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.
Halloween is right around the corner, which means it’s almost time for trick-or-treating fun! While Invictus helps people stay safe in everyday life, we’re also offering up some simple tips to stay safe on Halloween.
Believe it or not, only a third of parents talk to their kids annually about Halloween safety even though three quarters report having Halloween safety fears.
So, this year, as the kids get ready to dress up and head out for an evening of fun and candy, here are a few tips to chat with them about to ensure they stay safe on Halloween night.
While children are typically the focus when discussing Halloween safety tips, several of these tips can easily apply to adults as well. While children are smaller and harder to see, pedestrian injuries and fatalities also occur for adults on Halloween. If you’re accompanying your kids, always be aware of your surroundings, especially when crossing the street. If you choose to drive during trick-or-treat hours, be very cautious in neighborhoods and keep an eye out for excited kids darting into the street unexpectedly.
Clearly, having a plan as well as a pre-Halloween chat with your kids before heading out to trick-or-treat will help everyone feel safe and confident. Remember: Be smart, be seen, be safe…and, or course, HAVE FUN!
Ready to feel safe and confident in everyday life? Try a FREE martial arts training session at Invictus! Which class below are you most curious about?
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?
Finding the right personal trainer can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, we’re here to help! Maybe you took some time time off from your fitness routine and suddenly a few weeks turned into a few months. Perhaps you’re bouncing back from a minor injury and feeling uncertain about what exercises are best for your current activity level. It’s possible you’ve never had a consistent exercise regime and you could use some guidance. Or maybe you’re just struggling with feeling unmotivated. We’ve all been there. You know a personal trainer can help, but how do you find a coach that’s right for you?
Regardless of why you’re considering working with a personal trainer, one thing is certain. You want to see clear and consistant progress.
When you think of a personal trainer you probably think of a typical training session including some cardio as well as strength training with weights. But did you know, there’s an alternative? If running on a treadmill and working with free weights doesn’t get you excited, an MMA coach may be the perfect fit for you. Getting in shape with martial arts training isn’t just possible, it’s also a lot of fun! Understanding the benefits of working with an MMA personal trainer is as easy as A, B, C!
A. All About Accountability
One of the main reasons people hire personal trainers is for accountability. It’s a lot harder to blow off your training when there’s a coach waiting for you at a set time every week. Knowing you have a coach who is fully invested in your growth and development helps you stay motivated to keep doing the work and keep showing up. An MMA coach will specifically challenge you to develop your upper and lower body as well as your cardio during each training session. MMA training is a full-body, aerobic activity that uses body-weight resistance training to develop strong bones, encourage weight-loss, and strengthen muscles. Whatever your fitness goals are, having an MMA coach as your personal trainer will keep you focused on why you started and give you the support you need to achieve lasting transformation.
B. Beat The Boredom
Let’s face it, nothing sucks the life out of you like doing the same exercises week after week without seeing any progress. In fact, many people will quit their gym memberships because they just aren’t motivated. Keep things interesting with an MMA personal trainer! A good MMA coach has mastered the art of disguising repetition. Whether it’s mixing up combos and pad drills or working through sparring techniques, every training session is different. Ultimately, you’ll stay engaged and excited about your training while working up a great sweat.
C. Customized Training
Your fitness needs and goals are uniquely yours. Shouldn’t your training program be too? A personal trainer will customize your training experience to ensure you get exactly what you want out of your workout. A good MMA coach will help you understand your body and train you to be able to maximize your performance the way only you can. In addition to training you how to perform each technique, your MMA coach will also train you why each technique works with your specific body mechanics. Worried about an old injury? Your personal trainer can suggest modified movements that will still help you make progress while avoiding re-injury.
Ready to give personal training a shot? Reserve a FREE private coaching session at Invictus where REAL people like you are getting REAL results for the REAL world!
While martial arts is still largely a male-dominated industry, it’s important to recognize that martial arts isn’t just for boys. In fact, there are more and more young girls and women turning to martial arts training for its many unique benefits.
Here are four critically important lessons all girls learn when they train in the martial arts:
1. She’ll Learn To Love Herself:
Unfortunately, most young girls will struggle with low self-esteem before the age of 12. This is in-part due to negative messages delivered by others whether through social media and the recent increase in cyber-bullying, or “mean girls” lashing out due to their own lack of self-confidence. Regardless of the source, young girls are constantly bombarded with negative cultural messages about everything they should be critical of about themselves. And so she quickly learns: her body is ugly, she is weak, she is stupid, she is incapable.
Fortunately, martial arts delivers an important opposing message helping her realize everything that is amazing about her: she is worthy of respect, she is strong, and she can achieve amazing things through hard work and commitment. With a focus on self-respect, she will quickly learn that as a martial artist, she must respect herself and others and expect that others respect her in return.
Training in the martial arts will also improve her body image. Rather than seeing her body in terms of what it looks like, while training in the martial arts, she will get to experience what her body can do. Whether it’s kicking through a board or holding her own in a sparring match, she’ll realize that her body is strong and capable of doing incredible things, regardless of how it looks. This will develop her self-confidence and sense of self-worth and will help fortify her against attempted bullying.
2. She’ll Learn To Protect Herself:
The unfortunate reality of the world is that girls and women face a significantly higher risk of assault. On average, 1 in 6 women will experience sexual assault in her lifetime. While most martial arts instructors teach techniques that can be used for self-defense, simply learning self-defense isn’t enough. At Invictus Martial Arts, we educate all of our members on the importance of understanding the distinction between self-defense and self-protection. With a focus on informed awareness, she will learn to identify potentially violent behavior that can help her avoid ever becoming a target.
When it comes to self-protection, the best self-defense techniques are simple, easy to use, and effective. With consistent training in the martial arts, she will learn how to use her body to protect herself, even from larger and seemingly more powerful opponents.
3. She’ll Learn To Trust Herself:
There are so many opportunities for developing self-confidence through martial arts training. Imagine her experience the first time she breaks a board, or scores her first point in a sparring match, or wins her first medal at a tournament, or earns her first new belt rank. Each new achievement reinforces the idea that she can trust in her developing abilities and through hard work, time, and dedication, she can truly achieve anything she puts her mind to.
4. She’ll Learn That She Is An Equal:
While most youth sports are not coed, martial arts training provides a unique opportunity for girls and boys to train together and even compete with each other. In fact, girls who train in the martial arts benefit from interacting and partnering with boys in an environment where mutual respect is expected and enforced. These coed interactions reinforce the idea that she is no different than her male peers when it comes to her ability to perform and achieve. This experience will set her up for success in other areas of her life, including academic and professional endeavors.
Ready to empower a young girl in your life? Register her for a free training session today to discover how we help develop strong and confident girls.
“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.