Proper Preparation in Self-Defense Training
Five Principles of Self-Defense ©
“Potential victims have an excellent chance of surviving a rape confrontation if they are prepared in advance. They should be trained in assessing their personal strengths and weaknesses. They should be taught techniques of manipulating the environment to the disadvantage of the assailant, and they should be educated about various types of rapists, their motivation, and assaultive behavioral patterns.”
(Robert Hazelwood, FBI)
Studying real crime and comparing it to extensive research, content is narrowed down with presentation and practice methods becoming clearly obvious. Unfortunately, even with the abundance of information, too many women are still taught inappropriate material. Even material taught in Model Mugging may be ineffective based on the many variables in any given assault, but when the System is taught appropriately it has the potential to provide women with the most choices combined with the most realistic and simplistic options available. The combined content integrates academic/cognitive, physical, and emotional aspects of self-protection has the best results. How the content is taught can be just as important as what is taught.
Women’s self-defense classes can create false confidence and sometimes overconfidence in students, which adds credence to the statement, “A little bit of knowledge is dangerous.” The worst case is an overly assertive or antagonistic woman with poor fighting skills. All programs, including Model Mugging, run this risk.
We must remind ourselves that each martial art “evolved” to fulfill the needs of an oppressed group of people. Each group developed techniques to appropriately and effectively protect themselves. Women need a defensive system that meets the challenges of modern dangers which include self-protection against a husband/boyfriend turned abuser, stalkers, as well as acquaintance and stranger rapists (Matt Thomas).
Preparation includes four elements in the training process to be considered when teaching women’s self-defense.
- Proper: can be defined as “adapted or appropriate to the circumstances; to be suitable or correct for a particular occasion or purpose.” When applying options and strategies to women’s self-defense, training must be appropriate to the circumstances or conditions that women are commonly confronted.
- Adequate can be defined as meaning “barely sufficient; to be enough for the desired purpose.” When deciding how much training is sufficient, for the sake of training costs, we must approximate what the minimum amount of time necessary to sufficiently train the average woman. This does not mean that once a woman attends a course she is forever trained; such thinking is dangerous for any instructor or student to accept. The retention and capabilities of each woman will vary.
- Consistent can be defined as adhering or retaining the same form. When a woman returns for a review class, it is important that she is not taught something completely different. The training should build upon the information she learned in the previous training session so she can improve her skills.
- On Going refers to training that is continuous over time. It maintains your level of confidence and allows you to improve or realistically adjust your skills as your body changes. On going training also identifies our reduced capabilities and where skills must be modified to compensate for injuries, sore backs and joints, heart conditions, other medical inhibitors, weight gain, and especially age. Keeping your mind and body coordinated with your age is important because survival skills are perishable. It also allows you to reconfirm your feelings about self-preservation and the psychology behind the winner’s mindset.
Consideration for proper training is a must! We have determined how criminals attack women and what they do (Principle I). We have also realistically considered effective options or countermeasures in conditions imposed upon us (Principle II). Only now can we practice applying those options, but it is how you practice those options that become the significant element of preparation and training while consistent and on going training builds self-confidence and improving skills as our body and lifestyle change.
Proper and adequate training provides experience building actions based on calm and collectiveness becoming an inoculation to crime allowing clearer situational assessment.
You are the master of your destiny. Proper preparation gives you self-confidence and control over your mind and body.
For more information go to: Model Mugging History Evolution of Martial Science in Women’s Self-Defense.