Posts Tagged ‘Kung Fu’

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!


Are you getting what you want from your training?

Written by bryan. Posted in Coaching

Karate club Basingstoke, Kickboxing BasingstokeWe may all have different reasons for taking up Martial Arts but we should all have goals and aspirations for what we want to achieve from our training.

It may be that you want to learn how to defend yourself, make new friends, achieve a black belt, be successful in competition, lose weight or get fit. It may be that you have more than one goal and your goals will quite often change over time.

Goals are good – they keep us motivated and give us the drive and determination to work hard and be successful but they do have to be realistic, this is the difference between a dream and a goal. I can dream about being an Olympic runner but given my age and current lack of skill this is not a realistic goal! However if I set myself the target of improving my current running skill and took sensible steps to putting a training plan in place then I have an achievable goal.

Quite often people become disillusioned with their training because they feel they have not achieved their goals and will then give up on their training, or alternatively achieve their original goal and instead of setting a new target for their continued development they give up. Therefore it’s really important that you both set good goals for your own training and also encourage others to be realistic in terms of what they can achieve for themselves, both now and on an ongoing basis.

With this in mind, think back to why you started Martial Arts. What did you want to achieve? If you have achieved that goal what is your new goal? If you haven’t achieved your original goal are you still working your way towards it and how are you going to get there?

To help you plan your goals and achieve the desired results from your training you have to think about the following:

  • Set goals which are realistic and achievable, both in terms of time frame and outcome.
  • Breakdown how you are going to achieve those results into practical steps which you need to take.

If you feel you’re not achieving what you want from your training think about the following:

  • Do you know what it is that you want to achieve from your training or are you just ‘going through the motions’?
  • Speak to your senior coaches or someone else who has already achieved what you are working towards. Seek advice on steps you can take to help you get there.
  • Your training is your training – whilst coaches can advise you as to what to do and how to do it, only you can apply the right attitude, determination and effort to make it worthwhile and successful.
  • You get back what you put in – the harder you work, the more you succeed.
  • Listen to the advice you are given – we can help you achieve your goals but only if you take on board any advice you are given, act on it and practice it.
  • Re-assess your goals and look to make amendments in terms of time frame and steps needed to achieve, but don’t give up.

  • If it’s important to you, you will find a way to make it happen. If it’s not, you will find an excuse.

You’ve got real potential!

Written by bryan. Posted in Coaching

Karate, Kung Fu, Basingstoke, Martial ArtsYou’ve got real potential!

How many time do we hear this said of ourselves and then then start to feel really proud of our accomplishments because someone has said this to us. For most of us this would be the norm. Why? Because it makes us feel good about ourselves, doesn’t it. Be truthful, we all like to have nice things said about us.

Not many of us have thought what may be implied with the comment “You’ve got real potential.” What do I mean, well for example, someone saying this could also mean:-

1 – “You’ve got real potential” – Why don’t you start working hard and get good.

2 – “You’ve got real potential” – You’re not very good because you don’t have the discipline.

3 – “You’ve got real potential” – If only you’d bother to try and achieve your potential

4 – “You’ve got real potential” – You’ve got real potential, sadly you are never going to reach it.

5 – “You’ve got real potential” – Umm, I can’t think of anything nicer to say

6 – “You’ve got real potential” – Keep practicing hard and correctly and you’ll stay on the path to achieving that potential.

So the next time you get told “You’ve got real potential”  be honest with yourself and ask yourself what it really means for you. We all hope it’s number 6, but it’s up to you, to make sure it is #6 rather than one of the others.

Look at some of the sports stars, who had potential, Paul Gascoigne from Football, you could even argue Johnny Wilkinson from Rugby, although a superb Rugby player never reached his full potential due to injuries, Tim Henman, great for British Morale and bringing the country together at Wimbledon’s Tennis week but again never achieved his full potential and lets not forget about Iron Mike Tyson, one of the best boxers ever and he threw it all away whilst still in his prime. All of these stars were in their own right very talented (much better at something than most of us can hope to achieve) and very good, having had some great successes, but they never really nailed it, so they are unlikely to be remembered in the same way as Bobby Charlton, Gareth Edwards, Roger Federer or Muhammed Ali, who all ‘made it’ and are remembered, revered and respected because of it.

What was the difference? Maybe a little luck and certainly a lot of skill, but not to forget the words of Gary Player when asked about his ‘lucky streak.’ “It’s funny, the harder I practice, the luckier I seem to get.”

If you want something badly enough, then work hard enough to achieve it and depending upon how important it is to you, decide what you are prepared to sacrifice to get it. Be prepared for setbacks and knock-backs along the way. Sometimes your short term plan won’t work out, don’t get despondent, keep working on the plan, make corrections, make improvements. Analyse what you do and why and how it’s working for you. That is of course if you want any chance of reaching your full potential.


Remember the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

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 Safeguarding

Contact Us

Telephone (01256) 364104.


Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy,
The Annex @ ITT Industries,
Jays Close,
RG22 4BA