Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Personal Defense - EDUCATION

As a Self Defense instructor I know that what I teach is vital, it MUST be accurate and simple.  Someones life may depend on it.  Teaching Self Defense is not teaching Karate.

My certification is done in New York, from Phil Messina at Modern Warrior Defensive Tactics Institute.  It is where I came to understand how different Self Defense is from traditional karate or martial arts training.  My first certification with Phil was in 2004.  I have a few other certifications from Modern Warrior and I have assisted in the certification process as well.  I have also had the privilege of teaching at "Female Self Defense Week" a few years ago.

I have also travelled to various places in the west to train with Rory Miller. Places like Denver, San Francisco, Oakland, Billings, Reno, San Diego.  Each time was the training was to help me become a better self defense instructor.  To learn more about violence, articulation, force law, and how to prepare for ambush.  It is important to know all the levels of personal defense in order to better inform those I teach.

I make the effort and excursions to continue my own education in order to to present the best, most accurate and informative courses I can.  It is because I know the people I train with have gained their experience in the foxholes of violence and survival.  I know that they are bona fide.  They have dealt with the violent people and have gained knowledge about their specific skills and learned how to execute those skills to keep themselves safer.  These guys realized that they had the opportunity to teach others how to survive and keep safer as well.  No fancy titles, no flashy belts... no ego.  Just sincere want to help others understand what they have learned.

So what is the difference between Self Defense and karate or martial arts?  For my journey, the martial arts gave me strength, endurance, coordination, history, background and a strong foundation.  Being forced to spar eventually got me to conquer my fear of sparing.  That in itself took eight years, thus perseverance was another positive aspect of the martial arts.  The art I was fortunate enough to study was very comprehensive. It included full contact sparring- no protective equipment on concrete, grappling, throws, weaponry and more.  Which was very well rounded for a future I had not anticipated at the time of my relentless training in the traditional art.

Self Defense, or Personal Defense EDUCATION as I prefer to refer to it as, is so much more than the rote movements of a karate/martial arts class.  Its more than the formalities and ritual.  Personal defense begins way before the physical altercation.  It is more emotional and ethical than the traditional martial arts school I was apart of ever taught.  There was no preparation for the psychological aspect of victimization.

When I chose to specialize specifically in women's self defense, it was because I had come to realize that the cognitive aspects and the social taboos that hold us back were apart of many women's lives and experience.  Violence is more than a punch in the face.

How one prepares for the ambush of violence makes a difference in whether she survives and thrives or becomes a victim that forfeits her psyche.  Education will give her a better understanding of what to prepare for, and how to switch the switch from prey to predator.  My mission, in seeking out the best to learn from, train with, is to be able to give those who are not 'karate-ka, martial artists, fighters how to best fight the fight of their lives. Or better yet show her how to see it before it gets to that point; detect and deter, escape and evade; and if necessary, become a force to be recon with if it does go physical.

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