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Old 01-26-2009, 02:42 PM   #1
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Default BBW/SSBBW self defense...

There was a mention on the 2009 bash thread about bbw/ssbbw self defense. I have been practicing for about 7 years now, and have a decent handle on fitness and human physiology. There are unique advantages and disadvantages to being a larger person when it comes to defending yourself.
Most martial arts systems are effective if you are suited for them physically.
Although quite a few BBW's are nimble/athletic, I am going to aim this post towards those who aren't. Things to consider:

1.mobility
2.strength
3.balance
4.reflexes

The above mentioned characteristics vary greatly within our community.
That being said, here are some suggestions...

1. Talk to an Aikido, Judo, or Jujitsu practitioner. These arts have extensive locks and holds that don't require a lot of strength and athleticism, i.e wrist locks, small joint manipulation (fingers,etc). And they freakin' hurt! So it might get you out of hot water. They also most likely wont get you arrested like a more aggressive art like Karate or boxing, which tend to focus on striking.

2. Have a high level instructor assess your physical abilities. This could determine what techniques could work for you. We always say in martial arts that some of the most dangerous people come in unlikely packages. Feel free to pm me anytime if anyone has questions. I also know of many great places to learn on the east coast.
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:02 PM   #2
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Of the several martial arts I've studied if you're just looking for pure threat neutralization Krav Maga is also well worth considering. It is not a sport and not contingent on athletic conditioning. Just straight up, no-nonsense self defense.
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:20 PM   #3
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i hear ya. Krav maga is the real deal.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:08 PM   #4
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i hear ya. Krav maga is the real deal.
Yep. It's hard to find a good place I heard, however. It's very realistic though, along with Haganah, and others such as combat hapkido.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:16 PM   #5
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Something very simple that everyone can do is to scream very loudly the word "NO!" When you are in danger. Yelling "help" or "rape" won't do much since people don't really respond to that.

Also places to strike that most of us can reach and that don't require much skill are open palm hit to the ears, pushing in on someone's eye sockets, a knee to the groin, and an open palm slap to the solar plexis.

Ladies always carry your bag over your shoulder (if possible) and in front of you. Walk where there are people and where the area is well lit.

Perhaps an instruction book for self defense for women might be usefull even if bbws aren't in the diagrams. I might have one somewhere, and I can take a look and see what could be modified for bigger women.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:16 PM   #6
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Judo, boxing, Muay Thai. Learn 'em, love 'em, live 'em.

No sugar-coating it, if you care about doing well in a self-defense situation, there's no getting around the fact that it takes hard work, dedication, and REALISTIC training. Anyone, ANYONE peddling quick fixes is full of shit.

And my best "bang for the buck" advice would be to get a gun, a CCL, and training as to how to draw it under stress, while being attacked, etc.. It's harder than it sounds. Again, there's no quick fix; even this "shortcut" will take a fair expenditure of time and energy.

Basically, there's no easy answer if it's a serious consideration.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mini View Post
Judo, boxing, Muay Thai. Learn 'em, love 'em, live 'em.

No sugar-coating it, if you care about doing well in a self-defense situation, there's no getting around the fact that it takes hard work, dedication, and REALISTIC training. Anyone, ANYONE peddling quick fixes is full of shit.

And my best "bang for the buck" advice would be to get a gun, a CCL, and training as to how to draw it under stress, while being attacked, etc.. It's harder than it sounds. Again, there's no quick fix; even this "shortcut" will take a fair expenditure of time and energy.

Basically, there's no easy answer if it's a serious consideration.
I don't disagree about "quick fixes" but I would also hate to discourage any woman from getting some basic self defense knowledge because she simply can't do the "hard work, dedication, and REALISTIC training" schtick. Big women and especially women with limited mobility are at least as vulnerable as anyone else. Bad guys rely on the element of surprise and often close with their victims too quickly for a handgun or mace to come into play. Aggressive threat neutralization such as Olwen described is exactly what Krav Maga is about. I wouldn't feel comfortable advising a woman to carry a piece unless she also had the skills to break away from an assailant and use it. Just sayin'.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ernest Nagel View Post
I don't disagree about "quick fixes" but I would also hate to discourage any woman from getting some basic self defense knowledge because she simply can't do the "hard work, dedication, and REALISTIC training" schtick. Big women and especially women with limited mobility are at least as vulnerable as anyone else. Bad guys rely on the element of surprise and often close with their victims too quickly for a handgun or mace to come into play. Aggressive threat neutralization such as Olwen described is exactly what Krav Maga is about. I wouldn't feel comfortable advising a woman to carry a piece unless she also had the skills to break away from an assailant and use it. Just sayin'.
Also it's illegal in some places for anyone to carry concealed weapons even with a license unless you are a peace officer. Mace is probably good tho. Not sure about tazers.

My self dense book is buried in a box in my closet that is buried under other boxes and I just don't feel like digging it out. Too bad.

The thing tho that I remember most from the book were the bits about vocalizations. The books tells women not to be afraid to scream and yell because assailants usually don't expect that from us, and it slows them down a little.

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Old 01-26-2009, 05:47 PM   #9
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I carry pepper spray with me wherever I go. If I'm walking alone at night I keep it in my hand with my finger poised on the button. I've never had to use it, thankfully.

While I think it's definitely good to take some sort of self-defense class as a woman, I'm small, clumsy and not very strong and I have a really hard time envisioning myself overpowering a large male in any situation without some kind of weapon.

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Old 01-26-2009, 06:09 PM   #10
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lala,

Thats the thing, aikido,etc. were designed by smaller people to be able to defeat a larger foe by technique and leverage. I have some size, over 6ft, 200+lbs and fit. There were women who knew their stuff that had no prob taking me out, especially before I had an idea what I was doing.Pepper spray isn't a bad idea either. As far as overpowering a large male, do you think your whole body is stronger than his fingers? Or ears, nose, windpipe?,etc.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:13 PM   #11
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also, in reference to "realistic training", taking it seriously is a must, and if you find a reputable instructor, you will not get babied. You will understand the technique from both ends. Once you feel a few even 50% force joint locks, you will get it, and when you become proficient enough, you will be confident enough to use those moves. Also, if you know anyone who is a police officer, they more than likely know how to handle themselves, so they would be a good person to ask. A good cop is always learning more to be a better one.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:21 PM   #12
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The thing tho that I remember most from the book were the bits about vocalizations. The books tells women not to be afraid to scream and yell because assailants usually don't expect that from us, and it slows them down a little.
Yup. Yup.

If a woman is feeling really uncomfortable, and we often dismiss what our gut is telling us, getting vocal might throw the would be assailant off kilter. Now, could be that we are wrong about intentions...HOWEVER...it is MUCH better to be alive and ok, than the alternative.

Too many women do not want to ' make waves ', or do not want to embarrass ourselves. I have removed myself from elevators, if I am feeling uncomfortable. I used to care what the man might think...no more. Decent men are ok with this, as they ' get it ', and some of them have their own ' ah-HA moments and will conduct themselves with more awareness and encourage other men to understand...and do the same. When I walk down a darkened street ( or, sometimes, even in daylight ), I have crossed to the other side, if any hairs start to tingle. I have also walked down the middle of streets, rather than be too close to parked cars. I try to remember to walk tall and look around.


It is really important for women to learn to use their voices...whether it is to voice an opinion and not care about the nastiness that might be their reward...or when they are confronted with real or perceived physical threat. All this stuff is useful for any person who is getting grief for who they are. This is such a multi level problem. As for weapons, I have carried pepper spray, and I have carried a few other things in my purse ( by the way, not being so encumbered in some situations would be a good thing for women ).
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:53 PM   #13
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Just a weird anecdote:

Last week I had just said goodbye to my male friend after hanging out and went on my way to the bus stop. I was on a busy street around 11pm and I had that tingly hairs on the back of my neck feeling (like I felt like I'd never walked on that street before and I work in the area so it's a familiar street and shouldn't feel strange) but I just dismissed it and kept walking. I go to cross the street and four guys came up behind me and started doing...I don't know it was weird, one of them was in my face and the other one was trying to rub his ass against me. I'm sure they were all drunk too since they were also trying to hurl insults at me in some thick accent I could barely make out...anyway, I tried to move away and they followed me. I was starting to freak out a little, but I tried not to show it tho and I remembered about the vocalizations so I turned around to face all of them and started hurling insults at the one who had his hand on his dick. They were all so surprised I said anything that they all took a step back and just looked at me, so I took that moment to run across the street as fast as I could before the light changed again, and luckily a bus was pulling up to the curb and I just got on it. I didn't even care which one it was I just got on it and when I sat down I was shaking.

I've been half wondering ever since then what would have happened if I hadn't opened my mouth and said something. Needless to say, I'm glad I spoke up cause it worked.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:07 PM   #14
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Just had a weird feeling last week, walking home from work after dark. Turning the corner, saw a guy kind of turn with me and fall in step behind me, without passing me. I headed for lights and people quickly, but really was cursing myself that I'd tried to take a backstreet shortcut instead of the longer route on the main thoroughfare.

Every once in a while, I do terribly stupid things. It was at least a reminder of why it makes sense to be on the defensive.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:22 PM   #15
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I've always been somewhat strong, but this is why I am going to be weight training in the near future.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Fascinita View Post
Just had a weird feeling last week, walking home from work after dark. Turning the corner, saw a guy kind of turn with me and fall in step behind me, without passing me. I headed for lights and people quickly, but really was cursing myself that I'd tried to take a backstreet shortcut instead of the longer route on the main thoroughfare.

Every once in a while, I do terribly stupid things. It was at least a reminder of why it makes sense to be on the defensive.
I'm good for stopping right where I am and rummaging in my bag for imaginary keys/bus pass/cigarettes (even though I don't smoke) just to let the guy following me pass me if I'm nervous. I'll turn around on one foot and go back, act like I left something behind and leave him to move on someplace else. No one has ever followed me back. If a suspicious person approaches me and begins to step across that invisible threshold of personal space, straightening up and using a loud assertive voice will do. "Yo man, get up off me! You don't know me like that!" So far that has been all that's necessary. Nobody likes a scene and everybody likes to watch a fight so this kind of confrontation attracts attention immediately. It has never gone beyond any of these snenarios. *knocks on wood*
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:41 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TheIceManVer2.0 View Post
also, in reference to "realistic training", taking it seriously is a must, and if you find a reputable instructor, you will not get babied. You will understand the technique from both ends. Once you feel a few even 50% force joint locks, you will get it, and when you become proficient enough, you will be confident enough to use those moves. Also, if you know anyone who is a police officer, they more than likely know how to handle themselves, so they would be a good person to ask. A good cop is always learning more to be a better one.

IcemanVer2.0:

Realistic training is a must be it (Hapkido, Krav Maga, Kenpo Karate, JeetKunDo, Sambo,FAST).

Also self defense training gives one a different mindset (focus on awareness of youe environment). I guess with the use of joint locks ( Wally Jay JuJitsu-ChinNA or Aikido) yes 50% force on some holds can do some "hurt" ;but, in a street situation it's safe to "soften up" someone before applying any joint lock.

When I was in college I had the pleasure of training with the late Charles Nelson who use to have a self defense school on 72nd Street Between Broadway and Columbus Avenue. He taught Mongolian Wresting and these were some of his points...

Charles Nelson had five main principles of Chinese Mongolian Wrestling:

1. Never take a fighting stance. Pretend to yield. Then attack suddenly without warning.

2. Never go to the ground.

3. A man's legs are his foundation. Take the foundation out from under him and he cannot stand to fight.

4. An assailant's arms are like the tiller of a ship. Control his arm and you control the direction of his power and his ability to attack.

5. Never place a restraining hold on an attacker without striking him first. Use edge-of-hand, open hand, heel-of-palm strikes to soften him up before attempting a wristlock or armlock.

Mr. Nelson also believed in keeping your techniques simple- an assault is so fast that it is easy to freeze up.

Charles Nelson Living Legend




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Also it's illegal in some places for anyone to carry concealed weapons even with a license unless you are a peace officer. Mace is probably good tho. Not sure about tazers.

My self defense book is buried in a box in my closet that is buried under other boxes and I just don't feel like digging it out. Too bad.

The thing tho that I remember most from the book were the bits about vocalizations. The books tells women not to be afraid to scream and yell because assailants usually don't expect that from us, and it slows them down a little.

Olwen:

The law is funny on the use of weapons- I guess it all depends cause anything can be a weapon (bookbag-cane-umbrella-newspaper)... I know that in NYC most martial arts store will not sell weapons of any kind (nunchukas- blades- sumari swords-ninja weapons) - and the less obvious (kubotans-escrima sticks)...

Can one learn self defense from a book or tape (yes and no) - the knowledge is good and as long as you keep your moves basic it should be ok...




Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Nagel View Post
I don't disagree about "quick fixes" but I would also hate to discourage any woman from getting some basic self defense knowledge because she simply can't do the "hard work, dedication, and REALISTIC training" schtick. Big women and especially women with limited mobility are at least as vulnerable as anyone else. Bad guys rely on the element of surprise and often close with their victims too quickly for a handgun or mace to come into play. Aggressive threat neutralization such as Olwen described is exactly what Krav Maga is about. I wouldn't feel comfortable advising a woman to carry a piece unless she also had the skills to break away from an assailant and use it. Just sayin'.

Ernest:

Use of weapons is a touchy subject and it depends on a case by case scenario...

So true on the element of surprize and regarding mace- you could always run up agianst one individual where the spray has no effect.


Quote:
Originally Posted by olwen View Post
Just a weird anecdote:

Last week I had just said goodbye to my male friend after hanging out and went on my way to the bus stop. I was on a busy street around 11pm and I had that tingly hairs on the back of my neck feeling (like I felt like I'd never walked on that street before and I work in the area so it's a familiar street and shouldn't feel strange) but I just dismissed it and kept walking. I go to cross the street and four guys came up behind me and started doing...I don't know it was weird, one of them was in my face and the other one was trying to rub his ass against me. I'm sure they were all drunk too since they were also trying to hurl insults at me in some thick accent I could barely make out...anyway, I tried to move away and they followed me. I was starting to freak out a little, but I tried not to show it tho and I remembered about the vocalizations so I turned around to face all of them and started hurling insults at the one who had his hand on his dick. They were all so surprised I said anything that they all took a step back and just looked at me, so I took that moment to run across the street as fast as I could before the light changed again, and luckily a bus was pulling up to the curb and I just got on it. I didn't even care which one it was I just got on it and when I sat down I was shaking.

I've been half wondering ever since then what would have happened if I hadn't opened my mouth and said something. Needless to say, I'm glad I spoke up cause it worked.

Olwen:
Very Scary scenario that you had to deal with since it concerns a possible multiple attack. You kept a very cool head in an extremely dangerous/stressful situation.

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Old 01-26-2009, 09:05 PM   #18
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Tony, you're right about learning from books. You can only learn so much. I have enough martial arts books to fill up a huge box, and try as I might to learn from them, I just didn't get very far. So now those books just look cool on my bookshelf.

Thanks. The whole incident just seems really strange to me tho. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before...like most of the time when a group of guys want to harrass me they do it from far away and it's just verbal stupidity you know. I can give them the finger and keep walking and they never follow. That's what I'm used to. I've never been ganged up on before.

I guess this is just yet another example of how being fat isn't a guarantee of protection from sexual harrassment; and also a reminder to pay attention to everything that's going on around you even on familiar populated and well lit streets.

And hence this thread.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:44 PM   #19
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Tony, you're right about learning from books. You can only learn so much. I have enough martial arts books to fill up a huge box, and try as I might to learn from them, I just didn't get very far. So now those books just look cool on my bookshelf.

Thanks. The whole incident just seems really strange to me tho. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before...like most of the time when a group of guys want to harrass me they do it from far away and it's just verbal stupidity you know. I can give them the finger and keep walking and they never follow. That's what I'm used to. I've never been ganged up on before.

I guess this is just yet another example of how being fat isn't a guarantee of protection from sexual harrassment; and also a reminder to pay attention to everything that's going on around you even on familiar populated and well lit streets.

And hence this thread.

I think this thread is a good idea and great for folks be it BBW/BHM/FA/FFA to share their experiences.

The worse thing to deal with is amultiple gang attack and using discretion (as you've done) is the best way to deal with the scenario.

I have found books and videos to be educational to a degree ;but, wht I have noticed in some martial art magazines and books when they show a certian techinque is that key elements are left out and certain applications may have to be modified when applied to the streets given the size/gender etc. of the assailant. How much force does one apply etc. etc.

One disturbing trend (especially with the proliferation of Self Defense info) is filtering out the good techniquesfrom the bad. Some stuff can get you hurt.

Look at this questionable Youtube videochoking self defense technique

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Old 01-27-2009, 10:46 AM   #20
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Tony, all good points my friend. My emphasis on joint locks is not my own strength. My main areas are judo and muay thai. However, when I said 50% will make you uncomfortable, 100% could break the fragile bones in the fingers and hands. Some people are really tough, can take loads of punishment to certain areas, i.e. legs, midsection, even head shots. However, very few can withstand a forceful blow to vulnerable points like the eyes, nose, throat,ears. My main objective was to recommend an style for BBW's, the point was to find one that does not need high levels of agility and fitness. If the BBW is in good shape, then its gravy. If not, there should still be options.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:52 AM   #21
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also, body type and physical attributes play a big role as to which techniques would work best. for example, a large, cumbersome person should not try any flying head kicks. However, having that weight will make you hard to control, and even if the person attacking is stronger, their lack of weight will make you harder to move around than vice versa. A smaller person has to rely on agility and razor sharp technique. Either way, like Tony said, keeping a cool head and using good judgment is huge.
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:59 PM   #22
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also, body type and physical attributes play a big role as to which techniques would work best. for example, a large, cumbersome person should not try any flying head kicks. However, having that weight will make you hard to control, and even if the person attacking is stronger, their lack of weight will make you harder to move around than vice versa. A smaller person has to rely on agility and razor sharp technique. Either way, like Tony said, keeping a cool head and using good judgment is huge.
No one should try flying kicks unless they're fighting Shaq or Hong Man Choi , and they've got the skill to apply them. They're hard, unbalanced, and you can gather more power on the ground.

Really it should be of a suggestion, because people do fight differently based on body type, but we all fight differently anyway. It doesn't mean x person can't do y, just that it may or may not be harder for them to learn. It's a guideline moreso than a rule.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:15 PM   #23
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Tony, all good points my friend. My emphasis on joint locks is not my own strength. My main areas are judo and muay thai. However, when I said 50% will make you uncomfortable, 100% could break the fragile bones in the fingers and hands. Some people are really tough, can take loads of punishment to certain areas, i.e. legs, midsection, even head shots. However, very few can withstand a forceful blow to vulnerable points like the eyes, nose, throat,ears. My main objective was to recommend an style for BBW's, the point was to find one that does not need high levels of agility and fitness. If the BBW is in good shape, then its gravy. If not, there should still be options.

My exposure to joint locks were limited and most of the times these holds were applied after an initial "strike" to "weaken" my resistance . I do agree that just by working out any folks of size would feel great and one should have options with whatever techniques is being used.



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No one should try flying kicks unless they're fighting Shaq or Hong Man Choi , and they've got the skill to apply them. They're hard, unbalanced, and you can gather more power on the ground.

Really it should be of a suggestion, because people do fight differently based on body type, but we all fight differently anyway. It doesn't mean x person can't do y, just that it may or may not be harder for them to learn. It's a guideline moreso than a rule.

So true the same can be said on the application of certain self defense techniques- it's all a guideline and it's important to know the basics ;i.e.,(very easy for someone to break their hand if they throw a punch improperly).

And most High Kicks look good on TV or the movies and we all know what happened to Jean Claude VanDame
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:35 PM   #24
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The first thing I have taught anyone is... don't let yourself be put into a position where screaming for help and calling 911 on your cell phone are not the best options that you have.


Example; Don't walk down that dark alley way...
Don't walk to your car alone if you can avoid it...
Basically; pretend you're in a real life thriller/horror movie and don't do anything that you would be "screaming" at the actors/actresses to not do.


A lot of things that have been said here are very helpful, I'd like to just really try to hammer these points home.


If you live a state where you're allowed to carry pepper spray, or a fire arm (or if you are licensed to do so) please remember that these weapons or "a weapon" not "your" weapon. "Your" weapon still works in the perps hands if they get it away from you.



No personal property is (in general) worth dying for (I have an Italian Horn that's been in my family for about 100 years.... I'd risk taking a bullet to protect it lol).


I do not mean to slander anyone; but the school that I attend runs women's and seniors SD classes... I think these classes can be very beneficial to larger people that may have some mobility issues.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:43 PM   #25
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If you live a state where you're allowed to carry pepper spray, or a fire arm (or if you are licensed to do so) please remember that these weapons or "a weapon" not "your" weapon. "Your" weapon still works in the perps hands if they get it away from you.

I do not mean to slander anyone; but the school that I attend runs women's and seniors SD classes... I think these classes can be very beneficial to larger people that may have some mobility issues.

Good points on the Pepper spray - have to look at all sides.

What style deos your schoolteach? Do they advocate an eclectic form of martial arts?
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