One part of the Reality `self defense for women' responds to:

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by aedrasteia, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. aedrasteia

    aedrasteia Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    133
    Trophy Points:
    58
    just one experience. many, many more. If you think you understand and are ready to `teach' women
    and girls consider what this survivor would gain (or lose) from your approach and your `teaching'.
    Share if that would be ok for you.

    The Calm Between the Waves
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Trophy Points:
    253
    Very powerful writing. I am not sure anyone on this forum can really address her situation and your question. This is a martial art forum and the article is clearly about her emotional journey. No two people are the same or have the same response or the emotional ability to cope with such situations. The platform of current martial arts are not designed to address such issues. Today's martial arts are structured to make one proficient in the skills and curriculum of that system. Nothing more. Martial skill is only one aspect of the ability to fight and fighting is only a fractional aspect of self protection. If there is any ability of the student to protect themselves beyond the arts proficiency skills it is by accident not by design. It is also worthy to be noted that martial arts in America is male dominant. Brought to the states by ex- servicemen and for the most part passed down for the last 75 years by men for men. Is it any wonder that martial arts fail to address female self-defense.
     
  3. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Trophy Points:
    253
    I often hear "if a women really wants to defend herself she should buy a gun". This statement shows a complete lack of understanding of the issue. However martial skill is similar to owning a firearm. Owning a firearm does not give one the emotional capacity to use it, nor does it guarantee the correct circumstances for it to be used effectively.
    Many martial artists will teach women's self-defense. This shows there is a market for the product. But what is the actual product, self protection or fear management? For the most part class participants are more comfortable learning something that helps them manage the fear associated with violence and rape.
    A new gun buyer will take home his newly purchased hand gun, lock it up in a box and forget about it. But he will sleep easier at night "knowing" he has it if a burglar breaks in. Practice, knowledge and emotional capacity be damned.
     
  4. aedrasteia

    aedrasteia Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    133
    Trophy Points:
    58
    I appreciate your careful, well thought out reply. I agree with much of it.

    "Is it any wonder that martial arts fail to address female self-defense".
    But martial arts/artists don't "fail to address female self defense". They regularly and repeatedly present themselves as exactly the right teachers and classes _for_ female self defense

    In spite of your accurate descriptions your peers here on MT make many, many suggestions for MA based women's safety classes and teachers, taught overwhelmingly by men. They repeatedly state that women/girls should seek out because male MA teachers (of their system or style) are the right choice for women/girls. Your colleagues present themselves as teachers of SD specifically for women.

    These deficiencies and inadequacy you've clearly described do not stop them from teaching and advertising SD4W classes at their schools.


    Despite everything you've stated clearly here your fellow male teachers offer themselves as knowledgeable and competent. Their women's safety classes are prominently featured. MT posters here do not hold back from filling threads with their advice, suggestions, opinions on the issues of rape, sexual abuse and sexual violence directed against girls/women.

    A recent MT participant, a survivor of sexual assault, posted here looking for sources for training, specifically discussing her past experience. It is useful to re-read the replies from MT posters and consider them in light of your assessment of what martial arts based classes can and cannot offer.

    The emotional impact of assault on a survivor is not a "thing" that can be detached, ignored and discarded because it is uncomfortable and inconvenient for the unprepared SD instructors.

    Your thoughts?
    w/respect A
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,956
    Likes Received:
    3,250
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    Covington, WA
    I think this is kind of a cop out given the frequency the term "self defense" is used around here in reference to martial arts. To say that martial arts are now only one, fractional aspect of self protection conflicts with the money I'm sure many of the people here making selling women's self defense.
     
  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    26,958
    Likes Received:
    4,419
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    England
    In the UK that's not so, Emily Diana Watts was learning jujutsu in 1909, then went on to teach, in 1907 Maria Studholme was also practicing jujutsu, it's well known that the Suffragettes in the early 1900s were training and using self defence techniques. In 1918 the Budokwai Judo club was formed with male and female members, in 1920 23 women were recorded as members. three of the women gained black belts in the 1930s a fourth in 1945. Jujutsu itself was fairly well known in the UK, Judo more so. British forces didn't serve in Japan so karate was introduced by British practitioners of Judo who had also learnt karate while training in Japan. We've actually had and continue to have many female instructors.

    On the subject of teaching women who have been abused, there is also teaching people notably military with PTSD another issue I think that many don't understand but have opinions on.
    I don't think many instructors do actually understand the differences between teaching men and women, never mind those who have been abused. I've had 'conversations' with people on here who thought giving a female martial artist a good punching would toughen them up for grading also those who say that women aren't 'aggressive' enough and they feel 'awkward' grappling with females'.

    I will tell you one thing that really does make me angry..... martial arts schools/clubs and instructors who use rape crime figures to promote their self defence classes. They say 'look how dangerous it is out there for women, you can be abused, raped, attacked so easily, you need to come and train with us. Look at this Women's Self Defence Bury Don't Be A Victim !
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  7. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Trophy Points:
    253
    absolutely.
    but as i alluded earlier the product they are offering is not true self defense but rather a thin veneer that is actually fear management. but this veneer of self defense is equal for both men and women. i dont mean to say that there is a conscious deception. i am sure that there are many well intentioned instructors. however many instructors themselves are a victim of there own fear management self delusion. to admit to themselves that what they spent a good portion of their lives doing is actually not effective would be a crisis of self identity.
     
  8. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Trophy Points:
    253
    i think you are making an important point, can you explain more so i get a better understanding of what you mean?
     
  9. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Trophy Points:
    253
    i want to clarify that there are some really great female martial art instructors here in the US. its just that they are the minority.

    this goes to my point about fear management. its a very common tactic to use fear in product marketing. its called creating urgency. "do it now because"....
    however marketing though fear is slightly different than teaching an actual product that does not actually address how to deal with violence and instead offers things like wrist grab defenses and palm heel strikes to the nose as a means for the student to feel empowered and confident.
    as i said, this cycle of self deception is equal for both men and women.


    i read the link and while i dont fully agree with the presentation myself,,, TEZ can you explain why it angers you or how/ why you feel it is inappropriate?
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  10. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    26,958
    Likes Received:
    4,419
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    England
    For a start the statistics are wrong, I don't know how they arrived at them. It's talking at women not to them. Males get raped and abused too as do LGBT people. It's scaremongering. It fails to address the real issuesor any issues at all. It is very obviously marketing pandering to the idea that women should be frightened but with a pat on the head from the instructor and a couple of techniques women can stop worrying their pretty little heads about being attacked.
     
  11. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    26,958
    Likes Received:
    4,419
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    England

    My point was that here martial arts weren't brought back from Japan after the war but that we'd actually had them here from the late 19th and early 20th century and women were involved in those days. It wasn't about modern instructors.
     
  12. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    318
    Location:
    Houston
    I could teach her, but I could not counsel her. Wrong training, wrong idiom. Perhaps I should say, I could have taught her, before... I do not know.
     
  13. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Trophy Points:
    253
    the theater of battle resides in two places. the physical world ( the actual physical fight) and in the mind of the victim. in this blog story Annie has lost the battle due to her inner narrative. over and over she states things like "its my fault" "i was begging for it" " i am so unlovable". the criminal is able to commit his crime through the battle in the victims mind. he uses many tactics, fear, doubt, coercion. he steals away her power and relishes in his own.
    martial arts, SD4W instructors tend to teach things like wrist controls and tell women to "dont walk down dark allyways". these things dont really help. during the crime it is just her and her attacker. everything will abandon her until all that is left is her self, her inner self and the narrative she belives about herself. it seems Allie's inner narrative was one of being unworthy and unlovable. the ending comments says she has had mental health issues since the age of sixteen. it is hard to say if this low self esteem was always there or was brought about through the crime.
    most everything any instructor would teach her would fall away and disappear when needed. what she would actually need is self value, confidence and a sense of sovereignty. so my question would be how do you teach someone to feel,, "this will not happen to me" " i will not allow this" " you have no right" "how dare you" ?
     
  14. aedrasteia

    aedrasteia Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    133
    Trophy Points:
    58

    This is a good start hoshin. Thank you. Keep going. Consider: Annie "losing the battle" isn't an accident

    What is the origin of that 'inner narrative'?
    Where - how - from whom - did she learn to believe
    "its my fault" "i was begging for it" " i am so unlovable" ? Where have you heard and read about women and girls "begging for it" "it's her fault"?

    Who keeps that narrative going and alive?


    Who benefits from women and girls believing this about themselves?

    Where are the sources of that inner narrative of "being unworthy and unlovable" ?

    Who is fighting/working to change that narrative about women and girls and Annie? How's that going?

    Not one thing she says is surprising to me. I've heard it from,literally hundreds of women and girls who have been abused, molested, assaulted, raped, harassed. I know where it started because I absorbed the same about myself. I started MA at 16 with judo and later karate, aikido. All the MA work was important. It pointed the way to the bedrock I had to dig into. It wasn't even the beginning of enough. But it was important. I'm grateful for MA. But it isn't enough, it's not even close for most of us.

    Deep down, most of my female students in classes hold some of these about themselves, even as they fight against those at the same time. Showing up in a class is part of the fight. Unpacking this is part of the work. I don't need to "teach' them about this. I just have to let them know I share the same struggle and show what helped me. We work together. Truly, my students and other women instructors have done the hardest work imaginable. I meet women/girls where _they_ are, wherever that is. Nothing about them in class - not what they say or do (or don't do) surprises or puzzles or irritates me.

    People, (including other women) no matter how good-hearted and well-intentioned, cannot work to change this until they understand the source, know what this feels like and can construct the experiences that generate change. We've developed activities, drills, discussions, exercises that open this up.

    Do you have to teach men to feel,, "this will not happen to me" " i will not allow this" " you have no right" "how dare you" ? That's not a trick question or sarcasm. If it's not necessary to do this, if the great majority of men and boys don't come into your classes feeling "its my fault" "i was begging for it" " i am so unlovable" it's a good start to think about how that came to be so.

    One of my best teachers said "ask the next question".

    w/respect, A
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  15. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    26,958
    Likes Received:
    4,419
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    England

    You start when the girls are young teach them not to value themselves as commodities, that they have worth as themselves and that 'themselves' is more than enough, that each girl is unique and precious.
    We have been doing this for a while in Girl Guiding and Scouting. We have been campaigning in the UK against 'page three' which is when the tabloids use pictures of topless women. We campaign about the pressure that young girls feel from the media, boys, adults and from other females. We have peer educators, teenagers trained to teach others about body image issues and other things that worry girls, we teach girls from as young as five to have confidence and self esteem so that they value themselves. We campaign and teach girls about violence and how they are not natural victims.
    Many see Guiding ( Scouting in some countries) as a middle class activity for 'nice' girls but it's actually an extremely strong movement for girls and women. What you can do is partner with us, help us reach more young women then one day we won't have to be having this conversation...
    The World organisation What we do

    The UK one Campaigns


    I'd write more but the site is making it hard to type ( there is a thread about that) hopefully I can return when it's stopped doing it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    242
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Just going to add to this. In the south of England where I reside 2 of the most common styles practiced are Southern White Crane and Wing Chun, which were both originally developed by women specifically for women self-defense.
     
  17. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    26,958
    Likes Received:
    4,419
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    England
    I have been reliably informed by well respected WC practitioners that it's a myth that they were formed for women by women.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Trophy Points:
    253
    while the perception would be that men "have this" naturally, in truth ,yes you do have to teach it to men. the "theater of battle" as i described is the same for men and women. its only the terrain that is different. we do have to separate the mens "monkey dance" bar fight from actual fighting combat to see the similarity. in actual war combat or self defense most men will face the same fear, doubt and insecurity that will keep them from being effective and surviving. ( this is an other topic for another time)
    in the same way as girls some boys grow up with similar issues of self value and self perception. "im a loser" "no girl is going to want me" " i am not as good as the other guys"
    however males do not face the same threat of violence as women and the two do not interplay in the same mingled way.
    "this will not happen to me, i will not allow it " is the same for men and women but the opposite "i am not lovable" has a different nuance between men and women.

    but i still beg for an answer on how to teach this mindset. i am asking in an authentic way. if there is fault and flaws in what men are teaching in martial arts classes, should men not teach anything? as a man i cannot have and will not pretend to have an understanding of the inner dynamics that make up the female psychology. there is no way i can teach from a point of "i have been there too". so is this an area that men have no place?


    but i mentioned in my first post "this is only a martial art forum" are these important lessons supposed to be taught in a martial art setting? they may be the answer to the problem and culturally there may need to be a paradigm shift so women grow up with a better self image. as a society we may need to teach boys about the role they play as well but this is not to be solved in a SD4W class or in martial arts classes in general.
     
  19. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    26,958
    Likes Received:
    4,419
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    England

    Are the posters here only martial artists then and nothing else? Aren't they fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers who can help make sure girls grow up confident and self assured? When teaching martial arts do they make 'allowances' because after all they're girls? How do they praise their students when they've done something correctly, what words do they use? How do they view their female students as opposed to their male ones?
    Nothing in life is unconnected with anything else, martial arts isn't an island where the ouside world doesn't impinge, yes these lessons should be taught in martial arts, why ever not. Aren't we teaching confidence to have people perform a kata in front of others or to spar in a competition? Aren't we teaching self esteem when we teach them to defend themselves, we are saying yes you can do this, you should do this, you deserve to be able to defend yourself. We should be making everyone feel worthwhile, whatever we are doing even if it's just saying good morning and smiling at a shop assistant.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    242
    Trophy Points:
    58
    The world is made up of myths and legends, fables and bedtime stories. I choose to believe the story that both the arts I mentioned were created by women. You can choose to believe a different story if you wish, it matters not to me. Anyway, that is besides the point. The point is that with so many different Martial Arts, all created at different times in different locations for different purposes, surely there is a good chance that one or two of them were created by women for self-defense.123
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1

Share This Page