This is a classic joke that points to the need for practice to achieve mastery. But is pure physical practice the most efficient and effective way to improve in the martial arts? Studies on the use of visualization as a part of physical skills training suggests that simply practicing may not necessarily be the most efficient way to “get to Carnegie Hall”.
A study made by Research Quarterly took a close look at the effects of mental practice on improving skill in sinking basketball free throws (as written about in Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s book, New Psycho-Cybernetics). Here’s what happened (excerpted from Maltz’s book): (more…)
Working as a security or law enforcement professional, you face an increased chance of interacting with people who will try to do you bodily harm. There are a number of signs to look for when dealing with a suspect or patron that may indicate an physical assault is imminent. While these signs are especially helpful for those of us in the security & law enforcement fields, they also pertain to anyone who regularly deals with the public, and especially for men who frequent bars, pubs and concerts, since the majority of assaults on men involve alcohol.
Last week I wrote an article on The Importance of Instincts in Threat Assessment. Today I’m going to further explore some of the signs you can use to spot a potentially assaultive situation before it occurs. So when the hair goes up on the back of your neck, here are a few of the warning signs to look for that someone may get assaultive. Keep in mind that most of these on their own don’t mean someone is going to attack you, but a combination of these factors can be a strong indicator of an imminent attack.
Last week, a story about a high school girl named Amanda Todd, a victim of cyber bullying, erupted in our local Vancouver area, then swept across Canada and even got picked up by some American news sources.
In grade 7, Amanda had been reaching out trying to meet new interesting people online. She met someone who told her how stunning she was, who went on to ask her to take her top off and expose herself on webcam. She chose to go along with his request. It was a decision that had dire consequences. (more…)
As the start of school draws near, the issue of bullying in schools comes to the forefront of parents minds. Parents of children who are targeted by bullies often feel powerless to help their child. They want to enjoy their time in school and have the best learning environment to help them grow, but bullying can get in the way of this and can have serious consequences for their child over the long term.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I have done extensive research on this issue leading up to the ‘Take a Stand’ Bully-proofing and Self-Defense class for youth that we’re hosting. Here are the top 7 ways I’ve come across to help your child deal with bullying. (more…)
This past weekend I taught at the Canadian Jiu-jitsu Union summer camp, an event featuring 10 hours of training over 2 days with 8 instructors. I usually like to work with a particular theme and this year I worked with the theme of being a role-player. By role-player, I don’t mean playing games like Dungeons & Dragons though I do think that the martial arts attract many such players. But even if one has never touched such games, if you train in the martial arts, you’ve probably been a “role-player” at some point. (more…)
One of the most important elements in self-protection is the use of verbal de-escalation tactics, particularly for security and law enforcement professionals. Our first response should always be to resolve situations without the use of force.
The Purpose of Verbal De-escalation
There are many reasons for both police and private citizens to use force only as a last resort, (liability, paperwork, etc) but the most important one is safety. If you can avoid using physical skills to defend yourself, you’re much less likely to get injured.
Verbal de-escalation tactics mix a number of skills and require practice just like physical techniques. You need to remain calm under stressful conditions and walk the fine line of assertiveness that runs just between passive and aggressive when responding to a potentially hostile situation.
If you act passively, your potential attacker may see you as prey, which can motivate him to press forward with his assault. However, if you respond with aggression, may escalate to violence in his response in order to save face. (more…)
One of the issues that comes up with training in martial arts for the purposes of self-defense is that classes tend to focus on the physical skills you use once you’re in an altercation. There’s generally, at best, a passing reference to avoidance tactics, reading the situation, and running away.
This isn’t meant as a criticism, as not everyone takes up a martial art for self-defense purposes. Plenty of people just want to do something active, have fun, or meet new people. One of the big benefits of teaching with Pacific Wave Jiu-jitsu is that I’ve had the opportunity to assist and teach purely self-defense classes that cover more about awareness, de-escalation tactics, and conflict avoidance. The amount that I have picked up and incorporated into my life, however, did not become apparent until I re-entered the security field a couple of months ago.
There is a common theme about preparedness and awareness stories amongst security and law enforcement professionals when dealing with someone who is potentially violent. I don’t know how many times I’ve read and heard from police the cautionary tale about how an officer didn’t react to someone threatening violence because the body language didn’t support it. (more…)
I’m on a bit of a roll talking about running these last couple of blog posts, having written about the benefits of running for martial artists and about running workouts for martial artists. Today, I’d like to discuss tips for staying safe while running. While women are more frequently the target of serious assaults while running, as was recently the case for Sarah B Hart of Russell County, USA who was attacked during her morning jog, running safety is relevant for everyone, so I’d like to share a few tips here to help keep people safe on the roads and trails. (more…)
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing some fencing teaching for a group of stunt performers. There is a film that is going to be shooting in our area that requires a group of women who can do sport fencing. Having done lots of fencing in my past, I was asked by a stunt friend of mine who is also a fencer to help him out by teaching some stunt women some foundational skills to get them up to speed for this film in addition to being considered for it myself. I was happy to oblige.
All of these women had little to no experience with sport fencing, but most have some sort of martial arts background. Even amongst the martial artists, some were able to pick it up faster than others, the ones who trained in sparring as part of their practice. (more…)
In Can-ryu Jiu-jitsu, we train how to defend against a wide range of specific attack scenarios including wrist grabs, head locks, throat grabs, bear hugs, wild haymakers, ground holds, weapon attacks and more. When students are just starting out, the attacks are more or less static and non-adaptive with training partners being fairly compliant. We start off with very low levels of resistance to give students the chance to work on form and technique without being under so much pressure that they fall apart. Below is an example of a self-defense situation response performed in a demonstrative, low-resistance format from Steve Hiscoe Shihan’s YouTube channel (he’s one of the heads of our style).