So in a “short” (wink wink, not really short) article today, I’d like to tell a story of the seminar I did. It was originally 1hr, which got extended to 2 due to me having to explain more than I thought I would and due to my incessant talking when I teach. I always encourage people to ask me questions, even during the session, it just helps me to teach better and provide more info, another reason why it got extended.
So, all was going good, and a participant, told me that they were taught these “simple techniques” to deal with “attackers” in another seminar with a Martial Arts instructor (I think most will see where this is going after reading that) she went through some time ago and she wanted me to teach her some similar ones in 1hr.
Now in my seminars, I focus more on prevention than fighting as it’s a scientific fact that you can’t learn the physical techniques, even gross motor and form neuromuscular pathways by utilizing neuroplasticity in one day in just an hour. You especially can’t learn them and retain them in an adrenalized situation and expect to use them under stress, and if you never practice it again after that day, you can be sure that you will waste time thinking more than you should, rather than acting in the moment.
So anyway, even though I wanted to yell, I remained calm as an instructor should, and I asked, “Which techniques?” “Can you demonstrate?” “Even just one of them would suffice“ Their answer? “I can’t exactly remember which ones, but there was hitting with hammer (I think she meant hammerfist) and scratching (gouging she meant.. I think) and they were simple” I mean.. what the actual f-word man?! Does this not seem odd to people when they say these things? It’s like they’re brainwashed so badly by these instructors who have never had any experience with actual violence in their whole lives and teach people on how to survive it by looking up some idiotic “safety tips” on the internet via google or maybe their seniors passed some down to them when they were certified as an “expert black belt instructor god” and is a part of the curriculum and then charge a lot of money for it. They are actually blind to these obvious things and misinform people as a result. It’s so sad…
Now in the above example, this was a calm situation in which she couldn’t remember those “simple techniques”, I wonder what would happen in an actual situation where she wouldn‘t even be able to recall her name. Here’s the good thing though, I did explain to her about how the logic is flawed here and she kinda understood, at least I hope she did, for her safety’s sake.
Not to mention I did my infamous “Who here is willing to kill and would be capable of killing another human being up close and personal with a knife?” bit, which of course, the way I describe a stabbing (the way it actually occurs and not the way people think it does, all clean and stuff. See my other articles or posts, or some of my fb posts, I think I‘ve mentioned it once or twice about what happens or at least the gist of it), so, yeah, no one seemed to want to feel metal penetrating skin and human blood spattering across their face.. Huh… go figure.
Oh and the countless imagined “scenarios” that came up today, one after other I kept tearing them down and they kept bringing them up, but bringing up fictional solutions to imagined problems is something that I don’t do. I’m a realist, as you know, if you’ve read my posts or know me personally. So, in the end, logic prevailed and many did grasp the concept of prevention being better than cure.. or prevention being the cure itself (Credit to Barry Drennan from Fairbairn Protocol for that piece of wisdom).
Besides all that prevention training, we also did some situational training, just to give them an idea of how the dynamics would work, in car/cab/taxi services like OLA and UBER, how their systems work and some general common sense tips like seating position in the car, some verbal communication skills, etc.
Anyway, all in all, I think it was a good seminar, I had fun, it looked like the participants had fun too, and as long as they understood even the fundamental concept of what I explained to them, which I think they did, because they said it and repeated it when I asked them a few questions about it, about prevention and why it’s necessary to focus on it, especially when you just have one hour to learn and the fact that you’re not gonna continue training after this hour is over. I really hope they did. I think, overall, I would chalk it up to being a success and good thing that I was able to clear up some misconceptions, and since there were like 60+ women there, I see it as 60x success!
I’m just glad that all the participants were so open-minded and willing to listen, to accept and learn, to let go of any misconceptions, and the fact that they asked questions, is what I loved the most, some of them might’ve been off, but the willingness to ask questions, is the first step, then asking the right questions is next, which many did as well. See I don’t mind if someone doesn’t know something in depth, what I mind is those who aren’t willing to keep an open mind, to accept the fact, that they don’t have all the answers, hey, I don’t, but that’s okay, that’s why we learn, that‘s why we train, that‘s why we ask questions. So I’m really glad I got to do this one today, it really was awesome.
I don’t usually write articles about the seminars I do, but I was possessed by a rant angel and it just spilled out and I did.
Oh and I got this super cool improvised wea…I mean a pen! For the seminar I did! Yay!
If you’re wondering what’s the point of this article? Well, many points actually;
- One about the misconceptions, confusions, misinformation and disinformation in this field.
- Another is about people’s dangerous mindsets about what violence actually entails.
- Third is the problem of people just forming fictional solutions to problems they create, rather than forming helpful ones that would solve or at least reduce the chances of them becoming a victim of actual threats.
- Fourth would be attending a seminar for an hour or two, every three or six months or so, won‘t actually make you proficient in physical combat, especially not under a stressful situation, so rather focus on using some common sense and focus on prevention, especially in a relatively low crime city like Mumbai.
- Fifth would be, no one wants to deal with the consequences of using a knife, but still want to learn to use it (irony at its finest).
- Sixth would be logic prevails, if people are willing to listen and accept.
- Seventh, actuality is different from your truth and reality.
- Eight, I talk a lot when I teach.
- Ninth, Too much ego in the Martial Arts field. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s too male dominated as well (kinda ironic that I, a male, is writing this, yes, I see the irony here), especially here and not many are willing to admit they’re wrong ever. (Although, not all Martial Artists are that way, I don‘t generalize, ever. And for those rare exceptions, I have the utmost respect, they know what Martial Arts are actually about).
- Tenth, I wasn’t criticizing the participants today, they were unbelievably awesome, and willing to ask and learn. What I was criticizing is the number of b.s. information on this subject that’s in this field, mostly propagated by those who claim themselves as experts, but have no shred of idea what violence actually entails (that includes the consequences of it).
- Eleventh, when you attend a seminar or a training session claiming to teach self-defense, don’t just blindly accept what the instructor tells you, see if it’s logical, ask them questions to elaborate more, the more you ask, the more you know. Just ask the right questions to get the right answers. See if what they teach makes sense, you don’t deserve to be fooled by a money grubbing scumbag, you deserve the right information, especially if it pertains to your (and your family‘s) safety.
- Twelfth, we also discussed that in a male dominated field, most instructors will show you things that pertain to the confrontation types that men come across, not the types of situations that women do.
- Thirteenth, as instructors, we are seen as individuals who provide knowledge on how to be safe, it’s our responsibility to deliver the best quality of training that is practical and tailored to the different types of individuals we train.
- Finally, fourteenth, all my articles have some sort of a point, even if I have to dig them up out of nothing…(lol not really though, it’s all up there in the post 😉 ).
Well, that’s it. Thanks for reading. I was actually just gonna rant about this on facebook, but it got too long (as usual) so…it became an article…eh..
Happy Women’s Day and Stay Safe, readers (and non-readers)! 🙂