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Thread: Women head to college armed with self-defense skills

  1. #1
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    At least it's another step in the right direction...and there is some good stuff here...not the least of which is realization that the traditional view of cooperatewith the attackerwas pretty lame...

    But no mention of using a firearm, or any weapon for PD. Odd. Frankly, I think that more women over 21 should betraining with and carrying a firearm. Would changealmost everything....





    Fighting Back
    Women head to college armed with self-defense skills


    Wes Smith

    September 3, 2007





    Jeff Moldovan (left) and Instructor Susan Saddler demonstrate a gun disarming technique at a Basic Weapons Disarming class at Fighting Chance Combat Systems. (Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel / August 24, 2007)


    Jennifer Woodbury of Orlando sent her daughter Abby off to college with the usual boxes of clothes, dorm decorations and snacks.

    But Abby, 18, also headed for campus packing a punch, not to mention an eye gouge and a throat jab.

    Concerned about reports of date rapes, carjackings and assaults on young women everywhere, her mother signed Abby up for a no-nonsense back-to-school special: Self-Defense 101.

    Abby and a group of friends from Lake Highland Preparatory School learned their ABCDEs -- "Attack him. Blind him. Choke him. Drop him. Escape." -- in the college-prep course at Fighting Chance Combat Systems.

    This unique martial-arts school on North Orange Blossom Trail charges $250 for a two-day, 10-hour course that teaches women methods for escaping armed assailants.

    Self-Defense 101 trains students to handle attack scenarios including attempted date rape, parking-lot and dorm-room attacks, bar and club assaults, carjackings and muggings at ATMs. Additional training includes techniques for profiling potential date rapists and precautionary measures to avoid being drugged, stalked or abducted.

    "Abby is going to be on her own for the first time, and there are criminals out there, so I definitely feel better sending her off with these skills," said Woodbury, who may join other Lake Highland mothers in taking the course.

    They were led to Fighting Chance by Mary Ann Gruenberg of Winter Park, who sought a self-defense program for her daughter Katherine, 18, after seeing news footage on the abduction of Kelsey Smith. The Kansas teenager was slain after being kidnapped in a Target parking lot in June.

    "It struck me that as she walked out of that Target she looked just like our Lake Highland girls," Gruenberg said.

    Close combat

    Some studies have claimed that up to 25 percent of female college students are sexually assaulted, even though most experts agree that at least half of sexual assaults go unreported.

    Law-enforcement professionals traditionally have advised women to cooperate with attackers and hope for the best rather than try to fight them, said Jeannette Emert, crime-prevention officer at the University of Central Florida.

    But Emert, a 22-year veteran, no longer shares that traditional thinking.

    "From what I see nowadays, being cooperative doesn't pay off; people are shot and killed anyway," Emert said.

    "Someone with specialized martial-arts training has tools," she said. "I believe you should practice using those tools, follow your gut instincts, and use them if needed."

    All martial-arts programs offer self-defense training, but few have close-combat-disarmament courses taught in scenarios and settings specifically for women, said Fighting Chance founder Jeff Moldovan, 54, a veteran movie stuntman, bodyguard and martial artist with advanced skills in Dragon Fist kung fu and ninjitsu.

    But Moldovan warns that students in his program must show no mercy to the bad guys.

    "I have no compassion for predators. If one attacks you, there is a 98 percent chance of survival in the first 2.5 heartbeats. Women can't get into a long struggle with a stronger, heavier opponent," he said. "They have to be quick and lethal, going for the eyes, throat and nose."

    'Snake trap'

    Moldovan and his partners -- fellow martial artists Susan Saddler, 34, and Robyn Graham, 23 -- developed six basic techniques for their class. Each is designed first to quickly disarm and immobilize attackers by inflicting pain or disrupting their breathing. The goal is to seize control of a weapon and get out of harm's way.

    The methods -- with intriguing names such as "snake trap" and "dishrag"-- are borrowed and refined from a wide range of martial arts. They rely on leverage, "fluid strength" and speed rather than muscle, which makes them especially useful to young women -- even those who are not naturally aggressive, Moldovan said.

    Not so helpless

    "I've had students ages 14 to 74, and women find that they are not as helpless as they think they are in these situations," he said. "It is physics and anatomy, not extraordinary strength. But some have a hard time understanding that until they try."

    Katelyn Van Allen, 18, refused to come downstairs when her mother, Anne, invited Moldovan to their Lake County home for an introduction to Self-Defense 101.

    "I did not want to do it at all; it seemed stupid," she said. "I thought that I could just carry pepper spray, and I'd be fine. But our mothers forced us to go to the class."

    Shy, reluctant Katelyn turned out to be one of Moldovan's prized pupils -- and nobody to mess with.

    "At first, I was worried that some things seemed a little violent, but they explained that someone who is trying to harm you deserves what he gets," she said.

    Her mother could not be prouder -- or more relieved.

    "She came out of her shell. She even busted a trainer's lip," said Anne Van Allen, who believes Self-Defense 101 should be mandatory in schools.

    "There is so much craziness out there," she said. "I don't want my kids to be victims."


    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/...?coll=orl_mezz



  2. #2
    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    HankT wrote:
    At least it's another step in the right direction...
    on a long, long road. But at least it's progress in a good direction.

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    If you are unarmed, and attacked by someone who is armed, bear in mind that the quaint ABCDE mnemonic might more accurately represent:

    Attack assailant;

    get your ass Beaten;

    Cry for help;

    Die in a pool of your own blood;

    Expect people to talk nonsense about what you should have done differently (short of going armed and being able to provide meaningful resistance).

    -ljp

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    Though, aren't the majority of sexual assaults by someone who the woman trusts, and thus would leave a very small window for self-defense? As I understand it, getting attacked and raped in a dark alley is more the exception than the norm in sexual assaults.

    HankT wrote:
    But no mention of using a firearm, or any weapon for PD. Odd. Frankly, I think that more women over 21 should betraining with and carrying a firearm. Would changealmost everything....
    Agree with you, except for the age 21 part. There is no legitimate basis for effectively banning firearm carry for the 18-20 crowd in most states, even in fairly gun-friendly states like here in PA. If one is expected to be a productive member of society, living by oneself after becoming an "adult" at age 18, there is no reason that a person in that age range should be denied the right to armed self-defense. How can the government get away with treating me like an adult by forcing me to register for the draft (not that I have anything against registering for the draft), yet deny me the ability to walk off of my property able to protect myself? It just makes no sense to me that so many people can be consummately denied the human right of self-defense.

    Er, sorry for the rant, but it just seems like the legalization of handgun purchasing and carry for 18-20 year olds is one of the most ignored issues regarding 2nd amendment rights.

  5. #5
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    The picture brings up a salient question that I'm sure the instructors would rather not answer: The woman being attacked gets control of the attacker's gun. What she supposed to do next? If she knows how to use the firearm, that opens upmore options. Otherwise, it's at best a club, or she has to throw it far away from the site, or else risk having the attacker regain control of it.

  6. #6
    Regular Member GreatWhiteLlama's Avatar
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    Well, if the image on her shirt is any indication, she would throw it.

    Don't you know? Guns are bad...
    "...our media are palace eunuchs gazing avidly at the harem of power and stroking their impotent pens in time to the rape of our liberties."
    -Sarah Hoyt

    "America is at that awkward stage; it's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."
    -Claire Wolfe

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    T-RaV wrote:
    Well, if the image on her shirt is any indication, she would throw it.

    Don't you know? Guns are bad...
    Hmpf, isn't wearing an anti-gun shirt in public basically making yourself a target? :shock:

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