Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The ABC's of Conflict Avoidance and Resolution Self Defense Training for Children and Adults


 A - Avoid Potentially Dangerous Situations 
 B - Be Calm, Breathe 
 C - Communicate with Confidence and Respect 
 D - Don't Put Yourself in A Worse Situation 
 E - Environment Can Be Used to Your Advantage 
 F - Stands For Yelling "FIRE" Instead of "HELP" 
 G - Get Away 
 H - Hit Hard, Hit Fast, Hit First

A = Avoid Potentially Dangerous Situations
The single most important step in conflict avoidance is knowing where NOT to be. The ability to recognize potentially dangerous situations is more than just common sense. It is a learned skill that should be practiced.
There are three types of people. 
The first person is absolutely convinced that there is someone hiding around the corner. This person is paranoid.
The second person is absolutely convinced that there is no one around the corner. This person is naive.
The third person thinks that there might be someone waiting around the corner, so they take the appropriate precautions. This person is a careful person.
We want to you to become careful people.
Do not underestimate the value of the first step. If we can get you in the habits of being aware of your surroundings and always consciously being as careful as possible, you will be much less likely to be confronted violently.

Some potentially dangerous situations and ways to avoid them:
1. A single mother is going to the laundry room alone at night.
    Solution: Go early in the morning instead and use the buddy system.

2. Driving in a strange town and getting lost.
    Solution: Make sure you have an accurate map and ask for clear-cut directions. Learn what parts of town are okay and what parts you should stay away from.

3. A group of kids wanting to play around a construction site.
    Solution: Talk your friends into going to the park instead.

4. A child walking home on a street with lots of traffic.
    Solution: Learn alternate routes that are less crowded.

B = Be Calm, Breathe
Most people tend to become emotional and react accordingly when confronted with an intimidating situation. They might act angry, afraid, or intimidated. Remember, logic and emotion are like oil and water; they don’t mix. When you react emotionally to a situation, you are almost always going to make a poor decision that will further provoke the situation.
In order to think clearly and logically in an intimidating situation, it is important to become calm. Believe it or not, the easiest to maintain a calm disposition is to talk slow, deep breaths, rather than the fast, shallow breaths that usually accompany an emotional outburst.

"He who loses control of his emotions gives his opponent a powerful ally."

Helping to maintain a clam attitude allows you to respond, rather than react. When you can calmly respond to an intimidating situation, you have the best chance of discussing the situation peacefully, because you are appealing to the other person’s logic rather than emotion.
Another way to maintain a calm disposition in an uncomfortable situation is to visualize the aggressor in a less intimidating fashion; i.e., with a clown nose on or standing in their underwear. This obviously is not always appropriate, but can come in handy in some circumstances.
Visualize being in a threatening situation. Then try to take slow, deep breaths and remain as calm as possible. Remember, just knowing how to take deep breaths in threatening situations is not enough; it has to become second nature. The only way to make it second nature is practice. When confronted with an unavoidable situation, remaining calm is the key to responding to the situation instead of reacting to it. A simple deep breath is a powerful balm for calming the nervous system.
Also emphasize that the most dangerous emotions in a confrontation are fear and anger. Remember to put your shoulders back and tip their head up slightly to allow for deeper breaths.

C = Communicate With Confidence

Studies have shown us that most people who are the victims of violent crimes send out some sort of “signal” saying that they are vulnerable. Their body language conveys the idea that they are weak and easily intimidated.
Other studies involving people who are frequently involved with verbal or physical altercations show that these people send out signals of arrogance and disrespect.
The solution is simple. If you can learn to present yourself in a confident and respectful manner, you are less likely to attract trouble.Let's identify the signals an insecure person sends out. How do they carry themselves? Are their shoulders hunched forward? Do they look downward, afraid to make eye contact? Do they speak softly and walk as though they are not sure where they are going?
The next step is to identify the signals that “Confident” people send out. Remember what these signals are and how to make them their own. Remember, even if a person doesn’t feel confident, they can appear confident by “acting” it.

Five basic traits of a confident person:
Confident people always:
1. Look people in the eye, especially when first meeting someone.
2. Keep their shoulders back and chin up.
3. Walk with purpose, like they know where they are going.
4. Speak clearly and confidently (but not arrogantly).
5. Appear alert and aware of their surroundings.

D = Don't Put Yourself In A Worse Situation Than You Are Already In

It is important to remember that, although we cannot always control our environment, we can always control how we respond to our environment. How we respond will usually determine the outcome.
Once we understand that we are in control of how we respond in any given situation, we also understand that our actions can either make the situation better or worse. Here are several examples:

1. In the middle of an argument, the other person starts to yell and hurl insults. Although it might be tempting, don’t react in the same manner. Instead, listen clearly to the other person’s point of view and then respond calmly. To react emotionally will only serve to make things worse.
2. If, while walking down the street, someone pulls up next to you and, at gunpoint, tells you to get into their car, refuse to do it. Although refusing to get into the car will obviously infuriate your assailant, you are still much better off than if you were to get in the car. Once in the car, you are completely at the mercy of your assailant.
3. Someone breaks into your home and is going to rob you. They tell you they are going to tie you up. Respond by letting know that they can take anything they want and you won’t get in the way, but you will not let them tie you up.
4. When walking home from school, you see a group of kids up ahead looking for trouble. Instead of walking past them, take another route home. Remember, you’re not a coward for avoiding the, you are intelligent.

E = Environment Can Be Used To Your Advantage

Being aware of your environment is critically important in making the best of a bad situation. Your environment can work for or against you. Awareness of your environment is a powerful tool for avoiding or dissipating a conflict.

A child should be taught where the “safe” houses are in the neighborhood. They should be taught whom to go to when in need of assistance. A safe choice is to teach your young students to look for someone in a uniform, a parent with child, or, in certain circumstances, even a stranger.
You hould be reminded of the basics of how to use your environment to your advantage. Park in well lit areas. Stay away from known trouble spots. Shop during the day when possible. When out at night, keep the car doors locked. Use the buddy system whenever possible. Keep as much distance as possible between yourself and a would-be attacker, etc.
Learn to identify the natural weapons available to you in any given environment can be beneficial. Some natural weapons could be car keys, lip or eyeliner pencil, a coffee mug (imagine getting hit on the bridge of the nose with the rim of a coffee mug), a shoe held in the hand, or even a belt.
Brainstorm with your family and friends to come up with other natural weapons for possible defense.

F = Stands For Yelling "FIRE" Instead Of "HELP"
Yelling "Fire" is a good alternative to yelling, "Help". Often people will not respond to a direct plea for help because they are afraid to become involved. But, everyone is curious when someone yells “Fire”. The attention that yelling “Fire” brings to a situation, may be enough to dissipate it.

Also, there are other comments to shout that may be helpful, depending on the situation or the person's age. Learn alternative comments such as, "He's not my dad", or "He's trying to kidnap me". Give them choice if confronted with a potentially dangerous situation.

G = Get Away

The point in any confrontation should be to “Get Away” as soon as possible, not to “Win”. You must know that running from a dangerous situation is OK to do.
In today's climate, there are too many variables that come into play. The repercussions of winning an argument or fight aren't €t worth it.
Make your objective to end the conflict not to “win” the conflict. Getting away from a dangerous situation is always a top priority.
Remember the wisdom of this step by pointing out the potential for revenge if the confrontation escalates to violence or potential legal repercussions.
Also remember that this Get Away step is really their last option to avoid conflict.

H = Hit Hard, Hit Fast, Hit First

When you have done everything in your power to avoid a confrontation, but are unsuccessful, the worst thing that you can do is to let your opponent strike first. If the aggressor steps inside your comfort zone, you have two options. The first is to step back out of range; the second is to strike. If you are forced to defend yourself, don’t hesitate! Hit Hard, Hit Fast, Hit First.
A person who knows how to strike without telegraphing and is close enough to touch the opponent can almost, without exception, be effective with the first strike or two. This is why it is important to strike first; because if your opponent strikes first, chances are you are going to get hit.
If you strike first, but pick a poor target and/or a weak strike, you will probably lose your advantage. That is why having effective striking zones is important.
Programming basic, powerful strikes to designated areas; such as neck, nose, knee, and groin; will give your students a powerful advantage.

From H to A
Once a situation has become a violent confrontation, practice to work backwards from H to A.

First "Hit Hard, Hit Fast, Hit First"(H)
Then "Get Away" (G)
As you exit the situation, yell "FIRE" to attract attention to mitigate further conflict (F)
Pay attention to how your "Environment" will benefit your safety (E)
So you "Don't Put Yourself in a Worse Situation Than You Are Already In"(D)
"Communicate With Confidence" your needs to anyone in uniform, or even a stranger who can help eliminate the conflict. (C)
Remember to "Be Calm and Breathe" to remain in control of your body (B)
Finally, use what you learned from this situation to "Avoid a Potentially Dangerous Situations" in the future (A)
* Thank you to Kyoshi Dave Kovar at Kovars Satori Academy for these tools.
Here is our take on the subject with some modifications from a professional protector.

The ABC's of Personal Safety from a Security Self Defense Specialist

Self Defense Tips - The ABC's of Personal Safety and Security for Personal Protection

Self defense is something everyone knows that we should learn, yet few actually do.  Rather than use a few self defense or fighting tips as an emotional pacifier, it is important to test and apply what you think you know.  It is through this process that self defense competence is built.  With self defense competence comes personal protection and security confidence.  A good self defense instructor will ad to your peace of mind and help you use your innate survival signals and skills to bring to bear in protecting yourself and/or the ones you love.
When you learn to defend yourself you are less likely to have to because:

1. You tend to avoid potentially dangerous situations because you recognize them earlier
2. You are more likely to trust your intuition/gut feelings therefore act on them
3. Project more confidence which often removes you from the victim profile.  Criminals like easy targets, not difficult ones.


Alert to Avoid Potentially Dangerous Situations
          -   Knowledge and Awareness of dangerous situations and how criminals operate
          -   Trusting instincts and Acting on intuition
          -   Always observe safe habits and practices      -   Remember, we are always building habits - so practice good ones

Breathe and Be Calm by Believing you have options
        -   Belly Breath with Backpressure on exhale helps manage stress, adrenaline and fear
        -   Be looking for opportunities, weapons, barriers, escape routes and targets
        -   Be prepared with training and a plan but Be flexible

Communicate with Confidence and Commit
         -   Clearly say and demonstrate directly what you mean and mean what you say
         -   Change the Context of any situation you feel might lead to a violent encounter
         -   Commit to your plan and execute with intensity

    Whenever you increase distance, you increase time and options and usually deny the targets

Eyes on targets and Escape options
    Eyes, neck, groin, knees, Everything's a weapon, Escape

Recommended reading: "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker

Personal Security and Self-Defense Training Courses

 Children's Personal Safety Self Defense Courses

Rapid Learn Immersion Reality Based Self Defense Training
  •   Paul Vunak's RAT: The rapid learn hand to hand combat course taught to Navy SEALS  
  • John Nottingham's VIPER Personal Protection: A customized street combat course specializing in scenario based training and adrenal stress conditioning, survival stress inoculation with context driven solutions. 
  • http://NottinghamSwordandShieldSecurity.com 
Each program can be taught as a lecture or hands on clinic and tailored to the individual or organization. 

USA Martial Arts Phoenix

4731 E. Greenway Rd. Suite 9
Phoenix, Arizona 85032

Nottingham Sword&Shield; SecurityNTS TACTICAL TRAINING Phoenix Campus
4731 E. Greenway Rd. Suite 10
Phoenix, Arizona 85032

* Credit for the original ABC's of Conflict Avoidance to Kiyoshi Dave Kovar http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpcB_2_kMKs

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