GO Sel-fDefence BLOG
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± How have you used your self-defence skills?± How have you used your self-defence skills?  Comment 
 posted by Master Gary Eikenberry2021-12-02

As we get ready to resume in person classes I'm aware of the fact that the world has changed since we last gathered to learn and train together. There seem to be more reasons than ever to understand how to deal with conflict and, in some cases, violence.
Comment  posted by Sahyunnim2021-04-03
Pete: Sorry to hear that you had to apply the theory, but glad to hear it made a difference.
Comment  posted by Peter Thome2021-02-09
I did two of Gary's on-line sessions last fall. It was all theory for obvious reasons. I never thought much about it after that except that maybe I'd try and find some knid of course here when things got better in the spring. I'm an EMT livign in Syracuse, NY so I didn't plan to go to Ottawa Canada.
Well believe it or not it came in handy last Sunday when I had to deal with a drunk and injured anti-vaxer. Without the course I don't think I would've thought of trying to deesacalate a drunk asshole taking a swing at me and trying to rip my N95 off my face.
Comment  posted by Dan Deschamps2016-06-04
Don't underestimate the value of intangibles like personal empowerment, leadership development and self-confidence in your working and everyday life. We call it self-defence training, but in many ways it's actually life-enhancement training.
Comment  posted by Dan Deschamps2015-12-12
Working security in several Texas cowboy bars gave me lots of opportunities to practice. Since moving back to Canada and Cornwall, things have been a little less explosive, but I have actually had an occasion to use intervention and control techniques when things were getting a little out of hand at an outdoor concert last summer. If I hadn't intervened and neutralized the trouble-maker things could have boiled over, involving friends of friends and innocent by-standers. Of course I also have to admit that being 6'5" and 230lbs doesn't hurt.
Comment  posted by Sabumnim2015-11-17
All of our techniques are intended to be non-lethal and most are intended to escape or to control rather than injure an attacker.
Comment  posted by Martin Lester2015-11-16
Do you teach non-lethal techniques that allow you to control an attacker without seriously injuring him? I took a Krav Manga course but on the one occasion I might have used it I didn't because I was afraid of the legal repercussions of seriously injuring the guy. Of course a few good punches to the face worked that time but it wouldn't always.
Comment  posted by Sabumnim2015-08-28
I'm sorry you feel that way and wish you could attend one of our free workshops to see if it would change your opinion.
Comment  posted by Marris Van der Kief2015-08-27
Organizations like yours do a disservice to women by taking their money and giving them a false sense of security. There is no way a small woman can fend off a large man without a weapon.
Comment  posted by Dan Deschamps2015-08-11
All too often personal weapons provide little more than a false sense of security. Unless a weapon is in the hands of a trained and well-practiced user it is just as likely to be turned against the defender as it is to be effective in warding off an attacker. Don't carry a weapon unless you are properly trained in its use and well-prepared to use it - and, of course, are prepared to deal with the legal consequences of its use.
Comment  posted by Sabumnim2015-07-09
The things we learn and practise when we train for self-defence aren't just for fending off attackers.
For instance, knowing how to fall without getting hurt has saved me more than once while cycling, and, quite recently on the tennis court. There are also the less tangible things like balance and self-confidence, and the perceptual things like scanning my surroundings to pick up on peripheral clues - things which I probably employ on a day to day basis without even being aware of it.
± ABOUT the GO Self-defence Blog± ABOUT the GO Self-defence Blog  Comment 
 posted by Dan Deschamps2014-07-07

You never know when you might need the skills, and even if you never do, having them has a definite bearing on how you carry yourself and act and interact with other people.
People with the knowledge, skills and confidence that comes from self-defense training tend to respond to aggression in a more measured way and are less likely to escalate things than someone who is fearful or belligerent.
Comment  posted by Sabumnim2014-06-08

Why learn self-defence? I think there are lots of reasons to learn and and practise self-defence and very few of them deal with the possibility that I expect to be involved in a physical confrontation.
The physical benefits are significant:

  • Our training sessions are usually quite a good workout
  • Regular training enhances balance and flexibility
  • Learning how to avoid injury when falling comes in handy outside the training hall

There are also non-physical benefits:

  • Self-confidence
  • Enhanced awareness
  • We enjoy training together in a friendly, supportive atmosphere

And, of course, in the unlikely event that we may have to defend ourselves, we have developed a substantial tool-box of habits and techniques to get out of a dangerous situations.

And, finally, the more confident and capable people there are out on the streets, they safer those streets are for everyone involved.

Comment  posted by Sabumnim2014-04-16

At GO Self-defence we don't think that the world should be a scary place and we certainly don't want to scare people into learning self-defence. Our club is built on the belief that we can combine fitness, fun and training for effective self-defence in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.

We teach physical techniques, but we understand and teach that self-defence is at least as much about awareness and attitude as it is about physical ability. We teach and train to hone our self-defence attitudes, skills, habits and, yes techniques, not out of fear, but because of all the positive benefits we gain from our training - benefits that not only keep us safe, but, more importantly, pay off in many other aspects of our daily lives.

What you learn is not how to hurt someone who poses a threat, but practical, real world self-defence: first, avoid danger; if that's not possible, minimize the risk of injury; and create an opportunity to escape.

Our classes are open to all ages: women, men and youth. There are no age or fitness level restrictions. Come with a sister or brother, a son or daughter, a colleague or a friend. You'll enjoy training together and practising together outside of class.

Our blog is a place for questions and discussion for our members and friends but also a place where people from outside our immediate geographic location can be involved.

Visit our main website at www.GoSelfDefence.com for more about us and our programs, links and contact information.

For information on instructor training see 4StarSelfDefense.com.

We welcome your questions, ideas and input on self-defence and related topics, however this is a moderated blog. Off-topic or disrespectful comments will be deleted.

± Self-defence for the Real World± Self-defence for the Real World  Comment 
 posted by Sabumnim2016-05-18

I fully agree with Jesse's post. I would add that any counter-attack will tend to escalate a confrontation, making it even more difficult to achieve a satisfactory resolution. If your objective truly is to defend yourself you need to learn how to neutralize an attack and create an opportunity for escape.
Comment  posted by Jesse Eikenberry2015-12-16
In a world flooded with media of MMA on TV every night, internet memes like Master Ken and women kneeing men in padded suits in the groin, it's hard to sift out the real from the fake in the world of self-defence. Spectacular movie moves to handle every day attacks and situations further cloud the options of the uninitiated when it comes to defending oneself. So how do you do it?

Firstly, if it works, it's self-defence! While not always the most efficient technique, if it serves the purpose of escaping a potentially harmful situation, then you have successfully defended yourself. It doesn't have to be fancy, easy or pretty, it just has to give you enough of an opening to get away. Commitment to whatever technique or approach you employ is critical. Half-heartedly doing even a proper technique can leave you half-way out of the situation, which to quote Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid, you end up "squish, just like grape".

Situational awareness and avoidance are self-defence. Turning your music down, or looking up from your phone to observe your surroundings and any potentially escalating situation is defending yourself. Having your keys in your hand as you approach your home or car door at night is self-defence. Walking on the more well-lit side of the street to be able to see your surroundings is self-defence. Seeing trouble emerging and not putting yourself in harms way is by far the safest and best way of not getting hurt. While not always possible, using your eyes and ears to see a potentially dangerous place, person or situation before it comes to a head is self-defence.

If a situation that you cannot avoid does arise, understand that the longer you engage in a conflict with an opponent, the higher the chances are that you will get hurt. Even a seasoned martial artist with knockout power will not be able to drop every single opponent with one blow. If you trade shots with your attacker, sooner or later you are just as likely to get hurt (if not more so, given that an aggressor is generally more willing to do harm and not thinking rationally). The key principle in self-defence is creating an opportunity to remove yourself from the situation. Sometimes that means a counter-attack or taking your attacker to the ground, but often neither are necessary. An assailant is in an irrational state and expecting the person they attack to react like a victim, in this case, a simple escape may be enough to end the conflict as they are not expecting anything other than a victim mentality.

Contrary to TV and popular belief, a counter-attack should be a last resort. Thankfully, it is not within normal human nature to deliver a devastating blow to another living being. What this means in a self-defence situation, is that very rarely is a blow delivered in either retaliation or as a counter-attack going to be devastating enough to disable an attacker. As such, most counter attacks will only serve to escalate the conflict and perhaps make your opponent more dangerous. A good example of this is the proverbial knee to the groin - it causes pain, but in no way is it fully disabling and it delivers a shot of adrenalin to the recipient. That shot of adrenalin does the opposite of the desired effect, it will make an aggressive person angrier and possibly more aggressive, which is bad news if you are trying to get away.

Weapons for self-defence are not a good idea. For one, basing your ability to defend yourself on the availability of a weapon leaves you vulnerable whenever you do not have it in your possession (learning to use a sword is great if you happen to be attacked on your way home from training and have it, but you cannot likely take it to the office or to a concert). Many weapons have limits on their effectiveness, if you are using pepper-spray and the wind is blowing the wrong direction, you are just as likely to be disabled as your attacker. Statistically in self defence situations, your weapon is far more likely to be used against you than being used effectively against your attacker (this comes back to the willingness to seriously injure).

So if I shouldn't hit back, what should I do? The reality of self-defence is finding a way (any way) to escape the situation with as minimal harm to yourself as possible. Learning and training a basic repertoire of techniques will condition reflex-like reactions that will allow you to get away from a dangerous situation you were unable to avoid. In a potentially life or death situation, by the time you think of what to do, it is too late. Training helps you to learn not only efficient and effective techniques, but also hones your instincts to handle situations that you may not have specifically practiced. With advanced students, training in freestyle situations where the attack is unknown and the attacker can adjust based on the reaction will help to further develop an understanding of when an escape is enough or when a counter-attack, hold or take-down are needed.

So keep your head up, be aware of your surroundings, or perhaps drop in for a self-defence class or many.
± The Tyranny of Fear± The Tyranny of Fear  Comment 
 posted by Sabumnim2016-01-11

Insecurity and low self-esteem are dangerous. The biggest benefit of self-defence and martial arts training is sending more people out into the world armed with self-confidence and self-esteem.
Comment  posted by Sabumnim2015-05-01
We live in a age where fear has become a a political tool, a means of controlling people and even a tool for selling. The merchants of fear, be they politicians, terrorists or the purveyors of mass media, rob us of happiness and comfort for their own political and personal gain.
It is never our intention to try to scare people into learning self-defence. We don't think that the world should be a scary place and we certainly don't want to scare people into learning self-defence. Our program is built on the belief that we can combine fitness, fun and training for effective self-defence in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.
We believe that anything we can do to build confidence and encourage people to be out on the street and actively engage in their community makes the world a better place.