Workplace Self Defence Training; What We REALLY Do
Yelling and screaming at each other.
Ask most people what they think we do with our clients and normally we will get some variant of the above.
The great misconception is that our training is all about physical ninja-moves, and that perception is valid given that IS what has been marketed and sold as ‘self-defence’ over the years.
Every year we work with dozens of Corporate and Government clients, from the largest companies in New Zealand through to SME’s of every type. Most are looking for functional job-specific training for their teams, others are looking to include something that’s different, valuable and fun into a Wellness Program, Conference, or Team-Building event.
Every client is different and each requires an individual, specific approach and course design.
So what DO we do then?
Each course will be focused on one, or a mix of several, of our four Pillars of Self-Protection;
Pillar 1: Avoidance through Recognition, Awareness, and Confidence
This Pillar is vital. It is one which every human living in New Zealand will use and obtain massive value from learning about.
This stage is about, in the words of Sun Tzu, “knowing thy enemy” and also recognising that often our enemy is ourselves. Whew, that sounds deep.
There is a LOT to this stage, all of it as empowering, confidence-building, and important as the next.
It includes things like:
· Understanding the Pre-Contact Indicators of a violent or escalating situation so we have an early warning signal if possible
· Developing our Intuition to warn us at the earliest point
· Reducing un-warranted fear, and also worry and anxiety around personal safety, which in itself can help dissuade predatory interest
· Stepping inside the mind of a criminal to learn the selection process so that we may prepare against it
· Vital rules and safety strategies for personal safety and that of our loved ones
· Understanding our ‘Why’ and how that affects our safety
· ALL of this being done in a confidence-building way so that we don’t need to walk around 'looking for danger’ all of the time, but instead feel LESS afraid and more empowered
And a LOT more. People LOVE learning about this stage as everyone can see how it relates to them and can help them to be and feel safer.
Pillar 2: De-Escalation and Tactical Communication
“I don’t need self-defence training, I never get into fights” (Something we hear a lot)
That’s great. Irrelevant, but good to know.
Self-defence has nothing to do with ‘getting into fights’. Fighting, and protecting ourselves from an attack, be it physically, verbally, mentally, or emotionally, are very different things. The attacker chooses the time and place of the attack, not us, and if we are out in the world there is a chance we may be confronted with violence. It is just a reality we need to accept, and just like insurance, we hope we never need to protect ourselves but if we do we are grateful for the resource.
And ALL of us need training in de-escalation and communication. Everyone.
Why? Because not a single one of us can claim that we have not had an argument, or disagreement, or heated or difficult conversation with someone in the last year. Or even the last month. Or for most of us, the last week.
Being able to de-escalate an enraged, angry, upset, or otherwise escalated person is a valuable and vital life-skill. It covers the whole spectrum of our daily interactions with our fellow humans. From upset customers at work, to angry colleagues, to workplace ‘bullying’, to managing a difficult conversion…All the way through to attempting to talk down a potentially violent individual, these skills are vital to have.
Consider these skills a 'game changer'. Not only for dealing with aggression, but for improving yourself in every interaction you have with anybody.
Pillar 3: Physical Protection
“I don’t need self-defence training, I win all of my fights by 100 metres!”
Again, great to hear. And we agree, removing ourselves from the situation is normally the smart thing to do. But it isn’t always possible.
If the attack happens by surprise, you’ll have to defend yourself. If the situation unfolding has an inter-personal element to it (person you’re on a date with not taking ‘no’ for an answer) then you may be in a situation where running is difficult without doing something to make that possible. If you are in an enclosed space, or have your child or elderly parent with you, running may not be an option.
Instructors who say “Just run”, without any context to the situation, do not understand how things really work.
So what is covered? It depends greatly on the client and their needs.
This stage can be as basic as adding a couple of simple ‘Stun and Run’ movements to enable escape if possible, right through to advanced training including weapons survival, multiple attackers, ‘MUTT’ (Messed Up Tangle Training), and more.
All physical training needs to take into consideration the legal, moral, and ethical aspects as well as understanding the effects of stress on our ability to use complex movements. All of our physical toolbox assumes there will be very little ability to use fine-motor movements or remember anything complicated.
Pillar 4: Post-Event Management
Drop a pebble in a pond and the ripples will touch all of the shores, even if you can’t see them.
The aftermath of a violent or aggressive situation is the same. It has ripples. These ripples affect us all in different ways but they do affect us. They can also affect our spouse, our family, our colleagues, our friends.
There are many aspects to consider after an event including injury management, legal consequences, employment consequences, retaliation, emotional impact, and a lot more.
Often people who don’t understand the consequences may not see the value in the first two Pillars and lean heavily against learning to ‘hurt someone’. This is a dangerous and myopic viewpoint. Those who appreciate the aftermath of violence realise that the first two Pillars are the most important and the physical is a last resort when all else fails.
So, that is what we really do. And we love it. We love it because after 20 years of teaching people from every walk of life, we have seen significant, measurable, and demonstrable positive results over and over again.
Ask yourself how you rate yourself in each of these Pillars. If you can see the value in improving any of these aspects, get in touch with us, you will be glad you did!