Archive for Crime

Why Women Don’t Learn Self-Defense (But Should!)

Posted in Day's Lesson, Discussion Question, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic, Training, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2012 by chencenter

Women’s self-defense, as we can all admit, is an important subject. But unless you are a celebrity instructor, have an amazing marketing team or wide access to women with a lot of time on their hands, chances are, you’ll have only a small-to-moderate turnout.

We’ve all heard and read the statistics; it’s uncomfortable to hear and imagine.  We shrug our shoulders and hope that it doesn’t happen to us.  We watch a program on the news, but as soon as you feel something the newscaster switches to another catastrophe, another piece of “breaking news.”

The Truth is…

We know what’s good for us.  We know that we should eat our veggies, brush our teeth… but what many don’t tell you (especially if you are a woman) is that you have a 1-in-4 chance of being raped or sexually assaulted in your lifetime.  Just think about the fact that even if it isn’t happening to you, it is likely happening to someone you know/knew and care/cared about.

If you acknowledge one thing (man or woman)….

You must acknowledge that you can become a target and crimes such as: bullying, domestic violence, sexual assault & rape can happen to anyone!

Even though every woman has thought about this at some point in their life, many are still not taking the necessary steps of prevention.  And just to make this clear – I’m not saying that learning self-defense is the definitive answer, but it is one of the best methods we have on this complex subject.  Taking classes with someone who understands not just the physical side of dealing with a would-be attacker, but placing enough emphasis on the physiological side – quick decision-making; when to run/escape, when to feint compliance (if necessary) and when to fight back, is of monumental importance.

“Violence is like treading water in a typhoon.  Most of the time, the typhoon is short-lived.  But if you don’t even know how to swim, you’re lost.”

But why do women neglect to train if the stakes are this high? …

  • Many have grown up with negative associations. Things like: age, size, weight, fitness level, their level of comfort, body image, etc., play into their thoughts about their ability in class and their potential to fend off/escape/subdue an opponent in a real situation.
  • Violence being done to you or a loved one is a terrible thought.  It’s easier to “put off” or go into denial that violence will happen to you.
  • Some women are not comfortable taking lessons from or with men.  [This behavior makes it not only more difficult to get them to class and learn, but more susceptible to victimization]
  • Many women (many whom I’ve met personally) don’t believe there is even a solution.  They feel they are and always will be incapable.
  • Some women have been victims themselves and a class will conjure horrible memories of the fear and hopelessness they once felt.
  • Some women may feel that fighting and learning to fight is “something men do” – It’s not “lady-like.”
  • Women (like many men) work hard during the day, and don’t feel like they have the TIME. [we make time for what is important]
  • They are or feel as if they are strapped financially.

Of all things…

Of all things, don’t let time or money be a factor.  There are some amazing, yet affordable programs out there (as well as products*).  And as far as TIME is concerned – like I said, we make time for what is important.  If we choose not to, well… that’s just plain foolish.

Michael Joyce

Golden Thread Workshops

RELATED ARTICLES

The Cycle of Behavior Tony Blauer

Ten Titles for Women Learning Self-DefenseMichael Joyce

Sexual Assault Prevention (+Video Clip)Gracie, Kennedy, Joyce

Gracie’s Women Empowered Course *

Never Getting Tied Up | Movie Look : Zodiac (2007)

Posted in Day's Lesson, Discussion Question, Safety, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic, Videos, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2011 by chencenter

In a brutal scene in the 2007 film Zodiac [clip below], a couple relaxing lakeside, is approached by the black and hooded ‘Zodiac Killer’ (true story; 1970’s San Francisco Bay Area).  The Z.K. instructs the woman to take from his hand a rope to bind to her boyfriend’s wrists.  Watch the video below (or if you remember the scene from the movie) – please offer your insights on the how the violence was played out.  Was there anything that the victims did wrong?  Just how big was their window of opportunity?

The Combative Corner was able to enlist two other self-protection professional’s perspectives on this scene; Melissa Soalt of Dr. Ruthless’ Practical Primal Self Defense and Roy Elghanayan of Krav Maga LA.

MICHAEL JOYCE :  What would strike me immediately (if I were the man in this scenario) is that the “Man in Black” not only had a gun, but was dressed as an executioner.  This, obviously, should not be taken lightly.  Considering the isolated area and the fact that there was very little cover, running away/running for help would be an iffy proposition.  If I felt very confident that my girlfriend and I could outrun (and if the car was close) the attacker, I would most certainly take that option.  However, my advice (if continuing with the “hostage” scenario) would be to whisper to my girlfriend to tie it very loose, so as when the Zodiac Killer comes to inspect her work, I immediately attack him.  I would hope that my girlfriend would assist me in this action as well.

DR. RUTHLESS :  My professional advise is common sense. Already stated — NEVER allow yourself to be tied up by a criminal. Period. This is classic- using one victim’s fear and pain against the other. As soon as he says, “Don’t get up…” All their alarms should go off. Feign submission for a spell if you need to to (goal is to lower bad guy’s aggressive aroussal; allow him to feel in control.  One of them NEEDS to act and close in on the gunman, grab the gunhand etc… and now there’s two against one!!!! (Would be great if it was the female because the gunman would least expect that. Then the man rushes in…)

The ZK essentially (as is not terribly uncommon) TOLD them out out-loud WHAT HE WOULD DO : “I’m not afraid to kill a man,” he said.

Also kneeling position offers some great explosive moves. (Simple one: yank his ankles hard and fast and very snappy – toward you while shoving him back in the groin region to send him slamming back and down hard. (of course there’s the issue of handgun…) Other from kneeling options too… snappy springing moves and then grab gun hand – slap gun off “kill line” Too tehcnincal for this…but you get the idea… ACT!

Hope is not a strategy– I don’t mean to blame these innocent peoples but c’mon folks– don’t believe the words of a f&#$% criminal!— Part of the work here is that we NEED TO GET OVER OUR FEAR OF INJURY– that’s critical for people to act in such dangerous scenarios- something else has to be more pressing than your fear…. like survival.  It always entails a risk – but this scene is clearly shouting out ” this ZK IS going to kill you both!” I think nowadays (today versus then) more people get it.

ROY ELGHANAYAN :  The guy obviously misjudged the situation.  Based on how he (Z.K.) was dressed (and his initial demands) he thought (perhaps) it was a random mugging situation.  What the victim should have done from the beginning was act like a victim – nervous – confused – (etc).  And hopefully the attacker will come closer & do what he wants, because in this example the attacker is keeping a distance between himself and his victims.  And because of this distance (and because the attacker has a gun) the only thing you can do is pray.  Your goal is to get the attacker at close range so you can grab the gun.  If you can’t do that, you have a problem…  How do you get him closer?  Don’t give him your wallet or keys.  Make him come and get it.

[If the scene plays out, and the guys HAD to toss the Z.K. the wallet and keys]  What the male should have done (as she was going to get the rope) would be to move his hands to the front.  Hopefully the gunman won’t care whether he’s tied up in the front or the back.  If she did this, and the Z.K.  was okay with this, the guy can do the technique really well (See Roy’s Video).

Another thing is that hopefully the woman wouldn’t just stand there.  She shouldn’t rely on anyone to save her.  You need to protect yourself – your family – your husband – So when she walks up to the gunman – boom!  She moves the gun away, she redirects the line-of-fire, she’s there to attack.  And the thing is that the attacker would not expect that from her!…

You’ve got to train for these situations.  Unfortunately if you take a cardio kickboxing class (or something similar) you won’t be ready to deliver what’s needed in this scenario.  In order to get to the level you need, you must train hard – not just physically but mentally as well.

Michael Joyce is the owner of The ChenCenter and founder of The Golden Thread System in Winston-Salem, N.C., & the author of 2 books on self-protection.  He is constantly  active teaching Women’s Self-Defense Workshops.  Visit his CombativeCorner profile for more information [here].

Melissa Soalt, or more famously known as Dr. Ruthless is an award-winning teacher of women’s self defense and a Black Belt Hall of Fame recipient.  She is currently liberating women from the jaws of fear.  For more information, visit her website at dr-ruthless.com.

Roy Elghanayan (his CC Interview – here -)is the owner of Krav Maga L.A. and a leading authority on reality-based combatives.  He’s a two-time Israeli Krav Maga National Champion and former trainer of the Israeli Special Forces.  For more information, visit his website KravMagaLA.Com.

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS SCENARIO

GUNS: A Tool For The Weak?

Posted in Crime, Discussion Question, Safety, Self-Defense, Violence, Weapons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2011 by chencenter

Gun-related homicides have slightly increased each year since 2002.  People between the ages of 15 and 24 are most likely to be targeted by gun violence as opposed to other forms of violence.  Intimate partner violence can be fatal when a gun is involved – from 1990 to 2005, two-thirds of spouse and ex-spouse homicide victims were killed by guns* (usdoj.gov).

In a 2002 crime study* (UN/OCJS) the United States ranked #4 (behind South Africa, Colombia & Thailand) in gun-related homicides [#8 per capita].

Let’s compare that with our neighbor to the north, Canada.

United States- 9,369  ¤  Canada- 144

In Detroit, a US city fairly well-known for its crime, recorded 308 criminal homicides in 2010 (a 15.4% drop from 2009) (DN).  However, a tweet from director Michael Moore alerted me to the fact that Detroit’s city across the river, Windsor, had a total of ZERO gun-related homicides.  Whether you are a fan of Moore or not, you have to ask yourself a question, what is it about us that drives us to kill one another?  Is it because of our gun laws?  How about our access to guns?  Is it just our American nature?

I posted a video on my facebook page on Monday that featured musician Henry Rollins in a 1994 MTV ad on violence (the video).  In this clip, Rollins proclaims, “…The strong don’t need guns.  Guns are tools of the weak.”  I got a fair amount of comments on this video, and I’m glad it attracted the attention it did.  This topic has gone on time and time again, and yet, gun-related homicides continue to rise.

My (personal) stance on guns?

Guns serve little purpose in today’s society other than: getting people hurt, creating accidents (many-times harmful and fatal ones), and killing or maiming innocent animals for sport (which I’ve always been against).  Guns, to me, are relics of a by-gone era.  While I understand that our military and law enforcement may need the protection of a ballistic weapon, our “every-day-citizen” does not.

What about my Second Amendment right?

Yes. This Constitutional amendment “protects” the right of the people to bear arms.  But with this, I think back to the words of comedian Chris Rock that said, “You could drive a car with your feet if you WANT to, that don’t make a it a good &%# idea!”  What are we scared of that we need a gun around for?  Le révolution?

Ok. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.  So there’s a revolution.

My next question would be, “Who do you think you are?”  Am I trying to be funny by asking this question? Well, yes AND no.  While it may be exciting to think that we’re a Clint Eastwood character, it’s humorous to believe you’re going to “Make someone’s day” without first getting yourself killed.  Your best bet will be to drill for oil/”juice” and barricade yourself in your fort (see film, The Road Warrior).

What about hunting?

Too cruel for me, but if that’s what you enjoy doing…and if you’re like Dexter and you need to exercise that need to kill something (or you’ll just blow your top), then go right ahead.  I can’t stop you.  But why not try to wrestle an elk down with your bare hands?  Why not learn to spear fish?  Give the poor animal a fighting chance, by God!  Don’t just dangle its food source in front of him with a hidden spike in it!  Wow, you out-smarted a fish!  Wow, you sniped a deer as it was walking through a meadow (which was probably the only natural clearing available with all the nearby freeways).  I might be impressed if you smeared yourself with dung, crept within range and used a slingshot or bow and arrow to bring the animal down, but that’s just my opinion.  Whatever you do though, don’t display the animal’s head on your wall and grin with pride.  How barbaric… but then again, somewhere inside of you you must feel that it is too.

Additional Note

If you do plan on owning a gun, make sure it is stored in a safe place and you educate yourself properly on the care, use and handling of the firearm.  Understand the state laws and keep in mind that injuring and/or killing (even a criminal or attacker) may like hold with it a prison sentence for you.

Suggested Reading:Facing Violence” by: Rory Miller.

We’d love to you what you, our readers, feel on the subject.

The underlining question IS, however, “Are guns needed” and “Are guns the biggest problem with America (when it comes to violence)?”

Sources:

United States Department of Justice, The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends &, Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002), The Detroit News. January 2010 (Hunter)

Harvard, Not Tufts. Most Dangerous Campus

Posted in News, Safety, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2010 by chencenter

I few weeks ago, an article stuck my attention entitled “Most Dangerous College Campuses.”  The source of the information came from The Daily Beast and was based on the most recent 3 calendar years.  As a self-defense instructor, this Top 20 countdown was more than just intriguing.  However, as I turned a more detailed eye towards the numbers, something didn’t appear right.

When I did my own math, I found that it’s not Tufts University in Boston, but rather, the prestigious Harvard University in Cambridge that’s the most dangerous school in the nation.

I’ve always heard the phrase, “You can bend the statistics any way you want”… but in this case, it’s how you measure them.  Something wasn’t right, but even me (not the best math student) saw a discrepancy.  See for yourself.

 

If this data jumped out at me, then why didn’t they jump out to anyone else?  Perhaps, (and this is just an opinion) they didn’t want to tarnish the oldest institution of higher education in the country as being the number 1 most violent?  They didn’t even place it in the runner-up slot (University of Maryland, Baltimore), but instead, placed it third (originally).

A Special Note: When I went to The Daily Beast (to fact check/double check) I found that Harvard was either #2 (all along) or moved from third place to second place.  However, when I first compiled the data, from the order listing via RR.Com’s “News” it listed them in this order: #1-Tufts, #2- U of Maryland, #3- Harvard, #4- Rutgers, #5-U of Hartford.  Either way, shuffling aside, one can easily look at the above statistics and see that Harvard University has the most crime (even given the difference in enrollment).

For all those that are curious (I’ve corrected the first two):  #1) Harvard #2) Tufts (The rest, via The Daily Beast) #3) Rutgers #4) U of Hartford #5) U of Baltimore #6) Howard U #7) North Carolina Central #8) Norfolk State U #9) Morgan State U #10) New Jersey Institute of Tech #11) Illinois Institute of Tech #12) Washington U #13) M.I.T #14) Johnson & Wales U #15) Temple U #16) U of Pennsylvania #17) Brown U #18) Columbia U #19) Standford U #20) U of the Pacific

When picking schools, read the statistics.  If you’re in the media/news/broadcasting field make sure you do your own fact-checking and take responsibilities for your mistakes.

And to everyone, keep your eyes open and your brain… thinking.  Always thinking.

Peace, Unity, Co-Existence & Love.

Michael Joyce

Michael’s Combative Profile (here)


 

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