The Introduction below comes directly from our custom Innocent Warriors© Six part Women's Self Defense Seminar Series currently running each Saturday in succession...
The Criminal Mind… It's about selfishness ... the different manifestations of criminal behavior is just a matter of style. Stanton Samenow, PhD
Welcome to Innocent Warriors©. You should know at the outset that people (guys as well as ladies) who are threatened and fight back "in self defense" can actually risk making a situation worse, either with too little or excessive force. The attacker with little to lose, who is already edgy and pumped up on adrenaline — and who knows what else — may become even more angry and violent. So then why take this course? Because you have a right to stop someone from hurting you under any circumstances, but to do it successfully, you must be prepared.
The best time to avoid a potential attack is before it happens, trusting in your instincts. We call this situational awareness. Your intuition, combined with your common sense, can help get you out of trouble, even before you get into it. We will discuss the differences between distinct situations and levels of aggression, what to expect if you find yourself in one and how to be best prepared to react. Attackers aren't always strangers who jump out of dark alleys. The majority of violent attacks are made by a prior acquaintance, a person minding their own business could be assaulted by someone under the influence, and given the wrong situation anyone can be attacked by a neighbor or spouse. That's where important self defense skills called negotiation and de-escalation come into play.
De-escalating a situation means speaking or acting in a way in attempt to calm the situation down and/or prevent things from getting worse. The classic example of de-escalation is giving a robber your money rather than trying to argue, fight or run. Negotiation is the communication part of de-escalation. For example, if someone harasses you when there's no one else around, you can de-escalate things by agreeing with him or her. You don't have to actually the attacker or even your own words of course, you're just “negotiating” to get yourself out of a tight spot.
Something as simple as not losing your temper is extremely important in every situation. Learning how to manage your own anger or fear effectively and just as significant, learning how to listen is an important precursor to dealing with a violent incident. Even when negotiations break down, it can only help matters if you remain calm and don't give the would-be attacker any extra ammunition. However, when reason fails and you are in danger, you must be prepared and react without hesitation or inhibition. That is, prepared mentally as well as physically to do what you have to.
Being physically fit is important throughout all aspects of your life, and is especially true in matters of self defense. Being out of shape and/or over weight can make you lethargic, slowing down your reaction time which can affect your level of confidence in everything you do. When it comes to self defense, the importance of confidence in what you know and clear thinking cannot be overstated.
You should know that this course cannot teach you how to be a martial artist nor get you in shape to outrun an attacker. But as you will see, having a clearer understanding of why and how situations requiring self defensive actions occur may help you in avoiding them altogether. Throughout each session we will examine the psychology behind distinct violent and/or dangerous situations. We will focus not on winning a fight but on knowing your options for and creating an opportunity to control and escape each situation.