Two of my 15 year old students approached me in class this week seeking advice. Their school has been providing their year with self defence classes and they were concerned that the advice they were being given contradicted the advice that I give. My first reaction is that they should keep an open mind, take in both lots of advice, consider them and make up their own minds. But then what they told me slotted into place and I guessed (correctly) who their self defence teacher was. I shall explain.
Way back in 2002 I took up Judo for a short time. Whilst with that club I attended a Self Defence day that was taught by Sensei's Sensei. It was advertised to the public, not just their own students. As you can imagine, most of the attendees were young females. The day was generally pretty good, certainly well put together and well presented. Bear in mind that the teacher was a very experienced Judoka. Bear in mind also that although nowhere near this gentleman's level I wasn't exactly inexperienced myself (if I recall I was 2nd Dan Jujitsu at the time with a handful of Brown belts in other things.) However, the one piece of advice that he gave left me very concerned. He was talking about a mugging-type situation in which the young lady's handbag is siezed. He very clearly stated that we have a legal and moral right to not be victims, not have our property taken and to fight back (indeed, the course was entitled "Fightback" - I still have the handout.) Whereas he's essentially correct in that we do indeed have a legal and moral right, I'm not happy with this advice. I maintain that the contents of the handbag (or you mobile 'phone, wallet or anything) are not worth fighting back for. This is advice the that I give to my young students.
Of course, different SD scenarios will have different possibile outcomes and there are infinate number of variables. I understand that and here I am talking specifically about the mugging of a young person who has attended just a few hours of SD classes being faced with losing some property, as opposed to being raped or being glassed or whatever.
Ten years have passed by. I highlighted to my studnets the video posted on here this week on the gentleman in Manchester dying from just one punch. Aside from that, the risk of facial cuts from the potential fall and the possible other injuries. I want my students to be able to protect themselves but I also want them to understand the risks they take in doing so and the value of the risk taken. Yet the Sensei is still teaching the same thing.
What are the thoughts on this?