A Self Defense Course teaches you Life and Business skills too

A Self Defense Course teaches you Life and Business skills too

Learning self defense techniques teaches us many things.  It develops us in our character and confidence, and how we carry ourselves in the world.  The inner strength that comes from being able to defend ourselves, is also one that we can have access to at work and in our home lives, and not just on the street.

Here are 6 key aspects of yourself that you will develop in our 8 week Self Defense Course:

  1. How to actually defend ourselves

Firstly, attending a self defence course will teach us that we have everything we need with us at tall times, to defend ourselves – being our hands, arms and legs.  We can use our own body for protecting ourselves, and for striking if needed, and thus we don’t need to rely on a weapon or someone else.

Also, from a skilled self defense Instructor, we will learn that technique trumps strength.  There are actual techniques that can be learnt around how to leverage momentum and our own body weight, to get out of grips or holds, and have an impactful counter response if needed.

Many women, who may be significantly weaker physically, are able to get out of the grip of a very strong attacker, just by being trained in some initially counter intuitive techniques, and developing these skills to become instinctual.

  1. How to avoid situations where we might need to defend ourselves

Lessons for business people from self defenseA key component of self defense is to learn to avoid getting ourselves into a kind of situation where we would need to defend ourselves.

Learning to be more aware of our surroundings and what is happening around us, can allow us to have ample time to remove ourselves from a compromising situation.

Also, knowing what behaviours could make us a likely target, and then avoiding those, can go a long way to keeping us safe. For example, looking down at our phone on a street at night, means we won’t notice someone coming up to us until it’s too late. And because we are distracted, we stick out as a possible target.

Learning to make better choices when we are out and about is the foundation to any good self defense techniques.

And this can become a way of life, where we are more alert and aware of not only our surroundings, but others too.  This can be useful in all parts of our live, work and home.

  1. Attitude of de-escalating

From learning to avoid needing to defend ourselves, there are still times when we can find ourselves in dangerous or heated situations that can escalate to a possible assault of some kind.

Learning how to think in a stressful situation, and keep our wits about us, is a skill that can be trained and can keep us alert, rather than freezing or panicking.

Also, knowing how to gesture that we don’t want trouble, and yet at the same time that gesture is keeping us protected and ready to defend ourselves if needed, is a useful behaviour to have in our repertoire.

A good self defense course will- in its controlled environment – help us train to “keep our fence up” in our gestures, and to train our nervous system to stay focused and alert, rather than go into freeze mode or start over-shaking from the related adrenaline rush that comes from a stressful situation.

Thinking on our feet during stressful times is useful at work, and having a sense of knowing when to de-escalate and when to assert ourselves, can have a positive impact on our lives in many contexts.

  1. Attitude of Assertiveness

The intention to escape from harm is always our first response and aim.  Yet, there are times where we might have to defend ourselves, or we need to be offensive.  A self defense course will teach us when is the moment that we actually need to attack our attacker with a few carefully placed blows, so that we can then run away to safety, and when do we need to try to deescalate the situation.

This attitude of being assertive when needed, can translate not only to moments of physically being compromised, but also it can give us the ability to verbally assert our boundaries with people in the workplace or elsewhere.

  1. Accessing our Voice

Part of training to defend ourselves, is we learn to be more verbal and use our voice more.  If we go into freeze mode, we are less likely to say much to deescalate the situation or assert ourselves to break free.

Also, people who are more vocal are likely to call attention to themselves and the situation, which makes them less of a target and can deter the attacker.

This speaking up in moments of stress, which is encouraged and trained in the controlled self defence training environment, is a skill we then have.  We can use this to speak up more in other contexts of our life too, be that the boardroom or the bedroom, or around the dining room table.

  1. Inner Strength and Confidence

Confidence comes from practice, and so a longer term self defense course helps us to become more confident in the techniques we are learning, and to develop the muscle memory of the techniques so that they come more instinctually when we need them.

This confidence we then have in ourselves to protect ourselves, adds to our overall self-confidence and can show in how we carry ourselves and show up in the world.


Here in their own words, is what some of our previous students in our 8 week Self Defense Course have learnt:

  • “I noticed a shift 5 sessions into the course, where I felt more assertive in the actual techniques, and confident that I can and will be able to protect myself if I ever need it again. This has left me feeling stronger in myself, which is a nice feeling to have with me every day.” – Telana, Coach
  • “The self-defense class has really helped me to be more confident around my personal space and has helped me to come to redefine my actions and attitudes when faced with confrontational and unsafe situations.” – Ralph, Software Developer

 

To learn more about self-defense techniques and develop the inner strength to protect yourself and have this strength translate into other areas of your life , contact your Self Defense Instructor Leo Ming.

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Learning self defense techniques teaches us many things.  It develops us in our character and confidence, and how we carry ourselves in the world.  The inner strength that comes from being able to defend ourselves, is also one that we can have access to at work and in our home lives, and not just on …

Self Defense Skills are like a form of Insurance.

Self Defense Skills are like a form of Insurance.

We live in a world of risk.

Everyday we face the risks involved with crossing the street, driving a motor vehicle, taking public transport.

Some of us face risks in our jobs, be it physical risk of injury from manual labour, or litigation risks when constructing deals, or financial risks of the performance on a job.

Depending on the environments you live and work in, you might also face the risk of being robbed, mugged or sexually harassed in some way.

We value our possessions and reputations, and thus do things to mitigate the risks involved.  We seek legal advice, put disclaimers in place, and purchase insurance to protect our liability and our possessions.

We also take preventative measures to manage unforeseen risks, like putting on our seat belts in the car, going to the dentist for regular check-ups, buying the travel insurance when we go on holiday.

Yet we often neglect an important form of “insurance” or “risk management” that will help keep us physically safe, or at least help us to get out of unsafe moments.

Self defense includes striking your attacherIf we define Insurance as a means of protection from loss, then we could see learning some simple yet effective self defense skills (especially if we develop  them with a little practice so that they become part of your instinctive responses to threat), as a way to insure we stay as safe as possible in this risky world we live in.

This form of “insurance” and “risk management” is about:

  • knowing how and when to defuse a situation before it might escalate to you being attacked.
  • understanding when the point is crossed where you need to proactively strike the predator rather than become their prey.
  • knowing how to use parts of your body as weapons to defend yourself.
  • developing the skill of applying techniques, rather than relying on physical strength (especially useful for women) to disorient your attacker, so you can escape.
  • developing the ability to keep your wits about you under pressure, so that you can handle your adrenaline rush in a moment of crisis.
  • developing the above self defense skills, and the necessary mindset to improve your awareness of what’s going on around you.

Join our next 8 Week Self Defense course and see it as you buying insurance to protect your most important asset: your self.  Take a few hours out of your life to be Woman learning self defense elbow strike moveproactive about doing what you can to prevent being a target and to protect yourself and escape from harm.

The 8 week course focuses on repeated learning in a pressured but controlled environment, to train your neurology to function well and proactively, should you ever find yourself in the most unfortunate moment of being at risk of bodily harm.

Don’t wait until you have an incident, be proactive and take some preventative measures.

For more info on dates see this page or contact your Self Defense Instructor, Leo Ming on 0833780468.

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We live in a world of risk. Everyday we face the risks involved with crossing the street, driving a motor vehicle, taking public transport. Some of us face risks in our jobs, be it physical risk of injury from manual labour, or litigation risks when constructing deals, or financial risks of the performance on a …

8 Week Self Defense Course for Women

8 Week Self Defense Course for Women

Next 8 Week Course starts: 10 June 2019

Learn the most important techniques to defend yourself against threat and escape an attacker.

This course will focus on repeated drills to make these techniques second nature, so your instincts just kick-in when you most need them, keeping you safe.

Leo Ming will be hosting another of his self defense courses – this time for women only, commencing in June.  Lessons will be for one hour, once per week, for 8 consecutive weeks.

The course is designed for women to be able to:

  • spot potential danger and threats
  • empower themselves to deal with threat and danger
  • know the target points of the body
  • practice practical street wise techniques
  • develop a muscle memory for the techniques so they become second nature, and instinctual when most needed.

Because this course focuses on ingraining the techniques, participants are encouraged to commit to the full 8 week course and not skip a session!

READ an article about why this is an 8 week course here

Don’t miss this opportunity to sharpen your knowledge and practice these self defense techniques in a safe and friendly environment.

>>DOWNLOAD PDF of this 8 Week Course

Investment: R2160 to be paid in full by 10th June to confirm your commitment to all lessons

Time: 18:00 to 19:00

Dates: Mondays  – 10th, 17th, 24th June, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th July 2019

Venue: Parktown Girls High School , 55 Tyrone Avenue , Parkview

(Secure parking available)

To sign up: Contact Leo on 083 378 0468 and make payment to secure your spot (only 15 places available) and also send him this form:

DOWNLOAD here the PDF Membership Form to join this Self Defence Course, and email it to Leo on leo@mingsmartialarts.co.za.

Internet transfers to :
Standard Bank, Melville Branch
Acc. 401034747
Acc Name: L. Ming
Reference:  name and surname.

TESTIMONIALS:

The self-defense class has really helped me to be more confident around my personal space and has helped me to come to redefine my actions and attitudes when faced with confrontational and unsafe situations. Obviously, we never want to be faced with a hostile situation that may threaten us physically, but the skills taught in the class provide a means to defend oneself with the aim of getting away and out of an unsafe scenario. Removing oneself from the situation is the main aim of the course and this would prove to be very difficult if not impossible without some knowledge on how to break a grip or to create a diversion which could be used for escape.

Ralph, Software Developer

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Next 8 Week Course starts: 10 June 2019 Learn the most important techniques to defend yourself against threat and escape an attacker. This course will focus on repeated drills to make these techniques second nature, so your instincts just kick-in when you most need them, keeping you safe. Leo Ming will be hosting another of his …

Why attend an 8 week self defense course?

Why attend an 8 week self defense course?

We asked one of Sifu Leo’s tai chi students, about why she wants to do a self defense course with Leo, and the reasoning behind asking for an 8 week course.

Here are her answers:

Q: Why have you asked Sifu Leo to offer this type of Self Defense course?

A: Unfortunately, I too have experienced crime and unwanted attention from men (#metoo).  Recently I got to a point where I said enough! and then spoke with Leo.

Enough because I was reminded of the Jennifer Lopez movie “Enough” where she hired a trainer to help her prepare to defend herself.  What struck me in the scene was the intensity of her training, so that the self defense moves became instinctive to her.

The incident that lead to me recalling this, was when I was chatting recently to the store owner of one of my favourites shops, with another friend, and all of a sudden this stranger came up from behind me and put his arm around me, made some crude comment, and then walked off.   My friend and the gentleman I was talking to looked as shocked as I felt.

It was only a few minutes later that I remembered that my Sifu Leo had shown us a move in one of our tai chi classes, which would have been the perfect self defense move for this situation.  But I could not recall it at the time- not even after the incident.  The move, if it had been in my muscle memory, would have been appropriate for the situation, and I could have then told him that what he did and said was not ok.

Instead, I was left feeling vulnerable and powerless to another predator.

Q: What do you mean by “in your muscle memory”? What about this being instinctive is important?

A: The more we practice something (whether it be a physical move – like the perfect golf swing or self defense technique- or a certain mindset or attitude), the more it becomes our way of being.

Our muscles learn that movement, and so it comes more easily to us when we need to perform that movement.  The same can be for self defense moves.  I have attended a few self defense classes over the years, mostly 2 or 4 hours in length, in a once-off format.  Yet there are very few moves which I can now, years later, recall how to do.  And I wonder if in the moment of stress, if I would recall them with enough clarity to defend myself.

When learning, we go through four stages:

  • First, we are unconscious that we don’t know, what they call “unconsciously incompetent”.
  • Then we become aware of what we don’t know, we become “consciously incompetent”, and this is what often prompts us to seek out to learn something- if it is a priority to us.
  • As we practice and learn, so we can reach the next stage, which is where we are “consciously competent.”
  • And for sustainability, we aim to make this learning instinctive. We want it to be a muscle memory, where we are now “unconsciously competent”.

This is how we reach towards mastery of a skill.

So what I would like to learn now, is to have a few moves that I am unconsciously competent at, so that I can feel more empowered, and stronger, and know that should I ever need it, I can and will defend myself better and escape a threatening situation.  Because let’s face it, in today’s world and especially in my country South Africa, crime is way too rampant.  I want to more prepared to protect myself.

Q: Why Sifu Leo?

A: From speaking to Leo about this, he is willing to teach me – and others who want to learn with me – some of the techniques to protect ourselves, and in a way that we develop the muscle memory of them, so that they become our instinctual responses when under stress.

From having taught these techniques for many decades, and from his thorough immersion in martial arts (spanning over 40 years), I know that he is not only unconsciously competent in the techniques, but is also aware of how to teach them by breaking them down into steps, and taking us through the drills needed to learn them properly, to develop the muscle memory and have them as lifelong skills.

Leo also has a gentle and caring disposition, and from my experience in his tai chi classes over the last few years, I know that he can also push his students when needed (in his compassionate way) to help them grasp the ideas, stretch themselves, and learn what they want to gain from the practice of martial arts.

And importantly, I feel safe in his classes so that I am in a better state for learning, and feel safe to ask questions when I need to.

Q: Anything else to add?

A: My hope is that other women will join me in this course, so that we can become stronger together, not only in our ability to defend ourselves and escape harm, but that we then also take that and grow our inner strength to speak up more for ourselves, and for what is right and good in our worlds.

DETAILS

8 Week Self Defense Course for WomenFor information and dates of the next 8 Week Self Defense Course for Women in Johannesburg, see this Events Page here.

Contact your Self Defense Instructor Leo on 0833780468 for any questions you have about this course, and if you want to speak to this student about this course to decide if it is the right option for you.

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We asked one of Sifu Leo’s tai chi students, about why she wants to do a self defense course with Leo, and the reasoning behind asking for an 8 week course. Here are her answers: Q: Why have you asked Sifu Leo to offer this type of Self Defense course? A: Unfortunately, I too have experienced …

Technique vs Strength for Self-defense in Karate

Technique vs Strength for Self-defense in Karate

Jesse Enkamp is quoted as saying:

“Comparing two equally technical fighters, my money is on the stronger one.
Comparing two equally strong opponents, my money is on the more technical one.”

This brings up the different role’s ‘technique’ and ‘strength’ or power play in karate.  And it also leads us to question what we mean by strength.

“Strength is for me more internal,” explains Sensei Leo Ming.

“Physical strength is applicable in Karate and self-defence, but the downside is one does not get stronger as one grows older. So, this physical strength needs to be nurtured and transformed inwardly, into a mental strength.”

If we look at it with a longer-term view, this mental strength is far more important. It gives us the ability to deal with the hardships that life throws us, from which no one is immune.

The body can endure much, but it is the strength of our mind where we ultimately win or loose when facing pain.

“Strength and technique are always important. If you use only strength you will soon be tired. If you only have technique and no strength, it will not do either as it won’t be effective.”

With self-defense, the reality a person is facing in that moment of personal danger gives the person the adrenaline rush that will boost their strength, which is needed for survival.  But it will be short lived as the body fatigues, and yet hopefully enough to get the person out of trouble.

Sensei Leo Ming teaching a self defense technique

So learning the skills of maximising your body’s leverage in terms of centres of gravity, the ease of deflecting attack and also gaining momentum to move out of harms way, are a strong components of effective self-defense training.

Some of these moves seem counter-intuitive to our ingrained instinct to fight or push or pull, yet with training the body and the mind, these self-defense and karate techniques can become second nature.

They then allow us to find that sweet spot, where we have enough technique to know how to use our strength to our advantage, without unnecessary fatigue.

 

To learn more about self-defense and Karate techniques, and develop the inner and physical strength to apply them, contact Sensei Leo Ming.

Jesse Enkamp is quoted as saying: “Comparing two equally technical fighters, my money is on the stronger one. Comparing two equally strong opponents, my money is on the more technical one.” This brings up the different role’s ‘technique’ and ‘strength’ or power play in karate.  And it also leads us to question what we mean …

Leo’s Top Tips to keep Safe

Leo’s Top Tips to keep Safe

With a background of over 40 years in Martial Arts and teaching self-defence, Sensei Leo Ming shares some of his tips and strategies for keeping safe and avoiding situations where we are an easy target to criminals and might be threatened.

These points to remember are especially relevant for those living in big cities like Johannesburg, where there is a high risk of being mugged, or car hi-jacked.

When in Car Parks

  • Place your valuables in your boot, out of sight.
  • Make sure your vehicle is locked once you’ve parked it. Double check that it is locked, as Car-jamming devices are a common means to gain entry into your car after you have left it.
  • Don’t be distracted by checking your phone, and rather be aware of your surroundings. Scan the area and notice if there are any loiterers around.
  • Park in an area which is not out of sight or tucked around the corner. However, also try not to park in between large cars where your car is hidden. Parking out of sight will make it easier for hijackers to accost you.
  • It is preferable to also park your car nose out, by reverse parking it into the parking spot.
  • When returning to your car, have your keys in hand, so that you don’t have to be looking for them when you get to your car.
  • Don’t dawdle to your car and once you are inside your car, don’t linger and delay leaving the car park.
  • If possible be with someone. If you are alone, your first defence is your awareness – especially of loiterers.
  • When possible, get the car guard to help you with loading your shopping packets into the car, while you keep scanning your surroundings.

When Driving to leave or enter home or work, at the gate on the street

  • Awareness is so important. Notice other cars in the street, people hanging around the gate or walking nearby, and look out for anything suspicious or unusual.
  • Be cautious in driveways – do not hang around waiting in the driveway or when entering apartment complexes. Boomed off areas can be used as a trap area for car hijacks.
  • Be extra vigilant in dimly lit areas or quiet side roads.
  • If anything seems out of place or suspicious, rather drive away and call for help before returning.

When Walking

  • Be aware of your surroundings. So don’t walk with your awareness in your phone checking social media.  Notice what is happening around you.
  • Walk in a busy area if possible.
  • And walk with others if possible.
  • If it is a casual walk, leave all your valuables at home. Carry your mace / whistle/ body alarm / weapon of choice.
  • Walk with a dog if possible.

When waiting at a Bus Stop or for an Uber Taxi

  • Yet again safety starts with awareness. Notice what is going on around you.
  • Know your bus stop or Uber pick up point and its surroundings.
  • Know the arrival times of your bus or taxi. Time your arrival to the bus stop or pick-up point to avoid waiting too long for the bus/taxi.
  • Avoid being on your phone texting while waiting for the bus. If you are checking your phone for your Uber details, be sure to keep aware too of your surroundings.
  • Be vigilant of loiterers.

How can learning Tai Chi and Karate help with developing a sense of Self-Defense?

Martial arts brings awareness to one’s behaviour.  It also develops an attitude  of alertness and awareness to ones surroundings.   Awareness is key to one’s own safety.

The next aspect is self-protection. Not only does martial arts teach us basic self defence movements, it also teaches us confidence in bodies and in ourselves. With this confidence we can have a different insight and awareness to the world around us, and a more assertive response which is needed to protect ourselves.

One also learns and understands the psyche of people and potential threats through training in martial arts.

All these give us a better insight of scenarios and hopefully our coping skills are heightened.

Be aware, and be safe!

For more about Self-Defence and Martial Arts classes in Johannesburg, contact your Sensei, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

INFO about next Self Defense Course here.

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With a background of over 40 years in Martial Arts and teaching self-defence, Sensei Leo Ming shares some of his tips and strategies for keeping safe and avoiding situations where we are an easy target to criminals and might be threatened. These points to remember are especially relevant for those living in big cities like …

How to choose to train in Karate

How to choose to train in Karate

When considering taking up Karate as your hobby or sport, here are some points to consider Karate over other sports.

Self Improvement

While training the body, one learns about the Okinawan or Japanese culture; such as its history; its tradition of respect in the symbol of bowing, and the distinction in seated bows, standing bows and the reasons behind this.

One also learns about discipline by way of being on time, by way of dress code, and mind and body preparation.

There is etiquette involved in the process of learning, so it is not just how fast or strong one is, but how to reduce the ego and become a more refined person in life.

Sports in the modern day is about winning or losing; points or no points; highest; fastest; best. The values of traditional martial arts are about the inward qualities of winning over oneself, the ego. They are about striving for self improvement.

In the words of the late great Funakoshi:

“The ultimate aim of karate lies not in winning or losing, but in the perfection of character of its participants.”

Logistics and Lifestyle

Obviously one also needs to take into consideration the times and costs of classes.  Look for a dojo location that makes it easy to attend class, due to it being close to your home, work or school.  You also want class times that suit your other life activities and family obligations.  This way it will be easier to make your karate practice part of your lifestyle, and hence a more sustainable health choice.

Karate Teacher Influence

Even more important than the logistics of class, is the instructor’s methods and philosophy i.e. the actual teachings of your Sensei. The second point to consider when choosing your Karate teacher, is the reasons you want to train versus the reasons the instructor wants to teach his karate system.  Do they match or compliment each other?  Or will they lead you in opposite directions?  The difference can mean a far more enjoyable and rewarding experience for all.

Kobujutsu Karate

Karate is known to improve fitness and strength and sharpen self defense skills.

Some systems or styles of Karate have more emphasis on different criteria eg. sport karate vs traditional karate. There is no problem with just doing sport karate, as long as one realizes that it is but a small part of karate itself.

Karate is a paradox. When one learns a technique a thousand times over many years, it not only builds physical strength but also mental confidence not to have to get into an altercation.

Kobujutsu  = ko -traditional     bu- martial    jutsu- technique . The karate we teach is an art of traditional ways.

Choosing Kobujutsu is essentially choosing to experience personal growth while learning martial arts.

 

We look forward to welcoming you to class.

For more about Kobujutso Karate classes in Johannesburg, contact your Sensei, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

When considering taking up Karate as your hobby or sport, here are some points to consider Karate over other sports. Self Improvement While training the body, one learns about the Okinawan or Japanese culture; such as its history; its tradition of respect in the symbol of bowing, and the distinction in seated bows, standing bows …

Kobujutso Karate with Weapons

Kobujutso Karate with Weapons

Kobujutso is the Japanese term for “Traditional Martial Arts’. It is a form of karate that is a combination of open or empty hand techniques, and the proficient training in the use of weapons inspired from domestic and farm tools.

Here are two of our teenage students demonstrating the use of the sai (a set of dagger-shaped truncheons) and the (a very tall and long staff or stick weapon):

For more about classes in Johannesburg in Kobujutso Karate, contact your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

Kobujutso is the Japanese term for “Traditional Martial Arts’. It is a form of karate that is a combination of open or empty hand techniques, and the proficient training in the use of weapons inspired from domestic and farm tools. Here are two of our teenage students demonstrating the use of the sai (a set …

Cape Town Wellness taiji workshop with Sifu Leo

Cape Town Wellness taiji workshop with Sifu Leo

Sifu Leo spent a few days in the mother city, Cape Town, running corporate Wellness workshops, about the many beneficial aspects of tai chi for stress relief, and to bring the concept of flow into work, and teach some self-defense techniques.

 

Here are a few clips sharing some of the points covered:

For more info on workshops for your team building or wellness days, contact your Sifu, Leo Low Ming, on 0833780468.

Sifu Leo spent a few days in the mother city, Cape Town, running corporate Wellness workshops, about the many beneficial aspects of tai chi for stress relief, and to bring the concept of flow into work, and teach some self-defense techniques.   Here are a few clips sharing some of the points covered: For more …