Self-defence is one of the most obvious universal benefits of learning martial arts. Most of the martial arts instructors, whether the ones that teach traditional styles or the ones that focus on modern art, both offer self-defence classes or seminars specifically for women. This is a great thing, and the intentions of the instructors are well. However, these seminars can be held in a right and wrong manner.
Here are 5 tips on how to give a successful women’s self-defence seminar:
Don’t Be A Powerpoint – Engage With Your Audience
No one is interested in hearing an instructor go on and on about the dangers out there or hear someone reading statistics off a screen. People have invested their time and money to learn about safety from the seminar.
Statistics are important, and it is fine to provide the attendees with a basic breakdown of numbers. However, it will be more engaging if you ask questions. For example, you can begin the seminar by asking things like:
How many of you have heard about situational awareness?
Did you know that most of the women attacked are attacked by someone they know? What is a possible threat indicator for you?
You can build their interest, based on their responses and establish credibility by giving your expertise. When your audience is engaged, they will learn more from each other’s responses. Make sure to include a Q&A section at the end, just in case anyone needs further clarification.
Ask About Their Specific Experiences. Did They Ever Had To Defend Themselves?
This works very well in such seminars. When one group can share an experience, it makes the lesson more relatable and real to the other members. Once a member shares a story, the instructor can now give his or her opinion as to why it happened and what is the best way to handle such a situation in future.
Give Realistic Demonstrations
Using members for the demonstrations instead of an assistant instructor has many benefits. Just watching a technique would not help them to translate it in a real-world application. You want to give your students the best training.
The best way for them to learn is if you demonstrate it in a way that is as real as possible. This may require doing things that are uncomfortable, for example, holding a participant down and straddling them and force them to use techniques to escape.
When you give a realistic demonstration, it helps in building confidence in the group. When they see members of the group doing it successfully, they are more enthusiastic to try and learn.
Put The Emphasis On Deterrents Rather Than Last Resorts
Women attend these seminars to help them keep safe. Self-defence instructors will tell you that the safest fights are those which you don’t get into in the first place. Hence, a self-defence class should include a section of threat indicators and situational awareness. We all tend to get distracted by our phones or music or any other distraction when we should actually be paying attention.
However, there are situations where one has to use violence. In those cases, in addition to teaching self-defense techniques, you may also want to incorporate multipliers. Force multipliers such as self-defence keychains, flashlights, tactical pens and kubotans are great deterrents and do not require great skill for effective deployment.
Make Them Aware Of The Gravity Of The Situation, But Don’t Be Afraid To Have Fun!
It is a fact that the world is crazy out there, and there are many crazy people who want to do bad stuff, especially to women. But the good news is that with the right trainer and good training and the knowledge of how to look out for pre indicators, many attacks can be prevented.
These seminars are not to scare women. If they leave freaked out instead of empowered, they will not come back. Training must be fun and not give a sense of doom. If you make it fun for the students, they will come again to your class and learn more.