Come at me, bro…

I’m officially trained to kill! Well…not really. But I know how to break your fingers!!

Challenge #8:

“Take a self defense class.” from Chrissy Hayden Tubbs

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Chrissy is my second cousin and she lives in Dallas, TX with her husband and 2 daughters. Considering her sister Amy was going to make me get a tattoo, I’m glad this was one of my challenges.

I have been pretty excited about this one, actually. I’ve been to several self defense seminars for course credits and work-related topics, but I’ve never been in a training facility where I actually learned how to break someone’s arm. I saw a Groupon for Close Combat Solutions Women’s Self Defense training and immediately jumped on the opportunity.

I think it’s important to refresh yourself on these key points every now and then. Statistically, 1 in 3 women will suffer an attempted or completed rape at some point in their lives. I was actually quite surprised and excited to hear that one of the girls in the class with me was required to take a self defense class as part of the Indian Hill High School gym class curriculum. Rock on, IH!

We got these cool handouts with all this important information. I’m going to share a lot of it with you as this is the point of this challenge, but not all of it because I don’t want to defeat the purpose of you attending your own self defense class. Which you should. Immediately. Jim’s great! He was informative and amusing at the same time. Very open and friendly, yet serious when he needed to be. Go there…now. www.closecombatsolutions.com

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I have pondered what I would do in the event of an attack many, many times in my life. I have gone over talking/screaming until they were so annoyed they left me alone (I can talk for a really fast, really loudly, for a really long time), kicking, poking their eyes out and running. However, they could gag me so I couldn’t make a sound, knock me out leaving me defenseless, bind my legs and, obviously, catch me. (I’m not very fast…) Needless to say I didn’t exactly have the beeest plan of action so I learned a few techniques this week.

Jim Lentz has developed this seminar to inform women how to protect themselves against potential attacks. He has quite the resume providing a pretty hefty list of credentials. And is legitimately trained to kill. I trust everything that he said and will probably vote in a similar way come 2016…

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Jim is a Private Investigation and Security Professional, teaches Karate/Kenpo Jujitsu, spent 6 years in the US Marine Corps, has certifications and teaches Conceal/Carry classes, is an NRA certified intructor, Personal Safety and Awareness lecturer and devoted father. I would also guess that he is a card-carrying republican, uber-conservative, given some of the comments he made (that I totally approve of).  He has 20 years combined experience in personal training, martial arts, self defense and security fields. Now that we’ve covered why this guy is capable of teaching this course, let’s get into what I learned, with the help of Jim’s daughter, Hannah, showing us the ropes. Talk about not wanting to bring a boy home to meet your father…yikes.

The biggest point Jim wanted to drive home is that the most successful way to defend yourself against dangerous situations is to avoid being in them. Now, obviously, things happen that are sometimes out of our control, but by being aware of your surroundings and maintaining a clear mind, some of these can be avoided. We talked about walking alone in Clifton at night. This is sorta crazy because if I counted the number of times I walked home alone from parties in college, or back and forth to studio at night, it is an absolute miracle I survived college without some sort of attack. It’s funny because when I drive through Clifton and certain areas of town at night now, I get a little uncomfortable. These are the exact same streets I used to feel 100% confident on. I don’t know if it’s naivety, or stupidity, but it feels totally different now.

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First things first, there is a difference between a good victim and a bad victim. Walking with your head down looking at your phone, digging through your purse, completely unaware of what’s going on around you is like putting a giant target on your back. Walking with your head up, preferably not alone,  surveying the scene, making eye contact or assertive movements when you are uncomfortable are good ways to let a potential attacker know that you are aware of their presence and you’re not an easy target. You can flat out say “Hey, I see you. Don’t come any closer,” to a person to loudly let them know they’ve been made.

There are several non-violent self defense techniques that seemed pretty common sense to me, but some people might not know so I’ll share them.

– Avoid routine. Don’t visit the same ATM at the same time on the same day. Predators pick up on pattern behavior.

– Look at the people around you and keep an eye out for unusual behavior.

– Don’t go out alone at night.

– Don’t accept a ride from people you do not know or trust. (This is why I develop relationships with my cab drivers. I use the same ones over and over. I trust them. If they’re going to be taking me home if I’ve been drinking, I’d prefer it be someone I can trust. Shout outs to Ousman and Yacoub…thanks guys!)

-Trust your instincts. They’re not usually wrong. Better safe than sorry.

Simple things like changing your routine and avoiding frequenting the same places at the same times can help avoid potential attacks. I have a close friend that is pretty consistent in her daily routine and if someone wanted to find her, it’s pretty easy to pick up on where she’d be at whatever time they wanted to find her. It freaks me out. You know who you are. Stop doing that.

That’s basically it, informationally. Don’t be stupid. Be aware. Don’t put yourself in dangerous situations.

Onto the physical stuff. Should you find yourself in a situation where you have the need to inflict physical pain, do so ruthlessly, without hesitation, directly down the center of the body. No. Joke. Eyes. Throat. Groin.  These are areas that can inflict the most amount of pain, with the least amount of effort, causing a neural override where the attacker literally HAS to deal with the pain in order to continue functioning. Fill your hands with whatever you can. If you’re forced to the ground, grab sand, rocks, whatever, and throw it in their eyes. If you have a phone or keys in your hand when you swing at somebody, it’ll hurt a whole lot more than your fist. Also, I’m glad I carry crossbody purses now because they become projectile weapons when you swing them around your head. (Especially with the amount of crap I carry in mine…)

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I’ve compiled some of the videos that I shot during class to show you a little bit about how to handle yourself in the event of an attack.

It’s true.  Being aware and being prepared can only help in these situations.

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We also learned that I would not make a good assailant…

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I asked when making sure you’re always aware of your surroundings becomes paranoia. He stated that it never does, which I sort of disagree with. I’m not fully engaged in life if I’m constantly looking over my shoulder to avoid an impending attack. I don’t want to walk around scared all the time. I’m still sort of struggling with that idea. I was actually sitting here editing this post when the sound of someone pounding on my front window scared the bejesus out of me. It seemed to go away, but I sat there, alert, with a hammer in reach for the next 20 minutes… I’m hoping I’m not permanently on edge after this. Gus was very alert, as well…

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I’d like to thank Jim and Hannah (and Chelsea) for taking some time to teach us these very valuable techniques.  All in all, I’m confident that I am in a much better position to defend myself now than I was before attending this class. I cannot, however, say that I wouldn’t toss over my belongings, curl up in the fetal position and cry like a little girl should some hooligans ever try to attack me, God forbid. But if that’s my plan and I wanna roll with it, then at least I’m prepared 🙂

 

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