Assault Prevention and Women's Self-Defense

“If you knew the power of thought, you would never dare harboring a negative thought.”

Women often reject the need for physical self-defense, given their inherent ability to dodge violence through flexibility and their reliance on protection from others. However, today as much as throughout human history women have suffered physical violence at the hands of their male counterparts. Therefore self-defense remains a highly relevant issue for women.

The techniques of DanZan Ryu JuJitsu are very well suited for women’s self-defense since it requires flexibility and suppleness - abilities that are by nature more prevailing in females than in males. That is why in our experience women typically learn JuJitsu faster than their male counterparts - provided they stay with it. One handicap is that women may often be reluctant to join self-defense classes, feeling intimidated by the prevailing male membership in most dojos. But that should not keep women from joining, since training with males is the best way to learn what they need to learn.

Of particular interest to women is that the foundation of JuJitsu is Yawara, an endless list of escapes, joint locks, and restraining techniques. Given the extreme adaptability of Yawara techniques to almost any situation (including defenses against weapons), it can be developed into a very efficient self-defense system of its own, without having to resort to the aggressive strength that traditionally characterizes so many martial arts. Master Okazaki, the founder of DanZan Ryu JuJitsu, utilized this advantage when in the 1930’s he developed a list of self-defense techniques specially for women, commonly called “Ladies’ Yawara”. Most DanZan Ryu schools still teach an adapted version of this list, known as “Goshin Jitsu”.

Our Assault Prevention Course

We have taught numerous assault prevention courses in this community on a regular basis, courses for children, teenagers and adults. We found that these assault prevention techniques are also very well suited for males. Our course consists of two parts: assault prevention strategy and physical self-defense techniques. We credit our assault prevention course to the program developed by Steve and Linda McLaughlin of the Hawaiian JuJitsu Kodenkai.

To be clear, nobody can learn effective self-defense within a few hours - though we wish you could. There are no magical trick moves to defeat any opponent. Many methods and items marketed for personal defense are not practical in real life, or can have serious legal consequences. Self defense is best done by preventing assault prone situations. In other words it is worth to go that extra distance to avoid trouble. Unfortunately the choice is not always ours, and situations may sometimes require us to do something that is contrary to what is proper assault prevention philosophy - ending up in a situation that may require a response to a physical threat. It is our goal to help people develop strategies of assault prevention for such situations.

Our assault prevention course consists of easy warm-up exercises, followed by helpful strategies, learning how to recognize, assess and avoid assault prone situations. We then continue with individual, one-on-one instruction and practice in easy to learn physical self-protection and escaping techniques. You will learn how to settle feelings of fear and panic with proper breathing, and how to use assertive voice control.

Our task is to survive, which is best done by escaping rather than standing there fighting (learning how to fight is another matter). What eliminates a lot of fighting comes from surprise moves and escapes, methods that will help to effectively escape from a physical assault. The course also includes an assessment of proper behavior when getting in and out of cars, strategies on how to deal with a problem passenger and a few other helpful personal safety hints when traveling by car.

For a starter, typically the introductory course is three hours long. But have no illusion: one can not learn it all in that short time, although this is a good start. If there is enough interest we are glad to offer follow-up courses wherein trainees can practice what they learned so far - and learn a few more techniques.



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If you have any questions about Jujitsu, please contact,
Burkhard Bohm, Sensei (530) 836-2208
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