self defence for wimps

Jusroc

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hello
I was wondering what people's opinions are with regards to the best form of self defence for wimps.

This is a question that popped into my head after being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (at a late age) and I met loads of
nerdy, geeky, wimpy but really nice people who as a subgroup are the most likely people to be bullied at school / work / relationships
due to their disability.

Interestingly enough, when i was a kid, i also got bullied by the kids in the area that I lived and at the schools that I went to, but
I was lucky, in that, the era that I and fellow bullied kids grew up in, was the early 80s, an era that karate kid was first at the cinema / movies.
And at the age of 11, i, along with my fellow victims decided to start karate, which, due to having Autism Spectrum Disorder, I took to like a duck
to water (I guess its all those lists in Kenpo...lol)

So, during secondary school / high school, i shed my nerdy skin, or at least, swapped it for a karate nerd skin, which after training for 4 or 5 years,
i was not bad. Which was enough to stop many of the bullies from picking on me. I don't think this is how life is for most Autism Spectrum Disorder kids.

Meeting the Autism Spectrum Disorder community made me think, especially as I had spent some time training in BJJ and Judo, as well as a little MMA.
I realise that in many sport orientated clubs, the more competitive clubs are really focused at being as competitive as possible, and have little time to
nurture the less "competitive" individuals. In some clubs there is pretty much a sink or swim philosophy, which of course helps keep the standard up
for competitors who wish to compete.

however, when it comes to training timid nerdy types with little skill, I think that the sink or swim philosophy will result in the nerdier types never taking
to training and thus, going home without learning anything more than how to get beaten up (which actually most nerds know how to do already).

In fact, I would say that many of the nerdy types that so desperately need to learn some form of practical method to defend them self
would not likely even get anywhere near the dojo / training hall, due to fear.

So I would like to start a debate, in search for the best type of martial art for the timid.
How to train the timid and scared, the skills they need to survive.

Any ideas?
 

Steve

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hello
I was wondering what people's opinions are with regards to the best form of self defence for wimps.

This is a question that popped into my head after being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (at a late age) and I met loads of
nerdy, geeky, wimpy but really nice people who as a subgroup are the most likely people to be bullied at school / work / relationships
due to their disability.

Interestingly enough, when i was a kid, i also got bullied by the kids in the area that I lived and at the schools that I went to, but
I was lucky, in that, the era that I and fellow bullied kids grew up in, was the early 80s, an era that karate kid was first at the cinema / movies.
And at the age of 11, i, along with my fellow victims decided to start karate, which, due to having Autism Spectrum Disorder, I took to like a duck
to water (I guess its all those lists in Kenpo...lol)

So, during secondary school / high school, i shed my nerdy skin, or at least, swapped it for a karate nerd skin, which after training for 4 or 5 years,
i was not bad. Which was enough to stop many of the bullies from picking on me. I don't think this is how life is for most Autism Spectrum Disorder kids.

Meeting the Autism Spectrum Disorder community made me think, especially as I had spent some time training in BJJ and Judo, as well as a little MMA.
I realise that in many sport orientated clubs, the more competitive clubs are really focused at being as competitive as possible, and have little time to
nurture the less "competitive" individuals. In some clubs there is pretty much a sink or swim philosophy, which of course helps keep the standard up
for competitors who wish to compete.

however, when it comes to training timid nerdy types with little skill, I think that the sink or swim philosophy will result in the nerdier types never taking
to training and thus, going home without learning anything more than how to get beaten up (which actually most nerds know how to do already).

In fact, I would say that many of the nerdy types that so desperately need to learn some form of practical method to defend them self
would not likely even get anywhere near the dojo / training hall, due to fear.

So I would like to start a debate, in search for the best type of martial art for the timid.
How to train the timid and scared, the skills they need to survive.

Any ideas?
I think "nerdy" types respond really well to styles like BJJ, presuming they find a good school. And the benefits to them are numerous, and can't be found in a school that panders to their insecurity.

The key is getting folks into the school where they can see what it really is, as opposed to what they think it is. To be more clear, there is this perception that a sport school (BJJ, Judo, Boxing, Wrestling, MMA, etc) is a shark tank. There are some schools like that, to be sure. But most aren't.

And I just can't overstate how much I disagree with any school that suggests learning anything worthwhile can be done without any hard work or discomfort. The self defense schools that claim to be able to teach you anything practical without discomfort are doing more harm than good, IMO.
 

dvcochran

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hello
I was wondering what people's opinions are with regards to the best form of self defence for wimps.

This is a question that popped into my head after being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (at a late age) and I met loads of
nerdy, geeky, wimpy but really nice people who as a subgroup are the most likely people to be bullied at school / work / relationships
due to their disability.

Interestingly enough, when i was a kid, i also got bullied by the kids in the area that I lived and at the schools that I went to, but
I was lucky, in that, the era that I and fellow bullied kids grew up in, was the early 80s, an era that karate kid was first at the cinema / movies.
And at the age of 11, i, along with my fellow victims decided to start karate, which, due to having Autism Spectrum Disorder, I took to like a duck
to water (I guess its all those lists in Kenpo...lol)

So, during secondary school / high school, i shed my nerdy skin, or at least, swapped it for a karate nerd skin, which after training for 4 or 5 years,
i was not bad. Which was enough to stop many of the bullies from picking on me. I don't think this is how life is for most Autism Spectrum Disorder kids.

Meeting the Autism Spectrum Disorder community made me think, especially as I had spent some time training in BJJ and Judo, as well as a little MMA.
I realise that in many sport orientated clubs, the more competitive clubs are really focused at being as competitive as possible, and have little time to
nurture the less "competitive" individuals. In some clubs there is pretty much a sink or swim philosophy, which of course helps keep the standard up
for competitors who wish to compete.

however, when it comes to training timid nerdy types with little skill, I think that the sink or swim philosophy will result in the nerdier types never taking
to training and thus, going home without learning anything more than how to get beaten up (which actually most nerds know how to do already).

In fact, I would say that many of the nerdy types that so desperately need to learn some form of practical method to defend them self
would not likely even get anywhere near the dojo / training hall, due to fear.

So I would like to start a debate, in search for the best type of martial art for the timid.
How to train the timid and scared, the skills they need to survive.

Any ideas?
This is a tall question. And the short answer is one you may not want. Just like every other person who walks into a school or gym, there is an amount of conformity required. And I mean every person; whether they have physical or mental or social impairments (which face it, we all do to some extent).
That said, many, many schools are better prepared and more accommodating to an open model. And some of the best gains and changes I have seen in the cases I mentioned (mental/physical/social impairment) is when they integrate into regular class and Learn to be treated just like everyone else and Not as an exception. This may sound a bit cli-che' at face value but there is no greater thing than watching someone rise above natural and most importantly self perceived shortfalls. This is where the trinity of mental/physical/spiritual martial arts training really shines. Take any one pillar away and you have an unbalanced system which will come up short in areas.

So, to answer the question I feel there are already a great many schools that fit your requirements in existence. The onus is really on the instructor/school owner.
Purely fighter oriented schools do not fit this model. Yea I know, some people will not understand that comment.

One of my best instructor's memories is about a kid named Mike(y) Hickerson. His mother brought him to class distraught and desperate to help her son. He had been to countless doctors and had been removed from school being identified as high on the Autism spectrum. To be honest, I did not even know what Autism was at the time, as it commonly went under another name back then. Mikey was fully withdrawn and had not spoken in over 2 years.

After a very long meeting with his mother, where I was fully open that I had zero experience with kids on that scale we decided to give it a go. We agreed on a 1 year timeline to measure noticeable change.
The first several months were rough; on Mikey and his mom, on me, and on some of the other students. We lost a couple of people over it. There was a huge learning curve to figure out and it was not like there was a ton of information out there at the time. Fortunately, we already had a program with DHS for displaced kids and family. I reached out to them and started meeting with a counselor and also met with some of our local doctors to learn more about Autism. In short, as an Instructor, and a person who took on the task, I did the work to figure out how to complete the task.

At 4 months Mikey laughed for the first time. At 6 months he began making eye contact with me and some others. Not everyone, but some. At 11months said the word 'yes' and later 'yes sir'. At the one year mark he was fully integrated into regular classes. Yes, there were social ticks, limited speaking, and communication quirks and gaps.
Mikey was always an observant kid; figuring this out and bringing that to the surface took time and persistence; rendering the rest came pretty natural in the process.

Seven months later Mikey went back to regular classes at school, continuing to workout. At 3 years you could not distinguish him from any other teenage kid. At 5 years in training, Mikey received his black belt and won gold in AAU that year.
He was award a full ride to college on his grades alone and is now a successful engineer with a great family.

Damn, I love reliving these memories.
 

Petey Nunchakus

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hello
I was wondering what people's opinions are with regards to the best form of self defence for wimps.

This is a question that popped into my head after being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (at a late age) and I met loads of
nerdy, geeky, wimpy but really nice people who as a subgroup are the most likely people to be bullied at school / work / relationships
due to their disability.

Interestingly enough, when i was a kid, i also got bullied by the kids in the area that I lived and at the schools that I went to, but
I was lucky, in that, the era that I and fellow bullied kids grew up in, was the early 80s, an era that karate kid was first at the cinema / movies.
And at the age of 11, i, along with my fellow victims decided to start karate, which, due to having Autism Spectrum Disorder, I took to like a duck
to water (I guess its all those lists in Kenpo...lol)

So, during secondary school / high school, i shed my nerdy skin, or at least, swapped it for a karate nerd skin, which after training for 4 or 5 years,
i was not bad. Which was enough to stop many of the bullies from picking on me. I don't think this is how life is for most Autism Spectrum Disorder kids.

Meeting the Autism Spectrum Disorder community made me think, especially as I had spent some time training in BJJ and Judo, as well as a little MMA.
I realise that in many sport orientated clubs, the more competitive clubs are really focused at being as competitive as possible, and have little time to
nurture the less "competitive" individuals. In some clubs there is pretty much a sink or swim philosophy, which of course helps keep the standard up
for competitors who wish to compete.

however, when it comes to training timid nerdy types with little skill, I think that the sink or swim philosophy will result in the nerdier types never taking
to training and thus, going home without learning anything more than how to get beaten up (which actually most nerds know how to do already).

In fact, I would say that many of the nerdy types that so desperately need to learn some form of practical method to defend them self
would not likely even get anywhere near the dojo / training hall, due to fear.

So I would like to start a debate, in search for the best type of martial art for the timid.
How to train the timid and scared, the skills they need to survive.

Any ideas?
BJJ, baby! My daughter whom is autistic, loves it so much, and she actually focuses when she's rolling. It makes her happy, and it's helping her outside of the gym as well. I love it綽 Whatever you decide, I hope you love it too, brother.
 

Buka

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BJJ, baby! My daughter whom is autistic, loves it so much, and she actually focuses when she's rolling. It makes her happy, and it's helping her outside of the gym as well. I love it綽 Whatever you decide, I hope you love it too, brother.
Welcome to Martialtalk, Petey. :)
 

Hanzou

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Yeah, BJJ. I've been tapped out by a wide variety of skinny and lanky nerds in my time.
 

isshinryuronin

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Maybe I'm missing something, but why and how would one MA be better than another in regards to those who may be shy, slight of build, or have autistic social/communicative challenges? I fail to see how any of these conditions would limit one's success in one art over another.

The success comes not from the methodology of the art itself, but in doing the activity, whatever it may be
, and with work, getting better at it. The shy can get more confident, the weak can get stronger, the autistic can find their own reward using whatever mysterious criteria their mind may seize upon (angles, adherence to good form, sensing their internal chi, enjoyment of performing the technique with proper relaxation and tension and getting that "snap" in their gi...)

I agree with Jusroc that sport competition oriented schools, whether MMA or "T"MA (notice the quotes,) often put winning as a top priority, for that is the nature of competition. But in true TMA, the priority is not to win against others, but to win against oneself, which is often the harder goal. If this can be done, all that follows is easier, whether it's SD, competition, or just feeling better. This is the real benchmark, and any who achieve it deserve recognition and respect.

A school and teacher that can help the students overcome their liabilities and gain long lasting benefit and recognize their achievement, thus getting the student to accept their own worthiness, has done their job. The style is just the vehicle, it's the driver that counts.

So, Jusroc's story is a good one, but I believe his root question is based on a false premise.
 

Hanzou

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Maybe I'm missing something, but why and how would one MA be better than another in regards to those who may be shy, slight of build, or have autistic social/communicative challenges? I fail to see how any of these conditions would limit one's success in one art over another.

The success comes not from the methodology of the art itself, but in doing the activity, whatever it may be, and with work, getting better at it. The shy can get more confident, the weak can get stronger, the autistic can find their own reward using whatever mysterious criteria their mind may seize upon (angles, adherence to good form, sensing their internal chi, enjoyment of performing the technique with proper relaxation and tension and getting that "snap" in their gi...)

I agree with Jusroc that sport competition oriented schools, whether MMA or "T"MA (notice the quotes,) often put winning as a top priority, for that is the nature of competition. But in true TMA, the priority is not to win against others, but to win against oneself, which is often the harder goal. If this can be done, all that follows is easier, whether it's SD, competition, or just feeling better. This is the real benchmark, and any who achieve it deserve recognition and respect.

A school and teacher that can help the students overcome their liabilities and gain long lasting benefit and recognize their achievement, thus getting the student to accept their own worthiness, has done their job. The style is just the vehicle, it's the driver that counts.

So, Jusroc's story is a good one, but I believe his root question is based on a false premise.

Yeah, but how do you win against yourself in a TMA where you're never really able to test your actual level of skill? I did Shotokan for years, and I never felt under threat. I just did my kata and sparred. I was beating black belts when I was a blue belt. I thought I was really hot **** until I sparred against a boxer and he ate me alive. When I wound up in BJJ, I got choked out by a woman half my size on my second night of training. I wish I had gotten that in my second night of karate. Maybe I could have learned my place on the pecking order a lot sooner.

In BJJ you spend a good portion of the time getting your *** kicked by people who look they can't fight to save their life, but you quickly realize that those same people can kill you with their bare hands. That completely obliterates your ego and humbles you to the fact that you aren't as cool as you think you are. That's how you really win against yourself.
 

drop bear

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Maybe I'm missing something, but why and how would one MA be better than another in regards to those who may be shy, slight of build, or have autistic social/communicative challenges? I fail to see how any of these conditions would limit one's success in one art over another.

Bjj for example is successful when mechanical advantage is employed. Even over more athletic guys.

So specifically in that case. Autistic shy slender guys can become really powerful fighters.
 

isshinryuronin

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Yeah, but how do you win against yourself in a TMA where you're never really able to test your actual level of skill?
Competing against yourself has no direct relationship to fighting. You missed the point as completely as one is able to. A green belt that had to struggle to overcome a number of obstacles has won more than a gifted black belt that was able to reach that level with little effort.
Bjj for example is successful when mechanical advantage is employed. Even over more athletic guys.
Substitute "mechanical advantage" with tactical, positional, timing, or economical use of motion advantage being employed and karate/other arts can be successful against more athletic guys as well. And yes, mechanical advantage can also apply to karate techniques.
 

_Simon_

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This is a tall question. And the short answer is one you may not want. Just like every other person who walks into a school or gym, there is an amount of conformity required. And I mean every person; whether they have physical or mental or social impairments (which face it, we all do to some extent).
That said, many, many schools are better prepared and more accommodating to an open model. And some of the best gains and changes I have seen in the cases I mentioned (mental/physical/social impairment) is when they integrate into regular class and Learn to be treated just like everyone else and Not as an exception. This may sound a bit cli-che' at face value but there is no greater thing than watching someone rise above natural and most importantly self perceived shortfalls. This is where the trinity of mental/physical/spiritual martial arts training really shines. Take any one pillar away and you have an unbalanced system which will come up short in areas.

So, to answer the question I feel there are already a great many schools that fit your requirements in existence. The onus is really on the instructor/school owner.
Purely fighter oriented schools do not fit this model. Yea I know, some people will not understand that comment.

One of my best instructor's memories is about a kid named Mike(y) Hickerson. His mother brought him to class distraught and desperate to help her son. He had been to countless doctors and had been removed from school being identified as high on the Autism spectrum. To be honest, I did not even know what Autism was at the time, as it commonly went under another name back then. Mikey was fully withdrawn and had not spoken in over 2 years.

After a very long meeting with his mother, where I was fully open that I had zero experience with kids on that scale we decided to give it a go. We agreed on a 1 year timeline to measure noticeable change.
The first several months were rough; on Mikey and his mom, on me, and on some of the other students. We lost a couple of people over it. There was a huge learning curve to figure out and it was not like there was a ton of information out there at the time. Fortunately, we already had a program with DHS for displaced kids and family. I reached out to them and started meeting with a counselor and also met with some of our local doctors to learn more about Autism. In short, as an Instructor, and a person who took on the task, I did the work to figure out how to complete the task.

At 4 months Mikey laughed for the first time. At 6 months he began making eye contact with me and some others. Not everyone, but some. At 11months said the word 'yes' and later 'yes sir'. At the one year mark he was fully integrated into regular classes. Yes, there were social ticks, limited speaking, and communication quirks and gaps.
Mikey was always an observant kid; figuring this out and bringing that to the surface took time and persistence; rendering the rest came pretty natural in the process.

Seven months later Mikey went back to regular classes at school, continuing to workout. At 3 years you could not distinguish him from any other teenage kid. At 5 years in training, Mikey received his black belt and won gold in AAU that year.
He was award a full ride to college on his grades alone and is now a successful engineer with a great family.

Damn, I love reliving these memories.
Such a nice story man... beautiful, thanks for sharing :)
 

Hanzou

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Competing against yourself has no direct relationship to fighting. You missed the point as completely as one is able to. A green belt that had to struggle to overcome a number of obstacles has won more than a gifted black belt that was able to reach that level with little effort.

But that really IS the point. You're doing Martial Arts for fighting and through that fighting you find self improvement, because you learn humility and discipline through your victories AND your defeats. How are you learning defeat through kata and compliant training? You can say that a student may not be able to do a kata at first, but eventually they will, or they'll do it well enough to get the next belt, but where's the defeat? Where do they completely submit to superior skill?

They never do.

This is why in TMAs you have so many frauds and BS artists, because they have never been properly checked by anyone, much less themselves.
 

drop bear

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Competing against yourself has no direct relationship to fighting. You missed the point as completely as one is able to. A green belt that had to struggle to overcome a number of obstacles has won more than a gifted black belt that was able to reach that level with little effort.

Substitute "mechanical advantage" with tactical, positional, timing, or economical use of motion advantage being employed and karate/other arts can be successful against more athletic guys as well. And yes, mechanical advantage can also apply to karate techniques.

Not as much. Because you don't have the same level of positional dominance.

So a really strong guy could just walk forwards eating strikes untill he just mashes the other dude.

But that strong guy is still going to get swept if the other guy gets his position right.
 

Cynik75

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But that strong guy is still going to get swept if the other guy gets his position right.
And the strong guy is still going to get KO'ed if the other guy gest his speed, timing and accuracy right.
 

Instructor

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I am on the spectrum as is my son. We both train Hapkido. I'm not sure if it's so much about the style. I think it is really about the teacher and the school. Some teachers are better suited for teaching autistic people than others. I would look for a school that has small class size so that you are more likely to get one on one attention from the teacher. I would look for a school that is lighthearted and a little less formal. If the students are regularly smiling and having fun in a productive way because of the class not despite it, that is a good sign.
 

Instructor

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This is a tall question. And the short answer is one you may not want. Just like every other person who walks into a school or gym, there is an amount of conformity required. And I mean every person; whether they have physical or mental or social impairments (which face it, we all do to some extent).
That said, many, many schools are better prepared and more accommodating to an open model. And some of the best gains and changes I have seen in the cases I mentioned (mental/physical/social impairment) is when they integrate into regular class and Learn to be treated just like everyone else and Not as an exception. This may sound a bit cli-che' at face value but there is no greater thing than watching someone rise above natural and most importantly self perceived shortfalls. This is where the trinity of mental/physical/spiritual martial arts training really shines. Take any one pillar away and you have an unbalanced system which will come up short in areas.

So, to answer the question I feel there are already a great many schools that fit your requirements in existence. The onus is really on the instructor/school owner.
Purely fighter oriented schools do not fit this model. Yea I know, some people will not understand that comment.

One of my best instructor's memories is about a kid named Mike(y) Hickerson. His mother brought him to class distraught and desperate to help her son. He had been to countless doctors and had been removed from school being identified as high on the Autism spectrum. To be honest, I did not even know what Autism was at the time, as it commonly went under another name back then. Mikey was fully withdrawn and had not spoken in over 2 years.

After a very long meeting with his mother, where I was fully open that I had zero experience with kids on that scale we decided to give it a go. We agreed on a 1 year timeline to measure noticeable change.
The first several months were rough; on Mikey and his mom, on me, and on some of the other students. We lost a couple of people over it. There was a huge learning curve to figure out and it was not like there was a ton of information out there at the time. Fortunately, we already had a program with DHS for displaced kids and family. I reached out to them and started meeting with a counselor and also met with some of our local doctors to learn more about Autism. In short, as an Instructor, and a person who took on the task, I did the work to figure out how to complete the task.

At 4 months Mikey laughed for the first time. At 6 months he began making eye contact with me and some others. Not everyone, but some. At 11months said the word 'yes' and later 'yes sir'. At the one year mark he was fully integrated into regular classes. Yes, there were social ticks, limited speaking, and communication quirks and gaps.
Mikey was always an observant kid; figuring this out and bringing that to the surface took time and persistence; rendering the rest came pretty natural in the process.

Seven months later Mikey went back to regular classes at school, continuing to workout. At 3 years you could not distinguish him from any other teenage kid. At 5 years in training, Mikey received his black belt and won gold in AAU that year.
He was award a full ride to college on his grades alone and is now a successful engineer with a great family.

Damn, I love reliving these memories.
This is beautiful. It shows how powerful a patient mentor can be. My own Master changed my life forever and helped me to become the man I am today. I congratulate you, well done.
 

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