7 Steps from Victim to Victor of an Assault
It is a typical night in Colorado Springs. You have just stopped to pick up an item from the grocery store. It is dark, late, but not too late. You don't have many items, so you do not see the need to push the cart any further than the front door. You grab the bags, wrap them around your wrists, secure them in your arms, and walk toward your vehicle in the parking lot. You hear something behind you. You turn to see where the noise is coming from. Someone is walking behind you? His pace is increasing! Is he following you? Your mind is racing, Your Heart is Pounding! What do you do?
This is just one real life scenario that people, especially females encounter. We may think of this scenario as one that happens when leaving the night club, but people have experienced this while pushing their cart from the local grocery store to their car. A teenage girl has experienced this while walking to her car after a school event or after her college course. A parent has experienced this while walking to her car after Christmas shopping or school shopping.
To best assist you with what you can do, lets first examine a scenario and see if you can identify what could be done better. Some things are pretty obvious, some not as easy to identify, but all of these points are important in protecting and defending yourself.
Saturday night has finally come around. Lisa and Tiffany have been waiting for this night all week long. They have heard of a new club in a different part of the Colorado Springs that they want to check out. Lisa decided to wear her skinny jeans which really showed off her body due to the tight fit. Lisa joked that she won’t be able to breathe in those jeans. Tiffany decided to wear her mid-thigh tight skirt with a fashionable and sexy top. Both ladies look through the many pairs of shoes they have and decide to wear the shoes with the 4” heels. “My feet will kill me, but I will still look good” laughed Lisa. They decided to leave for the club early due to them not really knowing where they were going so they wanted enough time to find the club.
They left for the club at 9:30 knowing that it would take them a good 45 minutes to get there. Even with their GPS, they got lost and didn’t arrive until 11 pm. “Wow there is no parking” said Tiffany who slowly circled the neighborhood several times searching for some place to park. After the fourth time circling the club they found a space 4 blocks away in a dimly lit area. “I could use a few drinks after all this driving” said Tiffany.
They walked their 4 blocks arm in arm balancing each other as the heels they were wearing slightly swayed with each step. Both of them held onto their fashion clutches along the way. “Ok, remember the rules, we came together and we leave together.” Tiffany smiled and shook her head in agreement.
The bouncer at the door noticed them immediately and allowed for them to pass the long line and enter quickly. The place was full of people. As they pushed through the crowd they searched for a place to sit. “Hi I am Steve” screamed an attractive guy to Lisa. “Would you like to dance?” Lisa handed her purse to Tiffany who has found a little table in the corner for them to sit.
While Lisa was dancing, Joe introduced himself to Tiffany. She invited him to sit down and talk since Lisa still has not come back yet. He invited Tiffany to dance but she said she No since she was guarding both purses. After several minutes Joe asked if he could buy her a drink and she accepted. Joe had to fight through the crowd to make it to the bar which was across the room. Tiffany came back momentarily with Steve in hand. They had drinks in their hands already and seemed to be having a great time. Lisa told her about the guy she had met and that he was buying her a drink. Hearing a new song come on, Lisa grabbed Steve’s hand “Back on the floor Mister” she said laughing. “See ya.” Lisa said.
“Sorry it took so long” said Joe who had four drinks in his hand. “I wasn’t sure which one you would like so I bought two for you and two for me”. Tiffany laughed “A guy who thinks of everything” she said as she laughed “Gotta love it”. As the night went on Tiffany met a group of guys and gals sitting beside her and Joe. They all talked and laughed. Joe asked Tiffany to dance again. Since Tiffany had gotten to know the group beside her she asked them to watch both her purse and Lisa purse. The guys and girls sitting there heard her request, smiled and replied yes. Off to the dance floor she and Joe went. They were having a great time.
On the way back to their seat they noticed Lisa and Steve at the table. The ladies introduced their male friends to each other and a new group was formed. The usual conversation went on such as “What do you do?” “Do you go to school” “What part of town do you live in?” “Do you have family here?” “Are you roommates?” The girls were impressed on how great the evening was going and how great the conversation was. The guys continued to buy them both drinks.
At 2 am Tiffany said to Lisa, “I am tired are you ready to go?” Lisa replied, “I know we said we would leave together but Steve is so cute. We are going to get some food? Would you and Joe like to come along?” Tiffany asked Joe, but he said he had to work so he better get home soon. “I can drop you off at home, Tiffany, on my way. You don’t live too far from me.” Tiffany agreed.
Lisa and Steve decided to take both of their cars to an all-night place to eat. They were both parked in opposite directions of each other. “I’ll walk you to your car, and then you can drive me to mine” said Steve. “That’s sweet, but why don’t we meet here in front of the club? It’d be faster.” Steve agreed and walked toward his car.
Lisa tried to walk fast but she was tired and a little drunk. “One block down, three more to go,” she thought to herself. After three blocks she laughed at herself because she noticed she had turned the wrong way. When she turned left at the next block, she noticed that there was a guy walking behind her about a half a block away. “He must be looking for his car too,” she thought. She turned at the next block, and so did he.
Lisa saw another dimly lit street and thought it must be the street she had parked her car, so she turned there…he did also. He was closer behind her now maybe only 50 feet away. Her mind was racing with the thought that maybe he had been following her. His pace was increasing as she reached her car. She opened her purse and tried to look in it to find her keys. While fishing around her purse for her keys, she dropped her cell phone. He is just behind her 20 feet, 15 feet. She stooped down grabbed her cell phone and quickly stood up. 10 feet, 5 feet. She still can’t find her keys. 1 FOOT. She panics, He reaches out…raises his hand and pushes the button to his vehicle to unlock the door to his vehicle in front of hers.
Tiffany and Joe left about a half hour after Lisa. Joe had found a parking spot close to the entrance to the club. “Wow you got lucky?” said Tiffany. “You have no idea.” replied Joe as they walked hand in hand. Tiffany usually doesn’t hold hands with a guy she just met a few hours earlier, but he has been so nice. Plus she admitted to herself that she has had a little too much to drink, so she could use his hand to steady her balance.
Being the gentleman, Joe opened the door to his sports car. Tiffany laughed. “What’s so funny?” asked Joe. “There are still some gentleman left in the world,” He said smiling. “No it’s not that. It’s just you would have to have a sports car low to the ground and I would have to have on a mini skirt.” She laughed. “I won’t peek” laughed Joe “Scouts honor”. “Promises.. promises” replied Tiffany laughing. Of course as Joe helped her to enter the vehicle he couldn’t help but notice her lovely legs as her skirt crept up her thighs to allow her to sit down. He closed the door behind her. Lisa was very tired but managed to stay away as she gave Joe directions to her apartment.
Once to her apartment he asked “May I walk you to your door?” she smiled and replied yes. At the door they finally kissed. Stopping, Lisa took a deep breath and said “Wow, I’d better go in.” “Yeah you should Tiffany may be worried about you.” “She isn’t home yet” replied Tiffany, “or she would have the signal on the door knob.” Joe gave her one last kiss and hug. She entered her apartment and closed the door behind her. A few minutes later she heard a knock on the door. When she opened it, there stood Joe. “I am sorry, I know its late. My car won’t start. I am waiting for Triple A to send a tow truck. I guess I drank too much. May I use your bathroom?” “Of course,” said Lisa and she moved to allow him to enter.
This scenario may seem to be an innocent one and it may be, but what could the ladies in this scenario possibly do better to protect themselves. Take a few moments and reread this scenario and write down what you see. In my future addition, I will go over what I have found.
Lets explore the
7 Steps that could prove to make you into the Victor against an assault instead of a Victim of an assault.
*Pre Assault/Fight Plan
*Prepared Not Paranoid
*Identify Your Objective
*Stay the Steady Course, there is no quick fix!
*Practice, Practice, and did I mention Practice
*Real World Techniques/Scenario Training
*The Fit Component
Now that you read the steps, let’s explore briefly each one.
I tell my students; no matter if they are age 3 or age 83, “The best fight ever fought is the fight that is never fought”. This means that before learning what to do when you are grabbed first look at what you can do before you are grabbed. This means proper preparation.
In the firefighting field, fire departments urge their communities to have a “pre-fire” plan? Discuss and know what you would do PRIOR to the situation. The same holds true when addressing the many types of assaults. In general, each person must be PREPARED, but not PARANOID. Actually preparedness means being exposed to and consistently practicing real techniques that work in the real world. Learning how to kick and flip through the air is a great and fun martial arts skill to develop, but has little if any application to a real world encounter. Many places teach martial arts skills, but these same places fail to teach reality life skills.
The new question now would be “How do you become prepared?” Here are a few tips to help with that?
- 1. Know what problem it is that you are seeking to solve.
If you want to learn how to swim, it is not advisable to take track lessons. Although a great activity, track does not solve your problem of not knowing how to swim. The same holds true if you are seeking to learn reality life skills. If you do not know what to do if you are attacked in the real world, taking a class that teaches fancy highflying kicks will not solve your problem. Seek out someone whose primary focus is Reality Life Skills supplemented by martial arts skills. CFMAF in Colorado Springs is a perfect example of such a school.
- 2. Do not look for a quick fix.
A one-day one hour class, seminar, or clinic is ok, but is not a solution. Simple techniques can be taught in a short time frame, but the confidence to deploy those techniques during a stressful situation takes time. Dedicate yourself to learning these life saving skills.
- 3. Practice, Practice, and more Practice.
This kind of goes along with number two above. It’s important to remember that it is not how many techniques you know, but how many techniques you know well. Practicing is not any good if you are practicing the techniques incorrectly. This is why it is important for you to be on the floor with a dedicated instructional staff there to assist you with each step of each technique.
- 4. Scenario Based Training and Technique Application
Learning the techniques is important. Knowing the technique is VITAL. In the beginning you will be taught to think, but with Perfect Practice, you reach the point where you stop thinking and you simply do. At that time you should graduate into scenario based training, which allows for you to utilize your skills in a simulated environment in which you may have to call upon those skills.
- 5. The Fitness Component
“Our techniques won’t fail you but you can fail our techniques by not being in shape to perform them against a worthy adversary” Master “C” is hear saying this to this to his students all the time. The myth throughout the martial arts world is that strength and size does not matter. If that were true why not have a child in the ring with a 6’ 5” 300 pound person? The truth is it does matter. When attacked, you must utilize all attributes that you have such as acquired skill through dedicated and consistent training, strength through various types of resistance training, endurance both aerobic and anaerobic (long like a marathon runner and short like a sprinter), and flexibility. Master “C” at CFMAF was asked why does he have a Fitness Facility, Certified Personal Training Staff, Fitness Kickboxing (Cardio Kickboxing), Boot camps, as well as Reality Life skills/martial arts classes available at his training academy in Colorado Springs replied “I love kickboxing but it is not for everyone. But what is for everyone is Health and Fitness. Instead of forcing people into one type of workout, we have an array of fitness programs available. With our various programs we are able to supply each person with the necessary tools to aid them with the application of the reality life skills and martial arts skills that we supply. All ingredients are needed for success. One without the other can lead to failure in the real world.
Now that we have discussed how to be better prepared. The next questions usually asked of me are the “What If’s”. “What do I do if someone grabs me?” “What if they grab my hair and pull me?” “What if I am against a wall and they are choking me?” “What if I am on the ground and my hands are pinned?” The questions go on and on. The “What ifs” never seem to end. The first thing I have to say is “What did you do or not do before the attack occurred? Too often we jump right into the attack without realizing that we could have done several things prior to the attack that may have stopped it from occurring. Of course that prompts the next question “What type of things could I have done to possibly stop the attack prior to it happening?” Again, that is a general statement. The specifics would be gone over for each individual students scenario. What to do prior to the attack if you were sleeping and someone attacked you on your bed, is different than what you would do if you were putting groceries in the trunk of your vehicle and were attacked, which is different than what you would do if someone has their hand on your neck holding you against a wall, which is different from what you would do if someone attempts to pull you from your vehicle.
Some key elements of “Pre-Assault” training consists of:
*Delay Draw Attention
*Space Equals Time
*Understanding the differences between Assault and a Fight
*Fear, Strength, Adrenaline, and the collation of the three
*Perfecting Practice to Perfect
“Pre-Assault” training means training you experience and continue to practice BEFORE an actual assault. This training should consist of methods developed to increase your awareness. This means more than just increasing your awareness of your surroundings. This includes you being aware of things such as:
*Type of Clothing you are wearing
*Outside and Indoor Temperatures/Weather Conditions
*Surface stability (sand, rocks, ice, snow, rain, tar, etc)
*Your position on the sidewalk relative to vehicles and buildings
Remember the scenario I wrote about a few pages back? If the ladies in that scenario were to follow the above tips that I have mentioned, could it be possible that they would not have made some of the errors that they did? Yes. If they had identified their problem of not knowing how to protect themselves, they would have chosen the correct academy to train under. At that academy hopefully they would of learned how to prepare, which also means increasing their awareness. Increasing their awareness skills also means identifying limitations pertaining to what they wear, drink, etc. By enrolling in the correct academy they would have received consistent training which leads to more practice. More practice leads to correct technique application, which leads to scenario based training, in which through all of this, they obtain overall fitness and health. It is easy to see how all these components lead to your improved ability to Protect and Defense yourself and your family.
For more tips and application skills of techniques call Master “C” and Ms. Heather at 719-237-0043 or contact him via their website of www.cfmaf.com .