A Friend's Dilemma

Hi, Coach Blauer.

You know what the typical woman's experience is of self-defense instruction. She goes to a Saturday or weekend thing endorsed by the local campus security service or advertised by a local studio or "feminist" group. They feed her incidence and prevalence stats of violent crime to "motivate" her. They teach her 101 rules on avoidance and prevention (always park your car directly under a street lamp, and yell "fire" if some guy attacks you), and then do seated meditation. Next, a few grip releases, and how to shout "NO" while doing roof blocks and palm-heel strikes at her giggly training partner. Then they take turns with a guy in a Redman suit who pretends to be hurt with each strike, and high-five each other.

Some female friends of mine are talking about taking some self-defense, and I know the programs they're considering. :( They are unlikely to be open to alternatives ("Oh, this'll be good enough--I'm not, like INTO this stuff, I just wanna learn how to defend myself"). I don't want them to develop false confidence and reliance on garbage training, but I don't want to undermine their self-efficacy either. I mean, how helpful is it for me to tell them that their training is crap if they're almost certainly not going to take my "helpful feedback" and pursue further learning, which often girls won't?

Any ideas on addressing the situation? I care about these people.


Mongoose:Usual warning: I'm neither Tony nor anyone certified by him.Your friends do not have the dilemma. You do. You believe, correctly IMHO, that the Redman/Bulletman/Michelin Man one weekend courses are of limited value.What you may be overlooking is that they indeed have some value. As do McDojos. As do seminars. As does all-out, balls-to-the-wall training. It's a continuum.You see, not everyone is ready, physically, spiritually, or mentally to train as Coach trains - or as you train - or even so limited as I train. It's a gradual process.And it's a confrontational process. Go over Coach's CSD audiotape about confronting fear - his analogy of training for a marathon: you don't start from scratch by running 26 miles! (Gives me Cheyne-Stokes breathing to think about it!) You run the distance you can - maybe .5 miles, maybe 1 mile - and you increase it, gradually, as you adapt.Same principle at work here, Mongoose. For each and every one of them: she's taking the first step. Encourage it; it's damned well not easy for most women. There is definitely a place for a Michelin Man attacker-scenario in overcoming the cultural conditioning that makes it very difficult for most women and many men to hit another person. If possible, identify with your friends - let them know that you, too, took a similar step in starting to learn real self-defense, that she's taking one of the most difficult steps by beginning now, that you are happy and excited for her.Offer to help her practice what she's learned with you in HighGearTM. (Hey Coach: I sold another one for you! Where's my commission...ooops.) Encourage her development.If you have Coach's Rape Defense tape, or Secret Of The Sucker Punch tape, or ABC of The Street Fight tape, etc., offer to share them after they've mastered the limited stuff they'll be taught at the seminar - but offer is the key ("Hey, I've got a really great tape that will enhance the stuff you learned at the seminar!") Do not attempt to disempower her or her decisions. She has to make the decisions. Forcing or seeming to force them upon her may be instigating a different issue.And let us know the results. RealStudent,whose 15 year old son is testing for 1st Dan in TKD today - and yes, I'm sharing some of Coach's material with him, more after he obtains 1st Dan.Proud? Moi? :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

Great advice RealStudent. I think the topic IronMongoose brought up is quite a common occurance amoung enthusiastic practicioners & trainers alike. I'm looking forward to Tony's response on this one. I mean, who could be more enthusiastic about TCMS than he?

IronMongoose, I think R.S. right on about gradual development of interest. I have this come up all the time, especially with those I care for. It can be really unnerving and heartbreaking to see a friend or family member not train, not take care of themselves (mentally or physically), OR to train/workout improperly/ineffectively.

For instance, my family takes note of how much effort & research I put into my own physiological well-being & develpoment, but I can't expect them to do the same. While I may wish that they participated even just a little, I cannot force the issue. I've got to wait until they approach me, and say: "Hey, what can I do to improve my...." So be very glad, as RS said, that your friends have taken this first step by themselves. From there, perhaps you can even call for their aid in helping you "work out" some scenario training drills dealing with self-defense / women's safety. Say that you'd like them to work with you since they've got experience training this kind of thing. Just a possible avenue to go down.

Remember, when you teach 1,000 people, be happy if one person REALLY "gets it". If you put the line out there, but they don't bite, you can't force it. It's their choice, and perhaps, again as RS said, they just aren't ready yet. Inceremetal development.

If you have any success with this, please let us know how it goes!

Happy training,


Guys I am preparing to teach 600 SWAT cops at a conference and must be very brief:


You should contact Robb Finlayson. He is part of my PDR team and does seminars in your area I believe.

He emphasizes the strategies and psycholoy devlopment based on my curriculmn.

POst here and he should get back to you ASAP.



This is a very interesting thread and one that I believe needs to be seriously addressed.

I have done lots of work with women...by way of privates, seminars or just chatting with a group over coffee at Starbucks.

If your friends are seriously considering taking some classes on self protection, they have made the first and most important step...ACCEPTANCE. The reason why most women do not enroll in a course like this, is because they feel that it is an admission that it could happen to them....DENIAL/APATHY.

I would be more than willing to meet your friends and yourself over a coffee, to discuss the importance of self protection for women and to answer questions they may have.

I am setting up a seminar schedule for early 2001, and I would enjoy doing another one, just for women.

If there is anything I can do please feel free to contact me....I am home all evening.

You can email me:


or call me at 436-4421 or 914-2625

I live on the South side of Edmonton.

If you are interested in meeting over coffee soon, let me know ASAP because I am leaving NOV27th for Montreal and will not be back until Dec 10th.

Good luck with your efforts in helping your friends, and make sure you stay in touch.

BTW: I can email you the topics I go over in my Womens Self Protection Program, if you are curious as to the cirriculum. You can also pass it along to your friends.

Stay Safe,

PDR Coach, Robb Finlayson


Wow. Thanks all for your thoughts and support. I KNEW there must be a lot of you who'd seen this situation. Yeah, I meant "a friend's dilemma" as in MY dilemma as their friend.

I'll be in touch with Robb. I wasn't aware that one-time workshop-type dealies (based on TCMS knowledge) were being done in Edmonton.