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View Full Version : On women's sd, from Black Belt magazine, February 1984



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patfromlogan
5/14/2005 12:28pm,
I thought this might be useful. It's women's sd, as taught by the daughters of Ralph Castro (Shaolin Kenpo head).

...As a father, Castro wanted his two girls to know how to defend and protect themselves, so he taught them kenpo with a strong emphasis on the self-defense aspects. It's this extensive background in martial arts and women's self-defense that makes June and Julie Castro well qualified to instruct their classes.

They structure their classes toward women who don't know how to fight back. Several years ago, they took a university course called "Psychology of Violence Against Women" and learned that most women are brought up to be passive and to not assert themselves. Because many women behave in a passive manner, they are not attacked in the same way that men are. Men are often approached with a lapel grab, while women will be grabbed by the wrist or hair. Women are also victims of front or rear throat chokes, arm-locks or mouth gags.

Men who attack women are usually looking for a special kind of victim. They want their attack to be an easy one, without any undue trouble or disturbance. The potential victim may be waiting for a bus, standing hunched over with her arms crossed, staring at her feet. "Her body language says, 'Please don't attack me, I'm scared,'"June notes.

The Castros' students are taught to recognize what a would-be attacker might look like. They are instructed not to take people at face value and to be cautious and aware, but not paranoid.

Students learn what Julie and June call the "Oh nos." "Oh nos" are timid reactions brought about where a woman fears an attack. For instance if a women is followed, an "Oh no" is fearfully choosing not to turn and face the attacker. Instead, she says "Oh no," keeps walking, and actually waits for the attack to come.

What the Castros do to alleviate this problem is to incorporate awareness training into their women's self-defense course. They teach their students to be assertive and to project picture of confidence to the attacker. Instead of standing at the bus stop with a victim's attitude, the student learns to stand erect, look casually around her, and project an "I'm confident, I'm not going to let you attack me, and I will fight back" attitude. The awareness training is taught in discussion-group sessions.

Of course, the student still has to learn to physically protect herself. She won't always be able to deter her attacker simply by projecting a confident attitude. Before they learn actual techniques, June and Julie's students learn the difference between struggling and fighting. Struggling only makes an attacker angry, but if a woman puts her energy into striking the right targets, her attacker can be quickly disabled.

From the very beginning, the Castros' students learn where and how to strike their assailant. The classes deal with both the psychological and physical aspects of knowing how to fight. The Castro girls feel that believing in your capabilities is half the battle.

Since initially they don't expect their students to know how to fight, the Castros start women out with open-hand techniques, such as palm-heel strikes. Palm-heel techniques don't take a great deal of strength and can be quickly mastered by any woman.

The Castros also emphasize that the size of the attacker doesn't matter, because vital spots all feel the same when struck-very painful. They tell their students to "get in shape, because if you can push, you can punch, and if you can walk, you can kick."

Their self-defense techniques are simple and effective. Students are taught combination strikes of at least three consecutive techniques. If the victim misses the attacker's groin, she always has a quick follow-up available to his head.

Essentially, the same technique is used for most situations, with only slight variation. This allows the student to perfect one combination of strikes during the six-week course. She doesn't have to, or need to, learn the many kenpo techniques usually taught to combat different situations.

The basic technique the Castros teach is to first either step back or go toward the assailant (depending upon his attack) in order to destroy his momentum and balance. The victim then directs the heel of her palm against his nose. He is now exposed to her continued attack. She follows with a hammerfist to his groin. As he doubles over in pain, she directs another palm strike to his face. If she uses a kick in conjunction, it will usually be a low, back-thrust kick to his kneecap.

This technique works well against a left, right, or two-handed wrist grab or a front choke. When grabbed by the lapel and pulled toward her attacker, the victim varies the basic technique only in that she steps toward, rather than away, from him.

If she is sitting, perhaps with her legs crossed, the victim can first jam her foot into the assailant's knee. Then she might administer a double palm to his ears, followed by a palm-heel strike to his face. If necessary, she can easily push or kick him, since he'll be in a great deal of pain by then.

If the victim is sitting and doesn't have her legs crossed, a straight punch to the mugger's groin is a very effective way to quickly end an attack. Ralph Castro has a student who is confined to a wheelchair, who after only six lessons used this technique to put an end to an attack against him on the street.

Rather than teach their students to depend on weapons such as knives or mace, June and Julie stress the point that a woman's own body is the ultimate weapon. They teach that, no matter where she is or whatever situation she's in, she likely still has use of her arms and legs for weapons.

One reason the Castros instruct their students in the limitations of weapons is because weapons, such as a knife or blunt object, can be easily taken away from most women. When it is taken away, the weapon is then often used against the woman. If women are taught to depend on something like mace or a hatpin, they learn to put their confidence in everything except themselves.

The Castros do give their women's self-defense students instruction in the use of everyday weapons, but they emphasize the importance of a weapon only as an extension of the user's hand. They teach their students that mace, for instance, is not enough in itself, and that the woman must be ready to follow through with some thing else.

One of the final and most important subjects taught in June and Julie's self-defense class is that of attitude. Attitude often helps to prevent an attack when the woman presents herself in a calm, confident manner. If the confrontation can't be averted, then attitude may save the woman's life or property. She learns not to scream, because her attacker will often react violently to control her and passersby, as often as not, will choose not to get involved anyway.

Instead, the Castro students learn to get mad, but not out of control emotionally. They react as if the attacker is invading their space or do main, and they are prepared to defend it and hurt him if necessary. The victim uses her anger to her advantage by showing her assailant that not only is she not frightened, but she is capable of doing him damage if he persists.

June and Julie's students are trained to react quickly to any given situation. It's one thing to stop and think of the right move before acting when inside a martial arts studio, but outside, on the street, students have to be able to act before they think. Most attackers don't give (heir victims any time to plan their defense.

The Castros' women's self-defense course is not intended to be a traditional martial art form. Traditional self-defense instruction is equally as effective, but not for the everyday housewife who has no interest in learning a martial art. She may, however, have an interest in her own protection, and that's the purpose of June and Julie Castro's class.

http://www.shaolinkenpo.com/article3.htm

beka
5/14/2005 3:52pm,
Hmmm.... I agree with the first part, but I find the second part flawed.

I think one of the main deterrents to being randomly attacked is the old "look tough" routine. It's a good idea, because yes, attackers prefer easy prey, at least when it comes to women. The dynamics in a fight between a man aggressor and a female victim are different, so it's good for women's self defense classes to acknowledge this. So, I give them credit for addressing the most important part in not getting attacked on the street.

But that's assuming that's where you're going to get atttacked. If you don't go doing stupid things, you likely won't ever in a million years have a problem. But sometimes we miss the bus, or get stranded somewhere we've never been, and then maybe we're a potential victim. But this is a maybe.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. BY AND LARGE, WOMEN ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE KILLED OR RAPED BY SOMEONE THEY KNOW. This "thug" on the street has better things to do I guess, and I really don't see strangers as a threat. But just in case! I learn martial arts.

This is where my disappointment with the article comes in. Learning a coreographed set of moves is near pointless because it means you trust your attacker to attack you in the proper fashion. If he doesn't do as expected, what do you, the timid little flower of a victim lady, do? What if you miss your oh-so-powerful palm heel strike? What *then*? I'm sure I'm preaching to the converted, but these women are better off learning in with a resisting partner and learning to fight intutively and not rely on a set of three moves.

But if you're going to take your time learning a martial art, or just some self defense techniques, I still believe that learning a grappling art will do you a much more good than a striking one. If someone wants to attack you, you're most likely going to need to know how to get off of your back.

patfromlogan
5/14/2005 5:38pm,
On the other hand someone involved in sd did a study of m-o-d (methods) of rapist attacks and worked out routines just for the top scenarios, and taught responses. One was to a rear grab/choke and evidentaly a middle aged nurse who'd done the two week course cracked a guy's sternum with a back elbow. One of the top ones was waking up with the guy in full mount. And of course rear choke, front grab, punch to face/gut and so forth.

beka
5/15/2005 1:16am,
On the other hand someone involved in sd did a study of m-o-d (methods) of rapist attacks and worked out routines just for the top scenarios, and taught responses. One was to a rear grab/choke and evidentaly a middle aged nurse who'd done the two week course cracked a guy's sternum with a back elbow. One of the top ones was waking up with the guy in full mount. And of course rear choke, front grab, punch to face/gut and so forth.


But you *do* realize that it's never that clear-cut, right? Most rape is going to be acquaintance rape, and even if you decided to take a survey of what "moves" the attacker(s) pulled, that's only the select few that decide to come forward with information. A lot of times the situation is eerily ambiguous, and women don't even know what the **** is happening to them, nor do they realize what happened until much much later. Whoever this person "involved in sd" is, and whatever their study was, I feel confident in saying that it has a flaw or two. Good for the middle aged nurse, but if it is true, I'll assume it's the exception, and not the rule.

I mean really. To assume that rape can be boiled down to a few most popular positions... that's just idiotic. Completely idiotic.

patfromlogan
5/15/2005 10:56am,
But you *do* realize that it's never that clear-cut, right? Most rape is going to be acquaintance rape, and even if you decided to take a survey of what "moves" the attacker(s) pulled, that's only the select few that decide to come forward with information. A lot of times the situation is eerily ambiguous, and women don't even know what the **** is happening to them, nor do they realize what happened until much much later. Whoever this person "involved in sd" is, and whatever their study was, I feel confident in saying that it has a flaw or two. Good for the middle aged nurse, but if it is true, I'll assume it's the exception, and not the rule.

I mean really. To assume that rape can be boiled down to a few most popular positions... that's just idiotic. Completely idiotic.

Acquaintance rape is of course the most common. And that's one of the reasons I think tma arts can be very important. I saw the difference over the years in my own daughter (brag a little :biggrin: , at 15, youngest bb ever earned in Kyushin Ryu karate) as she put in the endless hours training. There was an attitude of "this is my body, this is my space, and you come into it with my permission." I don't know what specific training gives this attitude of self respect (and preservation), but I imagine self defense training, sparring, and enterring tournaments helped.

The stranger attack modus operandi "can be boiled down to a few most popular positions." Frontal grab, front punch, bear hug, mount, and even wrist grab I'm sure are up there in the percentages. How many types of attacks are there? I wonder if the guys here who've bounced could tell us the variety of attacking in that situation?

Anyhow I google this and found one article so far that's pretty good. I'll look into it more later.
http://www.rad-systems.com/Articles/parallel.html

Don Gwinn
5/15/2005 9:29pm,
They're not claiming to be ending rape, for the love of Pete. I didn't even see where they claimed that the totality of rape could be boiled down to a few favorite positions.

They're trying to offer some options to women who face rapists who do those things, and it DOES happen. Not only does it happen, but recently the pendulum has swung so far with the "Don't you know rape is committed by the people you trust?" party line that it's beginning to sound like people are saying no woman was ever attacked by anyone except her favorite uncle.

That's as misleading as the people who used to dismiss the idea of acquaintance rape.

bunyip
5/16/2005 1:01am,
My college offers a semester-long R.A.D. course. Two words: total bullshit. This isn't just my opinion, it's the opinion of clear-thinking female friends of mine who sat through the class. Of course, there were also plenty who came out of it thinking that they could destroy any man with an eye poke and groin strike. I'll admit the preventative part of the class is good, but that's different from learning to defend yourself.

As for your comments about "how many attacks are there?" - I spend hours each week just trying to learn to defend myself from a front punch and a mount. And after years of effort I can confidently say that if a motivated attacker who outweighed me by 50 pounds got me with either, I'd be in deep trouble.

A woman may be able to AVOID an attack by fighting back against an attacker and convincing him to look for an easier target, but that's very different from DEFEATING an attacker who has made up his mind that you're going to be his victim.

Women's self defense classes are pure bullshido. They make a mockery of the time I put in at the gym every week.

beka
5/16/2005 1:08pm,
Gwinny- If you're not going to pay attention, don't post to the thread.

*Some* rape is perpetrated by strangers, but in most cases, a woman has to look out for the men she already knows. There's no need to ignore the "masked" man, the one waiting in the shadows, but it's probably not going to happen that way. Go out, learn self defense from that kind of attack. A few lessons won't be as effective as actually going to train in a useful MA a few days a week. Tell yourself the enemy is lurking. But the reality of rape is not as simple as women's self defense courses want it to be.

It really isn't.

Bizzaro Root
5/16/2005 1:43pm,
some of these are old but

betweeen 70-82% of raped women were raped by someone they knew.
The National Crime Victimization Survey indicates that for 1992-1993, 92% of rapes were committed by known assailants.1 About half of all rapes and sexual assaults against women are committed by friends and acquaintances, and 26% are by intimate partners.1


83% were under the age of 24.
29% of rapes a weapon was involved.
47% of rapes, the victim sustained injuries other than rape injuries.
75% of female rape victims require medical care after the attack.
About 81% of rape victims are white; 18% are black; 1% are of other races. (Violence against Women, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Justice, 1994.)


america has the highest amount of rapes in the world.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=rape+statistics

chances are your wife or your daughter will be raped or attempted rape on her in her life time. As i have a 7month old daughter this scares the hell out of me.

afronaut
5/16/2005 1:58pm,
... recently the pendulum has swung so far with the "Don't you know rape is committed by the people you trust?" party line

If by "party line" you mean "party of people who are the only ones in a position to know."


that it's beginning to sound like people are saying no woman was ever attacked by anyone except her favorite uncle.
Nobody said that but you.


That's as misleading as the people who used to dismiss the idea of acquaintance rape.
Which is why no one said it but you.


In 8 out of 10 rape cases, the victim knew the perpetrator (Tjaden and Thoennes 2000).

In the National Violence Against Women Survey, 64% of women and 16% of men reported being raped, physically assaulted, or stalked by an intimate partner. This includes a current or former spouse, cohabitating partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, or date (Tjaden and Thoennes 2000).


]Males were more likely to be violently victimized by a stranger, and females were more likely to be victimized by a friend, an acquaintance, or an intimate.
During 2003 --

About seven in ten female rape or sexual assault victims stated the offender was an intimate, other relative, a friend or an acquaintance.

It is Fake
5/16/2005 2:53pm,
I'll Add the one statistic that no one else added.

That is what seems to be missing Gwinn.

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/rsarp00.pdf

"When the offender was a current or
former husband or boyfriend, about
three-fourths of all victimizations
were not reported to police (77% of
completed rapes, 77% of attempted
rapes, and 75% of sexual assaults
not reported)

When the offender was a friend or
acquaintance, 61% of completed
rapes, 71% of attempted rapes, and
82% of sexual assaults were not
reported.

he offender was a stranger,
54% of completed rapes, 44% of
attempted rapes, and 34% of sexual
assaults were not reported to the
police."

In other words you have a higher chance of getting away with rape if you know the person.

This is why they are "pushing" the known person. That is the flaw in anti-rape training. These people are teaching you to defend against the lowest statistical probability. We all say we could kick or kill someone when fighting. Well the same can't be said for a friend, husband, father, etc. That adds a whole new dynamic on the SD situation. It is easier to hurt/kill a nobody as compared to a friend, relative or aquaintance.

Khun Kao
5/16/2005 3:16pm,
One thing I think we may want to take into consideration is WHEN this article was written. 1984. We have to consider how rape was being viewed at that time. Did studies exist at that time to support the fact that most rapes are perpetrated by a victim's acquaintance? Was this common knowledge at this time?

I don't know the answers as i was only 14 at the time and rape studies and statistics were the furthest thing from my mind.

Personally, I understand that the some of what the Castros were doing was flawed, but compared to many other Womens Self Defense courses I've witnessed over the years, this one at least seems to be attempting a relatively realistic and practical approach. They are not trying to teach these women a martial art, but how to carry themselves with confidence so as not to appear as an easy mark, be aware of their surroundings, and some things they can do to protect themselves in the event of an attack.

Does this program still exist?

Cato
5/16/2005 3:20pm,
In other words you have a higher chance of getting away with rape if you know the person.



Its really the other way around, its harder to find and charge an unknown rapist. Most of them get away with it.... Even if the crime is reported.

If the rapist knows the victim and the victim reports the crime it much more likely that rapist is convicted.

This is how it is in sweden anyway, I would quess that its the same everywere.

beka
5/16/2005 5:25pm,
Its really the other way around, its harder to find and charge an unknown rapist. Most of them get away with it.... Even if the crime is reported.

If the rapist knows the victim and the victim reports the crime it much more likely that rapist is convicted.

This is how it is in sweden anyway, I would quess that its the same everywere.

When I was in Sweden in 2004, I was told it had recently been voted the most gender-equal counry in the world, by the UN. One of the factors is how many rapes occur, or are attempted.

I'm a regular Sweden nutrider, and this is one of the many reasons why.

saimoon
5/17/2005 8:33am,
The Castros' students are taught to recognize what a would-be attacker might look like. They are instructed not to take people at face value.....

priceless

patfromlogan
5/17/2005 9:36am,
My college offers a semester-long R.A.D. course. Two words: total bullshit. That's a shame, it sounded better on the internet than in real life...




As for your comments about "how many attacks are there?" - I spend hours each week just trying to learn to defend myself from a front punch and a mount. And after years of effort I can confidently say that if a motivated attacker who outweighed me by 50 pounds got me with either, I'd be in deep trouble.

A woman may be able to AVOID an attack by fighting back against an attacker and convincing him to look for an easier target, but that's very different from DEFEATING an attacker who has made up his mind that you're going to be his victim.

Women's self defense classes are pure bullshido. They make a mockery of the time I put in at the gym every week.
Looking at the Pimp vs Karate Instructor vid gives me the idea that for street encounters knowing how to work the guard is probably irrelevant. For most people, not just women, once you are down and mounted it's over. This seems to hold true in most UFC fights.

Is anyone actually saying "defeat an attacker? I thought the emphasis was on escape.