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the police are minutes away. I'll say that again, when seconds count the police are minutes away.
Listen to the news, how many times do you hear about the police stopping a random violent crime while it's in progress? Police investigate murders, rapes assaults, etcetera but they rarely stop them as they are happening. This isn't a flaw in the policing system, it's just a fact that violent crimes occur by predators who understand that subterfuge, concealment, and no witnesses means that they will remain free to seek out their next victim.
When a predator thinks that he/she might get caught, they move on to better hunting grounds where there's less chance of detection.
If you're one of those people who thinks they are safe because of the police, you are set to be a victim.
The first and best line of defense is being aware of your surroundings and being mentally and physically prepared to use whatever tool, including violence, that is necessary to ensure that you will prevail and protect yourself from harm.
My advice? Call 911 if you have the luxury of time, but always train like they aren't coming.
Don't put off learning how to be safe...sign up today for a class.
police lights behind a stopwatch ticking down seconds
I began studying martial arts at the age of fourteen, and as a black belt, taught for over a decade in Lethbridge, AB. I love the martial arts part of my life and still enjoy doing forms (kata) and revisiting old techniques as well as working on the speed bag and the heavy bag. Martial arts has been very good to me, it is not however about self protection, it is about systems of fighting.
When comparing self defense to martial arts, I am reminded of two past martial arts instructors. A Taekwondo instructor once told me that he taught his students to look the person in the eye and that’s how you know they are going to attack.
An Aikido instructor told me that if he was to get in a fight, he would get hit by the first shot, step back, and then tell the person to come for his lesson.
These are two examples of martial arts instructors presenting themselves as self defense instructors while showing a total lack of understanding about situational awareness, body kinesics, and antisocial fight dynamics.
So here is the question: do you want to learn to fight in an organized system, compete, get in shape and have the social status of taking MMA, karate, kung fu or one of the other martial arts?
Or do you want to learn Self Protection?
Self protection involves situational awareness, violence dynamics, predator mindsets, social posturing, legal implications, along with avoidance and combative strategies.
Martial Arts focuses on fighting techniques within an organized style usually involving sparing and rules of combat. Function is blended with style and years of training is involved.
In the age of social media, martial arts styles can give you prestige and fellow practitioners to share your system with.
People interested in self protection should have a vested interest in learning how to recognize and react appropriately in order to protect themselves and their loved ones. There are no bragging rights, just knowledge and skill to avoid or defeat a predator in order to preserve your life.
Both of these skill sets have value, just don’t confuse one with the other.
martial artist Sonnenberg kicking heavy bag
You know the one. Always standing too close when they talk to you. Laughing at inappropriate times, or making physical contact in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable? This can be a one time event at a party or social setting or an ongoing feeling with a coworker, someone in your dorm, or a neighbor.
Someone giving you the creeps is a very real cognitive response to these situations. A study at Knox college suggests that getting creeped out by someone is the result of your brain trying to determine if the person is a threat that needs to be responded to. Conflict arises when we don't know whether to take action, based on our gut feelings, because what if we're wrong? What if we embarrass ourselves or others because we've misread the signals?
So how should we deal with these indicators of potential violence?
These feelings are a powerful message from your subconscious telling you to be on guard. Somewhere during your past, traits being displayed caused your flight, fight, or freeze response to become active. My advise is to listen to your intuition and to give these feelings the same respect that you would the more obvious physical indicators such as clenched fists and aggressive posturing.
Maintain an increased level of situational awareness when contact is necessary with individuals who give you the creeps and claim your personal space.
As always, be aware, be safe!
Blind spots are all around you. What's the best way to approach one?