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One of the most inspirational moments in martial arts is to see a new person start martial arts. The white belt is clean their uniform is new. Each and every moment each counts for the white belt. After years in the martial arts, I look to the white belts for inspiration. I’m deeply honored to be in their presences Thank you.
Boston Martial Arts Center
This time of year, there’s no shortage of people in your life that you’re thinking of, that you’d like to do something nice for. That said, there’s also no shortage of stress about finding gift ideas. We’ve got some recommendations below for the martial artists in your life (or treat yourself!) to help you find exactly the right holiday gifts no matter what you celebrate.
Recommended for Everyone
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:
– Personal property
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:
– 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
– 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.
PLEASE REMEMBER WHAT WE HAVE ALL LEARNED AS CHILDREN DO NOT TALK TO STRANGERS.
Thank you for attending today’s seminar.
Please be safe.
by Mark Davis
Copyright © Boston Martial Arts, July 2002
The definition of martial arts is war arts. Every country in the world at one time had various forms of martial arts based on such things as geographical regions, clans, tribes and so forth. Historically martial arts where used for defensive and offensive purposes depending on the varying situation. For instance in China, Japan and Korea there were various war lords that used martial ways to control food, land and trade just as in New England the Native Americans used martial ways to protect their resources and people.
The martial arts, which is practiced today, is the result of thousands of years of evolution. Martial arts can be divided into two categories that of sport and also of self-protection based systems. However, many of the modern self-defense systems we see nowadays are not always clearly defined.
Today many styles of martial arts, which are taught, do not take into account the different circumstances of a real world attack. For example things such as weather, time of day, multiple attackers and weapons do not come into play in the safety of a dojo-training environment. This occurs because many martial arts were developed primarily as a sport and consequently there are certain rules and regulations that monitor these interactions.
When I used to kick box we did it in the safety of a gym with boxing gloves, rules and a time limit and there was a mutual agreement between the participants that at the end of the time limit it would end. Within the boundaries of the rules of kickboxing there were no kicks to the groin, no eye gauging, no second party in the ring with a weapon of any kind and so forth.
The day I was assaulted it was early spring and it was still cold. There was a slight rain falling. I was quickly walking to my car when I saw ahead of me a man that appeared to be intoxicated. At the moment when I raised my head to look at him a seemingly innocent gesture on his part of lifting his hand quickly turned into what I thought was a punch to my stomach. My body reacted in a particular walking movement that my teacher showed me in Japan.* This movement carried me out of the way of the punch and as I looked more closely at the attack – it ended up being a knife strike to the side of my body. The man fell into the cars parked on the side of the street and I started to run. He turned with a startled look on his face and ran in the other direction himself.
Self-defense in martial arts is something that is very important in today’s society but also in the same vein martial sports play an equally important role, for example they both improve health and fitness, they both increase body awareness and if taught correctly they can be fun.
These series of articles will talk about self-defense in the martial arts and how they play a role in today’s society.
Thank you for talking the time to read this article and may happiness, peace and love flow through your life.
* I had been practicing this movement a significant amount for other purposes in my training.