February 17, 2012

Tiger Claw…Shinto…Jab…

By Summer Brill, Communications VP

POP QUIZ: You are flat on your back with Calla Griffith sitting on your chest yelling profanities at you with her right fist flying at your face, what do you do?
A. Close your eyes and start crying
B. Call your Membership Resources Liaison (Mary Grundy, where are you??)
C. Jerk your head to your left while using your left hand to swipe away her right fist while using your legs and hips to buck her over your left shoulder onto the ground

If you chose A, you are going to have a bloody nose. If you chose B, you are going to have a bloody nose. If you chose C, you attended a fun and informative woman’s self defense seminar put on by Membership Enrichment.

Membership Enrichment co-chairs Calla Griffith and Regine Nelson (pictured left), along with their fabulous committee members, organized a very useful and exciting evening at the Gatehouse with the United Studios of Self Defense. We learned some basic strike moves and practiced on each other while receiving individualized suggestions on how to best help ourselves in the unlikely event we are attacked.

Cat Carlton
We started right away with basic strike moves and spent most of the evening practicing on each other! We ended the evening mostly unscathed, the biggest injury resulting from my head connecting with Cat Carlton’s head as we were each dodging blows from Calla and Meaux Costello.

Our instructors are highly experienced and provided us with tips on how to avoid scary situations in the first place:
  1. Don’t walk and talk on your phone – more distracted and less aware
  2. Keep your keys in your hand to use to jab if needed
  3. Always be aware of your surroundings
And if we find ourselves in a situation where we need to defend ourselves, they gave us very practical and useful tips to remember:
  1. Strike, Strike, Strike – If you are being attacked, always keep punching, kicking, screaming and fighting
  2. Go for the soft spots – neck, throat, nose, eyes, sternum, ribs, groin
  3. If thrown to the ground, get onto your side as fast as possible and get your leg up for kicking
  4. Don’t forget about the backhanded jabs – if grabbed from behind, use your elbows and back of fists
We learned a few key strikes: Jab, Tiger Claw, Shinto (like a karate chop), punch. We learned to strike with purpose and to aim for the soft spots really hard and pull your hand immediately back for a second and third strike. Don’t stop…that is what is resonating with me, to keep going and keep striking until the attacker flees or help arrives.

I also learned something else that was quite counterintuitive…when going for a knee or punch, to step into your attacker, this gives you more power in your punch/knee.

POP QUIZ: 8 pounds of pressure can...
A. Smash a cupcake to smithereens
B. Pop a balloon
C. Shatter a knee

That was a trick question, the answer is D, all of the above! Remember that if you are on the ground, get on your side and kick at the attackers knee, it doesn’t take much to take it out.

Thank you to Calla, Regine and their Membership Enrichment committee. And special thanks to the United Studios of Self Defense instructors Gary Flickinger, Jay Mohan and Mary and Miya for taking the time to teach us how to protect ourselves.

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