in training and analyze how a given position is well suited for breaking contact or for ending the fight in a terminal kind of way, but there hasn't been a lot of training in the nitty gritty of use-of-force and legality. A buddy of mine who is a cop shows up, I should ask him to talk some about that next time.

    Do you engage in scenario practice?

    Yes. The initial training is just having one of us be the belligerent, role-playing being aggressive in some kind of circumstance. Each person makes it up. Sometimes they act drunk and sad, then suddenly become violent. Other times, they are hopped up, bouncing around, and very obviously aggressive. Other times, the scenario involves an imaginary girlfriend, a dispute over some imaginary spilled beer, or some other offense. Point is, the attacker controls when, and if, things become violent.

    If not, does your art give you what you need in terms of self protection?

    Hard to say. I have had two women I've worked with that went abroad tell me that they deployed their skills to get free from dangerous situations. One was being grabbed and dragged to a taxi, whereupon she broke the grip and ran like the dickens. The other just extracted herself because she saw things starting to get really aggressive and got out before anything went sour.

    I was really happy about both of those. Two good outcomes from what could have been really terrible situations.

    How does your art do this? What does self protection practice look like in your art?

    Even a brief stint in Koryu feels like the blinders getting removed. There is absolutely no playing around, no waste in any of those old kata. At this point, though, I am the bastard-son-of-bastard-son-of a mostly judo-esque background, so who the hell really knows who is responsible for what. I guess I just hope it works.

    Do you practice awareness, verbal interaction and de-escalation in a modern context?

    Yes. Awareness is one of the biggies. We train to increase basic awareness. This can be by trying to take a quick scan over a room to determine who has a relationship with whom. Or, learning to notice the kinds of clothing which allow for concealed carry, or the imprint of a concealed firearm. Who has a folder in their pocket, etc. Verbally, we work on staying calm and talking through with our role-playing opponents, and sometimes the attacker decides not to attack. Whether through limited bargaining ('hey, brother, let me buy you a beer.') or subject changing ('Do you know how to find this [really easy to find place]?'), etc.

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    Excellent Chris.

    Do you incorporate training where verbal de-escalation works and they don't turn out as fights? Seems like you have a good handle on things as well.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Sometimes the aggressor-defender scenarios end without the aggressor attacking. Primarily, we work defending from the initial onslaught. The main point here being able to recognize combative, aggressive behavior and to be ready when things tip over into violence. Having a given stimulus--their eyes go wide, hands ball into fists, etc.--communicate 'get ready' is an important part of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    The bold, and large red letters comes across as aggressive and yelling in postings. The red as angry. Please ask nicely next time.

    You can get an idea of what we do at my blog:

    www.northwestcqc.wordpress.com

    I am a police supervisor and use of force trainer and teach a small private group. I've taught cops, citizens, and military full spectrum self protection and officer survival force concepts for nearly two decades. I am familiar with, been involved in, responded to, and investigated everything from simple street confrontations to deadly force encounters. And I have found the assessment and threat management aspects, force on force simulations, and scenario based training to be the most effective kinds of training.


    Sounds like you have a good handle on self defense training - when you say strangers, do you mean unknown people, but the students and strangers are all "in" on the training?

    How does scenario training NOT stimulate the responses you are looking for? I ask this because in the law enforcement and self defense communities this is the primary way of including stress inoculation in training.
    Apology
    The red bold text was for emphasis. The other colors weren't working (Therefore, I will leave out color and larger text sizes)

    Strangers...unknown to student. A scant few times someone/mediator had to "jump in"

    Brief examples:

    Stranger A, Scenario A a rude customer in a restaurant tries to entice student

    Stranger B, Scenario B a rude customer in a bar tries to entice student

    Stranger C, Scenario B another rude customer in a bar tries to mildly assault-push student

    Stranger D, Scenario C, in a office screaming. People acting a part of scared workers-student has to react

    Stranger E, Scenario D a punk in a parking lot asks the student "what's he looking at", and entices student

    Stranger F, Scenario E or F a assailant with knife/gun approaches student

    I like, in coy fashion, disarming a CCW student before sending them in

    All strangers/scenarios are done on timely intervals

    The preparation takes great effort

    "Pre-rehearsed Scenario" training in a classroom vaccum does not stimulate the brain in the same manner

    "Knowing" someone is "acting" is far different that believing that it is truly unfolding

    This part of the curriculum is at the very end

    Try the stranger approach as I suggest...you'd be surprised of the reactions

    Have safety measures at the ready

    As a police officer, you will be one to attend my class (as well as psychologist/attorney-etc)

    I feel that other professionals in my class help students with freedoms to ask questions whereas they might have had reservations.

    I also feel, that NOT ONE person can conduct a concise self defense curriculum without additional outside input from these other areas-fields.

    As for CCW, not everyone will carry nor have the desire to even own a firearm.

    Apart from that, many CCW does not touch on mentality issues. Like can someone "really squeeze the trigger in defense"
    (I reckon hunters may have that ability a little better than the average Joe who goes plinkering paper targets)

    Working as a problem teen mentor in what we call "projects", along with family owning a bar, running other bars over time, and a city-area where drinking never stops, I, too am familiar with, been involved in, responded to, and observed from simple street confrontations to deadly force encounters. (Guns pointing at you, knives opening/or guns shooting at you, makes you think afterwards) And I AGREE assessment and threat management aspects, force on force simulations, and scenario based (to a DEGREE-EXCEPTION) training to be the most effective kinds of training. (SORRY TO PASTE YOUR WORDING)

    People feel that society is now on a upsurge of gunmen on rampages, in fact, this has been happening since the 60's. The problem is in the way the media now covers it all making it upscaled

    I liked your blog, but I have seen quite a few along the same lines

    I am glad that some of these blogs, such as yours, may get a strong hold and cast out the "Martial Art Defense Experts" against a opponent with a "stiff arm" (straight punch that freezes), or a opponent that does not move while the "Martial Art Defense Expert" does a series of nifty moves with the opponent's body unmoving to the strikes or unchallenged in some reflexive way

    (Caps are not shouting-for emphasis)

    On another note, what laws in place for CCW in one "State" does not apply "exactly" in another

    My question to you, is what of a business establishment has a "No Firearm" sign, apart from a LEO, what legal grounds does a "Common CCW person have?
    Last edited by Richard Scardina; 3rd December 2013 at 04:24.
    Richard Scardina

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    Kit --

    Ritual insult is indeed specific to a subculture. There is a vast literature on this subject, actually. (Look up "Playing the dozens".) But I don't think many self-defense classes or books provide much insight into this topic, other than to advise that attackers may use vulgar or graphic language. (Well, duh.)

    Sports, on the other hand, may provide some useful stress inoculation. Babe Didrickson Zaharias once said that she liked golf because it was the only game she'd played where the ball didn't move, nobody tried to hit you, and nobody called you bad names.

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