Self Defense/womens self defense
Hello and thank you in advance for answering my question. I wanted to get an opinion about teaching women self defense if I'm not a black belt?I am a good teacher and pretty confident but I am only a greenbelt. my goal was not to teach the entire Karate art from beginning to end but merely focus on the defense technique simplified. In an easier format. I am suprised at how many women dont know any real forms of self defense. But traditional Martial Arts takes a lot of time and money shunning people away from it. I think I could do a good job at it but wanted another persons opinion Most teachers are Black belts but as I mentioned I would not be teaching Karate in it's pure form but defense techniques i have learned and trained in more simplified. Any feedback is appreciated.thank you.
Thanks for the question. As I read your entry, I actually hear several questions in there. The main one's being:
1) Is green belt enough rank to teach?
2) What info should be taught?
3) Am "I" good enough to teach a program?
First, let me address the belt ranking system. I personally do not give much weight to belts, I have experienced dozens of "black belts" who shouldn't be teaching nor can they fight their way away from a wet napkin. Often, the belt system is designed for progress of children, or is utilized as a monetary tool to keep students or generate cash flow for testing, and in some instances is simply bought by "highest bidder", meaning basically sold to someone who is willing to pay. Furthermore, many traditional styles base their belts on the memorization of forms, and passing tests like breaking boards...neither of which have any application in real life combat.
Secondly, although all training is good, Karate as it stands in the general market today doesn't truly add up to much. Most folks view it as something to put their youngsters inso they can develop discipline, character, etc.
Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to understand one main thing....self defense is NOT martial arts. Self Defense is doing the bare minimum to escape the threat/situation. Martial Arts is about personal development, and has a "compete" mindset, with a punitive end such as points, or knockout, or submission, all regulated by judges and referees. Combat has the mindset of life or death. (Check out my podcasts at www.streetsafe101.com to hear more) So having a belt, or training in xyz martial art really has nothing to do with teaching or in specific, teaching female self defense. However, having an education in the martial arts CAN help you teach a more functional program.
As for being green belt, well, in the realm of traditional martial arts it is still considered a lower ranked belt. So typically it is not advised to be teaching at that level. However, belts do NOT represent your ability overall, or your life experiences. So the color of cloth designed to keep your hakama/gi closed is the least influencing factor, unless you are teaching a specific system or style.
Have you thought of these other questions....
1) What do YOU want for your client
2) What do THEY want for themselves and from YOU
3) Will this be an ongoing class or a seminar format
4) Can you get them to "do" what you're asking them to "do" in the time frame you set
5) Are you teaching them a real life usable skill, or simply some techniques that they probably can't do 1 year, 2 years, 5 years down the road
6) Is the material you want to teach "proven" to work, or are you using theory
7) Do YOU believe in it
8) Why should they learn from YOU versus the next person? And have YOU used this information
9) Do you understand the needs of your client
10) DO you have experience in meeting those demands
You see, there is much more to teaching women's self defense than just a belt, or style. When I designed "Fighting Chance" my women's self defense program, I didn't just take a few things that I thought would work, or a few things that would work for ME... I spent years working with domestic violence victims, sexual assault victims, women of different backgrounds, sizes, ages, and experiences. Then I took everything I knew and made a package specific for them. That includes teaching methods, drills, skills, techniques, and most importantly...emotional stresses. Women "FEEL". Very different than men. So it is your responsibility to handle that.
You also need to account for what violence for women is like. It is NOT a bar fight with punches and kicks like men. Men will fight and most often everyone goes home with bruised egos and black eyes. Women get raped, assaulted, kidnapped, murdered, torchered. Totally different! So what you are teaching them...BETTER DEAL WITH THAT VIOLENCE! It has to be appropriate for them! They will demand it from you...and they trust you to that what you're teaching them will work against a real attacker. That becomes YOUR responsibility if they get assaulted and end up in a worse situation just because they tried doing a front snap kick that you taught them ad ended up face down with an aggressor on their back with a knife to her throat.
Teaching Women's Self Defense for some people is a business service, they bring women in to their dojo, then teach them poor information with a false sense of security, then sell tem on some other program. It is irresponsible of them! If you are going to teach anyone anything, you'd better address their needs.
All this being said, I encourage you to follow your passion. It is of my opinion that you aren't quite ready for it yet, but I can only go off what I see/hear from your original post. Please do not take this response as me slamming your art, or belt, or judging you. It is my goal that you DO go teach, but to do so with a solid understanding, research, and capability.
I wish you the best of luck. And please let me know how your progress goes.