5 Tips for raising a confident child – Self Defence 101

Written by bryan. Posted in Self Defence, Uncategorized

As parents we have an ability and even a responsibility to help our children to become confident. Confidence will lead them on the path to success.

Confidence is the belief in one’s ability to master your body, behaviour and the challenges you encounter in school, work and life generally. If our children believe in themselves, they will are willing to take more of the right kind of risks in life, accomplish their goals and accomplish more. Children who have good self esteem will find it easier to feel valued and accepted by family, friends and peers, they will be proud of a job well done and will feel good and thing good things about themselves and they will be more prepared for the challenges that they will face everyday.

None of us are born confident, it’s something we learn as we grow up and develop, regardless of a child’s situation or feelings. As parents we can help to improve our children’s self-confidence by giving them many opportunities to practice and master their skills. Let them make mistakes and be there to boost their spirits so they keep trying, even if they sometimes fail.

Have you heard the old Japanese saying, fall down 7 times get up 8.


These are some ideas as to what we can do to increase our children’s sense of self-worth

Create a wall of fame

Every child is good at something. Help them to discover it, encourage it and celebrate it by displaying it proudly for all to see. If your home is missing a wall of fame to celebrate their achievement your child is missing their moment of recognition. If you have a child who is not into team sports or athletic, try scouting/guiding. Everyone wins and everyone gets lots of badges. As children walk by their showcase, they can see at a glance five to ten years of achievement. This gives them a lift, especially during times when their self-confidence is faltering.

Nurture their special interests

Try to expose your child to a wide variety of activities, and encourage them through the ups and downs when they find something they really love to do. Kids who have a passion — whether it’s Martial Arts, Theatre or Minecraft, justifiably feel proud of their expertise and skills and are more likely to be succeed in other things at both school and in life in general. Unusual hobbies may be particularly helpful for children who have a hard time mixing with other children at school.  Try and use this hobby to help your child to interact with other children and develop friendships. For example, if your child likes to draw but most of the children in their class are into sports, encourage them to do drawing of the sports that their peers enjoy.

Focus on the Glass being Half Full

Help your child to be more optimistic and to look for positives and to continue to work hard towards their goals. Try to avoid offering glib reassurances to “look on the bright side,” or something like “don’t worry you didn’t really want to do that.” Instead encourage them to think about specific ways to improve a situation and bring them closer to their goals. For example if they are behind their classes in reading at school, offer to spend extra time with them reading their school books together. If they weren’t invited to grade this time, ask what they need to practice to be invited to grade next time and then spend some time working on it together to increase their chances of getting the result they desire next time.

Don’t forget also that the glass can be refilled, time and time again.

Watch something motivational to put things into perspective. Nick Vujicic and his positivity is a great example of what we should all aim for.


Don’t over praise your child

Everyone of us likes to be praised, but reserve it for real accomplishments, not just used as a figure of speech. If you tell your child that everything they do is “great” or “awesome” or “fantastic” then when things do get a little (or even a lot) tougher, they can be discouraged at having to face adversity.

What’s the secret to success? Hard work and lots of times things not going right and then the occasional success. The cycle  repeats until the successes outweigh the failures. Then we move onto face the next challenge. Give old fashioned good honest praise when it is deserved and justified that way your child will feel good, they’ll learn to understand that hard work, spirit, effort, failures and achievement are all part of a natural cycle but one that they can conquer and receive just rewards.

Don’t give in to Fear

Sometimes we all get nervous or scared about doing something. It might be learning to drive, asking a potential partner out for a date, moving up a class in Martial Arts or starting a new job. Sometimes fear is a good thing and can help us to stay safe at other times fear can be a real limiter to our levels of success.

Fear shouldn’t be ignored, sometimes its a real valid and sensible response. Are you afraid of swimming in a rip tide at the beach, riding on a motorcycle with no protective wear, swimming in a pool with crocodiles in it, going to war, skydiving et al. There are many things to be justifiably afraid of, they are risky and often dangerous to life and limb.  Fear in this case is a matter of self preservation. In some of these examples, although fear is felt, the action must still be taken, for example a solider on the battlefield generally has little choice as to whether to engage with the enemy, they have to to ‘just get on with it.’

Some kinds of fear we have to learn to recognise as not being fear of a physical outcome, but something far worse, a fear of failure or even embarrassment.

Ralph Waldo Emerson summed it up quite nicely ” What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”

Take the following examples:- The child that doesn’t want to try that new activity at school or has passed a new Martial Arts belt and now has to work with a more advanced group of pupils or where they previously loved an activity and now now longer want to do it. This is what, as parents we play the part of Sherlock Holmes and start investigating a little deeper. Ask them what they do in their activity, ask them what they enjoy and what they don’t enjoy. Compare notes with the coach or teacher and see if you can identify the real underlying issue. Is their enough fun in the activity, are they still still motivated, are others progressing faster than them. Are social pressures intervening, are friends asking them to do other things? Are the games consoles calling? Is the activity getting harder to do because your child has progressed and now they are being asked to further improve their skills.

Sometimes all it takes is a little constructive support from a child’s parents to help them overcome their nerves and worries and to move forward with more confidence and to set themselves up for later life.


Ladies Only Self Defence and Free Fitness Classes

Written by bryan. Posted in Self Defence

ladies self defence, self defence, womens groups, womans groups, Basingstoke Self Protection, Basingstoke self Defence,


Self Defence is an emotive topic with  many people thinking they don’t need it. Hopefully they are correct. We’ve covered a number of the key points to consider when looking at one’s own self protection. They are available on the following page:- http://www.basingstokekarate.com/self-protection-self-defence-and-anti-bullying/


In our Self Defence course held at our Martial Arts club in Basingstoke:-

Our experienced female coaches will during the 8 week LADIES ONLY SELF DEFENCE course take you through a number of important areas so that by the end of the course, you will understand:-

– What self defence actually is
– The soft skills necessary for self protection
– The physical skills necessary for self protection

Learn how to…

– Assess and avoid danger
– Read the signs of an imminent attack
– Understand The Law and Self Protection
– Know how your attitude affects self protection
– Recognise and Protect your danger zones
– Defend against the most common methods of assault against women
– Defend against weapons


The cost of the course is £39 and includes free fitness classes for the duration of the course. These classes are http://www.basingstokekarate.com/body-combat/ and http://www.basingstokekarate.com/zumba/


For further information please call 01256 364104 or if you would like to book to go onto the course, please use this link http://www.basingstokekarate.com/store/#!/~/product/category=3924156&id=32815890





Fear, Stress, Nerves, Anxiety, Adrenalin, Self-Consciousness and Choking are all part of Martial Arts training

Written by Bob. Posted in Black Belt Research Project 2013, Self Defence

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Black Belt Grading Project 2013

Bob Wilson

My grading project comprises the challenging issues of Fear, Anxiety, Adrenalin, Self Consciousness and Choking which are all part of Martial Arts training. In order to bring the topic to life and to ensure that what I write is entertaining I will base my topic around two characters who find themselves in a scenario anyone could be subject to and we’ll look at what is going on both physically, mentally and how one of the characters’ Martial Arts training helps them both in the situation.

I intend to look in depth at how the body naturally reacts to Fear, Stress and Anxiety and valium also what Adrenaline would do in a self defence scenario. I’m going to try and present full facts and not dress up the reality – for this I make no apology. As we go through the reports more information will come to light that will hopefully change views on how this initial scenario is seen.


To set the scene I thought I would look at a scenario and then later on we can break down certain parts further. 

Tony and Rachel are a couple in their late 20’s/early 30’s who have known each other for many years but recent started seeing each other. Tony is a Fudge Packer in a local Confectionary Warehouse and Rachel works in the Leisure and Tourism industry. Over text messages they decide that on Saturday night they will hop on a train and go to a nearby town. Whilst there they go for a few drinks and around 1 am decide to catch the last train home. On walking to the train station they encounter 3 men who stop Tony and ask if he has any spare change, he politely declines at which point the lead youth says ‘I’ll take your phones then…’.


So Let’s pause the scenario there and see what’s happened so far. Tony’s been studying Karate for almost 4 years and knows that self-protection begins when you leave the house not when you encounter a potential problem, his martial arts training has also opened his eyes to the possibility of dangers so as he is out of his own area and taking a lady out he is aware this type of situation was possible and to give himself the best chance he deliberately hasn’t had a lot to drink. He is also acutely aware that the last comment, ‘I’ll take your phone then…’ has changed the situation from one of three lads simply asking for some change etc to one of a potential street robbery where both he and Rachel are now potentially in danger. He has no idea if anyone is carrying a weapon.

Back to the scenario and Tony replies ‘No, mate – You’re not having our phones, we’ve had a good night and I need to get onto the platform, excuse me’. As he goes to walk past, the 1st male starts to become agitated and aggressive. He pushes Tony back shouts at him ‘Give me your phone!!’ all whilst still flanked by two other males.

So again lets look at what’s going on. Tony’s body now enters a state of emergency (also known as the ‘Fight or Flight response’). The stress of the situation has now caused Tony’s heart rate to increase from around 40/50 beats per minute to nearly 100 (bpm). Adrenaline is rapidly being released by his body which also stimulates Dopamine (a natural pain killer). His breathing becomes shallower and more rapid to keep up with the body’s increased demand to provide blood and oxygen to the major organs.

In this situation people respond differently depending on their psychological state, their confidence, whether they are prepared to engage an assailant etc etc. It’s easy for a person to go into a state of panic and fall to pieces. This often happens to people who are simply not prepared.

At this point it is very much up to the individual as to how they deal with the situation. Tim Larkin a US Martial Arts expert (a hand to hand combat trainer for the US Navy Seals) who hold’s extremely violent and controversial views on self protection (so much so that he was banned from the United Kingdom by the Home Secretary Theresa May in August 2012 because “his presence here was not conducive to the public good”) believes that in this sort of situation you should allow the adrenalin to empower you in order to maim, severely injure or even kill the individual concerned. We’ll look at these views later in the project.

So Tony, still being confronted by the attacker now allows his martial arts training to take over. He knows he has to relax and regain control of his emotions. He looks for an avenue out of the situation without resorting to violence. Unfortunately there’s nobody around at that time that could help, and the distance to the platform is around 25 meters of polished floor with around 20 stairs at the end and Rachel, helpfully, has worn high heels. Again Tony communicates with his attacker but there is no option and things quickly escalate.


In this case study I’ve outlined most areas in my project and to move this on I will be looking at the following in more depth…


* What specifically causes these stimuli are there other areas that I haven’t yet looked at?

We’ll look more at the physical, psychological and emotional areas of these stimuli. The lasting impact of being a victim and the benefits of having the right training. We’ll also look at high profile victims of crime and try to gain an understanding of how their


* How do these emotions manifest themselves in others?

In this section I’m going to look at the Attacker as well as the ‘Victim’. What is their mindset and how do they deal with it and are there other tactics to deal with an aggressor that don’t involve fighting. Also in this section I want to look at the emotions behind whether the attacker being armed changes their state of mind and the state of mind of the defender.


* How can Martial Arts training help with controlling these points?

Here I’ll look at how Martial Arts turns potential Victims into prepared defenders. Also the ability no not ‘look like a victim’ and  I’ll look more in depth at how Martial Arts begins when you leave the house (not when you’re confronted with a problem). We’ll also touch on whether there’s a danger with over confidence and finish with looking at the ‘Fight or Flight response’.


* The merits or not of Sports Psychology dealing with the emotions.

Does the murky world of Sports Psychology help with these emotions or is it all an expensive placebo? Also we’ll look at not only the ‘Sports Psychology’ but also the psychology of high profile teachers around the World and ask, how extreme is ‘extreme’?


* Finally, I’ll be looking at are there parallels between working life and Martial Arts in this context?

Can Martial Arts training spill over into an everyday working life with positive benefits? Working in a high pressure job myself I’ll base this on my day to day life as well as other high profile people I am able to research.


That’s a rough outline, I’m sure my research will take me off on different tangents but that’s all part of learning.  All that matters is that at the end of this I/we are able to better understand the FEAR concept. Finally in November I will end with a coaching a session on this topic where I will be inviting others to contribute their thoughts, feelings and possible previous experiences.


A Woman’s view of self protection / self defence

Written by Paula. Posted in Black Belt Research Project 2013, Self Defence

black belt grading,judo in basingstoke,karate,ladies martial arts,martial arts club in basingstoke,self protection, self defence, success, Paula ClarkeBlack Belt Grading Project 2013

Paula Clarke

My grading project comprises of the huge topic that is self-defence / self-protection and under this heading to look at Habitual acts of violence (HAOV) perpetrated against different types of society and how does the area we live in rank for these acts and how do we as individuals defend against these, physically and maybe more importantly mentally ?

(Admin’s Note:- As part of the Black Belt grading requirements in 2013, candidates will have to complete and publish a given research project where they have to justify and prove all conclusions that they arrive at.

The aim of this is to challenge the individual on a personal basis to broaden and deepen their knowledge base over a longer period of time and ultimately with the goal to significantly improve their physical and non-physical skills.)

To do this I wanted to understand how I feel about self-defence, this may seem like an odd comment to make given that I’m a woman, don’t we all know how we feel about this? well I’m a realist to look at me you may think well she’s got it covered, I’m  5’11 ( some may say 6ft) let’s face it not so skinny, and working towards  black belt in karate, so I should be able to handle myself faced with an attack right ?

Well truth be told I have no idea?! It’s always been something that is not at the forefront of my mind because of all the reasons listed above, who would pick on me when they could pick the skinny 5ft4 girl standing next to me?  I’ve never been attacked and god willing never will be, but being the over analytical realist that I am, I have to face the very real fact that there are men out there who could overpower me and if you combine that with the element of surprise and my unpreparedness could sneak up on me, or that by playing on a sympathetic (yes sometimes) nature could fool me!

Could I fight off this type of man/ woman / group?

Could I stop what some might argue is inevitable?

Who knows,  I certainly don’t, not yet, however I would hope that based on the limited knowledge I have and the limited skills I have, and by that I mean that whatever I have learnt in the last three years in karate is still limited, I’m still learning. But has my training enabled that primal instinct of protection to kick in, that I would defend myself to the best of my abilities. I have no doubt that I would want to have the presence of mind to leave as much evidence on my attacker as he may leave on me. I would want my children and family to know that I fought, for them or myself, in the case of protection for my children I would fight until my dying breath.  I would want my daughters to know that a woman can stick up for herself can defend herself can be confident and powerful in the face of adversity.

But how do we do that?
In my opinion confidence is a key element, confidence in knowing that whatever you do will help your situation where as doing nothing is never going to help.

By this I don’t mean faced with a knife or gun that you should rush in all Jackie Chan and hope to disarm him, no, but instead have the presence of mind to be using the part of you that an attacker has no physical control over, your brain, your intellect, and keep this aspect of you alert and in full use at all time.

To me this means continually assessing your situation, if your assailant has a knife for example think to yourself,

 “At some point he will put it down”

 “At some point he may think he doesn’t need it”

“Could I persuade him through my actions that he does not need the knife?”

 “Will I be able to kick it away?”
If this aspect is too hard to contemplate in the face of an attack maybe you could you have the presence of mind to notice key details of your assailant such as?

What he is wearing?

How tall is he?  Can you judge his height based on how much taller/shorter than you he is?

Does he have a tattoo? A wedding ring?

Is there a smell that is distinctive to him/her, an aftershave or perfume or cigarettes?

All of these things can be vital components in catching and prosecuting an offender, this is something I know to be true based on a personal experience and evidence used to convict a man my husband and I used to work with.

He is currently serving life in prison.

This incident in question is one that taught me a valuable lesson in life and relevant to this project, don’t assume the “evil” out there is confined to strangers it is entirely likely that a potential attacker is someone you know, someone with a good job, a family, a position of trust.  Maybe the lesson is to always be on your guard?

But all of this relies on you “the victim”


But all of this relies on you “the witness”


But all if this relies on you “the one in charge of you”
Who do you want to be? I don’t think I would ever want to be described as the victim I would want to be described as the one who fought back the one who noticed enough to enable an assailant to be caught the one who was in charge of enough to mentally help me cope in the aftermath of any attack.

But is this even possible to be confident and strong, and have a clear mind when faced with a worst case scenario and those horrible feelings well up inside you, Fear!

Fear has the ability to cripple us to disable us to turn normal well balanced people into shaking wrecks, in short is this key to how well we deal with a situation? Over the course of this project one aspect I aim to look at is the anatomy of fear, what is does to our bodies physically and mentally and is there a way that we can overcome this?


How do we face fear

Forget Everything And Run


Face Everything And Rise

The choice is ours, isn’t it?


So in order to complete my project, I aim to look at the following areas,

1. What is a Habitual act of violence (HAOV)?

Essentially, it is an act which is repeatedly seen to be used in a given situation, but is this different for men and women and different again for teenagers?

2. Crime Statistics

Do we live in a safe town? Is there such a thing? What are we more likely to face living in Basingstoke and does this differ from town to town?

3. Fear and Confidence

Are they the key to how we deal with any situation? Does how much you have of one directly relate to how much of the other you can have? Does being a more confident person make you less afraid?

4. Self-Protection

An entirely different concept to self-defence, it is the ability to acknowledge your actions and to safeguard them in other words preparing yourself and those around you to any dangers, for example is it a good idea to let people know where you are going when you go out to walk the dog, how long you intend to be, this way people will be alerted when you don’t return.

5. Self-defence

The end result of doing everything you can to avoid a situation preparing as much as you can but the worst has happened, so what do you do now, in what ways can you defend yourself against a variety of approaches / attacks.  What do you have on you that could be used as a weapon to aid that defence.

I intend to be very ‘ground level’ on this topic, by this I mean talking to people such as the police to gain their knowledge of local events and how they interpret crime statistics, which suggest Basingstoke is a relatively safe place to live.  Also talking to normal people about their fears and possible experiences, did they react or cope as they thought they would.


Finally culminating the year with a class hand out to accompany a self-defence class, which currently has two very novice pupils roped in already!

Martial Arts Standards Agency British Judo British Council for Chinese Martial Arts – National Governing Body The World Union of Karate Federations Shi Kon Martial Arts British Council for Chinese Martial Arts – National Governing Body

Contact Us

Telephone (01256) 364104.

Email: info@basingstokekarate.com.

Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy,
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