Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Humiliating Enemies, and other forms of Self Defense

The internet has accelerated the promiscuous proliferation of all sorts of opinion masquerading as expert advise. The scariest ones are those with just enough conventional wisdom to hook the listener and lead them to believe that the rest is likely true. Here's the one I've found today. Note that I'm not creating a clickable link to this, as I don't want to lend it credence by association (or higher Google rankings by external links).

The title of this page is "Get Tips on How to Humiliate Your Enemies Right Here with Female Self Defense Techniques."

As a self-defense instructor, I am all in favor of everyone having the skills to defend themselves and their loved ones in case of assault. However, I have a few issues with this particular presentation.
  1. Start with the title. If you're concerned with "humiliating your enemies," this is no longer self-defense. In a court of law, that could make a big difference, and not in your favor.
  2. Again, the title. There's really no such thing as "female" self-defense techniques. Yet many writers continue to ascribe gender: "punches" are male and "pinches" are female, for instance. Fighting skills aren't male or female. In reality, skilled fighters of any gender know which techniques work for their strengths.
  3. According to this article's intro, you should learn self-defense because the rate of violent crime has purportedly increased "500% in the last 20 years." No. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the rate of violent crime across the United States has gone DOWN in the last 20 years, not up.
  4. Finally, as a self-defense teacher, I can tell you the 3 points listed here are easier to say than do. Keeping calm under duress often requires practice, finding nerve centers on a moving person takes practice, and getting the speed and coordination to execute a quick arm lift and kick takes . . . you guessed it . . . practice. As any teacher of anything will tell you, telling ain't training and training ain't performance.
Few things are more humiliating than trying to execute a "sure-fire" knockout and finding your opponent not just totally unaffected, but laughing as he slams you to the ground. At that point, however, humiliation is probably the least of your worries. Readers, do yourselves a favor. Take a class. Practice.

If you're in the Puget Sound area, I've got some classes coming up in July, or view this listing any time for what's upcoming.

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