How do we take away the connotations of crusty old men in gee’s doing martial arts moves? Moves that were traditionally practiced for 2-3 hours at dawn everyday before they were even remotely perfected by Asian warriors and monks…
Mmmmmmm… Of course self defence is an important skill. It is only when you have been attacked or violated that you treasure the peace and contentment that came prior to the attack, and the thought that you wish you could have done things differently. Of course you want to know that you have given your children every chance of survival…
But unfortunately, the people who require self defence and personal protection skills more than anybody, will also be the least likely to reach out for these skills. They are the person that is least likely to react to situations quickly, to assert influence and judgement in a situation, to display the self confidence required to avoid victimisation… TO YELL THEIR GUTS OUT SO THAT AN ATTACKER WILL RUN FOR THE HILLS!
This is a fundamental truth. We can’t control how other people act… but we can control how WE react.
Is self defence sexy? Of course it is… if it is taught correctly.
It is an attractive quality in both men AND women that they are confident and capable. That they can protect themselves and their family. So we have a little bit of a job on our hands teaching the current generation of teen girls that hair and makeup aren’t what define their attractiveness… that their ability to think, act, and be capable is far more attractive then the cowering girl with perfect hair.
AND did you know that a teen boy is THREE times more likely to die because of their immature neural path development required to think through risk? Put simply, they aren’t mature enough to think safely. UNLESS THEY ARE TAUGHT…
The answer…. if they want sexy, let’s give them sexy… Sexy is capable, and able to look after themselves and others.
A sexy male is calm, strong and has rational thought processes to protect himself and others. He is the ‘go to man’. The man women swoon over because of his love of family and his ability to sort things out. When the shit hits the fan, we go to this man… #contemplatingmylifeasarapperagain
A sexy female isn’t skinny… she is strong. She thinks for herself, holds her head high and with confidence, and attracts strong, confident, like-minded people into her life. She will not remain silent about abuses against herself and others.
A sexy person is a person that takes responsibility for their health and their learning. Their is nothing more ‘unsexy’ then someone who loves blaming others for how bad their life is, how sick they are, how hard-done-by they are. Since we were cave men, strong has ALWAYS been the new sexy. It has never changed. Modern medicine and agriculture have just ensured a longer living breed of ‘unsexy’ that would not have normally survived evolution.
Strong is sexy.
Strength in emotional health, physical health, and strength in the ability to protect yourself and others… Strength in carefully chosen words. Strength in carefully chosen silence. Strength in choosing to listen rather then having to be right. Strength in choosing your battles wisely…
But to teach strength, you need to look to strong role models. Self defence is traditionally the domain of the male dominated martial arts… where 100 kilo men ‘allow’ women to try some moves. These moves often aren’t simple, because how can the complexity of the sport and the talent of the instructor be showcased with simple moves???
So rule number one for sexy self defence:
Teach without ego.
Statistics indicate that your child is most likely to die prematurely due to suicide and violent incident at the hands of their friends or family, then by the 'bogey-man’ or an unknown predator.
Do your teens have the capacity to understand the permanency of death? Do you talk about death? That there are better options in bad situations? That people are always there to help them? And that strength comes from asking for help.
We need to remove this wrong assumption that children cannot deal with 'facts'. They can. It is an adult learned biases that create 'reasons' for not sharing information with children. If you speak to children with an open heart, and without ego, you are saying exactly the right words that are needed for every situation.
It also overwhelms me that people, still secretly, habour this belief that death may escape them (they will be the exception), and it gives tacit permission to vexate on the little stuff and be arseholes.
It is our responsibility as parents to teach resilience to our teens and kids… and to be open and honest in our communication with them. It's a tenuous balancing act of wanting to provide a safe place to fall, and be a robust magnet propelling them into the greater world.
Rule number two:
Let the instructors be a good role model of the strength that you want to teach your child.
The teaching of self defence goes largely unmonitored. Instructors may have criminal histories and links to organised crime as a result of their ‘fighting history’ that parents of students are completely unaware of.
Rule number three:
Good self defence teaches you how to defend yourself without relying on weapons.
I have seen instructors teach women to walk around with film canisters of chilli and talcum powder in their handbag, and instruct how to make other homemade weapons. Which is 1: an offence against the Queensland Criminal Code (see: Man Trap) and 2: no freaking good if you are busy fumbling around in your bag while you are being knocked unconscious! I can't even find my lipgloss when happy and relaxed. #softlipgoals
Rule number four:
Healthy and safe thought processes are more important to teach your child, than any form of punching or kicking.
But for something to be really sexy to a teen, it’s got to be something that they see adults really getting excited about.
Rule number five:
If you want your kids to be safe and develop their strengths, then you have to be know how to be safe and strong too… and be really excited about it.
Be the change you want in the world.
I will try and do ANYTHING in my power to keep you and your family safe ands strong. I am not a big gear boy fighter, I’m just a little chick with a loud voice and the fortune to have thirsted for all the knowledge and experience that working in the Police and the personal protection industry has afforded me.
I have a family and I keep trying to learn how to be a better parent. I spend time researching what is hurting and killing our teens and children. I have thrown the square away and will keep continuing to seek teaching methods on keeping people not just alive, BUT HEALTHY AND HAPPY!
I have developed courses for kids and A.S.D. needs, teen boys and girls, the workforce and disability workers, childcare and I am continuing daily to develop more for more specific requirements with my RAVES program. Better still…. I have recruited instructors with a similar background and the desire to teach personal protection, fitness and lifestyle programs with the same passion that I have (and they know how to make it sexy…).
But don’t just listen to my ramblings… see what the QPS, schools, Women’s Groups and other organisation's think of the programs we have to offer…