6/25/2003 2:29am, #1
Fighting fear, attackers
By Nicole T. Lesson
June 25 2003
A woman is withdrawing money from an ATM, when a man suddenly attacks her from behind. She screams, breaks free from his grip, hits him in the face and groin and runs to safety. "You think you never will become a target, but now instead of screaming and freaking out, I like knowing that I can do something. I can knee them or hit them instead of just screaming," said Vikki Mandell, 26, of Davie, who recently graduated from the Rape Aggression Defense System classes taught at the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center in Pembroke Pines. The 12-week course draws participants from nearby Miramar, Davie, Cooper City and other cities in southwest Broward County. The program, offered at locations throughout the nation, was created in 1989 by Lawrence N. Nadeau, a former military policeman and former police officer in Poquoson, Va. Since then, about 250,000 women have completed the classes. Using certified instructors, the program -- which is not a martial arts course -- teaches women self-defense tactics and techniques to protect themselves and to get away from an attacker or abductor. Participants also learn risk-reduction strategies.
"An ideal victim is not someone who will respond physically with resistance," said Jim Helms, an instructor and Pembroke Pines police officer. "To survive, you must disengage [from an attacker]." The latest series of classes will begin Aug. 15 at the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center, 301 NW 103rd Ave. Cooper City began offering the classes for the first time last month. The course also is offered in Parkland and Miami. Participants receive a course manual that outlines the physical defense program. Graduates wanting a refresher may retake the classes for free. Participants learn and practice an on-guard warning stance at the same time as they yell, "Stay back." They practice blocks, strikes to the knee, eyes and shin, and a hammer-fist move in which they make a fist and strike in a downward motion. "No" is a word yelled often during the classes, and instructors encourage the women to be even louder. "Your first weapon is your mouth and voice. It empowers you," said Betty Helms, Jim Helms' wife and also a certified instructor.
The women also practice defensive moves while lying on their backs and stomachs and while walking. "Your windows of opportunity can change in a blink of an eye," Betty Helms said. "An aware woman always knows her exit. You are the one in control of the scenario. The only control they have is what you give him." "This is a necessity for women and kids," said Hollywood resident and certified instructor Sharon Barten, referring to a children's version of the program, which also is offered locally. At the recent program's conclusion, the women sat in a circle and reflected on what they had learned. All five women agreed the course was realistic and made a difference. "If it's not realistic and [there's] a frightening situation, it's not going to help them," Jim Helms said.
For more information, call Betty Helms at 954-655-7587.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-mi25defensejun25,0,6240082.story?coll=sfla-news-browardKungfoolss, Scourge of the theory-based stylists, Most Feared man at Bullshido.com, and the Preeminent Force in the martial arts political arena
6/25/2003 6:15am, #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2003
A woman should know martial art so she can protect herself so this is good.I don't know what ATM is.
6/25/2003 6:25am, #3
ATM = Cash MachineTaking responsibility for my actions since 1989
6/25/2003 12:19pm, #4
we are told when the attack becomes physical, stop saying "No i don't want trouble" to something more agressive. I like "Get the F off of me".
I found the cure for hopeThere is no cheating, there is only jiu-jitsu.
6/26/2003 11:01am, #5
The concept sounds good but I'd have to see a class and the amount of contact allowed to know if the program will turn out grads who actually have the "muscle memory" to make their techniques work under stress.
6/26/2003 12:28pm, #6
ATM means Automatic Teller Machine
what's RADS? is it like SCARS?
Hard work, Patience, Dedication.
6/26/2003 12:41pm, #7
A friend deeply involved in teaching women's self defense told me that they are very careful not to say they teach any type of martial arts, because that's not their focus or goal and they don't want to alienate the martial arts community.
Don't know about RADS, but I've attended a couple women's self defense seminars--mainly out of curiosity re: what it's really about--and what I got was that it's more about empowerment, awareness and confidence enough to employ common sense. Emphasis on common sense. No instructor said they were going to leave as martial arts whiz-gigs.
6/26/2003 2:23pm, #8
that's good, now if everyone though like that...
Hard work, Patience, Dedication.