At Women's Self Defense Boston we teach SEPS (Situation Effective Protection System) a Self-Protection system that teaches threat avoidance, prevention and identification along with the Krav Maga Yashir system, which is designed for dealing with a multitude of physically violent situations. Krav Maga is a system/style of martial arts that was developed in Israel to deal with all manner of violent assaults both armed and unarmed as well as those involving multiple assailants.
Our women's self defense program is not just a collection of various techniques but a tried and tested method of training women in the subject of personal safety whether through changing attitudes and behaviors or teaching physical solutions to violence.
Our experience and understanding demonstrates that violence against an individual is largely predictable i.e. there are pre-indicators in a situation that can be used to identify the presence of harmful intent and that there are victim facilitators i.e. things that we do and/or ways in which we behave which identify ourselves as potential targets/victims. By identifying the habits and behaviors which put us at risk and learning to pick up on the various pre-indicators that may be present in a situation we can avoid ever having to be involved in a physical conflict.
Our program is not a general self-defense program that has been modified to be used by women but one that has been built from the bottom up to address the needs and issues facing women living in the modern world. We have even presented our program in a modular way so that each part of the program can be taught independently meaning that classes can be attended according to the student's schedule rather than our own i.e. the different lessons/modules that are taught can be taken at any time and in any order.
All our training is conducted in a contextual manner; that is we don't teach or practice as if violence occurs in an emotional or situational vacuum. We look at the relationship you may have with your aggressor e.g. are they a partner, ex-partner or friend? Often we make the mistake of thinking that assaults are conducted solely by strangers whereas certainly for women this is not the case. We look at the various decisions and thought processes that women go through in these situations and how they can overcome their doubts, questions and internal conflicts when dealing with these situations.
We look at all the types of aggression and types of assaults that women may/can be subjected to from rape and sexual assaults to muggings and stalking. We look at how these situations develop and the pre-indicators present e.g. what behaviors identify a current partner as a potential stalker etc.
Physical action and self-defense should always be a last resort. Many self-defense systems start their training from this perspective. It is our belief that 70% of all potentially violent situations can be avoided by preventative measures, 20% by having good situational awareness - we don't just talk about it, we teach it - 5% by de-escalation and disengagement, leaving only 5% that require a physical solution. Rather than starting here our program(s) teach self-protection and self-defense from the very start of the timeline, by teaching preventative measures.
We look at preventative measures by identifying and eliminating victim facilitators; these are the actions and behaviors that individual's (unconsciously) engage in, which puts them on a variety of predator's radar. Predators who may be motivated financially, such as muggers and burglars or those who may be motivated sexually e.g. rapists and sadists. We also profile these individuals explaining their Modus Operandi (MO) and the methods they use to select victims.
Situational Awareness (SA) is about having the ability to identify individuals within a situation that have harmful intent towards you. We teach similar methods to those that Close Protection personnel and surveillance operatives use to identify potentially dangerous individuals. Changing the way that you view the world around you doesn't require huge shifts in thinking, just the ability to identify certain key actions that individuals who wish you harm have to make.
We also teach you how you will "feel" and what you will be "thinking" when you realize that you are in the cross-hairs of a predatory individual and how to compose yourself and use a different method of decision making to what you are used to. Assessing danger and reaching decisions when emotionally stressed is difficult, and you need to use different ways of thinking to make sure you act in the correct way.
Most oftentimes, predatory individuals will talk to their victims before they assault them. In the case of date/acquaintance rape this may be over the course of an evening, or even over a period of days/week. Part of this process is assessing the target's willingness to give up control of a situation and their ability to fall into the role of victim and not fight back. Part of what we teach is how to recognize the signals that such predatory individuals give off by the processes they use to "groom" their victims and gain their trust/compliance. We also teach appropriate disengagement techniques that will allow an individual to back away from potentially dangerous situations without increasing the level of risk in them.
This comprehensive approach to self-defense and self-protection means that our physical component has a context to it and takes into account the various situational factors such as location and the target's relationship with the assailant (most sexual assaults are conducted by friends and acquaintances), which can affect the choice of physical solution.
Taking a realistic approach to personal safety based on the way that predatory individuals act and violent situations occur means that our system actually addresses the needs of modern women and empowers them to respond to threats and dangers in an effective manner - we look on self-defense training as being something more than just being a way to respond and look on it as actions and behaviors that can be incorporated into day-to-day life.
To book a free women's self-defense class in Boston, please click here.