Women's Self-Defense

CONSCIOUS DEFENSE

WRITINGS BY ELLIOTT D. DERZAPH:



Auto safety.
     Autos provide a good bad situation. They are a thing of value so some people like to take them away from others. If someone wants to take your car let them. You health and safety and life are worth way more than that piece of steel. But the good thing about a car is it can provide you with a very powerful weapon. A man, a knife and many other weapons don’t compare to a car. Besides using it to fight against an attacker they are extremely useful in getting away. If someone pulls a weapon on you and you are in a car you can drive away. If they are using a weapon to threaten you from getting away you may have to use the car to nudge them out of the way. Then you quickly drive to someplace safe.
     To keep you and those you care about safe with a car you do need to be vigilant. You need to pay attention where you park, if you go to your car by yourself, if your car is parked next a van especially if someone is in that van. Keep in mind more people get attacked in parking lots than any other location. If it doesn’t look safe or feel safe get help... do not fight against your instinct. Call a friend, a security guard, a business owner, call your family or parents. Those who care about you would rather come and help than find out some other bad news.
     And keep items in your car and with you to help in case of a surprise assault. The glove box and your purse can keep a variety of items to help you.


Our steps... the 4 A’s
     AWARENESS... ASSERTIVENESS... AGGRESSION... ACTION. These for words encompass our basic mindset in our training. Your primary task is to stay aware at all times and especially if something appears to be out of order. You then must move asserting your position in whatever way helps your situation. Be it leave, run, tossing keys or valuables or an alarm or negotiating. If this doesn’t solve your problem then you must immediately shift to your next line of defense... aggression. Aggression is what gives you the power you need to face violence. Aggression gives you an equal standing to violence. It shifts you from just standing up for your rights to fully committing yourself to defend yourself at all costs. Then a split second later you have one choice if they aren’t stopping or backing away with their potential assault you must act. Act in the form of motion. A very aggressive motion at your attacker. That action does not stop until the attacker stops moving anywhere in your direction. Immediately check no one else is around to also attack you. Too often attackers have backups. And yes you must do to them whatever you did to the first one... stop them in their tracks with whatever it takes. Then quickly get to a safe place. 


Street fighting.
     Though very brutal at times street fighting is a reality one might encounter. Though, I have taken martial arts and other forms of fighting most of my life there is nothing like street fighting. In all forms of fight training you have restrictions and controls on all you do. And for a very good reason. If everyone taking training was to really even try to hurt other people who are taking training with you you would have most students being damaged most of the time. Due to the guidelines used in training to fight you are holding back, not using anything close to your potential, not hurting the other person or visa-a-versa and as soon as someone is injured or tired or whatever the training normally comes to a halt and things are improved to ensure the safety of all.
     In real life you have no guidelines, restrictions, controls or any help. When someone attacks on the streets they are not going to hold back and they are going to give it their all right up front. Now that is unless they are drunk or under the influence of drugs or scared or have decided not to fight like a street fighter. A street fighter is going to use all his force to take you down as fast and hard as he can. He didn’t come there to spar or play or have a friendly fight or scuffle. He is their to hurt you to damage you to injure you and does not care about your life.
     If you are fighting with a street fighter he will is going to hit you by surprise, not stop hitting you until you are down and may still keep pounding or kicking you with his body and whatever he can get a hold of to beat you down. Remember he does not care if you go to the hospital or die as long as he isn’t hurt.
     Now, street fighters aren’t always looking for a fight but if you get into a fight with one you better try to get out of it before any punches fly or if you have to fight you better give it your maximum or you will be laying bloody on the ground.
     One of the key differences with a street fighter is he is unpredictable, doesn’t want to get beat and will normally try to knock you out by hitting first and/or with as much power as he can muster up. Even if his first punch is after your first attempt or punch his will be swift and powerful. Street fighters or attackers normally never fool around.


Self-Defense in your repertoire
     To aid you in whatever challenge or task at hand you can use the principles of self-defense. The concept of self-defense is a program to teach you to be aware of your surroundings. Who can’t benefit from that! It is estimated that awareness can keep you out of almost any problem. The key is how aware you are when unexpected situations arrive. This is a challenge all beings have to deal with. No one is 100% aware or even close to it. So, the idea is to continually refine your ability to be aware and through your growth of awareness you reduce you amount of conflict coming upon you unexpectedly. As well as coming up with a solution when those frightening situations arise.
     We all can benefit by taking the next step in self-defense training and that is to assert ourselves when needed. Who has not been in many situations where the only real solution is to stand up for your rights or those of others. Those who take from others depend on those they wish to oppress to be passive. They use intimidation in some form to take advantage. It is up to each of us to find the path to assert our abilities to deal with the potential pushy people.
     Aggression has been given a bad rap... especially in relationship to how women utilize this aspect of a life choice. Aggression can be used for good and bad. When defending yourself you have to be aggressive to deal with someone who also is aggressive after you pass a certain point in your interactions where they refuse to not stop being aggressive. Once being pushed against the wall you must make an instant decision to fight violence with violence. Yes, it is very unfortunate we must deal with some people like this but it is a reality we must deal with. When life calls upon you to survive at times it means you go from assert to aggression.
     The final step takes place a split second after the aggression choice is made. And that is to take action utilizing your self-defense training. Putting the knowledge into action. Without one second of delay. In violent situations it is who is first with the most violent action who will fair the best. Fancy footwork means nothing. It is who gets the most powerful exacting hit that determines who walks away. Along with never giving up. When someone is being violent with you it means they very likely will cause you tremendous harm, cripple you, break you or even kill you. Legally and morally you have the right to stop those who bring violence into your life. Stopping your violence while using self-defense before you are safe is not a solution in self-defense. Fight until you are free. Fight until you are safe.


​High Alert.
     What exactly is high alert? It is a sense. It is intuition. It is awareness. Learning to listen to you gut. When something looks or feels out of order immediately pay greater attention to it. Whenever you find yourself in what appears to be out of sorts or out of place or incongruent. Turn up the volume of attention of awareness. Your survival dynamic is warning you if you are willing to pay attention. True it does not always mean something is wrong... but it could meant that... so pay attention.
     Expect to raise your alert status whenever you enter unknown situations. Or those unfamiliar environments. Do not let your comrades your ego your laziness turn down or turn off your ability to being conscious of your surroundings. Learn to balance your awareness. Adaptability is the key. Knowing how to flow with a situation is as important as adapting. You can enjoy new situations but you must stay conscious.
     This is where people like family and friends come in very handily. We care about each other. We have different life experiences and we can alert one another when things are not what they should be for us to be safe. Though we do not like to consider the fact that we are creatures in a world with an infinite amount of other creatures all with not the same agenda, intelligence, emotional evolution, cares or choices of how to work together or resolve our problems. Antennas... up and on.


​Become your own defense system.
     We can utilize all sorts of weapons from items created for that use and even ones that were not. As an example a fork was not intended as a weapon but in a pinch it makes for a very useful weapon. Many things we have around us can be used for an alternate purpose like self-defense. The greater your awareness and training the greater options you open up for yourself.
     Once you have been trained in self-defense you have that useful tool with you at all times. Being able to read allows you at all times to use that training whenever wherever. And there are so many examples of tools humans have created and refined give us a great many benefits. Some tools require you to bring those physical items with us... like a hammer. Knowing how to use a hammer without having a hammer doesn’t mean as much but it definitely lets you use the concept in new forms.
     Knowing self-defense gives you the tool that goes wherever you go. It is available the moment you need it. But you have to use it immediately upon it being required. You will not have time to go search for it or get the your courage up. You must turn the switch as soon as it is needed. It is like knowing how to fall to the ground. You need that ability while falling. Self-defense training gives you a life-saving asset to use when needed.


Family training.
     One of the advantages to having other members of your family taking some form of self-defense is you have a built in defense and support system. Having someone who is regularly available to train with, refine your practice and be the constant reminder to avail yourself of each other to do something that is an asset to both of you as well as anyone around you.
     It may never happen where your skills are needed to defend yourself but having them in those emergencies can truly change your life and those around you. Think of the value you provide yourself as well as family and friends if you have a readily available skill that can be instantly applied in an emergency.
I try to train everyone in my family and extended family to utilize my training whenever they are needing or just want to refresh what they have been taught. Even if only in those brief 15 minute refreshers are very helpful.
     When an emergency arises... say like the ones that happen in my part of the country... that is California where we have regular disaster from earthquakes to fires to landslides on a very regular basis. The time to prepare is well before say an earthquake hits. If you are not prepared for the quake before it hits you may not fair well at all. No water or food or shelter. Even a very minor preparations can make a huge difference.
     The type of preparation you take for natural disasters or the training you take to learn how to use any tool common used in our society is worth the time and effort to learn. And of course learning to use it before you really need it.


Women in the family
     It use to be enough to have some strong man available to you at home like a father or in a relationship like a partner to protect women against those who wish them harm. But society has changed so much recently. The simple fact that most women now-a-days work outside the home to provide family or personal income and the situations where your partner causes harm.
     With this new dynamic now being the norm it is more often that women can be in harms way. The unfortunate reality is there are men out there who think of women as second class citizens or think women should stay at home and take care of the home and kids or the misogynist who just hate women for whatever reason they have come to believe about half the world population.
     These situation behoove women to now take the initiative and learn tools that keeps them able to function in our society without putting themselves in harm. Simple things like knowing how to drive, change a tire or who to contact when your car breaks down are essential to keep you safe. We all know to well that there are people in our society waiting to pounce upon a woman when they come upon her and she is uncertain of how to deal with an disordered environment in its many forms.


Why condensed Self-Defense workshops.
     I get asked all the time by both women and men why teach a condensed self-defense workshop? Simply for necessity. In our very over-booked society with so many things demanding our attention it isn’t easy to put on your agenda a long term commitment in training. Many will not commit themselves because of time or money or both.
     A tool is a tool is a tool. Yes, long term training in any asset especially a valuable asset is better for most people. But, if all you can afford to do is take a few hours and a few dollars to learn to use a life saving tool - do it.
     I would far rather see women learn a few basics skills that can make the difference of being assaulted in its many forms then be completely deprived of such an essential skill. Learning how to defend yourself is not long and complex. Yes, practice is very valuable. That is why I tell all my students if possible train with a friend or family member so that after your class you can have someone to help keep your training up.
     I also tell all students they can come back at anytime for a refresher course whenever needed at a very reasonable price. Plus I do not turn anyone away due to their inability to pay. I find ways to include them in my workshops and if there are enough of them I create a class just for them. 
The key item is that is far more important to know a few ways to use a tool like self-defense the very first day of your training instead of taking weeks or months or years to really have a functional ability to tackle a self-defense situation.


Keep you body healthy, active and fluid. 
     A healthy body serves you in so many ways it would take a book to list all of them. Most people are somewhat to quite aware that a healthy body gives you an asset useful for the rest of your life. How you keep healthy matters little. You want to swim, walk, dance, bike or do any of the almost infinite amount of available activities to most of us. Anyone in denial of the benefit a fit body is just ignoring a healthy existence and is working against themselves.
     I have some friends who work out every day. I have others who simply go for a walk 15 minutes a day. Still others that do everything possible not to allow their mind including their emotions to take on any type of destructive thinking. All of these forms seem to work to keep the body healthy and adaptable to challenges.
     One of the key components my teacher many years ago taught me was that human bodies were built to be fluid. And what does that mean? If you do not keep your body parts active to some degree then atrophy sets in. And anyone who has allowed that to happen to them - knows it. I have known people who have parts of their body shut down because of lack of use and it was very painful. The only way they improved was to get that part of their body active again.


Practice awareness.
     Practicing awareness to me is the essential skill in all of life. So, it certainly is essential when knowing how to defend yourself. I can think of no better practice for all of life other than the practice of awareness. Everything in life improves with the practice of awareness.
     Now the practice is not easy but it is simple. It is the art of putting your attention as clearly as you are able in what you are doing right now this very moment. Every moment in your life is valuable. Every moment you practice awareness adds value to your life. Every moment of awareness puts you into a better world.
     Another way to look at it is as ignorance or not knowing which is of little value. Ignoring a problem will never solve it. Stupidity or refusing to correct a disorder though you know it is an error is useless. Blaming others for disorder in your life never works and has a self-ostracizing effect.
Self-reflective awareness improves your ability to think and increases your self-worth by leaps and bounds.
     Need help with your awareness? Learn from the many great minds that have come before us and ask qualified people for guidance. And practice practice practice.
     With self-defense your training and learning to be aware of your environment can mean the difference of life or death. Awareness of your environment can keep you safer than any other training or any weapon possibly could. Being aware lets you see those things you need to see to avoid getting into harms way.


Free from vulnerability for life.
     Learning gives you an advantage over many situations. Knowing how to read as an example lets you understand and deal with literally millions of things in our society and world. Knowledge decreases your vulnerability in many many situations. Simply it is hard to con a person who has knowledge in the area you are trying to be conned in. Even related areas become easier for you to see a con once you know how things work.
     The tools you use in your life give you access to a myraid of solutions. Education or training or whatever you call the gathering of knowledge or experience in your life makes you deal more effectively in things minor to major.
     Training in any particular area gives you the insight necessary to solve any challenge or necessity you come upon or at least puts you on the right track. When you know what to do when someone wishes to do you harm can stop things even before you are in even a slight bit of jeopardy. By you taking training in self-defense you awaken yourself to know what is needed to get done prior to the problem arising. You can even tell before stepping to far in a negative direction that you are going the wrong way. It lets you know if you continue down this path you will probably enter into a more problematic situation. And it also gives you the ability to do something well beyond freezing from ignorance or fear.


Security guidelines.
     When you talk about security you need to be all encompassing. What does that mean? Wherever you go you should have a way to feel secure. It should not matter if you are at work, shopping, sleeping, walking, hiking in the woods, dating or any other situation you can think of. You need to know how to be safe. Self-defense items are only part of the picture. You need to know environments, the people you are with and if the environment has its own security built in or you need to provide your own. 
     At home you can have a security system for a quite reasonable price now-a-days. Also, have someone you trust check to see that all accesses to your home are secure. When you are most vulnerable sleeping you should have some special easily accessible items next to your bed. And learn how to recognize how to turn many items lying around your home and how they can become weapons for your defense and offense if needed.
     In your car you should always carry something in the glove box or somewhere else close by for you to easily access. Keep in mind your car itself is a huge weapon and a way for you to escape. Always carry on your body something that can be used for defense no matter how simple or compact it may be.
     Whatever place you find yourself from walking down the street, to heading to your car in a parking garage or hiking through the wild you should always carry a legal weapon. You may never need it in your life but if you do and you don’t have when needed... it is too late. Weapons are like hammers or screwdrivers which you learn to use and use when needed.
     Yes, it is unfortunate we live in a world and in this day and age where we must think about carrying a weapon. Though until we no longer need locks on our doors you will need a weapon. Yes, that day will come but do not hold your breath.


Guides to weapons training and self-defense items.
     It is key to learn how to use any weapon you choose to help with your defense. Proper training with any weapon increase your odds tremendously. That is if you really know how to handle the weapon in your possession. This entails the pros and cons of each. Its strengths and weaknesses. I do know any item sold for defense that does have some type of instruction in its use. And with today's internet you can easily find hordes of instruction in their use. Keep in mind the more complex and/or powerful the weapon the more training I recommend. 
     Let us start with the use of a gun. A handgun in particular. Yes, it is a very good weapon for defense but you need to have more than adequate training to use this wisely and effectively. Go and get the best training you can afford. It is worth every penny. It is important knowing not just how to shoot it but how keep it and know when to use it and when not to use it. It takes your best thinking when handling firearms so alcohol or drugs should never ever be combined with weapon use.
     Self-defense items as those recommended by many in the martial arts field provide a very good resource for almost all situations. First and foremost you need to get proper training. Many items are very compact and should be revealed only upon impact to an assailant. You never want your attacker to know what you got until the very last second. Advance notice is to their benefit. The great thing about the varied defense items is they come in all forms and are usually quite affordable for the average person to own even a few of them.


Break free and escape.
     Whatever situation you find yourself in if it is or will be hazardous to your health... get the hell out of there the sooner the better. As soon as you find you are in danger it is in your best interest to find a way to escape immediately. Before someone ties you up, drugs you or beats you is when you have the most strength and control. Breaking free may be as simple as immediately running faster than you ever have in the past. If held onto maybe breaking free by knowing the weak points on the body to free yourself. Or, maybe a quick hit or two or three first to the right locations to ensure your release and exit.
     This mindset is highly important if you are dealing with being captured say on the street and someone is trying to put you into a vehicle and take you somewhere else. Since the statistic for surviving being transported somewhere else is so low I along with most professionals recommend fight like hell to get away before entering the vehicle. And yes, you might endure some injury and pain but a lot less than if you get taken somewhere more remote and controlled by the attacker.


Rolls and falls.
     One of the very first instructions you learn in many fighting styles especially with martial arts training is how to fall and roll. The reason for this becomes immediately evident when taking training. Though I think every one of us should learn how to roll and fall at a very early age. When you are young you are more adaptable and less afraid so learning is quicker. It is easily evident when taking sports that knowing how to land with your body is invaluable whenever it leaves its normally safe perpendicular walking position.
     I unfortunately have personally seen people who have no idea on how to deal with losing their balance and falling. I also have seen what happens when people being pushed forward or backward and not immediately responding with the basic knowledge of what to do with their body and get hurt. The number of injuries to people especially as they age would be cut drastically if people had this basic knowledge of knowing what to do when falling, slipping or being pushed to the ground.
     When it comes to learning how to fall there are different ways. Let us say you can feel your self heading towards the ground from feeling dizzy to losing your balance. I suggest learning to let your body just crumble to the ground. Basically you are letting your body go straight down like you see professionals do with controlled explosions. They go straight down. Now when your body collapses down as far as it can in the vertical position you then allow your body to fall either on your left side or right side and tuck your chin to your chest. If you can use your hands to help out fine but if not you will fare a lot better than tipping over from a standing position and hitting the ground.
     Now rolls take a bit more training. Though still quite simple. If you are falling say forward or being pushed if you just put out your hands your body may still be traveling a little too fast and cause damage to your hands, your face also if you don’t turn your head sideways on the way down will cause your nose to break and lastly if your do not slow down enough when your body hits the ground you will loose all your air very quickly and painfully.
     So, what to do? If you can you use your arms like shock absorbers to slow down the body before it hits the ground that helps quite a bit. But what works really well is let your self do a somersault but go over your shoulder instead of your head which will keep your spine from getting damaged. You can learn how to fall no matter what direction your body heads towards the ground.


Offense and defense.
     Offense is a term you probably hear most in sports. Why is it important to know about? Offense is half of the solution for self-defense. Offense is the part of self-defense where you move away from pausing and of course defending and shifting to an active solution. By active I mean a full blown aggressive resolution. Offense can come after a long defense position or almost instantly. You have no guarantee when or how someone will decide to shift into a more aggressive or violent or offensive position with you.
     Defense is always helpful and necessary. You must first determine that what you are experiencing is a threat to you and what might be an appropriate response equal to the challenge at hand. Sometimes just clearly and loudly saying ‘stop’ does the trick. Sometimes some push back like being assertive will help calm, slow down or deter an offending person. Negotiating quite often could come into play.
     Though at times it may take seconds or micro-seconds where you must determine your next move. If someone moves into an offense position with you you have the right to defend yourself. Though you need conscious thought because you need to respond equal to the level of push, aggression or offense coming your way. The law requires you do this or you will be considered the aggressor.


Training is slow, accurate and repetitive.
     With self-defense you want the training to methodical, simple and practicable. Taking the slow road when being trained gives you the opportunity to see and think through the process so you can understand exactly what is happening. Doing a few simple tactics exceeds in a training process.
     First and foremost you have the opportunity to be accurate. Learning a few things with accuracy benefits you beyond any training that offers hordes of training but has you rush through so you do not get the basics of each. It is far better to know a handful of simply trained methods. I have seen too many students who know sort of how to do things and lucky if they have one or two training items they actually really know how to apply.
     If you haven’t noticed yet in life... repetition is what most of use to learn new things especially those things that are not our number one interest in life. The process of repetition allows you to repeat a task so both your mind and body finds a rhythm that works. Muscle memory is something used in Olympics, law enforcement and sports like martial arts. What Conscious Defense strives for is to add the benefit of conscious thought which ups your abilities far further than any other process.


Negotiate and de-escalate conflicts.
     Negotiating is part of life and I would dare to say daily life. Every person we meet we are negotiating something or other. We interact with family, neighbors, co-workers, people on the street or on the road, friends and on and on. So, that brings up the point exactly how good are we at negotiating with all those people? Well whatever level you are at I am sure there is room for improvement. Why improve? Again because we do it constantly and why not be good at something that is affecting your life daily.
     De-escalating conflicts is an essential skill for all women but even more helpful for females who have to deal with misogyny in many areas of their life among other limiting thought processes they encounter. If you are at work or play being able to take people who have allowed themselves to become subservient to either their emotions or their physical drives matters not. It pays big dividends to be the one who brings down powerful out-of-control mindsets to an actual possible state where a solution is probable. 
     When using your negotiating skills to de-escalate conflicts you must move from a weak position while being assertive and firm but not aggressive yet prepared. It is a step process by being assertive and firm you awaken the person pushing that your position is not a pushover. By not being aggressive and yet prepared you keep your strengths close at hand. So, for some reason the verbal method of changing the dynamic of a situation does not occur you are ready to defend yourself with a more powerful, aggressive and life-saving approach.


Dating boundaries.
     Whoever thought at this date and time women would have to still be wary of going on a date. It is quite insane that we still have such aggression and violence still in too many dates that unfortunately can lead to abusive treatment and rape. Though it is every man’s responsibility to change their interactions with other humans in society in an evolutionary fashion. Or otherwise be more responsible for your actions. You no longer can blame others for your inability to grow up and realize you cannot use force of any kind in a relationship just to satisfy your needs.
     Yes, I have read many documents talking about our evolution. Man has been aggressively honed for millions of years to survive the hostile environment humans have been in and that includes today’s world. Even today we have many wars, conflicts, fighting going on all around us with many different reasons. At the same time though we have been socializing and heading towards being civilized for almost the same amount of time. We have known for tens of thousands of years that interdependence works way better than everyone for themselves.
     Even with that women need to set boundaries in what they allow in their world and they need to stay conscious. Staying conscious means not being taken in by that which 'shines' in our world: like a very handsome guy, a very rich guy, a very charming guy, a funny or entertaining guy, and on and on. Millions of women have been 'taken in' or victimized by guys like this who turn out to be 'users' only or psychopaths. Women really need to be 'forewarned'!
     So what are we saying... until you really get to know someone keep your guard up, keep your awareness keen and do not let a male perform an act that convinces you to go his way before you are sure you want to go that way no matter what the subject. I know enough women to be thoroughly convinced that women can do whatever they want in this life. So, do not let a little charm in whatever form manipulate you away from you being true to yourself.


Defending from your back on the ground.
     Many people might think or say this is one of the worst positions to be in when attacked. Yes... but only to a degree. Of course you do not want to end up on the ground. Though with your back on the ground it is actually a lot better than being face down on the ground. Face down is a very challenging position to deal with an attacker. Though there isn’t any position you should give up from. Even with you face down on the ground you can do things with your legs, hands, elbows and head.
     Here we want to look at what are the strong points when you find yourself on the ground. First if you can get up off the ground that is best, if you can’t get up from being face down flip over so you have your back on the ground. Why? Have your back firmly against the ground then get your hands close and in front of your body. And most importantly have your legs bent so the bottom of your feet are on the ground about shoulder width apart. This position will give you the best defense from being on your back on the ground.
     The reason to have your body in the position we just described is you are now able to spin on your back using your feet to keep your attacker in front of your feet. The reason is your legs are 3 to 4 times stronger than your arms. In this position you not only can be ready for the attacker coming at you but you are in the best defense in having your body in a position to cause the most damage to your attacker. With your legs you can kick the attacker in their knees, groin, ribs, head or whatever gets close enough. Though it is key not to give away your attack until the last second then you thrust your feet with the use of your leg muscles as hard as you can into the attacker and do it over and over into whatever part of the body you can reach. And do not stop until you can easily get up to fight from the standing position or to get out of there.


A new mindset.
     Turning yourself around from being afraid to fighting for your life is definitely a mindset worth having. Taking a step toward facing your fears and allowing yourself to go from a safe place to aggression with full force is a mental gymnastic needed. Though only for your survival. Otherwise, you are what is called a loose canon... wreaking havoc on yourself others and the world.
     The only way to this transition is with a sane state of mind, discipline and training. Your focus has to be on why are you making this transition. Simple... life. Either yours or a loved one. This is not to be taken in stride. This is a huge step to take. But in this world we still have too many people that have little or no caring or concern about other people’s lives. This circumstance is what makes this new mindset a necessity. Maybe in the future at some time all humans will evolve beyond this primitive uncaring mindset. It is only a small percentage of our society that still keep most of us behind locked doors almost all of our lives but a very dangerous group.
     Make a conscious decision to transition from running scared to facing fear itself. It is amazing how much your life changes when you do what is necessary to turn the tide from fear by getting the knowledge you need. Turn in the old fear based state to knowing that if you need to you can do what is necessary to survive an attacker.

You are learning self evident fighting skills.
     Our innate self somewhat similar to our primordial self has knowledge. The difference between the two is our innate self has a memory ability that is quite unique and special. Our innate self has every memory available to it. Anything that has happened in your life is in your memory.
     Now some things took a lot of learning like to walk, math, driving, science, and on and on. But as an example - once you learned to walk and run you could adapt to smaller side skills like skipping. In literally minutes most people can learn to skip. And there are many examples of this in our lives. Once you learn the basic structure of something you can formulate your past skills to refine a new one.
     Fighting skills are part of our memories. In men it is allowed throughout our lives to display. Fighting is easy. Doing it well is more of a challenge. Though if you are healthy, know some forms of movements from sports, dance, yoga or other body rhythms you can do it easier than not knowing any of these. Fortunately, most women have experience in some form of body movements. So, when you put that innate memory with basic body rhythms together you are very close to a solution. What to do next practice, practice, practice. Self-defense does not need a lot of fancy skills or movements. Knowing basics are the essentials to defending yourself.
     My favorite way to think of self-defense is thinking of it like a dance. If you let yourself go with the flow of the energy around you you will do well. The only difference is the flow of energy you do with self-defense is you are provided with a natural given solution and that is to flow right through an attacker to save your life by out doing their violence with yours.


Your Primal force is liberated to assist you.

     All life has a primal force. All life has a primordial essence. What is it all about. Simply... life. Life wants to live. No matter what form life takes it wants to keep living. It comes especially true when we are talking extinction. Life will adapt in unbelievable ways to be able to perpetuate. Life will take on a whole new totally different form to adapt and live.
     Just look around you. The diversity of the world is because of life wanting to live. Life adapts in every corner of this planet. It does not matter how hot or cold it is and life will be found. They even found an organism in the Siberian ice that was over million years old and when they slowly warmed the ice to become water the organism returned to life. Now that is some living.
     Now, this force is in all of us. If you allow yourself to release your force when needed in a life and death situation it will give you more strength and power than you could possibly image. The primal force will do everything in its power to keep you alive. The key here is to release the force when needed and only when needed. It will serve you well.


It is life-saving instruction.
     There really is only one reason to take up Self-Defense and that is for saving your life or someone else. It is not the kind of thing that you just do on a whim. You must stop and think about life to realize that self-defense is a very valuable usable tool to have in your repertoire. And it is one of those tools that you can have with you at all times. You know this is an immense asset for you and you definitely do not want to find a tool like self-defense at the last minute.
     I think of self-defense like I do about swimming. Yes, I enjoy a swim now and then but the main reason I took swimming lessons was in case of an emergency. It is a little late to be thinking about taking swimming lessons when you are already in the water. And just like swimming self-defense is a life saver.
     Another field that correlates well with this is first aid. First aid is an amazingly useful knowledge base to have at your disposal. But pretty tough on you if you have no idea of what to do in an emergency if you have no training at all. So, it does not matter where you live... get out there and find someone that will teach you how to defend yourself. It truly is a life-long skill that is a life-saver.


Visualization or Imagery.
     Practice practice practice. The way to do well is to utilize a tool that most of us are aware of... its called visualization. Visualizing anything of importance gives you a clarity and confidence otherwise unavailable. That is the reason why everyone from composers, musicians, actors, athletes, astronauts to orators or in fact anyone doing almost anything can benefit. Using your mind’s eye to see something clearly and then repeating that pattern in your mind is what greats in all fields do. Athletes in Sports and the Olympics especially make this obvious regularly.
     Simulating doing anything in its ultimate form gives you access to synchronize with your body and mind. Interestingly, your mind can’t tell the difference between real and imagined. So, doing your practice helps your body create a wonderful muscle memory which is very useful. Adding the visualization allows you to transfer the mental practice into physical actions increasing your performance capabilities.
     You can improve overall performance and excel at whatever discipline with your clear consistent thoughts. Even during physical downtime, you like athletes, can practice and improve. You can step through any scenario over and over to get it refined well beyond anything you can spend hours in the field trying. Your mental fine-tuning lets you oversee physical, mental and emotional challenges in a unified method not normally experienced in the physical-only world.

Jocelyn A. Hollander (a quote from)
     Learning self-defense empowers women in ways that go far beyond preventing assault. Self-defense training decreases women’s fear and anxiety and increases their confidence, their sense of self-efficacy, and their self-esteem. Learning self-defense helps women feel stronger and more confident in their bodies. Women report more comfortable interactions with strangers, acquaintances, and intimates, both in situations that seem dangerous and those that do not.

Laura L. Welch (quotes from)

     Everyone has a primitive instinct. It’s just a matter of tapping into it.; Women’s Self-Defense is not a martial art. It is educated street fighting.; The name of the game is survival.; There is no right or wrong style/technique. If it works, it’s a winner.; The most dangerous people are drugged, drunk and/or deranged.; If you are ever the victim of an abduction never let your abductor take you to another location.; Don’t escalate a situation.; Always have an exit strategy.


Anyone can learn the basics of hand to hand combat.

     What you may encounter or have encountered in your life is being confronted with another human being trying to overtake your body with their own body. When sometimes is using their physical body as a weapon against you you have to remember one thing. No matter the size of that person you are going to have to deter or stop them to the greatest degree possible of causing you harm.
     Thinking, instruction and training are the key components in dealing with a hand to hand attacker. As long as you keep your distance until absolutely necessary, remember size does not matter and act with survival force you will prevail. Hand to hand combat is quite likely going to cause some physical pain and possible injury. Your key solution it to act to your maximum degree of force without hesitation or consideration to get the job done.
     You must respond in hand to hand combat to the degree of the attack. You cannot fight using less than your all especially when someone is larger than you. Hand to hand combat is quick, powerful with a specific intention. You must provide your full attention. You must use all your force. And you must stay the course until you are free.


Miguel de Servantes. All that glitters.

     Miguel de Cervantes wrote one of the most celebrated novels in history: Don Quixote. Miguel had by most views lived a very interesting though by many views a bizarre life. He was seen pretty much as a fearless guy especially after being shot twice and fighting in multiple wars. In many circles he is considered the most famous Spanish writers of all time!
     Miguel wrote "All that glitters is not gold" which can be a reminder to us because staying conscious means not being taken in by that which 'shines' in our world: like a very handsome guy, a very rich guy, a very charming guy, a funny or entertaining guy, and on and on. Millions of women have been 'taken in' or victimized by guys like this who turn out to be 'users' only or psychopaths!! 
     Women really need to be 'forewarned'! The key to self-defense more than anything else is about awareness first. Learning the practises of predators of all kinds is to your advantage. Too many people play characters or roles like an actor that they use in interacting with others. It is a facade that is dangerous to the creator and those interacting with them. Though keep in mind lying or fabricating anything in order to maintain your life is always okay.


Halle Berry. Movie "Kidnap".

     Halle Berry in her recent 2017 interviews for her movie “Kidnap” has cautioned all women, and especially all mothers, to study self-defense to protect themselves and their children! Survival especially your own should be absolute when attacked personally or your children. Many mothers would do anything to save their children but do have the knowledge or skills.
     Halle’s advice was to: 'find the superhero inside yourself'. What that means is you can defend your children and yourself. Though it also means you must find and learn how to use the tools necessary to do the job properly.
     Halle is right with another point she made: ‘You can find and experience new strength in yourself that you did not realize you possess’. Your awareness, your efforts, your training and education of yourself and your loved ones will make all the difference in life and death situations.


Be afraid no more. Never fear again.
     Tough challenge. But a solution is at hand. Your focused attention to the world around you including all those you interact with or encounter is the key. Fear is based on our ignorance of a situation or problem or challenge. The lack of knowledge we have determines how we act and interact. Every moment in your life that you spend increasing your awareness pushes your fear from overcoming or disabling you in some way.
     Think of anything in life that you have studied. When you first started out you were uncomfortable, fearful, afraid, uncertain and maybe intimidated. But as you started down that road of knowledge things started to change. As you got more masterful the more ease you had in dealing with that subject in your life. Your fear no matter what form it is in should be about going from a state of ignorance to mastery. Never give up. Always forge on. Clear conscious thinking also known as awareness will always serve you well.


Proper guidance is the solution.
     When it comes down to learning anything in life it is important to do your research your homework and find the solution that works specifically for you. What are your needs and goals when it comes to your security? How hostile is your environment? How often are you afraid? Do you have any knowledge of the necessities of security and safety?
     Self-Defense encompasses a wide swath of necessary attention. Is your work environment safe? Are you safe in your home? Are you safe traveling to and from your home and work? Do you live in a dangerous area? Do you have family, friends or partners around to compliment or assist in your security and safety? All these and more questions should be thought about to find an overall solution.
     Always, go to the best professional source you can afford and get the best advice before taking action. Even with all the right tools, training, equipment, resources, friends and support you can never have too much of the key ingredient to your overall security and that is awareness. Continue at all times to hone your ability to become more and more aware. This single ingredient will benefit you more than any other investment in your safety.


Self-Protection for the rest of their lives. Protection for family and friends.

     My friend like he has so often done clarified the invaluable asset Self-Protection is in someone's life. The answer to or for Self-Protection is to remove that fear from their life forever! Education is an invaluable life long benefit. We forget at times but it is so true. Life experiences are part and parcel of education. Doing... where we utilized our brains and body in a uniform solution to a problem amasses ourselves forward solidified in our resolve when given half a chance.

     Self-Protection education springs one forward to a place beyond. Because it satisfies not only a current need but supplies us with a life long knowledge that often can be fully functional with a little reminder or practice or focused thought or allowing our innate self to express itself without limitations. But doing is the key. Step up... step forward... learn.


To go deeper - into life itself.

     I am always surprised when given the opportunity in life to leap forward. To face life. To challenge yourself. To go beyond the normal day to day situations and habituations. How unusual life is when you step up to the precipice and without excessive analysis of your challenge/problem you quickly make a decision to deal/confront what stares you in the face.

     Just like relationships our depth is essential to living a life of beyond normal. Sometimes our research overwhelms us to the point we become lethargic to the point of doing nothing or the very bare minimum. We know the level of depth we are in and we also know the level of apprehension to face ourselves. To go beyond. Our assets are our friends... male and female and every miniscule motion submerged into qualities of living make life truly thankful to live.


How safe you made me feel... no longer vulnerable.

     Wonderful words to hear from students. Though you do not always hear from students. When it happens you do appreciate it. I feel very thankful I was able to remove a level of fear we too often can feel living in this world. Maybe, we do not have fear, especially conscious fear, all the time but it is such a relief when we elevate ourselves above it. I remember how scared I was when I was being bullied as an example. The day I dropped my fear of bullies because of my training was like starting a new life.

     Being able to face your fears and challenge those areas that have held you back or down is awakening to a fuller life. I am so thankful I turned the corner and dealt with my fear in a constructive useful way that has helped me my whole life. Yes I know each step doesn't remove all fear or give us a bulletproof life. But it does allow one to enjoy this life a little better than ever before. Every step forward is invaluable to living life that is enriched.


The adrenaline rush is needed. It doubles your strength.

     Important to know what physical resource is available to you. Especially at points in your life when you life depends on it. Adrenaline is a powerful asset in defending yourself. Clearly know it... for it can make the difference in saving your life. If you need to you can read the many stories of great strength performed when under the influence of adrenaline. Size no longer matters when you have adrenaline. The caution in this is to know that adrenaline is maximizing your power but only for short periods of time. You must utilize your temporary extraordinary power or it will go to waste.

     The worst thing that can happen is to allow yourself to take all that power and turn it inward where it freezes your body in place and traps you from moving. The key is to know the power is there and you must choose to use it. One of the reasons i encourage my students, in a safe place, to let everything out and yell at the top of their lungs to open that aggressive portal we must enter to defend against aggressive behavior. It is sad but the reality is violence at times can only be stopped with violence. 


Awareness and Self-Defense.
     To excel at Self-Defense there is one major key in protecting you, saving you and helping you more than anything else and that is awareness. The more you are aware the less chance anyone can take advantage of you or cause you harm. Awareness takes discipline, focus and time. I assure every moment you refine your ability to be aware you produce a wealth of resource in your self-protection.
     Awareness is a life-long pursuit and pays big dividends. Awareness bleeds over to all areas of your life. Whenever you have a free moment refine your ability of observing all visual, auditory and emotional sensations around you. Practice engaging all your senses to aid your ability to be conscious of your circumstance.
     When you think about it – is there anything more important to you then knowing what is going on in the world around you especially anything that might affect you personally. Being blind or ignorant of the facts in life only appear to work. Lies are illusions but can never have the strength to be of value or benefit in the makeup of life. Denying reality being unaware can only impact your world and eventually produce failure.
     Awareness will always serve you well in comprehending our world and protecting you in your dealings of disorder as you must deal with when defending yourself.

Empower yourself. NOW!