HIT HARD, HIT FAST...HIT FIRST
If you don’t want to be a victim, allow yourself to hit first.
This post is about a concept called self-permission. It is a mental process you have to overcome (or give yourself the ability to protect yourself) when your Spidey senses start tingling and tells you that there’s danger coming.
Some of the ladies in the school (and I would also say my wife would agree) would say that this is one of the cringiest things I do especially in a women’s self-defense seminar. I make them B* slap the bejeeezas out of me in front of everyone.
It’s a great lesson on physiology, human behavior and reading body language...and quite a memorable one for most of the women in our school. As for the ones who have been training a while, they remember the first week at our studio when they were in the same situation and it reinforces their purpose of why they should be on the mat.
Agree or disagree, or you might think it’s a party trick, but I think it’s one of the most valuable lessons you can teach a young woman or even reinforce this idea on a child at a young age. Self-permission (to fight back or throw the first punch in self defense) requires a level of practice and to see that the physiological manifestations (feeling anxious, tightness in the chest, etc.) are normal and needed to be overcome.
A good book to read on this is Rory Miller’s Meditations on Violence or Facing Violence. If I recall correctly, this is where I learned of the term but I’m sure the internet will let me know about all the inaccuracies. I heard a guy named John Correia (ASP) refer to the term “emotional fitness” and I feel like this is key to any of the students training in our school. No amount of punching on a bag or kicking prepares you to overcome an assault if you didn’t train to mean it on a person as well.
Do what is hard today, do the impossible tomorrow.