Monday, December 29, 2008

Girl Scout Self Defense

You know I talk about martial arts to everyone. And I've never had anyone ask me to show them some karate or anything like that (with the exception of my 18 year old daughter and my 10 year old son, but in this application, they don't count.)

My next door neighbor is the Troop Leader for her 13 year old daughter's Girl Scout troop. She asked me if I would be willing to come to their February meeting and show them a few self defense tips. I agreed but then immediately started to feel like a big fat faker. Am I even worthy of the honor and responsibility to show these girls a few things?

I have learned quite a few self defense techniques in class but I really need a refresher myself before I teach them anything. I also need an uke, which I think I will ask my daughter to come along and play that role if she's not working that night. She only had a couple of classes before she dropped out, but she did get a few self-defense lessons in.

I need to sit down and plan out what techniques I will show them. I do know the very first thing I will tell them, and that is that the first rule of self-defense is that if they can avoid the situation, that is the most effective method of self defense. And because of its utmost importance, it will also be the last thing I stress to them.

After all, I can personally vouch for the cardinal rule of personal safety being to avoid a situation in which potential violence could ensue. (Remember the weird Russian college professor looking dude at the book sale who was trying to corner me solo into an elevator? If not, I think it was one of the better lessons I've learned in my life and am giving you the link to read it if you'd like. )

I'm not going to show these girls any of the more complicated things we've done in class - just the common sense, easy to remember things. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.


CrimsonPhoenix said...

I've had to do this once before. While another student and I were working together on some self defense and forms in the gym of a community center, my mom asked me if we would do a demo of the SD for a few people (that I knew) who were there. We didn't do anything complex, just what we were learning at the time.

Like you said, stick to the simple things. A one or two handed wrist grab is a very good, very easy one. Oh and yelling "Fire!" instead of "Help!" is also good.

Good luck! I wish you the very best in your endeavor! :)

Becky said...

One suggestion, especially for children, is if they are abducted by a stranger, don't just kick and scream. People are likely to think she is just a brat desperately in need of a spanking. Instead, she should look someone in the eye if possible and yell, "This is not my Dad (or mom as the case may be)". And never, ever let someone take you to a second location, because you won't be coming back alive.

Of course, the best self defense is Don't Be There. In other words, don't put yourself into a situation in which you would need to use self defense in the first place. The most powerful weapon you have is your brain--and awareness of what you need to do to stay safe.

Martial Arts Mom said...

Good ideas! Thanks!

T. said...

I study Karate too! (I'm a college student) I found your blog randomly. Hope you don't think this is too creepy. Wanted to recommend an excellent blog I've been reading:

He has many entries, and to save time, I usually use the search function if I want to read about a particular topic.

T. said...

Oh yes, regarding your entry: have you talked to your instructors about it? Most definitely, they can offer you some insight as well.

Martial Arts Mom said...

T. - Welcome! Not creepy at all. Kind of nice actually! I will check out that blog. And to be honest, I'm almost afraid to talk to my instructors for fear they will think, "What business does SHE have showing others self defense moves?" But then again, I probably should ask them and will do so when we go back next week from our holiday hiatus. Please stop by again!

Michele said...

Awareness is large component of self protection. It sounds like you have a good plan for your session.

You are working with a tough age group because they may soon be faced with some adult issues. I would definitely check with the GS leader to see what she wants you to cover. I am sure the girls will have a lot of questions too.

Whenever I teach a self-defense session, I have an outline of information and techniques that I want to cover. I helps maintain the flow of the session.

I am sure you will do great!

Martial Arts Mom said...

Michele, that's me to a "T" - a list maker, planner type person. I will do that also, using some of the tips I've rec'd in comments to this post. And thanks for the vote of confidence!