Sunday, December 16, 2012

Teaching Self Defense in Toronto: 6 Implications

Instructors need to adapt self defense training to the students(adults, kids, law enforcement....) as well as the context(s) in which they live.

As Krav Maga instructors in Toronto we have to consider the situations and environments students find (or might find) themselves during the course of their daily lives.

Here are some factors we consider.

  1. Winter:  It's Canada, Silly!  Of course, there is winter.  This means that jackets, toques, gloves, scarves become part of our everyday wardrobe..  Ever try to disarm someone while you are wearing mittens?  Ever to try to find a pressure point on someone wearing a parka over 2 sweaters? P.S. Ice and snow are not conducive to spinning kicks.  
  2. Legal:  Different jurisdictions have different laws.   Simple.
  3. Public Transit:  The majority of our students travel via the TTC.  Training needs to consider the various factors at play in subway/bus/streetcar assaults. - limited space, no immediate exit, crowds....
  4. Cars and Parking Lots:  In case you haven't noticed many people like to drive in Toronto.  "Like" might be the wrong word - perhaps choose/prefer.  Many assaults occur in and around cars as well as in parking lots - above and below ground.  Theft, abduction, road rage....
  5. Theft:  We have lots of "stuff".  We carry lots of stuff, our homes are full of stuff.  Often, easily to steal, easy to sell, stuff - wallets and purses filled with bank/credit cars, I-phones......
  6.  Awareness.(Lack of):  To-do lists, phone calls, texts, emails....  our gazes are focused and limited.  This hinders prevention, avoidance, escape....   Instructors need to encourage better habits of awareness.  Not easy!

Wherever you teach be mindful of the everyday lives of students - how they travel, what they wear, the climate, cultural norms............

If you do this, training becomes more relevant and more effective.

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

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