Showing posts with label Self Defense. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Self Defense. Show all posts

Everyday Risk and Feeling Safe Every Day, Is That A Contradiction?

Every Day Risk Is A Reality

"You have to feel safe because you can't always be safe". This is what I tell all my students. You should do all that you can to feel safe because every day risk is a reality.

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That does not mean that you should not resist the illusion of safety (you may have to subscribe to get to this link), but it does mean that you have to work within the bounds of that which any normal person can possibly be expected to allow for. Anything beyond that is and act of faith.

By telling all my students that they have to feel safe I make it possible for them to make a choice that has half a chance of being something that will be safer that what they are facing when they don't.

For example: if they are being confronted by a bully what would make them feel safe? If they choose to hide it needs to be possible to hide. If they choose to run, it needs to be possible to run. Fighting back works but it is not always the best option and if it doesn't make you feel safe it is of no real help to you.


Neither am I suggesting that one should not train. If you have training or you practice a particular action, as long as you don't panic the chances are that your training will carry you through.

For example: At my work we had a very real life threatening situation and the people who dealt with it had trained for such a situation on a regular basis. Upon talking to them about the event afterward, they all said to me that they were impressed that as long as they did not panic their training carried them through. In fact one of the main reasons for them not panicking was they fact they that they knew they had trained for this very situation.
None of us like to admit it but everyday risk and feeling safe every day is not a contradiction. Things go wrong no matter how well trained you are. But if you train to feel safe there is a good chance that you will do just the right thing when you are confronted with something that doesn't make you feel safe.

Feeling Safe: That Uh Oh Feeling & How To Use It

When You Are Not Feeling Safe

You know the feeling, you walk into somewhere and something just doesn't feel right. It's not like some thing is off or out of place. This is different! This is an experience of not feeling safe (you will have to do a free sign up to read it).

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There are thousands of people, all over the world that have experienced this and yet most people would not do anything about it.

I'm sure you have talked to someone and had them say after some disaster has happened to them "I just knew something was not right" or "I had a bad feeling". And that is the problem. Most people do not act on those feelings.

Most people just assume those feelings are faulty until something happens to confirm that they were correct and then it is usually too late.

There are a minority of people however that take the time to get in touch with those "Uh Oh" feelings. These are the people that you talk to, that everybody is amazed at because they narrowly avoided some catastrophe. Instead of ignoring those feelings, these people have acted on them.

Could they have been wrong?

Yes of course they could have been wrong but in his book "The Gift of Fear" Gavin de Becker shows that there is very often a genuinely good reason for these feeling and in most instance, given that you rarely have to do anything dramatic to obey the feeling it is worth being wrong once or twice.

I tell all my Judo students that "you can't always be safe but you can always feel safe and if you are not feeling safe then it is your job to find a way to feel safe". That Uh Oh feeling is potentially your key to avoiding danger.

So what should you do if you are suddenly not feeling safe?

Yes you find a way to feel safe but what does that mean?

Well, it can mean a lot of different things. It may mean moving to a a different location or someplace where their are lots of people. It may mean that you go and hide or just simply avoid the situation that is causing you concern. In the Newport Judo Self Defense system as well as in the article link in the first paragraph, I give a whole range of things that you can do. As well as how to get in touch with those feelings but to some degree it is not as important what you do, as that you do it.

Of course the best action is the one that suits the situation but some action is better than none. It is important that you do something.

Some Have Called This A Sixth Sense

Some have called this a sixth sense but it has some very real physical basis. It means that your mind has noticed something that you have not consciously acknowledge.

Maybe it's a breeze on a curtain that you didn't consciously notice but you know that you locked the window or something similar. It should not be dismissed because it is talked about as a sixth sense.

Feeling Safe is The Thing That Gives Us The Confidence To Face Life.

If we don't feel safe we don't go out our front door or worse don't get out of bed. It's vital that you never ignore that Uh Oh feeling because it is not just a feeling it is your unconscious telling you that something is wrong.

Self Defense Classes: How To Pick A Good One

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Lets face it, writing about how to choose self defense classes when you have your own self defense course is a bit self serving and it kind of lack a bit of authority. So I was really pleased to come across this article form Kidpower.

The foreword is written by international security expert Gavin de Becker, best-selling author of The Gift of Fear and "Protecting the Gift" and it sets out 5 questions that you should ask when you are considering self defense classes.

A good self defense course should make you feel comfortable and give you tools that will stay with you for life. The content should be positive, accurate, comprehensive, and appropriate for the ages and life situations of the students. The teacher should be clear, respectful, in charge, enthusiastic, and importantly able to adapt. The approach should be more action than talking-oriented. And most of all the classes should be practical and not just focused on traditional martial arts.

All in all the article is a good read and I think you should get a lot out of it.

Self Defence Techniques: Do I Dare Screem or Yell For Help?

Self Defense Techniques: Call for help & No Body Listens!

Certainly that is the impression that you would get from the video below. That yelling or screaming for help has no value in your self defence techniques. At least at first glance.

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I have had students tell me how they have called for help and got it from their friends.

One young lady, about 7 years old was determined to explain to me that her friends would come to her aid if she called. She happily explained to me how she had proof of this because one day when her dress was caught in the monkey bars she called for help and her friends immediately went and got it.

I think that she has some great friends and she should cultivate those relationships.

The video below was done in Canada or maybe the USA. I recognize every culture is different but I am inclined to think that, for the most part it would be true in Australia also. I would like to think that most Australians would not just walk past but at least call 000 but there is no why to know that unless we do some video of our own.

Unfortunately my experience tells me that, with children the use of the word HELP is problematic, in that the assumption is always that they are playing and therefore should be ignored and left alone to play their game.

Is there any point to yelling or screaming at all?
Should it be part of your self defense techniques?

I would say that there is if you strategic about it. And at least one self defense advocate would agree with that.

What do I mean about strategic?

In my self defense classes at Newport Judo I teach my students all about how to use their voice. Things like calling "Your Not my Dad" in a super market is something I have seen work first hand. So I know that used in the right context it can work.

But you have to ask yourself one question: Is it worth it? There is no point in yelling if the result is that you will make your situation worse. In the case of the video you would have to ask yourself however what could be worse?

On the other hand I have read books where the women probably saved their own lives by keeping calm. Forgiving "Dead man walking" in particular comes to mind. Still other women would rather die that endure what she did.

Whatever your choice you need to practice. Which means that you do have to include it as part of your self defence techniques. I don't mean by having someone attack you nor am I suggesting that you yell at your friends or children. I do however recommend that you learn how to project your voice because if you give yourself a tool there is a good chance that you will use it when you need it. And it is worth noting, that there were some positive responses in the video.

Verbal Bullying: Is Hard In An Australian Environment

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Verbal Bullying: Batteries Not Included

I've actually dropped the topic of verbal bullying and abuse from my self defense program and I'll tell you why.

It's certainly not because I don't think it is a problem. There is little doubt that kids and adults alike have to confront this kind of bullying all the time. By Gingo's (now there is and old Australian expression for you) I was exposed to it every day when I was a child and even for a short time when I started working.

No I dropped the topic because I found that:
  1. The people that were coming to my club were not expressing any experience of it
  2. I found it much more effective to deal with the Judoka's confidence in general that to deal with it specifically.
Besides the only program that I had any kind of liking to was the in the bin approach of Kid Power.

However whilst the trash can approach to verbal bullying worked great for little kids who had just recently been introduced to new unfamiliar social environments, the children that came to my classes were often confronting much more subtle, complex and sometimes even more insidious forms. Worse still many did not even admit to the problem; by far the majority. This simple solution was not enough.

Not admitting the problem is no surprise in the context of Australian culture. Many of the students may have felt quite uncomfortable that it even bothered them.

Verbal Bullying And Australian Culture

You see Australian verbal culture can be difficult to navigate even for those of us who have grown up with it; let alone the younger generation.

Here we have a culture where it is totally dependent on both tone and context as to whether calling someone a derogatory name; "Bastard" (or something much worse) for example, is actually verbal bullying, just an insult or actually complement.

Whilst it can be complex for those of us bought up in this environment sometimes it is next to impossible for those who come to our country from overseas. However I am going to use a couple of examples of such people confronting our verbal culture because ironically, the complexity is easier to explain that way.

Image of woman being calm under verbal bullying by a man with a megaphone
Confidence In The Face of Verbal Abuse
A perfect example of this is in the legend of the English Cricket captain Jardine who became notorious for his use of the Body Line attack in bowling. After one player was bowled out, he was heard to call the captain a "bastard".

Even though, in the context of what he was doing the abuse was quite understandable, Jardine was incensed and approached the Australian captain in the dressing rooms after the game, demanding an apology.

The Australian captain when told what had happened is said to have said: "that's terrible" and immediately turned to his fellow players saying: "Which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard". The English captain gave up and left. There was clearly no way to establish a complement from abuse in this context as everything was implied.

Another example is the experience of friends of ours who came from the USA. The husband John (not his real name) was a US Marine on secondment to the Australian Army and all his children were in Australian schools whilst he was here. One of his children, Frank (again not his real name) began to experience verbal bullying.

The US marines had a lot of resources made available for this sort of thing at the time and the problem got so bad that they were wondering whether to call in these resources.

To cut a long story short, after a lot of work it was discovered that it was a US - Australian verbal cultural issue. To paraphrase John: "We just didn't understand that Australians take banter a lot further than we are used to". The other kids had no idea that they were saying anything that would upset Frank and whilst no one can be sure that no body intended to be mean, certainly the biggest majority had no intention of being so.

I hope you can see that throwing mean words in the imaginary bin here would not have been effective.

So what do we do? Should we just give up and consider combating verbal bullying hopeless? Not At All!

Just because I have dropped the topic from my self defense program, does not mean I have given up on this issue.

What I have done is drawn on my own childhood experience. All the verbal bullying and physical bullying just went away a few months after I started Judo.

That's not because I became more skillful or more aggressive; most would never have even known I did Judo. It went away because I became more confident. So that is what I teach now. I teach people to be more confident.

Total confidence is key. If people become more confident the verbal bullying doesn't necessarily go away it just become less effective. Which is the intent of the Trash Can method.

This was bought home to me in my first year of full time work when I lost my confidence for a short while and one of my bosses tried to take advantage of that. Every time I made a mistake I was made to feel a fool to satisfy his sense of power and control. The result was I made even more mistakes and the circle went on relentlessly.

When I realized what had happen and regained my confidence everything changed. So much so that at the end of the year my boss said to me: " What happened Rich(he used a much more derogatory name but we wont go into that) you've not made any mistakes lately".

I can't promise that building confidence will make verbal bullying go away and I certainly can't promise that it won't hurt when people are mean to you. I can't even promise that it will stop you from making mistakes.

I can promise that building confidence will make you stronger and being stronger makes you more resilient.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Speaking Tones - State of Mind & Personal Presence

It's all about your Speaking Tones

If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place,
for calmness will lay great offenses to rest. (Ecclesiastes 10:4 ESV)
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I'll confess I am far from perfecting this yet but I have had enough experience in confronting volatile situations that I know your tone of voice is by far and away your best, first option in self defense, running a judo class or dealing with the public.

That is not to say that it's always going to achieve your objective but you can be sure that it will have an effect.

I have seen huge angry men, turn into willing compliant customers and wild uncontrollable children turn into calm obedient students, all because they were spoken to in a tone of voice that they felt they could respond to.

Using the correct speaking tones IS about being in a state of mind and being in the correct state of mind generates a personal presence that people will respond to.

Just what is that state of mind?

Well it depends to some degree on the situation. But largely it is about being calm in a situation.

I read a lot about self defense and as part of that research I have read a book called "Forgiving Dead Man Walking".

This woman managed to survive in the most horrific of circumstances. She believed that there was intervention from God. You may reject that thought I personally don't reject it; in fact I would contend that her personal faith was a major factor in her being able to stay calm. But leaving aside her faith, as far as I can work out, staying calm and use the correct speaking tones seems to be the only factor that managed to keep her a live.

Was it the perfect self defense?

Not even close because she was raped multiple times and made to confront the most disturbing of events yet she managed to survive when the man who abducted her had already murdered all of the other he had abducted.

Image of calm water with ripples:correct Speaking Tones can promote calmness
Calmness Can Be Practiced
A friend once asked me why the children we were looking after obeyed me without a moments thought but not him. I replied in all good friendship that it was because I expected them to do what I said whereas he was always convinced they wouldn't. I had a calm state of mind and a personal presence as a result of my expectations, he did not.

Calmness can be practiced and when you practice calmness you also practice personal presence. Police officers and many other authority figures practice this all the time. A state where because you remain calm, others look to you for guidance and where others will be disobeyed you may be obeyed.

It's a very easy thing to practice. When you are alone think about all the things that make you calm and peaceful. Think on them long and hard. Breath deeply as you think. Think about the correct speaking tones when you are calm as you do so, concentrate on how you felt and feel. Remember those feelings and recall them when you are next under stress and don't forget to breath as you do as you speak.

It's worth learning, the best Judo players are calm besides, it may save you life one day.

Womens Self Defence: Old Time Video

Womens Self Defense Confidence

I just love this video (below).

The swagger on the young woman as she confidently goes through her moves is just superb.

And you know what with that confidence I am quite sure that she could defend herself successfully. After all the most important tools in any self defense program are confidence and surprise.

Given the the size and weight that this woman is given away here, confidence and surprise may be the only thing she has going for her. That's because surprise would possibly the only thing that could make these things work.

For example, in the uki Goshi done in the video, the women is already put off balance and then she carries out the throw. Now I'm not saying that you can't recover from being put off balance but you are going to have to re-position yourself a bit better to initiate the throw.

Still if your a slip of a woman and some great overconfident oaf tries to be smart with you, I would think any kind of smooth move would put the wind up the oaf.

What I love the most is the women in the back ground exercising during the whole performance. I had to ask myself "I wonder if she was put there to distract from the stage show, so you can't pick any faults.

I also couldn't help but notice that the woman defender had heals on. Yet she felt so confident that she never once felt the need to resort to using them to defend herself.

Don't get me wrong, this is a fun video and as I have said I just love it despite its self defense flaws. There are lost of things to notice that will amuse you if you care to take the time to watch closely and more than once. I had a smile on my face for ages after watching it a couple of times.

I do hope however that we have come along a bit further with our teaching of women.

Fear is Your Friend: Sounds Absurd But Its True

Fear: Friend or Foe

Fear is not often pleasant. It makes us feel awful. It can make us do some silly things.

It can make us:
  • Run without looking
  • Stand still when we should run
  • Do or say things that are embarrassing (I saw a someone wet themselves once when she thought she was in a bank hold up.)
  • Make silly mistakes
  • Say things that we wouldn't normally say
Most people would not consider fear to be their friend.

Our Friend Fear

But fear can be our friend. You might consider that a strange thing to say But I have taught this in my self defense classes for years and to understand it is very powerful. But just consider some of the positive things fear can make us do.

Fear can:
  • Stop us from putting our hand into the fire
  • Stop us from crossing the road when cars are coming
  • Stop us from saying things that would get us into trouble
    Even though we might feel like saying them to some people very much
Basically the same fear that may cause you to do and say silly or dangerous things can also stop you from doing and saying those same things.

The problem is of course, how do you stop the negative fear and encourage the positive.

Well I will confess that it is not easy but it can be practiced.

Basically all you have to do is bring you mind into focusing on the task rather than on the fear or the thing that is causing the fear. This is often achieved in the theater by the actors just saying the first thing that comes to mind when they have actually forgotten their lines. Just doing something gives them the distraction they needed and usually brakes the tension enough for them to remember where they were up to. Of course sometimes the result of being impromptu has inappropriate hilarious consequences.

In the theater there is often a person who prompts from behind the curtains if things go really bad but in life we often have no such support; not to mention that the consequences can be considerably more severe. Then there is the fact that speaking could be the very thing you don't want to do. So there has to be and is a better way.


Not just any kind of breathing. You have to breathe in and out through your mouth with your mouth perched like you are going to whistle.

Except don't actually whistle!

I've found that you can also practice by breathing in through your nose and out though your mouth as long as your mouth is perched appropriately as you blow out.

The reason why it works is there is a nerve that runs down the back of your throat that is stimulated when you breath like this. When it is stimulated chemicals are released that help calm you down. Some time ago I was pleased to see a demonstration of where this nerve is in the body on a Dr Oz show.

The calming effect of these chemicals is not so dramatic as to counteract the other chemical reaction that occurs when you are struck with fear. This is a good thing because if you have the presence of mind to do deep breathing when you are struck with fear you are then left being affected in a very useful way.

Combined with the calming reaction your fear now works like this:
  • It can make our heart go faster so that we can do things quicker.
  • It can make us think quicker.
  • It can make us a little stronger.
  • It can make us go a little longer
  • It can make us feel less pain

And that last point is probably the most important because if we feel less pain we are able to endure more. It's the same as being in a Judo contest. You don't feel your muscles under strain until well after the match.

The down side of course is that you will experience that pain after the event and you will be much more tied when the fear goes away. Sometimes even leading to shock; so don't be a martyr, get help.

If we understand that fear can be our friend when we feel fear we can use it, instead of it making things worse for ourselves.

Self Defense Moves: Always a Weapon & Upwards Arm Block

Self Defense Moves: Weapons, Arm Blocks & Slapstick Are Not Dead

There is a point that I want to make about self defense moves and the "Enter the Dojo" (Below) just happens to help make that point really well. But I can't help it, I do still get a kick out of the Master Ken series of videos (pun fully intended).

The irony is that among all the stupidity there is a very real lesson to learn.

I had to learn the hard way that an arm block done the wrong way is not fun. When I was first learning how to do it I was taught the wrong way by an instructor.

A while later I was sparing with a Karate Student and I blocked his downward strike. Not only was the pain in my arm some thing to really make you feel alive but I got hit in the head. I was not a happy chap. So with all the humor in the video there is a serious element.

But also Just as Master Ken takes full advantage of his ever trusting (and I must say, very talented) stunt man- side kick, I am always telling my students that even with all your self defense moves, there is always a weapon.

That is, not only in Judo contest but in real life self defense don't assume that because you think you have defeated one move that there isn't another. The moment you think that you have taken care of all the surprises there will be another one coming. If you don't have a follow up move of your own on its way your going to get clobbered.

I have unfortunately had occasion to see the effects of someone not heeding this lesson first hand, with a person getting very badly hurt because they relaxed the moment they apprehended a thief. At that moment the thief produce a bottle.

As it is with life so it is with Judo. Always follow up a move with another then another and don't stop until you the referee says it's over.

Stranger Danger: Is The Cure Worse Than The Disease?

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"Stranger Danger", is fundamentally flawed

Yep! I said it.
This is something that is so well known now and yet it is still promoted by a world of people who should know better.

For those of you who don't know, here's why it's flawed:
  1. The vast majority of attacks on anybody, especially children, are done by people they know. Not by strangers.
  2. The best person that any victim, child or otherwise may need to go to, in order to get help is most likely to be a stranger. A police Officer for example.
  3. When you take a child to School or any new activity, for the first time the person you hand them over to is almost always going to be a stranger.
  4. The Stranger Danger Program (DSP) promotes fear and fear without proper training inhibits action. Actions that may save a life.
I could go on but I think I've made my point.

I was inducted in the Protective Behaviour Program by the Victorian Police a good number of years ago, at a time when they had realized the problems with the DSP.

The Protective Behavior Program (PBP) operates on one statement in two parts to it.
    "I have the right to feel safe at all times and nothing is so awful that I can't tell somebody about it"
This statement is then developed to help all who are taught, to understand any feeling that they may have of unease in any situations and to tell somebody about it and keep telling until somebody acts on it.

These days I have added Judo elements such as space and proximity awareness and responses. But it is still not enough. People still persist with the DSP including some police which you no doubt see the irony of.

I came across this article: 'How “Stranger Danger” Hurts Kids' and I must say that I was a little dismayed that even in the USA, where the PBP came from, the DSP still persists. Why?

I think that the answer is simple. We haven't as yet come up with anything that is as simple and straight forward as the Danger Stranger approach. The PBP cannot be taught properly in a 1 hour class. I know I've tried. I teach it regularly in schools and the best I've done is 4 hours and I was not convinced that I had got my message across. Even in the article quoted above there are 6 points that we are encouraged to teach children. There is a great deal of educations that has to happen. Where as the DSP has 1 point.

I'm not suggesting that anything that the PBP is wrong or that anything said in the article is wrong. Quite the opposite. The points made are right on target and I encourage anybody who cares about safety and the safety of children, to read the article and learn about the Protective Behavior Program. You will be better for the incites. I am saying that we need to find a better way to get the message across.

It's time to ditch the Stranger Danger Program but it is also time for those of us who know better to get our message down to no more than three(3) short sharp points. Then maybe others will ditch it too.

Jiu Jitsu As Self Defense Film Footage 1912 Self Defense

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Jiu Jitsu As Self Defense - Just Watch it, it's Fun!

There is really not much else to say about this Jiu Jitsu As Self Defense video (below). Except that it is impressive to see just how things have stayed the same.

1912 would have the credentials of Judo fully established and therefore it is easy to see it's influence here. Any Judo or Ju Jitsu student will immediately recognize every move and throw that is being demonstrated. Although the leg locks, whilst still practiced by many Ju Jitsu schools, modern Judoka would be less familiar with it as they fell out of favor over time.

The speed of the film actually makes it quite dramatic when it comes to the self defense part and if you don't get a laugh out to the re-positioning of Uke(the person being throw) then you are a very hard person to please.

Seeing this only brings home to me the truth of the idea that "that which works will persist". If it didn't it would fade away into oblivion.

Funny Halloween: It Happened One Dark Night On A Ship!

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Heed The Experts On Tick Or Treating

I'm not a big fan of the event myself. I don't have any religious, practical or any other form of objection. I just don't see what relevance it has to us here in Australia. I do have a funny Halloween story however. Not in the USA but whilst I was travailing through Europe.

My One And Only Funny Halloween

Quite a good number of years ago my friend and I were on a ship traveling from Italy to Greece. Being on a backpacker budget we slept on the deck. It was of course the 31st of October (Halloween for those who don't know), and the American contingent were up the back celebrating.

Having traveled hard for the last few days, we were more interested in sleep than celebrating. So we unpacked our sleeping bags, found a dark corner and with the combination of the sweet sea air, very gentle rocking of the boat and extreme tiredness we were soon fast asleep.

I woke with a Start!
I could not breath.
Without a moments hesitations I reached into darkness.
What else could I do I was not breathing.
As my hand reach my face I realized I was breathing plastic instead of fresh air.
I grabbed the offending item off my face.
Finally able to breath again I was on full alert.
All I could see was blackness.
All I could feel was the movement of the ship.
Moments passed.
Moments more.
Still nothing...
Slowly I could feel things stating to return to normal. I could smell the sea air and I began to hear the Halloween revelers down the back of the ship. I felt what was in my hand and I realized it was some sort of plastic sheet.

All was Ok. It's nothing, just a stray object blowing around the deck.

As my breathing settled and I became more calm I found that the experience had only served to make me that much more tired than I was when I lay down. I was calm and sleepy so I just stuffed the stray item in my sleeping bag and went straight back to sleep.

It couldn't have been much later that I was again woken but this time by two young female voices saying "were is has to be here somewhere".

I realized at that point that I must have someones plastic sleeping blanket and so I pulled it out and waved it in there air.
"here it is" I said.

A moments silence and then ... Screeeeeam! came the response as they bolted off into the distance!

I sat stunned. Not just because of the ringing in my ears but also surprise that my little act of honesty was met with such a response.

Now wide awake, I looked around and saw my hand was extended from the dark into the light and my hand and arm was all that could be seen in the light. It dawned me that all the young ladies had seen on this dark Halloween night, in a strange land in an unfamiliar place, was a hand coming out of the darkness followed by a deep voice in a strange accent.

I so wish it had been deliberate. I would have loved to follow my statement with a ghoulish laugh! "Maw Haw Haw Haw", followed by "Tick or Treat!"

It could not have been funnier.

Funny Halloween here in Australia

All funny stories aside, ever since the emergence of Tick or Treat here, this one event has raised some concerns about the practice.

The idea of letting children roam around the streets, many unchaperoned looking for sweets, Should, be on the warning radar of every parent.

Given the growing popularity of Halloween here in Australia it seems appropriate then, that I should make some comment about Halloween and safety. But given that I know very little about his area I have turned to the undisputed experts on the the subject. At least in terms of practice that is. The USA. So here are some very relevant safety tips.

Kid Safety Tips: 7 Strategies For You And Your Child

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Kid Safety Tips: To Help Stay In Charge

The only way you can stay in charge and not stifle your children is to listen.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that you cannot afford to ever completely let go when it comes to your child's safety.

Teachers, pastors, youth leaders, children's workers and even friends to mention just some, will always respond to your child in a way that is more to your way of thinking, if they know that you are a hands on parent or carer.

I am not suggesting in any way that any of these people groups do not care about the children in their care. What I am saying is that it is my experience that if these people know that you are a hands on parent, they will take that into consideration in their dealings with your children.

I am also not suggesting that you have to be a helicopter parent. Constantly fussing and letting everybody else know that you will interfere in whatever they are doing.

If your children know that you are a safe person to tell anything to they want to and if everybody knows they are encouraged in this, the desired effect will be obtained.

That may mean that you spend a lot of time at the school or helping at the youth club but it may not. It may just mean that you, make sure, you spend time listening. Adults that listen to children get noticed. People will see you listening and you will tell them that you do so.

The following "7 Strategies for Keeping Your Child Safe" are excellent kid safety tips. But they only work if you make the effort to listen to you children and are willing to act on that information.

Emotional Safety - Stay Calm When Your The Target

Newport Judo Logo - This article is about Emotional Safety
Not Aggression, Not Timidity
But Life Skills and
  Discipline in Unbroken Spirits
Newport Judo Club
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Even A Life Guard Needs Emotional Safety

I had an incredible complement today whilst I was life guarding at the local pool (Yes I do do things other than Judo).

One of the customers came up to me and said "I don't know how you put up with the %$@&#@$ you do around here". He was of course referring to the sometimes verbal abuse that a life guard gets just doing their job. It's is amazing just how few people like to be told that they are doing the wrong thing. And of course there are the things that go wrong around the centre that are completely out of your control but you are the viable presence and therefore the target of all frustration.

Don't get me wrong I enjoy my job and the vast majority of the customers are really great. Just like the one that gave me the complement. I get a great sense of pride and satisfaction in keeping people safe. But I can tell some stories and sometimes I have and will in my swimming blog. But that is not the point here.

Obviously my martial arts training has a lot to do with my copping skills at the pool and it helps that there are therefore few situations in which I feel truly threatened. So I have never really thought about what I do to manage my own internal conflicts when I am confronted with difficult clients. I just do. I have a sense of emotional safety that means I am not threatened as easily as some. Unfortunately that is not of much help to anyone who doesn't have all those year of martial arts training.

In my Self Defence Classes For Ladies I outline staying calm and how to do it. But that is in the context of Self defence and not every situation is a self defence situation.

Over the years I have come across a large variety of methods on how to stay calm in a crisis or when you are being verbally attacked. This article talksabout emotional safety. It strikes me as some of the better methods.

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