This is a continuation of the tip no. 14 on selecting a self-defense system. Essential information for this issue’s tip was provided by Mr. Jazz Gill, instructor of Southern Praying Mantis Kung-Fu, Slough, Great Britain, and Mr. Ron Beaubien, former editor of “The Martial Arts Consumer Protection Site.”
Be suspicious of schools that claim ancient Asian lineage but allow anyone to join, because most ancient Asian systems are very selective in admitting students. Some examine thoroughly a prospective student, many require introduction, some ancient Japanese systems are by invitation only. For most Chinese systems, if the individuals manage to find the school, they are admitted only if the teachers consider them trustworthy.
A case in point: A Japanese system with a fancy-sounding name ending in ryu that allows walk-ins warrants deep caution. Ryu is a feudal term that can be approximately translated as “a martial tradition, perpetuated by a line of headmasters, with its members protected by Shinto gods.” (There are a few legitimate karate systems that have ryu in their name, such as Wado-ryu, Shito-ryu, Goju-ryu, but these are exceptions.) Now, think just how likely it is for a foreigner, not being of the Japanese warrior-class, to learn an ancient warrior art. According to Ron Beaubien, in the United States legitimate schools of ancient Japanese systems “are very, very hard to find. They are limited to a handful of instructors who have been given teaching ranks and have been given permission to open a school (usually limited to a three or four students). Basically all these instructors know each other and have lived in Japan for close to 10 years or more each.”
To find out whether a given school truly teaches a classical Japanese martial art you can contact Japanese Classical Martial Arts Promotion Society (Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai).
The address is:
Nihon Kobudo Shinkokai
Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-0002, Japan
Here is what Mr. Ron Beaubien says about this organization: “This organization is run entirely by the different classical organizations themselves. Membership is restricted to classical schools that have applied and have been accepted (i.e., their teachers’ ranks and the history of the school has been verified by the organization’s board of directors) here in Japan. They primarily deal with the headmasters and students of the classical schools in Japan. Some of the individual schools within the Shinkokai may have branches overseas, but students training overseas are not members of the Shinkokai. The organization likewise does not provide any information about any of the branch schools the individual schools may have to people asking about them.”
The subject of selecting a self-defense system will continue in the next tip.
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.
For a complete list of our products, click here.