January 14, 2019, Israel
You have seen them advertised; short term self defense courses. 5 hours, 7 hours, perhaps even a full day or a few short sessions. Are they have any value?
You have seen them, thought about them, and wondered; Should I?
I have met many of the graduates of such programs. When they hear I am a Krav Maga instructor they say, Oh, I took one of those courses. And then I ask them to tell me what they remember, or show me what they learned.
The answers have been ...disappointing.
I would say that the overwhelming majority of such courses are useless and a total waste of time, but wait, before you dismiss the idea, there are some exceptions.
What should those successful short term courses include.
They must focus on things the average person can learn and retain. As we say in IKI, easy to learn, easy to apply in a variety of situations, easy to remember. That is essential.
I would begin with understanding the nature of violence. I would focus on Situational Awareness and Violence Visualization. I would do scenario training.
In terms of techniques I would use only simple gross motor moves. I would focus on body movement rather than on rapid hand movements, more suited for magicians and musicians than for ordinary people trying to survive a violent encounter.
What we the instructors must understand is that most people have no clue about personal safety.
A few examples; today I heard of a man in Israel, he withdrew a great deal of cash from his account, put it in his bag, placed the bag on the seat next to him no the bus and fell asleep. Note, the bag was on the aisle seat and he was on the window seat. Result? You guessed it, when he awoke his bag was gone, the cash was gone, his credit card and his ID. We must train people to think defensively. It is not obvious.
All of the above should be obvious? Perhaps to you, but not to the average person. All these cases happened, I know them personally.