Well, I was invited back to a club nearby to once again help teach a free, introductory women's self defense seminar. The Sifu is a great friend of mine, we've trained and worked jobs together, and have just gotten to be close friends. So I'll help him out whenever he asks.
I appreciated that he saw this short (2hr) class as somewhat of a teaser to reach more students, but I took my job very seriously, after all, this is life and death. Even if a lot of McDojos treat it like a game or casual activity--promising self defense but delivering life-threatening bullshit.
My job was to co-teach the physical techniques, (about 4 altogether) and then I told him I planned to teach on the Psychology of Violence and Self Defense, because without programming the software, all the hardware (physical skills) would be useless, and worse, might instill a false sense of confidence. He wanted the physical to go first, so it would start out fun, but I hope to prevail on him to let me take the lead with mindset next time. Just makes more sense to me, anyway.
We had visited a few weeks back on this forum about how challenging it is to impart the warrior spirit, particularly to clueless, non-combative types, such as the housewives and young college students we had today. I mentioned to them it's a lot like offering swimming lessons to a bunch of people deathly afraid of the water.
I borrowed themes from all over in my shortened curriculum, including great stuff posted here, and from my friend Mike Gillette, Kelly McCann, our old friend Calgacus, even LtC Dave Grossman, Musashi and who knows what else was thrown into the pot.
But let me comment that their earlier questions all dealt with "how to I escape this hold?" "what do I do if a guy is sitting on my chest punching me?"
I was able to explain that their questions dealt with the last 5% of the continuum, if everything else I was teaching went wrong for them, ie, you didn't identify the potential threat early enough, you didn't leave, you didn't dissuade him verbally from continuing, you couldn't take him down with a weapon, you couldn't hurt him enough with your body weapons to give an opportunity to retreat, and here you are with some douchebag beating on you.
So I spent a good deal of time on two of my favorite subjects: situational awareness and recognizing pre-incident indicators or PINs, and how to trust your gut and react accordingly. I also walked them through a few actual scenarios out of our local news of how to employ their tuition and situational awareness to avoid trouble, and how when you do everything right and still end up having to go into mother-bear mode on your attacker.
I spent a fair bit of time teaching them how to open their minds to accept that personal violence is real, how to face it and plan for it. How preparation lessens fear and improves performance, much like visualization drills. Examine the enemy and he always shrinks in size. How to open up neural pathways so that when violence comes knocking, they are likely to react immediately, and they don't lose precious time with cerebral overload, denial, freezing up in a panic, etc. I quite gravely told them with examples that violence is nasty, scary and dangerous, but nowhere near as bad as denial, surrender and certain defeat.
This was probably the best or most important part of the time so far as I was concerned.
But the gals were tracking with me very well, and a couple of them came up at the end and thanked me with tears in their eyes. Either they appreciated it or were bored to tears.
Payment enough right there.
We had a dozen gals, aged 18 to about 40.