Realities Created, Maintained and Destroyed, WHILE-U-WAIT!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Bad Guys

especially those who prey on women

The thread of comments on the subject of women's self defense has gotten real interesting so I am moving some of it up here to the main blog so that it might be more useful to the greatest number of people.

First I have to apologies, because this is not a pleasant subject to talk about, and I am going to speak as graphically as I need to in getting my message across.

Now as it happens, I have known a number of rapists, both casual and serial in my life, as well as child molesters, murders and other truly unpleasant people. I put myself through college and Grad school by working as a psychiatric technician is some of the more interesting State and county hospitals on the West Coast. During the ten years I worked in that field I spent all my time in the locked wards working with "mentally disordered offenders".

I made a special study of these guys, just as I would any other predator. All predators, including humans have habits, if you understand them you are better off in coping with them.

So Let's take a look at what is going on.
Thanks for your comments. Do you have any references for the claim that grappling has the lowest percentage of successful defense against sexual assault? I find that very hard to believe. Most men studying BJJ are amazed to find themselve getting choked out rapidly by women half their size.
Salaam Alaykum Omar,

Let me introduce you to Todd, the guy you have been talking with. Todd, with his wife Tiel run one of the best women's self defense programs in the Pacific North West, and has been doing so for several years.

I am sure that Todd is putting together some data for you, but he has always done his homework, so we can be pretty sure that if he says it he knows what he is talking about.

Personally, I think that BJJ (Brazilian Jujitsu) Is a good second line of training for self defense, but it may not be as good as you think for first line stuff. This is not because of any lack in the art, but because of its primary focus, which is as a combat sport. BJJ will over time build some very useful attributes, but the progression is too slow for primary self defense training, and because of the sport focus it may not address some things that a woman needs to get down quickly.

Only about half of what needs to be learned in a good woman's self defense course involves dealing with the actual attack, a school with a focus on ring sports will often not address the other half of what needs to be learned.
Just because it is your focus, it does not mean that you do not study other things as well. The point of studying BJJ is to become comfortable handling an attacker in the WORST possible situation. This makes you much more comfortable in fighting from your feet, because you are no longer scared of being wrapped up close with your attacker.
The worst possible situation is a bit different for a woman being attacked. There are some serial rapists that will think nothing of shanking their victim a couple of times and raping her while she is bleeding out. It goes down hill from there. The sport focus of BJJ just does not address these things as much as they need to be, nor does it address them as quickly as they need to be addressed. That is why I tend to say it should be the second line of training, I would say the same thing about any martial art.
Running and yelling do not need any training. We know how to do those already.
You have been misinformed about this. An untrained person will very often not run away very effectively at all. Some people will even freeze in the face of danger and not be able to run away or yell. Even when a person does run, often they can run in a direction that is unsafe (Like down a blind alley with a dead end).

I recommend "Street E&E" by Marc MacYoung for some useful pointers on the fine art of "running away fiercely".
The slow and staedy approach is only necessary with skilled people. A woman's attacker is almost certainly going to be untrained. And a lot of experience shows that untrained people get submitted very quickly by more experienced people.

Now this is an assumption that will get someone killed. The fact is that many rapists have some skills. Serial rapists have a lot of skills, and often a lot of experience. We are talking about some guy that has raped women before, who, when he is not raping someone is thinking about raping, or planning a rape, who is someone who has successfully raped ten, thirty, maybe even a hundred women. This is what he does, it is what his life is all about.

A lot of these guys are big on planning ahead, they will often study a martial art, mostly in the more misogynist schools. He may have a weapon and be willing to use it.

I knew one guy, he always wore a cup and protective goggles when he went after a woman.

One of the worst fights I ever had in an institution was from a serial rapist, he had been doing some sort of Chinese grappling art for a few years. I had to really hurt the guy, and that is bad form.

Assuming that an attacker is unskilled, unarmed, or unwilling to do you grave bodily harm just for the fun of it will get you killed.


For me, what I have seen work very well is for a woman to do a good serious self defense course that has padded attacker work and a lot of awareness training. After she has finished that then she can go into a martial art that will refine those skills. It is sort of like Going through boot camp to gain the basic skills then going into Airborne Ranger school to get more sophisticated skills that are built on top of the basics.

I have been talking about BJJ, but that is only because you brought that art up. I would recommend the same regardless of the art you name. Get the specifics down first, then go for sophistication.

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