Archive for Women’s Safety

Extending a Hand to Women – Tim Larkin

Posted in Miscellaneous, Self-Defense, Women's Self-Defense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2013 by Combative Corner

Tim Larkin Profile PicI’ve you’ve been to Target Focus Training‘s website, you’ve seen the video.  Tim Larkin seldom asks us for anything… however, the truth of the matter (with the media the way that it is), self-defense for women is not going to be given the platform it needs to without help, without sales, without you guys helping to spread the message.

This should be an invaluable book (with a foreword by Tony Robbins!) and is will worth the cost.  Find it on Amazon, Barnes N’ Noble or buy directly from Tim Larkin himself.

10 QUESTIONS WITH TIM LARKIN

Joyce1“As someone whose career is based around the education of women, I am eager to aid this movement as strongly as I possibly can.  I sincerely hope you guys do the same!”

-Michael Joyce

OutFoxxed Program

GTS Workshops.  North Carolina

“Violence is Never a Choice a Man Should Make” – Patrick Stewart

Posted in Crime, Videos, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2013 by Combative Corner

Patrick Stewart gives a gripping and personal answer to a fan at Comicpalooza 2013.  Be forewarned, there’s a moment (2:40) that may bring you to tears.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

10 Questions with Eve Torres

Posted in 10 Questions, Jiujitsu, Safety, Self-Defense, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2013 by Combative Corner

Eve Torres CombativeCornerEve Torres is not your typical lady – she’s a dancer, model, actress, former professional wrestler (3-time WWE Divas Champion) and now, instructor of the Gracie’s Women Empowered Program

(Combative Corner DVD Review). Click image below to watch.

I had to honor of linking up with her on Skype for an exclusive 10 Question Interview.  Watch and listen as we find out more about Eve and her new-found direction.

Stay in the loop.  Follow the Combative Corner on Facebook & Twitter.

Interviewer: Michael Joyce

*Photos Above used with the Permission of Ms. Eve Marie Torres

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10 Questions with Erin Weed

Posted in 10 Questions, Crime, Self-Defense, Violence with tags , , , , , , , on April 20, 2013 by Combative Corner

CombativeCorner Erin Weed

With April being Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month, we’ve enlisted the help of two amazing females: Erin Weed of Girls Fight Back and Eve Torres of the Gracie’s Women Empowered Program.  Please pass these interviews on via Facebook, Twitter or other social media outlets.  Thank you. 

Interview with Erin Weed of Girls Fight Back

Tell us briefly how you became the teacher and lecturer you are today?

I got certified to teach self-defense shortly after my friend from college was murdered, and created a self-defense educational seminar to connect with young women in high school and college. It’s borderline stand-up comedy, instead of scaring the be-jesus out of them!

After you decided to start, Girls Fight Back, what steps did you go through to get “the ball rolling”?

First step was getting certified in a few different self-defense systems. Next it was teaching the content in a small class setting, followed by creating the GFB seminar and branding it. Then it was a matter of just doing it! I spoke for free at first, but after a bit reached out to a speakers bureau to help with getting paid for the engagements, and actually making it my living. After 8 years of speaking and living on airplanes, I trained a team of speakers in the USA – then one in Pakistan and India – to give the presentation as well. I believe our ideas and our content should be scalable to reach more people.

In your opinion, what is the best way to “light the fire” of awareness to rape, assault, abuse etc?

Frankly, I think people teaching any sort of tough issue like violence need to understand marketing and how to connect with their audience. Meaning, you try to match the tone and content you’re delivering for the people you are trying to connect with. So if you’re talking to corporate women about rape, then really understand – what are their fears, their concerns and the crimes most likely to be committed against them? And on the flip side, how do they WANT to feel? (Note: This is the opposite of how most self-defense programs market themselves. They use fear as their marketing, which is a big mistake when people really WANT to feel at ease! Do you buy toothpaste because it uses the fear of tooth decay as their strategy? Probably not – you buy the Crest brand that only uses pictures of sparkly, white, desirable teeth.) Once you really know your audience, meet them where they are by motivating in a way that doesn’t cause resistance.

In teaching self-defense, what’s one essential lesson you hope all your students walk out with?

To believe in themselves and what they are capable of. I know some teachers call this “false confidence” but I think without confidence (fake or not!), any self-defense skills a woman has will be useless because she won’t have the conviction to execute. Many women and girls struggle with permission in all areas of their lives. If a teacher gives them permission to fight, and permission to believe they are worth fighting for – well that’s when the success stories start rolling in.

Is there one specific technique that you wish all women knew? What is it and why?

If all women trusted their intuition the moment it spoke to them, I think our statistics would plummet. Once it gets physical, the attack is on – and I’d always rather we use techniques that aren’t physical if possible. The challenge for teachers is to really teach intuition is a hardcore skill, and not just skim over it because it’s more fun to teach eye jabs.

As someone well-studied under Gavin de Becker, how must we view Fear?

This answer is probably not surprising with Gavin and his staff as some of our biggest advisors and mentors – View fear as a gift! Many people fear their fear, because if fear is present, something “bad” is probably happening. I think by teaching self-defense, we’re also helping people imagine the worst – thereby liberating them from the paralysis that can occur when the worst actually becomes reality.

With this understanding of Fear, how can we diminish, exercise, control and/or channel this Fear?

Immediate acceptance is key. Instead of fearing fear, or resisting/denying fear (and the situation that caused it) just saying to oneself: “OK. This is happening. I know what to do.” Keeping our responses as simple as owning the experience, staying present and having confidence is the best way to go.

It is common to hear a self-defense instructor say,

“Run from danger, but if you can’t Fight.”

Easier said than done. How do you teach the process of “Action”… of “Fighting Back” into your students?

I teach with options, but no judgement. I call this teaching format “the slippery slope.” Really take them on a journey, step by little step, that violent acts actually happen. (Example: OK, you got a weird feeling about this guy, here’s some options. OK, now that guy starts following you, so here’s some options. Trust yourself. OK, now that guy is full-on chasing you, so here’s some options. Trust yourself.) This helps them ease into the scariness of these situations, which aids in not triggering or paralyzing people. Tiny bits of simple is better than overwhelming amounts of awesome. But it also gives people the chance to thwart a situation before it’s a full-blown assault by seeing the signs were the situation is going long beforehand.

What are your views on weapon training? Do you instruct your students to ever engage or “Fight Back” when someone is holding a knife, gun or club?

I tell people to follow their intuition, and to get training in weapons defense. I think it’s a skill everyone should know, and refrain from giving “cookie cutter” advice. I personally have done a lot of weapons training, and I’m so glad I have those skills. I don’t personally teach that content in GFB seminars (because we don’t have the proper time or venue), but I always encourage our audience learn more. Options and knowledge are power.

What does Erin enjoy doing when she’s not “working”

Hot yoga, any outdoorsy activity in Colorado and roller derby!

Bonus:

What is just one of your goals in the next 5 years? (This can be ANYTHING!)

We will soon be announcing a train-the-trainer program, so anyone in the world can teach Girls Fight Back content to audiences as a public speaker. I’m really excited to share our approach with more self-defense teachers that would like to do more public speaking as an income source, or just another way to impact women. If your readers are interested, they can sign up to receive notification when it’s officially announced here:

http://bit.ly/L9sCge

Thank you Erin!

For more information on Erin Weed, do so by visiting her website at GirlsFightBack.Com.

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Out-Foxxed Is On The Way

Posted in News, Products, Self-Defense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2012 by chencenter

New Self-Defense Book

It has been one of my loftiest goals, and one that will be reached (hopefully) by Winter 2012.  As there are many self-defense books on the market, there isn’t a thorough text on Women’s Self-Defense in particular.  That has been my specialty for some time now and I’m halfway through the writing phase.  Over the summer months I hope to complete and edit- and in the Fall, put the finishing touches on it.

Not only for women, this book (some 250-300 pages) will serve as a resourceful manual for men wishing to train their wives, girlfriends, daughters, etc.

The purpose of this book is to empower women, dispel many of the myths that persist in the self-protection world, and give them the tools to make better decisions regarding their own and their loved one’s safety.

A secondary bonus

resulting from the purchase of this book will be that for every 5 paperback or hardbacks sold, I will give a copy away to someone or some place (i.e. Women’s Shelter, etc) that will benefit.  50% of all digital download sales will go to RAINN.org.

Please keep the following website handy (http://GTSbook.info) and start spreading the word about this upcoming book.

Excerpts will begin within the upcoming months. 

You can also follow the book on Twitter @GTSbook

Michael Joyce

Golden Thread Workshops

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

You Must Be High If You Wanna Wear Heels!

Posted in Health, Miscellaneous, Self-Defense, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2012 by hybridfightingmethod

High heels cause such damage to a person’s body, it is completely nonsensical to wear them for any occasion. Each person has the right to do whatever they want to their own body – but I would like to challenge our view on high heels. Stilettos, Wedges, and Pumps all share one thing in common – they damage your body.

For this reason, I personally do not find them attractive – and in fact – find them quite the opposite.

Heels are only worn for the cosmetic appeal, and because of society’s patriarchal impositions on women and their own assumptions about beauty and sexual selection. They really serve no actual function.

People in all sorts of cultures do ridiculous things to their bodies in order to appear beautiful. They cut chunks of their skin out, file their teeth into fangs, and they elongate their necks to the point where they look more like giraffes.

I have heard martial arts instructors suggest using them in a self-defense context, citing them as useful trauma-causing tools. I question whether or not this is actually the case. Surely almost ANYTHING can be used as a weapon, but by the same token why not carry a banana with you everywhere and stick the pointy end into an attacker?

Let’s look at the 2 kinds of violence a person is likely to face – social and asocial – and examine if high heels really can be useful.

SOCIAL VIOLENCE

When does someone put on heels? When they are going out on the town, or out for a nice dinner, or out to a special event.

If social violence is to occur, it is going to be very difficult to flee the situation while wearing heels, so the heels will likely come off.
However, if there is social violence occurring, there is usually alcohol involved (after all – where are we wearing heels?…..in places that serve alcohol). Violence and alcohol share a first cousin, and that cousin is broken glass. You rarely have one without the other in settings where alcohol is served. If you cut your foot open on broken glass, especially in a public area – you risk blood loss and infection – as well as giving yourself a disadvantage toward the end of protecting yourself.

“Yeah, but you can take off your heels and use them to stab attackers in the eyes”, or other such arguments are ludicrous. Even if there is no broken glass or other rough terrain, it would take you an exceptional amount of time to remove your heels and to use them with enough force and accuracy to do any significant damage. You could have a far better effect (and far quicker) with even just an open hand. The time you would take to remove your shoes to use them as a weapon is longer than the time it would take to already be severely injured by your attacker.

They can be used to dig into shins and feet, but your stability would be far too compromised to really be optimally mobile (as you would want to be for the duration of a personal attack).

ASOCIAL VIOLENCE

What if you are attacked asocially? This would be a possibility if you are on a date, walking to your car after a long day at the office, waiting for a taxi to go to your best friend’s birthday….or a million other possible scenarios. Typically you are alone.

In an asocial setting, you very rarely see the violence coming. The attack is likely an ambush. Heels will hinder you in many of the ways described above. The difference here is that you have even less time to deploy them as you are already under attack. Again, you could probably do far more damage and better your chances of escape using your bare hands.

Of course, if your shoe was already in your hand for some reason, then you could use it – but the odds against this being the case seem astronomical.

THE OTHER SIDE

Some people argue that women are not going to let go of wearing these types of shoes, and because of this they craft entire classes and programs around performing self-defense in heels. While I can see their point, this attitude perpetuates an illogical meme, rather than challenge the currently held norm.

I wore high heels once. I volunteered with the White Ribbon Campaign – an organization that works toward the goal of ending violence against women and girls. We conducted a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser, where participants walked a mile in high heels.

A great cause indeed. During the stiletto and pump marathon, women chuckled and guffawed at the men hunkering around like their knee caps were inverted. You could almost hear the collective “Now you know what it I have to go through.”

But did anyone stop to ask, “Why the hell do I wear these stupid things anyway?” They are worn because women think they are pretty, and make them look good. And men perpetuate this idea, to the detriment of women’s health.

What a shame…that a woman would think that she HAS TO go through that torment just to look appealing.

Transgendered men that try to emulate women also put themselves through hell to look like women, and also force themselves into the little hobbling devices.

To train women realistically in heels is a liability. I would imagine that if you jostled a woman around in a manner similar to what she would experience during REAL violence (and not cardio karate playtime with friends), you would have enough broken and sprained ankles on your hands to fill an entire armada of hospital beds.

Violence is difficult enough to navigate without crippling your chances. I mean, why not fight blindfolded, too? After all, blindfolds make you look sexy and classy.

CONCLUSION

In summation, heels of any sort are horrible for your body, and are not so great for functional use in self-defense contexts.

Flat-bottomed shoes are where it’s at. They can be sexy, stylish, functional, and comfortable with components that actually aid your posture and stability.

We really should be making conscious choices for functionality in fashion.

High heels should be nothing more than a history lesson.

T.J. Kennedy

Hybrid Fighting Method

* high heel image above courtesy of imagepoop.com

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 *

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