Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by kravmaga1, Jan 12, 2018.
These are great - thank you so much!
I'm very Glad you think so and I'm sorry to be off this thread so frequently. I work with abused and exploited seniors - another groups frequently ignored by everyone in 'self-protection'. But that's another (related) story.
In order to use the information I've shared, instructors here, who think they want to make changes must start with themselves. There are no shortcuts. No tweaking or adding a few bits to an existing martial arts class.
Unwillingness to acknowledge the reality of the most frequent threats and assaults and spend some serious time, over weeks and months, learning about that reality tells me something about their willingness to go deep on this stuff. And deep is what is required by reality girls/women face. The Nassar case is a real life example that is finally forcing people to take a painful look at that reality.
Just as we have to work over time to build competency in any area (like earning a belt) we have to learn and
it takes time. And very hard, uncomfortable work. First step is facing what really happens.
when I was asked by another MA based instructor (a good hearted gentleman) " what should I do first?" I asked "how long did it take to earn you BB in your style... 2 years? 5 years? Plan on spending a year or more getting barely competent here, at the very least. Too much time and commitment?
Consider the seriousness of what you say you want to do.
My goal is to be completely comfortable with every aspect of this - there will be nothing the girls/women must face that surprises me. Nothing I will be unable to consider. Nothing will confound me about their reactions. I may not know answers, but I know resources. Together they and I can figure out what works best for them and for me. Thats' because these assaults/harrassment, threats, intrusions and attacks have happened to me too. And my mother, my friends, my cousins. This is horrible but very familiar territory.
The first MA I was involved with was judo, taught be a Kodokan trained Japanese exchange guy working w/a very tough AFJA partner. I was only girl in a class of 12. Later I trained for a year in hard-style shuri-ryu karate and about another year in aikido. I was junior to a retired Marine who taught SD for women through a local YWCA. I was young.
And I then I walked away from exclusively MA based SD for girls and women. I knew it was enormously inadequate. By this time I had been working with SA/DV survivors and I had listened to the experiences of my mother, my friends, neighbors. I had to ask myself hard questions about their situations and what MA could offer them, yes a little, but not nearly enough.
I finally looked at my own experience and respected it. . I thought hard about how and when and by whom I had been scared, threatened, intimidated, harrassed, assaulted. MA skills were almost irrelevant to my real life. MA gave me some wonderful tools,, but not the ones I needed very often.
I needed so much more. So I invented it - working with other women/girls. We all invented what we needed. I'll always be grateful for MA training. But it only gave me confidence about doing some techniques.
I needed confidence in the right to set boundaries and and the skills enforce them, even with people "inside the circle" MA couldn't and wouldn't do anything about the social reality and framework I lived inside, because my life was invisible to almost all the men in MA. It still is, though that is slowIy, slowly changing. And there is more resistance and difficulty than i could handle on a regular basis.
I had to stick up for myself and what I knew I was really facing. I still do.
But that's another story.
You see, you post up something which may inform, may help and you get gyp for it. Everyone's a critic. Don't take the course if you don't like it, comparing it to a 'college' course when it's a university one is incorrect. College here is for 16-18 years doing Btecs and A levels, universities are for taking degrees, a step up so it's for adults looking for information for their professional careers not political propaganda.
The use of 'takeways' and teasers' indicates you think it's some sort comic books stuff.
As it's a British uni it will not be a college course. There tends not to be the dislike of 'women's studies' here such as you display, this course comes under psychology/social work studies intended for people who work in fields that need to understand violence such as police officers and social workers rather than your detested feminists looking to blame men. There are similar courses in understanding young male to male violence, gang violence and domestic violence in partnerships/marriage etc. This is a short by academic standards FREE course so isn't going to cover in such huge detail as an undergraduate course of three years will.
You need to disabuse yourself of the idea that women are out to get you...or at least if they are it won't be because you are male but for something else. It may be that your perception of women, Marxism, the left etc is somewhat passe and they are actually laughing at you. I mean class warfare? so 70s. I have no idea what 'suppressed rhetoric' is, perhaps it's like trapped wind?
This Masters course, extensively covering the aspects of violence, note it comes under 'global studies' and who the experts are. If I were younger I'd find this something I'd find interesting to do, as I have a 1:1, I'd be qualified to apply though the placement might have been difficult.
Gender, Violence and Conflict MA : University of Sussex
The course focuses on:
gendered experiences of violence
conflict and peace
masculinities and femininities
representations, embodiments and the institutionalisation of violence.
Violence is a huge subject, male on male violence an entire subject on it's own, there's also female on female violence and domestic abuse. Violence to children, violence by children, child soldiers, violence by nuns ( a far nastier subject than we'd like to think about) etc.
As for the 'evil men' idiocy, well that's your take on it which you, I'm sure, are entitled to however much you are wrong. I don't know why US men would be different from others but your words not mine. These course are for professionals not people who have an agenda of hating men. You seem to have a bee in your bonnet about 'feminists' and being hated, quite odd.
Adrasteia, as always you write the most complete common sense and knowledgeable posts. You have my complete respect.
you know Tez we seem to be at odds with each other and at this point i doubt its going to change. i have no wish to argue or try to inform you about politics since its forbidden here and respond to your comments aimed at me. i do not put people on ignore because i feel everyone has good ideas at some point that i can learn from. your post has some good comments mixed with pointed barbs but from this point going forward i have no desire to converse in that manner and will not respond to your posts since they only cause the circle of contention to continue.
College and university have different definitions/usage here in the States than they do in other countries like the UK.
In the US they’re practically interchangeable terms. Being a university doesn’t make it a better school than a college. The difference is mainly the structuring and therefore the application process...
At a university, the various departments or “schools” have different admissions criteria. The student applies to a specific school within the university. For example, I went to Niagara University for graduate school. I applied to Niagara University School of Education. My application was first approved by the general admissions department, then sent to the school of education for further approval. The dean of the school of education made the ultimate decision on my acceptance. Therefore each department or “school” may have their own standards for admission.
I went to Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) for undergrad. I applied to MCLA, and my application was decided by the admissions staff. The biology department didn’t have anything to do with the process. The standards for admission is the same for every program. There may be an odd program or two that has higher standards though. I had to take several courses and do clinical hours, then apply to the Athletic Training/Sports Medicine program officially after my 2nd year. There was no guarantee I’d be accepted into that program even though I passed my previous courses.
In many other countries, a college is a 2 year school, and a university is a 4 year school. In the US, a 2 year school is a community college or junior college. A 4 year school is a college or university. One of the best schools in the US (and the world) is Dartmouth College, which is an Ivy League school (Harvard, Yale, Cornell, etc.). In the US, college vs university has nothing to do with better or worse. Somehow though, it seems the better schools are universities, but there’s obviously exceptions - Williams, Trinity, etc. Then you have the “technical” schools - MIT, RIT, RPI, etc.
I think the biggest issue from a MA standpoint (since we're on a MA forum) is folks simply not recognizing the limitations of a MA class/training. There are things it doesn't deal with, and that's okay, as long as it's understood. MA instructors are not going to solve the world's problems - they are not going to help women avoid choosing an abusive mate, etc. Unless they want to include that as part of what they do - which is beyond the scope of MA (because physical technique doesn't do anything in that area).
I've long recognized the reality that women face dangers my teaching doesn't cover, because I'm a MA instructor, and mostly teach straight self-defense (physical defense from a physical attack). You've given me a few tools to start considering whether I can do anything more within my program. The answer might be "no", but it'd at least be an informed "no".
College v university isn't about better or worse here but doing different jobs. Many students go to college first to get the qualifications to go to university. The level of study is harder as you would expect for a degree course as a Masters would be harder than an undergraduate degree, it's a matter of progression. There are 'colleges' in some universities such as Oxford and Cambridge but that's something different, some are from the 13th century others more modern from Tudor times etc.
To go to uni, you need to know what the minimum qualifications are for your subject and get them usually a couple of years before you are 18, usually though with the competition for places you will need more than just basic qualifications then you can apply to UCAS who are usually the best people to help and advise. University.
Some others ideas about the difference between the UK and US unis.
University In The UK Vs University In America
5 differences between going to college in the US vs the UK
Mostly true about the UK ones I've found, though the interest free loan bit sounds good it isn't actually, no likes starting their working life with £45,000 worth of debt. When I was a student we had grants, still had to work though, most students did. Sadly these days, students are more boring and drink less than when I was at uni (Aberdeen founded 1495) they are so less political and non activist, which is worrying, young people should be activists, should be taking on the world. They seem to have been ground down somehow. Political activity among university lectures, professors etc isn't hugely common either now.
This was my point from an earlier post ( and why I listed some of those areas) we have to look at what we think the 'problem' areas are ( taking advice if needed from reputable sources) and decide which ones we can tackle with competency and which ones are out of our hands to deal with in a martial arts class. There's also ones that we have a duty of care to be aware of like child abuse and should know how to take the appropriate action for where we live. We have to do that not just because we have that duty of care to our young students but because we strive to be decent human beings.
No contention on my part, but you have made public comments about my beliefs, my political views etc as well as ideas about the university system here which can well be described as snide. If you can hand out those comments but can't take rebuttals then it's not my problem.
"Dont mind Tez, i have come to the conclusion she is a UK modern feminist.(but maybe doesnt know it) from what i gather it is a left leaning majority over there. even their "Right" is left." " if that be the case in the UK, im glad i dont live there, sounds like a very boring place." " this college course sounds like a typical US and Canada women's studies course in the humanities. based on post modernism and Marxist thought. standard class warfare and the oppressed rhetoric."
so in this link that @aedrasteia posted it shows that the program was divided into 4 parts, one of those parts was the physical MA skills.
Efficacy of a Sexual Assault Resistance Program for University Women
this may be the correct ratio of instruction but without more detail i cannot say if the other components are appropriate or compatible for a MA school or instructor to address. some of it does seem like it should be covered, so i would like to dig deeper on that.
my main contention is what i see as a political creep into this field. many groups and ideologies are finding fertile ground in self defense and MA to promote their views. in this link ( National Women's Martial Arts Federation - Home, ) that @aedrasteia posted there is a page for requirements to be a NWMAF member. many will not see it the meaning but it is conformation of what i was saying earlier. the bold text is my own.
"6. Political awareness/contextualization of violence
The successful self defense instructor demonstrates:
Considers violence in the context of racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, ageism and other systems of inequality and oppression.
Understands violence as a societal vs. individual problem and communicates this in the classroom setting.
Assists students to challenge the victim-blaming ethos prevalent in considerations of violence."
it is getting harder to separate politics from self defense training because the new definition of violence is including speech and micro aggressions.
from wiki again the bold text is mine
Violence - Wikipedia
Violence is defined by the World Health Organization as "the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation," although the group acknowledges that the inclusion of "the use of power" in its definition expands on the conventional understanding of the word. This definition involves intentionality with the committing of the act itself, irrespective of the outcome it produces. However, generally, anything that is excited in an injurious or damaging way may be described as violent even if not meant to be violence (by a person and against a person).
Evaluation studies are beginning to support community interventions that aim to prevent violence against women by promoting gender equality. For instance, evidence suggests that programmes that combine microfinance with gender equity training can reduce intimate partner violence. School-based programmes such as Safe Dates programme in the United States of America and the Youth Relationship Project in Canada have been found to be effective for reducing dating violence.
so you can see there is a blending of traditional definitions of violence with something new and promoting "Gender studies" as a way to prevent violence. the new Canadian law Bill C16 specifically states that by not using certain pronouns for non binary people it is a form of hate speech and violence. topics like this are important to take note of but forbidden on this sight. these topics have a major impact on the conversation.
also if you read the entire Wiki link it goes on to say in not so many words that poverty is a form of violence toward that class of people.
That latter is not specific to MA, and not substantially pertinent to MA programs that don’t have kids classes. It’s a societal issue, rather than a teaching issue - as you correctly said, to be decent human beings.
Wow. I can't even imagine how tough that job must be. And yes... they are often forgotten. Abuse of seniors is one of those things people are sort of aware of, but nobody likes to talk about - because it is so hard to acknowledge this can be happening in a civilized first-world country.
Another group I want to see addressed in MA training is bullying survivors. Being one, I can honestly say, certain parts of the practice were hard for me not because of my gender but because of the very deeply ingrained memories of bullying. I still remember this - one of our exercises was called "the bull pen". Everyone in class forms a circle and has a striking shield. And you stand in the middle - also with a striking shield. Folks take turns running at you, and you have to blend. The intention is to train people to be aware of what's going on when surrounded. Well, for me, it brought on a memory of being pushed around a circle of bullies, and I had a very embarrassing breakdown in the middle of a class.
I think, in general, there is work to be done both on the part of the instructors and on the part of the students. There was no way my instructor could have helped me because of my bullying trauma, because I never told him about it. At the end of my other fitness classes - like zumba and yoga - instructors always ask whether anyone has any injuries and limitations. And it's up to the students to speak up, so the instructor might make recommendations how to adjust the intensity of exercise or where to take it easy.
I did say things like child abuse, thinking I wouldn't have to expand further and actually have to include things like bullying in the class, sexual harassment etc etc that we as instructors have a duty of care for. It was late at night so I thought I could save myself some typing and assume people would understand that 'things like' meant they could expand the list themselves. I didn't expect to get picked up for not including a long list and that I only meant child abuse.
I wasn't picking at you - just putting forth my thoughts on it.
sorry to hear that, i was bullied as well so i can sympathize. but how do you propose it be addressed? my own belief is the training should not be "dumbed down" or have "safe spaces" but rather could include a kind of immersion therapy. exposure to triggers little by little.
how do you see Ma could help what are your thoughts?
All good questions - I am still trying to sort it all out myself. Part of the problem is - we are all different. It's a cliche, but true. So, survivors of abuse have different triggers. I lay the first responsibility at the door of the survivors - as I said, they need to be honest with their instructors, just as they need to be honest with their therapists. People can't help you with what they don't know about you. So, when signing up for a martial arts class, they need to sit down and talk to the instructor about what they've been through and what they think challenges might be. Or, if they don't know, say honestly, "I have no idea how it might affect me the first time someone takes a swing at me - so, I'll do my best not to freak out, and I ask you to be patient with me if I do."
If anyone has any information on methods used by MA instructors to work with bullying survivors, I'd love to see some. So far, if you look up "bullying and martial arts", you see a list of schools and programs making preposterous claims to "bully-proof your child".
when i teach womens class (and this could be applied to all victims) i state right up front at the beginning that i fully expect someone to have a triggered break down. i then advise students to be aware of their own emotional state, so it doesnt creep up on them. i allow them to step back when needed without pressure to keep going and advise everyone to give support for someone if it happens.
this i think will take some of the embarissment out of it and help avoid it if possible.
There's only one adjustment I've typically made, for anyone with trauma. (I'm not equipped to do more, so would refer those who need more to seek someone equipped for that.) Once I know what their triggers are, I push gently in that area to find out what they can handle without getting into learning-limiting stress levels. I put them into that situation when they are feeling comfortable and with people they have learned to trust. This has had varying levels of success, including helping one student gradually get past crying-level anxiety when someone touched her neck and another who quit after a similar reaction.
So, for someone with that kind of reaction, what I'd do is find a partner they seem to trust and seem comfortable with (sometimes it's easier with a stranger of the same gender, sometimes with someone they know, sometimes they are more comfortable with me). I have that partner start by using a grip on the outsides of their shoulders, instead of the neck/choke. I have them gradually move in until the person shows stress. They back off a tiny bit (either in intensity or in location) and work there for a while. And so on.
I try to remember to give this at the beginning of a seminar and to new students. I probably fail to do so as much as I remember.
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