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In the previous self-defense tip, I discussed benefits and gave a warning about the limitations of self-defense instruction from a full-contact sports system, such as boxing, judo, or wrestling. In this issue you will learn about some alternative to these systems from Mr. Ron Beaubien, former editor of “The Martial Arts Consumer Protection Site.”
Here is what he says: “I believe there are also some private self-defense schools in the states and courses offered at community centers teaching self-defense. These would be the best choice in my opinion. `Model Mugging’ is one of these systems for rape prevention, and it has apparently received some recognition. (See: Defend Yourself!: Every Woman’s Guide to Safeguarding Her Life by Matt Thomas, Larry Strauss, Denise Loveday. New York: Avon Books, 1995.) Many of these private schools and community centers do provide full-contact training. There are problems with these kind of schools and self-defense courses as well, however. Some instructors of these schools may be very good and highly qualified. Others may be teachers of karate or a similar art just looking for a way to make extra money, who don’t really have the experience of other systems needed to teach an effective self-defense class. There are also those who always wanted to run a martial arts school but never became proficient enough in any art to be allowed to teach and open up their own school and so had to resort to opening a `self-defense’ school instead. I have met people in all three categories.
“There are some qualities that I thought should be included in self-defense courses (i.e., personal awareness, mental training, physical training, muscle development, full contact experience, techniques geared for modern combat on the streets, weapons training, a concern for what works over any kind of tradition, and legal advice.) When you are looking for a self-defense instructor, [look for] certification that covers these. An instructor who has been trained and certified by many different well-known groups that teach self-defense would be best. (Maybe the Lethal Force Institute for the use of guns, Executive Security International for their bodyguard training to learn awareness and how to escape, maybe Model Mugging for rape prevention.) I am not specifically vouching for any of these organizations, but they are well-known programs.”
Here are addresses for Model Mugging, Lethal Force Institute, and Executive Security International:
Model Mugging Self-Defense
1502 Foothill Blvd. Ste 103-202
La Verne, CA 91750
Lethal Force Institute
P.O. Box 122
Concord, NH 03302-0122
Executive Security International
Gun Barrel Square
2128 Railroad Ave.
Rifle, Colorado 81650
There are other reputable organizations in the United States that run self-defense courses. Many of these organizations are listed at: http://www.aware.org.
“In general, some schools are better than others in my opinion. I think it is pretty safe to assume that a school that specializes in training people for self-defense would be better than, say, a course taught at a small local martial arts school. By this I mean that a large national nonprofit group has more resources available than Kim’s Taekwondo school on the corner.”
For your defense moves to work under stress they must be based on your natural, instinctive reactions, require little strength and limited range of motion, and be proven in fighting experience.
To learn how your natural reactions can instantly defeat any unarmed attack, see the video Basic Instincts of Self-Defense.
Defend Against Weapons
To defend against weapons you have to know how they are used. Also—every stick has two ends … the weapon of attack may become a weapon of defense in your hand …
To learn how the typical street weapons (club, knife, razor) are used by an experienced streetfighter and how to practice with them, see the video Self-Defense: Tools of attack—Club, Hatchet, Blackjack, Knife, Straight Razor.
Staying cool under pressure is more important for self-defense than being physically fit and technically skilled. If you can’t control your mind what can you control?
To learn mental techniques that let you calmly face any threat and act rationally in the heat of a fight, click here.
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