Self-Protection Talk for the Women’s Institute (diary entry)

wiwi picture12.09.19


Tonight I was invited to give a talk on self-protection for Shipton-Under-Wychwood Women’s Institute.  The entire presentation was geared towards avoiding physical violence, options for dealing with physical assault and the legal side. However, various tangents and questions at the end highlighted other areas.


The talk began with my biography, providing my background and links to where I gained my knowledge/experience on the material being covered. We then moved onto defining both self-protection and violence.


Self-protection is typically divided up into personal security and self-defence. Personal security might be further incorporated into soft skills training. This is the non-physical side of self-protection. Self-defence describes the physical means an individual might legally employ to handle a physical assault. We discussed the overwhelming importance of soft skills over hard skills.


Violence needs to be understood in order for an individual to be able to effectively handle it in a real-life situation. After defining it we discussed predatory and social violence, giving comparisons to with intra-species and inter-species behaviour.


We then discussed situational awareness with the underpinning importance of attitude. I used an advanced version of the “Monkey Business Illusion” video to demonstrate how huge things can be missed when attention is focused elsewhere. Situational was divided up into Mo Teague’s people, places, hazards and changes. Next we moved the biological and psychological effects of fear, understanding how to control it and also how stress hormones give away pre-incident indicators in others.


The PINS (pre-incident indicators) were divided up into Gavin de Becker’s list of deceptive behaviours and Geoff Thompson/Desmond Morris’s list of aggressive behaviours.


We then looked at various options to prevent an attack from occurring from avoidance to dissuasion. This led us onto the self-defence options of subdue, restrain and neutralise. The legality of self-defence was then covered with various case studies and the underpinning UK law. I finished the talk with a discussion on the importance of actively employing the knowledge being taught and making certain behavioural changes.


The floor was then opened up to questions and answers. Here I addressed such issues as the post-fight, including the aftermath and the double-tap. We also went over a few case studies to illustrate certain points.


I would like to express my gratitude to the Women’s Institute for their interest in my material and in booking me as a speaker.


Recommended reading: “When Parents Aren’t Around” by Jamie Clubb, “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker, “Dead or Alive” by Geoff Thompson and “Streetwise” by Peter Consterdine

When Parents Aren't Around front cover (small)

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