Women’s Self Defense….

I am in Arnold MO at Hahn’s MMA & Fitness teaching a self defense for women seminar today for about 80 ladies. Something they will be hearing from my book, Be Safe; Self Defense For Women In The Real World

There have been so many women after an attack who have stated “but he seemed so nice.” It is only later, when they have time to analyze, that they realize they had an “uneasy” feeling about the attacker. The “uneasy” feeling is called intuition. We as humans alone justify ignoring intuition. We think things like “I’ll seem rude” or “I can’t live in fear” or “I’m just being silly, he seems nice.” Animals don’t do this. If they have even a remote feeling that something is wrong, they run! Can you imagine how many fewer deer there would be if they sat around thinking “I’ve been eating here everyday for a month, nothing has gone wrong, I’m just being silly with this uneasy feeling.” How many less rabbits if they thought “I can’t live in fear. He seems like a perfectly nice fox. I can’t appear rude.” No animal ever thinks “it’s probably nothing.” We have a lot to learn from creatures that always follow intuition! Listen to yourself every time. The root word of intuition is “tuere” which means “to guard, to protect.” Intuition is knowing without knowing why we know. Our brain is miraculous, it picks up things subconsciously that we don’t think we notice. It picks up facial signals that last a fraction of a fraction of a second…picks up words that are said that we didn’t really listen to. Always remember that intuition is 1) always a response to something and 2) always looking out for your safety.

The scumbag seems so nice because nice works. Nice has been perfected. He knows nice will get him what he wants. Gavin DeBecker in his must read book THE GIFT OF FEAR states “Remember, the nicest guy, the guy with no self-serving agenda whatsoever, the one who wants nothing from you, WON’T APPROACH YOU AT ALL. You are not comparing the man who approaches you to all men, the vast majority of whom have no sinister intent. Instead, you are comparing him to other men who make unsolicited approaches to women alone, or to other men who don’t listen when you say no.”

The scumbags have a plan. They are good at the plan. The plan has worked for them many times. If you know the plan you can see it when it is being used on you. The nice guy things he does all have a reason. The following things are what to look for and to recognize.
–He makes it sound like you are part of a team with him. He uses “we” a lot. “We seem to be abandoned by our friends,” “We are in the same predicament,” “Now we’ve done it,” etc. He knows that this is hard to rebuff without you feeling like you’re being rude. Notice when this happens and realize that it is always done for self serving reasons and that it is always inappropriate for a stranger to talk this way to a woman who is alone.
-He is going out of his way to be charming and nice. A smile is the most used way to mask emotions in the world! Nice does not equal good, ever. Nice is a strategy, not a trait we’re born with. Charm is the same in that it is a strategy. When someone is using charm don’t think “He is really charming” but think “he is trying to charm me, why?”
-He will give you too much info. Instead of saying something like “I’m just waiting on a friend” he may say “I’m just waiting on a friend. The guy is always running late. Shoot, just last week….” When you or I are telling the truth we don’t feel like we have to use extra info to back up what we are saying. When someone is lying it may sound credible to us but it doesn’t sound that way to them, so they keep talking. Always remember that whoever this yappy, charming person is they approached a strange woman who is alone!
-He will put you on the defensive so that you have to prove yourself. He may say “oh, I guess you’re a rich snob who doesn’t talk to us commoners” so that you will prove to him that you are a good person by talking. Again, think about why a stranger would say such a thing to a woman who is alone.
-He’ll do something for you. Buy a drink, pick up something for you, help you with a heavy load, anything so that you may subconsciously think you owe him. Always be thinking “he approached me” and “I didn’t ask for any help.” Nice is an act!
-Not listening to the word NO. This is a biggie that is common sense, and we ignore it. If he asks if he can grab that package you dropped and you say “no” and he picks it up anyhow and says something like “well, I can’t leave a lady in such a predicament, etc.” we may think that he’s just being nice. We ignore the fact that we said “no” and he didn’t listen. The problem is we’ll say “no” several times, and it gets a little weaker ever time. We might as well just say “I’m a victim and you can control me” when we do this!
-He will say “I promise.” “I’ll just carry this to your car and leave, I promise.” Why do we fall for this? Do you go around saying “I promise” all the time? Promises are used to convince us of intention. Think “why does he need to convince me of intention?” when you hear this word.

A stranger who approaches a woman while she is alone may be a good person, but probably not. A good person doesn’t approach a woman when she is alone, we know it scares her. Always, always keep in mind that anyone who does approach you is a major danger and that charm, niceness, etc. are the weapons he is using to harm you. BE SAFE!

See It Before It Happens!

“On October 16, 1991, 35-year-old George “Jo Jo” Pierre Hennard, an unemployed merchant seaman who was described by others as angry and withdrawn, with a dislike of women, drove his blue 1987 Ford Ranger pickup truck through the front window of a Luby’s cafeteria at 1705 East Central Texas Expressway in Killeen. Yelling “This is what Bell County did to me!”, Hennard then opened fire on its patrons and staff with a Glock 17 pistol and, later, a Ruger P89. He stalked, shot, and killed 23 people while wounding another 20 before committing suicide.” Wikipidia

It was reported that the majority of people shot and killed were sitting at their tables. Very few rushed the gunman or did anything to secure their safety. I would think he would have killed less than twenty-three if everyone would have started winging dishes at him and dog piled on him, but under that stress and fear people can’t come up with a plan…they freeze.

The reason people do this “freezing” under stress is that they aren’t thinking, their brains are stuck in “mid brain”. Under stress our brains will scan our entire lives to see if we had ever been in the situation before and, if so, how we got out of it. Our brain will scan to see if we have a plan for the situation. If our brain finds none it will simply keep scanning, and we will keep sitting there like a statue. We aren’t going to come up with a plan at that time but training will come out of us.

I have written blogs on minds setting in the past. One thing that law enforcement officers have practiced that has saved many lives is that in the mid seventies law enforcement agencies started preaching mind setting. As the officers were patrolling throughout their day they were taught to ask themselves or talk with their partners about the “what ifs”. “What if we stop at this light and a gunman approaches from your side…from my side…from behind”. “What if we walk into this business and a guy attacks you with a knife…attacks me…is attacking someone else”, etc., etc. Lives were saved because they constantly thought about plans.

In Krav Maga classes our drills are getting people ready for violence. We are physically working on plans for someone trying to hurt us, for multiple attackers, for someone trying to cut us, hit us with a stick, shoot us, etc., etc. We also want our practitioners to think. We tell them when they read about a violent attack or see one on the news to not just think “poor person” but to think “what would I do if in that situation”. So, ask yourself:
-What would I do if I were watching TV in my house and someone kicked in the front door?
-What would I do if I woke up in my bed and someone was standing over me?
-What would I do if driving and someone was standing in the road trying to get me to stop…or blocking the road with a car…or trying to run me off the road with a car?
-What would I do if I saw three guys trying to surround me in the mall parking lot?
-What would I do if someone forced their way into my car?

You can think of many, many others. Please do. If you think about a situation you are much more likely to have that plan surface if the situation happens to you. There is a lot more to being safe than learning some techniques.

One more thing to think about…your planning does your family no good if it isn’t shared with them. Have plans and talk about them with your spouse and kids. Practice “home invader” drills. Have a plan if at a mall and a gunfight starts. Have a plan for when you are in the car. Plan, plan, plan!! BE SAFE!