There are certain tools that you can carry with you that can dramatically improve your chances in a potentially dangerous or attack situation. Carrying weapons is illegal, but ordinary everyday items can be just as effective in helping you avoid an attack; they might even save your life! Here are my top six:
1. Body Spray
This is one of my favourites. A travel sized can of aerosol body spray is a very effective (and legal) substitute for mace or pepper spray. There are some other legal alternatives but body spray is available in many shops and it's not expensive. I've taken body spray to the eyes before and I can personally guarantee that it's debilitating. Use it at arms length, straight to the attackers face and make a swift exit; don't forget to call the police as soon as you're safe to inform them of the attack and possible casualty. DON'T stop to try and administer first aid yourself and shout to anyone in the immediate area that this person just attacked you. Bear in mind that there's a chance you could blind your attacker so be responsible and don't use this unless you're in genuine danger.
There are numerous ways to improve your game which don't involve actual work with a partner. This is particularly useful if you're unable to get to class, have a minor injury which prevents full participation or simply want to improve outside of lessons. Aside from revising technique details / running orders and visualisation, there are a number of physical drills that you can do as well. Quite a few of them, like this one, don't necessarily require a lot of space, which make them ideal if you travel a lot and wind up cooped inside a hotel room.
No, not drilling with an electric or pneumatic drill...
The art and skill of drilling is often an undervalued practice. Which would you rather? Know three moves and be able to use each with deadly precision and perfection or have a repertoire of three hundred moves which you can't recall or execute under pressure?
"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."
_Coming from Bruce Lee, it's a sobering thought. Now I'm not saying that you should only learn one move, or even three; I enjoy a lot of variety as much as the next person. However, I would caution the serious martial artist that if you want to be really good under pressure you have to drill and pressure test.
_The smartphone is taking over the world, right? There aren't many things these days that we don't have an App for. Be honest, how many of you go App shopping when you're bored?
Lately I've been looking into personal safety Apps and you'd be surprised at what's out there. I'm not talking about Apps that teach you Kung Fu from the screen, but Apps that can be used to save your life in an emergency. These are some of the features you might want to look out for:
_Being a discipline which is largely practiced in bare or partially bare feet, and classes being conducted with multiple students and often in communal areas, foot care is a very important topic for any martial artist. However, for reasons unknown, it is rarely a topic which receives a lot of attention.
Before moving onto tips and advice for keeping your feet healthy and in good shape, let’s take a look at some of the foot conditions which you may need to look out for. These conditions can be picked up just about anywhere and some can even develop on their own. The various foot common conditions fall into four general areas:
Having given it some careful thought, I’ve come up with my top ten personal safety tips. These include some old chestnuts, some common sense and some sneaky tricks all designed to keep you safe; furthermore you don’t need to be a martial artist or superman to apply them...
1. Don’t behave like a victim.
It is very easy for people that behave like victims to become victims. Predators are always on the lookout for easy targets so don’t give them one. Behaving like a victim might mean typical indicators such as hunched shoulders and starring at the floor / avoiding eye contact. It can be indicators such as having headphones in (reduced awareness) or having your hands jammed in your pockets (not able to move or fight back freely).
A poet by nature, an English teacher in a foreign land by trade; Twigger takes the bit between his teeth and enrols on Tokyo’s infamous riot police course – a gruelling year long course at the local Yoshikan Aikido dojo, with a hard reputation for breaking people. Very quickly we get to know the other ‘foreigners’ on the course, men from all over the world who have earned their black belts and come to test their metal. But there’s just one problem... The closest Twigger has come to learning a martial art is reading a seventeenth century samurai manual.
This is a very difficult question for me to answer; just look at the name of my club: Leeds Traditional Martial Arts. I regard traditional values in very high esteem; having had experience in teaching more commercialised martial arts, I get a great deal of pleasure in going back to my traditional roots with my small community of students.
The term 'self defence' gets bandied about a lot. I've been involved in the martial arts community for a long time now and I don't think I've ever come across a martial arts school or club that doesn't actively advertise self defence or personal safety as one of their main features. But what IS self defence? Does learning any form of martial art automatically enable you to defend yourself in a real attack situation? Can clubs really provide magic bullets and invisible, impenetrable armour that will keep you safe on the streets? Truthfully? The answer is no.
Leeds Traditional Martial Arts