Key Self-Defense for Vulnerable Women

Key Self-Defense for Vulnerable Women

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Expert Author Maurice Lorenz-Andree
Many years ago, long before I retired, I took up the Gentle Art of Judo, but my real passion had always been in the Art of Self-Defense. To be clear, Self-Defense is an Art and not just a random bag of tricks or individual techniques taken from other Martial Art Disciplines, DVD or the Internet, sadly many of these techniques failed on the Streets.
My real understanding on Self-Defense came when I was a member of 42 Commando Judo Club under D. Downton, 3rd Dan on the Island of Malta, during my RAF service in the late 1950s. This I thought would be the place where I would get a chance to assimilate some of their highly effective and lethal Self-Defense Techniques from the very best, the Royal Marine Commandos. I was really pumped up and ready to learn, except, it never happened in the way I thought it would.
Firstly, as a proficient Judoka I had already taken a one-to-one Self-defense course under a 4th Dan in London prior to my posting, It was a very intense and realistic course, I felt really confident, well, too cocky and too confident maybe. I was ready to demonstrate my Self-Defense (Judo) against these seasoned Commandos, and it was not soon after I joined that I was asked to demonstrate my Self-Defense, and was invited on the mat to stand against one of his Commando (Judo) Students. Little did I know that this was going to be my "Bad Day at Black Rock" - that famous Movie with Spencer Tracy?
At that point of time, I remember thinking that this demonstration shouldn't take me too long, the Commando Instructor gave a fair warning, the Commando would simulate a real street attack, and not a friendly one-to-one exchange as often demonstrated in a Dojo (Club). Unfortunately my defensive technique totally failed and I ended on my back, very shocked and very surprised and had this occurred on the street he could have followed up his attack by kicking me to death.
The main difference between Self-Defense as practiced in a Martial Art Dojo, and Self-Defense against a real attack on the street is that - On a street fight, there are no rules and no special techniques that he will use to attack his victim, it may just be a crude attack to get the victim on the ground, as in a surprise unexpected attack. Likewise, in a one-to-one exchange, the same 'No special techniques' or 'Specific skills' are used by the attacker, but as an added advantage, he may have a weapon as a threat or a means to bring his victim down. In most parts, he would have studied or picked his victim; here he must feel he is in control, feel he can successfully bring his victim down. Control is the key to his success, take that away from him and you would degrade his confidence, his ability to succeed - you are no longer the easy victim.
In a Dojo there are rules and they also adhere to a strict disciplines, the objective is not to hurt or maim your opponent, the object is to score a point by a throw, a submission or counter throw and the practice or the contest ends at that point. The atmosphere during this process is friendly & respectful - you show your respect for your opponent when you bow before and after the practice or contest. It is worth noting in a western Martial Art of boxing the opponents shake hands at the beginning of the fight and then proceed to knock seven bells of shit out of each other; one of the rules is that you can intervene & throw in the towel to stop one from killing the other. In my opinion, a boxer's aggressive Mind-Set and attacking skills and his sole purpose of hurting and battering his opponent to submission may in many circumstances, be ideal in a one-to-one exchange on the street; it is in sole contrast to the practicing Martial Art Student, but boxing would of course not be an ideal choice for a female Self-Defense Student.
As in all things, knowledge is not enough. You will need to practice your chosen Self-Defense system or tactics - you couldn't learn to drive a car from a DVD or book.
In my next article I will tell you why my Self-Defense failed against this Commando and the difference between Self-Defense in a Dojo and Self-Defense on the street. It will totally change your perception of Self-Defense, and how you could react to an extremely vicious and violent attacker at home or on the street.
To all Moms' be safe and teach your daughter how to be safe too.

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