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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Confidence is Key

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Last week we talked about three key elements that should be considered when designing a self defense course. These elements are directed at courses which cater to civilian woman however with a little imagination everything we are talking about here could be adapted and applied to other forms of self defense including tactical self defense or security training. Today we will further elaborate on confidence and how to address this skill in your self defense curriculum.

People are not born confident but rather they learn to be confident. We gain confidence through mutually respectful relationships which offer us support and through being involved in both small and large accomplishments. When teaching self defense it is important to stress the power of confidence, but remember distinguish between confidence and arrogance.

A confident and cool person should be able to avoid and calm down most potentially dangerous situations where as an arrogant person is likely to exacerbate and attract dangerous situations. There are many ways that you can work confidence training into your self defense curriculum. Today I will offer you three suggestions that I hope will help you design a more effective self defense curriculum.

Be confident:
The first and most important thing you can do is act as a good roll model by exuding confidence in your self. Again don’t confuse this with arrogance. You don’t need to be flawless you simply need to be honest, enthusiastic and open. Be sure to build a supportive environment that allows for both you and your students to grow.

Walk the walk:
Humans are extremely visual creatures. We often make snap judgments about other people based on visual cues. Would be attackers do not scan a room for the biggest toughest guy, who is likely to beat the heck out of them before choosing to fight that person nor do they fallow home the woman who is strong confident and intelligent in the way she walks and the choices she makes when planning her rout. Instead they choose some one they believe the can dominate, with out risking embarrassment or repercussions.

Good posture and a smile are two traits that signify confidence where as lax posture, fidgeting and avoiding eye contact all signify a lack of confidence. Have your class practice walking across the room acting out both confident and unsure, timid postures. You may want to include this in the warm up for every class it will help set a positive tone allowing people to break out of their usual habits and laugh a little along the way.

It’s all about the small stuff:
Every one knows you need to learn to walk before you run. Especially if you don’t want to fall flat on your face however it seems that people seem to forget the importance of small accomplishments as they get older. One easy way to help build small accomplishments into your self defense curriculum is to set fitness goals.

Remember to help each student set individual goals which are both challenging and realistic. If a student walks into your class and has never done a push up before in their life, being able to do three sets of ten before the course is done will only help to reinforce the idea that we can all learn new things, become stronger and that your course resulted in the development of tangible, testable skills.

Developing an effective self defense curriculum is not an easy task. It takes years of trial and error, research and application. This series of articles aims to address some important issues I believe should be addressed in every self defense course and encourage discussion around the topic of effective self defense in a public sphere that is accessible for both students and teachers. Instructors please let us know what you do to ensure that your students walk away from your course feeling stronger and more confident than when they walked in and students let us know what has helped you to build confidence throughout your self defense training?

See you next week when we talk about the boogie man.

1 comment:

  1. I can attest to this. After traveling extensively, especially with my obviously expensive camera, I haven't ever had any issues. They see that I see them.