Self Defense Series III The Final Reckoning

As noted before, CSADD had asked if I would instruct a self defense seminar as part of their efforts to promote sexual assault prevention. I brought some of my MCMAP Martial Arts Instructors along as it’s always handy to have a little high class muscle on hand. From what I can tell the class was a success and was a lot more fun for us than I thought it would be.

We spent about an hour discussing mindset, and general awareness as well as some possible scenarios. We also answered some questions then got into the actual kung fu with the Marines showing the ladies some techniques and letting them strike the pads. An Armed Forces Network news ninja was on hand to record the proceedings.

I’m particularly grateful for the video as it proves to a number of Navy husbands what their spouses were up to the night they went out to have the Marines “show them some moves.” I’m proud to report my instructors were complete gentlemen. Of course, they understand the consequence of any other behavior is to be the subject of a live demonstration of interpersonal violence.

All in all I think we were a hit and I hope all the attendees were able to take something useful away from our short training session.  If you hear any stories out of the Middle East concerning American women gouging out some dirtbag’s eyes after he put his hands on her, it might just be our fault.

Semper Fidelis!
America’s 1stSgt

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  1. I love that video. You’re a great teacher, 1st Sgt — focused and funny.

    Having a gentle, humorous teacher in a self-defense class is extremely important for women, because the video confirms something I’ve noticed at my own dojo. When women first show up at a self-defense or martial arts class, rather than finding striking techniques natural and empowering, they find them embarrassing. In other words, women are embarrassed to hit and kick. It takes a good teacher to get them past that paralyzing emotion.

    I hope some of those gals find what you did sufficiently intriguing that they continue to pursue their self-defense and martial arts studies beyond just this one class. Knowing the techniques is good; feeling them in your gut is better.

  2. I wish I had you as a self defense teacher, because that looked like such an awesome class! Excellent job, and I hope that this will help the ladies to take care of themselves.

  3. MSgt B, thanks. There have been a few incidents lately where American women have been accosted by Arab men. Seems if you are a woman walking by yourself you are fair game even in broad daylight.

    Ally, it’s my pleasure, truly.

    Coffee, I agree!

    Book, getting everyone to relax was my first step which is why I spent the first 40 or so minutes talking instead of going over techniques. When I discussed body language I said: “Like right now everyone’s uncomfortable and doesn’t know each other so you’ve all got your arms crossed like this.” Then I imitated them and got a laugh.

    NavyOne, yeah BOB has been there forever. He is so broken down we had to stuff towels into the tube holding him up or he’d only be 4ft tall.

    Erika, I can’t be everywhere but I am certain there are professionals in your area who teach women’s self defense. Even better would be someone who could teach you how to handle a handgun responsibly (and lethally).

  4. I’m just gonna pretend that I said what Bookworm said, cos that’s what i was thinking. Except Book phrased it better.

    But i will add:
    Awww, you fellas are even uniform when you’re not in uniform, that’s so cute!

  5. I found the video as fascinating as the accent.

    Keep up the super(hero) work A1S!

    [who should probably enroll in a self-defense course instead of relying on the “catholic method*” that I learned from an ex]

    *spectical (head butt); Testicle (!), wallet & watch (stomach strike with elbow) then run screaming “OH GOD”…

  6. Very Cool! Thank You for taking the time to teach these ladies!
    I took a Tac Pistol class and our teacher was great – he doesn’t just teach how to shoot, but when, where, and why, and other self defense techniques. (The knife fighting class was awesome!)It’s something all of us need to learn!!

  7. Given what I’ve heard about the military’s official (Army) counter measures, they are grossly inadequate for personal protection. Power point level, even.

    So it’s good to hear that the upper echelons are mentoring the lower echelons, across service lines too. Even though this seems to be orientated for civilians, it seems like the organization itself should be viable for improving base security as well.

    A lot of military basic training is to teach civilians how to obey authority and fire only when authorized to. That has certain effects against internal crime, when nobody is going to be shouting in the ear of the victim to “shoot” or “attack” or “hurt” the enemy. The “enemy” in this case would be a fellow comrade or “member of the same social organization”. Thus it would be deemed “blue on blue” and military training is designed to stop “blue on blue” incidents by conditioning people to be unable to fire on illegitimate targets.

    To a civilian, they determine what the RoE is most of the time, with legal authority being the backstop that only sometimes activates. To a military member, the ROE is determined for them the super majority of the time and individual initiative is limited by authority almost all the time. To be able to switch from the mentality of a soldier, to a warrior, back to a civilian takes a slightly different training curriculum. I’ve heard that there have been cases where women armed on base refused to shoot their attacker when the moment of truth came. I suspect they were frozen and unable to make the decision, waiting on an authority to give them permission.

    A lot of people are not confident enough to make their own decisions, on their own authority, and often are looking for “permission” to do things. People who have not found something worth dying for, worth killing for, often rely on external authorities and sources to tell them what to do.

    Only time, experience, and wisdom can counter that. People aren’t born independent of soul and spirit.

    As a last note, the 4 people I picked up a significant amount of information concerning humans in violent situations are:

    1. Tim Larkin/Chris Ranck-Buhr/Torin Hill
    2. Dave Grossman
    3. Marc MacYoung
    4. Rory Miller

    In order of time sequence. Learning from farmers, I realized that killing animals takes a certain amount of will power. Even with the knowledge of the technique and movements, the will must be there. No will, and the power goes away. The eyes look away, power and accuracy drops to almost nothing. Given modern civilization doesn’t slaughter animals for its own food, there’s often a lot of guilt and questions concerning morality/ethics bundled up in the concept of using force to destroy life.

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