Friday, December 7, 2012

'It really broke me': Jill leaves a fighting legacy.'

I have not posted for some time because I'm now in the process of redrafting. Fair enough, this week I've decided to include a chapter on shime waza (strangulation techniques) within the proposed book. This chapter provides the 'why' behind the 'how' which many think they understand but very few do. In the mean time, I came across this newspaper article concerning women self defence:

The video accompanying the article includes certain statements by a women's self defence (WSD) instructor. She explains that teach their students about the 'physiological factors that affect their bodies when they are under that stress and which helps then understand it and use it to their advantage.'


The founder of stress theory, Hans Selye, got it right when he famously said that everybody knows what stress is, but nobody really knows what it is. If you think you know what stress is, you don't.

Stress inoculation training and stress exposure training are training methodologies used by law enforcement and the military to prepare their personnel for operational service. Surely the very foundation of these courses has to be based on an understanding of what stress is. Surely the very foundation of these courses is undermined when stress is an ambiguous concept.

I have been confronted by a knife-wielding attacker on two separate occasions. On both of these occasions I did not experience a 'stress reaction.' I did not experience the physiological factors associated with stress. What does the information presented in the abovementioned WSD courses have to offer me in terms of turning these physiological factors to my advantage? In fact, their absence could become a source of concern eliciting their own physiological and cognitive responses which I need to deal with in addition to the external threat posed to my well-being.

We need to move beyond the ambiguous concept of stress. We need to understand emotion. We need to understand the survival process. We need to stop 'dising' nature's survival mechanism. WSD courses are often predicated on the fact that women are defenceless. THEY ARE NOT! They would not have survived throughout evolutionary history if they were defenceless. However, by indoctrinating women into believing they are defenceless runs the risk of changing them into being defenceless. It runs the risk of negating nature's survival mechanism.

The WSD courses and all other survival activities' courses that I am considering starts out with an understanding of nature's defence mechanism. What has nature given us that promotes our survival when threatened? It then goes on to understand how the methods developed by survival activities are designed to be improvements on nature's survival process. This understanding is no mere academic exercise. Research has shown that this understanding can help manage and support the survival process.

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