Everyone knows that today more than ever you need self-defense tips to save your life. Because we don’t know when or how it will happen. But we do know this: you are your first line of defense, so training isn’t optional, it’s essential.
Comprehensive studies have shown time and time again that self-defense workshops and education are always beneficial. In fact, not only does a person’s risk of attack decrease but also a person’s fear and anxiety decrease, and a person’s confidence, sense of self-efficacy, and self-esteem increase (University of Oregon)!
Self-Defense Tips To Save Your Life
Line of attack
Every attack has an angle to it. Regardless of which direction the attack comes from, your first priority is to get out of the direct line of attack. Every weapon and means of attack has a specific range and angle and your number one goal is to avoid that direct line of attack at all costs.
It’s never about the weapon or means of attack but always about the source of the attack. A shovel is a useful tool for yard work and gardening. A bat is a useful tool for baseball. A knife is a useful tool for cooking. But all of these tools have the potential to be harmful in the hands of someone with violent intent. So this means that your second priority is to minimize damage to yourself while putting you in a position to reclaim control over your personal sovereignty and safety.
Control can look like the following:
Creating maximal distance between you and the threat
Using a strong, powerful voice to stop a threat
Leveraging non-violent restraint to minimize damage to you and the threat
Threats must be neutralized. Self-defense situations typically occur when one person believes they have an opportunity cost putting themselves at an unfair advantage. A person needs to apply reasonable force to a threat to bring the situation back into homeostasis. Much like Control, neutralizing the threat can take many forms ranging from range management to non-violent submissions to reasonable but decisive force. Swift action is absolutely key to survival and can be accomplished with regular, consistent practice while increasing the level of pressure with a willing and helpful partner.
All things being equal, it is always better to get away from a person with violent intent rather than try to disarm them. There are too many variables in the chaos of protection that can make even the most trained person become a victim of increased violence. That said, not every attack has a weapon to consider but every attacker has the potential to use a weapon. If you decide to attempt to disarm a person with violent intent who is also using a weapon, be prepared to be harmed by the weapon. Your safest plan of action is to simply neutralize the threat and quickly remove yourself from the situation as fast as possible then report what happened to the local authorities.
These self-defense tips to save your life can quickly become your first line of protection. With proper training and consistent practice, you can feel safe and secure every day.
Starting a new school year is an exciting time for many kids. It’s an opportunity to make new friends, learn new things, and tackle new challenges. But for many kids that are prone to bullying, starting a new school year can be a stressful experience. According to recent studies, one in three children will experience some form of bullying in their lifetime.
As parents, we want to do everything we can to protect our kids, but realistically, we can’t always be by their side. So, what steps can you take to bully-proof your kid?
Experts have long agreed that enrolling a child in martial arts can dramatically decrease how frequently a child is bullied. In fact, a recent study suggests that training in the martial arts can decrease the likelihood of bullying by up to 64%.
Encourage An Open Line Of Communication
As parents, it can be challenging to help our kids work through an encounter with a bully, especially if we don’t know about it. Kids will often feel embarrassed to admit they are being bullied, which is why establishing an open line of communication is so important. When kids feel it’s ok to talk to you about their experience with a bully, they are more likely to talk to other authority figures as well such as a school counselor. Sometimes, simply reporting the incident can resolve a problem with a bully before it becomes a long-term issue.
Martial arts teaches kids to confidently advocate for themselves. In fact, the best martial arts programs stress the importance of using a strong voice to stop a run-in with a bully before it can escalate. Avoiding a physical altercation is always the best bet.
Help Them Develop More Confidence
What makes some kids an easy target? Put simply, bullies tend to target individuals who they believe won’t fight back. They look for body language such as crossed arms, rounded shoulders, and lack of eye contact to identify insecure individuals who can be easily controlled or victimized. Experts agree that kids with high self-esteem and confidence are less likely to get bullied.
Building confidence through the martial arts is a great way to keep bullies at bay. Every martial arts class your kid attends is an opportunity to prove to themselves that they are strong and capable of greatness. Sparring drills encourage focusing and performing under pressure which is another great way to develop unshakable confidence. As they earn new belt ranks and learn more challenging techniques, their view of themselves and what they are capable of will shift and you will begin to see an outward demonstration of your kid becoming bully-proof.
Surround Them With Good Friends
It’s well known that bullies tend to seek out kids who lack community or are isolated. This is because it’s much easier to take advantage of and control a single kid rather than a group of kids. Also, fewer witnesses mean less of a likelihood that the bully will be identified and reprimanded.
When it comes to standing up to bullies, there’s always strength in numbers. If your kid is struggling to make new friends at school, enrolling them in a martial arts program is a great way to introduce them to new friends with similar mindsets. When it comes to making new friends, quality is more important than quantity. Even having just one significant friend at school can greatly reduce the likelihood that your kid will be bullied.
Have Them Learn Age-Appropriate Self-Protection Skills
Even though we always advocate for walking away from a bully, we also understand that there may come a time when that’s just not possible. In this case, it’s important for kids to understand how to appropriately defend themselves from a physical attack.
We often get asked: “what is the best self-defense move?” As you can imagine, it’s challenging to narrow it down to just one. When it comes to kids who are being bullied, verbal assertiveness should always be the first course of action. If this approach proves to be unsuccessful at deescalating the situation, non-violent self-defense techniques are the next best thing. This is because, typically, punching and kicking the bully back will do more harm than good. Instead, kids can learn leverage-based control holds to neutralize the threat without leaving a mark.
Role-playing common scenarios (such as being pushed or grabbed) during martial arts class will give your kid the confidence they need to know they are equipped to defend themselves should the need arise.
Ready to help your kid become bully-proof? Try a FREE training session at Invictus! Which class below are you most curious about?
“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.
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.
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.