Stay Safe: Why Learning Self-Defense Isn’t Enough

“Stay safe” has become one of the most popular sentiments recently offered to friends and family alike. But how often do we consider exactly what that means?

Everyone wants to experience the comfort of knowing that they are doing everything they can to protect themselves and the ones they love. But how can we take action to ensure that is true? An obvious answer would be to take a self-defense class to learn some basic techniques. Most people would consider this is a great solution. Unfortunately, experts agree that a person who attends a single self-defense class is no more prepared to protect themselves against targeted violence than a person who has no training at all.

Surprised? Here’s how we think about it…

Self-Defense Is Reactive

Self-defense is used in response to an unprovoked attack. This means that, by definition, self-defense is reactionary. Unfortunately, reacting appropriately to an attack isn’t as easy as the movies may portray. When a person feels threatened, fine motor skills are compromised and critical thinking is challenged due to a spike in adrenaline. It is extremely rare that a person will “rise to the occasion” and successfully ward off an attack with ease. What’s more likely, in fact, is that a person will default to the level of their training, especially under the influence of adrenaline stress. Often, the best self-defense moves are simple, fast, and easy to recall. Understandably, any self-defense techniques must be consistently practiced to be utilized successfully.

Comprehensive training is critical to being prepared to save a life. The American Heart Association requires at least four hours of CPR training in order to be considered certified to practice this life-saving activity successfully. Likewise, investing several hours a year in training how to properly defend yourself in the event of a violent attack is imperative.

A common misconception is that once you’ve successfully defended yourself and escaped the violent encounter, it’s over. However, it’s important to consider the legal, ethical, and moral implications of using self-defense. Because of this, understanding reasonable force and developing self-control through continuous training is absolutely critical.

Self-Protection Is Proactive

At Invictus Martial Arts, we educate our members on the importance of understanding the distinction between self-defense and self-protection. Unlike self-defense, an attack does not have to occur in order to practice self-protection, making it proactive. For example, we’ve all applied protective sunscreen before hitting the beach, right? Of course! There are ways to proactively stay safe before a threat of violence presents itself.

It all starts with informed awareness. Becoming more situationally aware is a great first step. Most of us have heard well-intending people advise us not to leave our drink unattended at a party or to always travel in (at least) pairs. We wholeheartedly agree! However, a person with violent intent isn’t limited to a stranger in a bar. Acts of violence can happen anytime, anywhere, and in any location. In fact, victims of violence are often attacked in a familiar place by someone they know. Yes, you read that correctly! Most victims KNOW their attacker. Learning to identify potentially violent behavior can also help you avoid becoming a target.

An Undefeated Mindset

Ultimately, staying safe starts with developing an undefeated mindset. We’ve all known someone who has passionately exclaimed, “if it ever came down to it, I would die for my child/spouse/family member/friend.” Perhaps you have even personally uttered this sentiment. Realistically, if you ever found yourself in a life-threatening situation with your loved one, making the decision to lay down your own life will not protect them. We’ve likely all heard our flight attendants remind us, “in the event that the cabin loses air pressure, place the oxygen mask on yourself before helping the person next to you”. You serve your loved ones best when you make the decision to protect yourself first.

Former Green Beret Sniper, Army Ranger, and Retired UFC Fighter, Tim Kennedy says, “Every time you train, train with the motivation and purpose that you will be the hardest person someone ever tries to kill.” Coupling self-protection strategies with consistent self-defense training helps develop an undefeated mindset making you feel prepared, confident, and safe.

Ready to become harder to kill?  Join us for one of our upcoming seminars or learn more about how you can become a member of Invictus Martial Arts.

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© 2019-2021 Invictus Martial Arts

All rights reserved. Used with permission. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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The Self-Defense Move You NEED To Know

All self-defense begins with a mindset: you MUST have the will to win and survive at all costs. Meaning, a person needs to definitively decide ahead of time what they are willing to do and not do to avoid becoming a victim.

Did you know…

  • One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old? (a)
  • A person is 5x more likely to be stabbed by a knife or sharp object than shot by a rifle of any kind? (b)
  • Of the persons who were victims of violent crime, there is almost no distinction between who is attacked among men and women (only differing by .05%)? (c)

Here’s why this data matters… someone with violent intent can be anyone at any time, anywhere. The Navy SEALs have a saying, “Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.” This means that training is a must and a person must actively refuse to leave personal safety up to chance.

How to KEep Kids Safe

5 Ways to Keep Kids Safe

It may not be every day that we think about the security of our children but it’s always helpful to have simple-to-employ strategies to help keep our kids safe wherever they go. Here are five ways to help keep your kids safe…

1) Have a family password (or code word)

Having a family password or code word empowers your kids to feel more confident when someone other than you is picking them up and helps your peace of mind. When doing this it’s best to explain how to use it which can help calm fears in a potentially dangerous situation.

For example, if someone offers to pick them up but doesn’t know the family password that’s a good indication to your child that the person isn’t safe or to be trusted and needs to tell an authority they do trust right away.

2) Clarify what makes a “stranger”

To put it simply, a “stranger” is anyone mom and/or dad don’t know. This means that someone your child sees every day at school, daycare, in sports, or at a friend’s house is a potential stranger.

Making this distinction is good for kids to understand that they need to introduce you to the people they interact with regularly and, as parents, we want to know who’s influencing them anyway.

3) Talk about “tricky” people

A tricky person can be anyone. Yes, it could be the stranger we just discussed but it could also be Aunt Pat or Uncle Jeff. It could be our child’s best friend or anyone else they know. What makes a tricky person unique is that they’ll attempt to get the child to violate your family’s personal code of ethics.

One example is anyone who tries to get your child to lie for them or keep secrets from you is a tricky person because this violates your family’s code of ethics to always tell the truth.

4) Learn how to yell for help

Actually yelling the word, “Help!” is about as useful as a car alarm these days. Most people are immune to the stimulus. A better option is to yell, “He’s not my dad!” or “She’s not my mom!” Watch how many interested people come to the aid of your child!

Just make sure they understand that they aren’t allowed to do this if they don’t get the toy they want at the store.

5) Always tell someone

Any adult or peer that ask your child to keep a secret for them is a safety red flag. Of course, there are good secrets to keep like for birthdays and holidays but that distinction needs to be talked about. Help your child feel safe with you to talk about anything and let them know you’ll never judge them.

The bottom line is that good, clear, open communication with your child will help keep them safer. Maintain a genuine interest in your child’s life and give them the proper guidelines to make safe decisions. Empower them with these tools and talk about them often.

Creative Commons License

© 2019-2021 Invictus Martial Arts

All rights reserved. Used with permission. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Want more? Subscribe to get always get the latest tips & tricks you need to feel your best and make the most of every day!

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