Shin Gi Tai Arts
The purpose of Shin Gi Tai A.R.T.S. is to provide Administrative Resources and Teaching Services
Windows of opportunity. Every attack opens up a corresponding vulnerability for the attacker. An attacker who is grabbing you with both hands is not protecting his eyes. These very brief windows of opportunity will present themselves, and you can create them with well-targeted strikes. When they appear, act immediately. Strike fast, hard, and as often as you can to get away.
Responding to verbal intimidation. Your attacker may try to use your adrenaline to his advantage by using vile or intimidating language designed to leave you frozen in fear. Tune out the vile words, and focus on looking for your windows of opportunity. He may threaten you with harm if you don’t come with him, or promise not to hurt you if you do. DeBecker points out that an attacker’s promises are nothing more than a means of getting you to comply and cause him the least amount of trouble. Statistics show that the odds of being assaulted or murdered are substantially higher for women who are abducted and taken to a second location. If you are faced with that scenario, do whatever you can to get away immediately. Likewise, unsolicited promises from the “nice” stranger (“I’ll just put these groceries down and leave right away. I promise.”) are clear signals of danger that should be recognized and heeded.
Domestic violence in marriage or dating relationships. There are many resources available to help women who find themselves victims of domestic violence. If you are in this situation, it is crucial that you seek help from organizations whose staff are experts on when and how to leave a violent relationship. People Against Domestic Abuse (PADA) of Jefferson County is an excellent resource. Their web site is: http://www.padajc.org/. Gavin DeBecker's book, The Gift of Fear also offers excellent and crucial information, including how to decide if a restraining order will help and when it may make the situation worse. Click here to read excerpts from his chapter on "Intimate Enemies."
It all comes back to intuition. Finally, there are no perfect scripts or full-proof scenarios for defending yourself. There ARE effective techniques that substantially increase your chances of getting out of the situation unharmed. Use your intuition to avoid danger whenever possible, and to help you make crucial decisions when you are faced with an attack
Trust your intuition. Gavin DeBecker’s excellent book The Gift of Fear points out that humans are the only animal that routinely dismisses its intuitive sense of danger. De Becker’s book takes its title from his belief that intuition, that deep gut-level sense that something isn’t right, is a God-given gift designed to help us avoid danger. Women are particularly prone to dismissing intuition out of concern that they will over react, look silly, or hurt someone’s feelings. DeBecker reminds us to be more like the gazelle, who never says, “Is that a lion? Oh, it’s probably nothing. I’m just being silly.”
Attack weaknesses not strengths. The human body has many vulnerable spots that can be targeted for self defense. The goal is to disable the attacker when necessary or to create enough pain or distraction to get away. Vulnerable targets include, but are not limited to: eyes, ears, nose, throat, fingers, knees, and groin.
Balancing the Equation. We believe women have the right to defend themselves with the same level of force they instinctively use to protect their children--and we firmly believe that the question of how far you are willing to go to protect yourself is only one half of an equation that must be balanced on both sides. To fully comprehend what it means to decide that you are unwilling or unable to harm another person even in self defense, you must give careful consideration to the other half of the equation--the potential consequences of that decision.
Ask yourself: How will I feel if I am seriously injured or traumatized by an assault and did not do everything within my power to defend myself? What about the people who love me? How will my child, my husband, my partner, parents, siblings, and friends feel if they lose me? What if I survive, but cannot be the loving partner or mother I need to be because of physical or emotional trauma? What if I lose the ability to work or pursue my dreams?
We believe that when you find yourself in that moment when anyone—friend or stranger—has crossed the line to the point that you fear for your personal safety, it is your right to do more than survive. It is your right to defend your life, your physical and emotional well being, and the loving relationships you share with friends and family. We pledge to do everything within our power to give you the physical tools you need to defend yourself. More importantly, we pledge to help you recognize and use the tools you already have, primarily the intuitive gift DeBecker describes, to avoid ever needing the physical skills taught in this dojo.
Introduction: The Emotional and Spiritual Side of Self Defense. The determination to do whatever it takes to defend yourself in a life-threatening situation is as much about emotional and spiritual choices as it is physical preparation. Women have more than enough strength to defend against an attack, and the necessary physical skills can be learned in workshops and classes like those offered by this dojo. The spiritual and emotional hurdles are often more difficult to confront. Concern about over-reacting, worrying about hurting someone’s feelings, dismissing a "gut feeling" that someone or something isn't right—all are common reactions to predatory behavior, and every one of these reactions can open the door to a vicious assault.
In his outstanding book, The Gift of Fear, Gavin DeBecker describes and categorizes the tactics that predators use to take advantage of the seemingly inconsequential decisions women make every day. One very common tactic is discounting the word “no.” A woman refuses the offer of a drink at a party. Her persistent "admirer" continues to press her, and she finally accepts a soft drink. She may believe this is a harmless exchange, and acceptance of the drink a small price to pay to avoid hurting the guy's feelings, but De Becker points out that “the person who chooses not to hear...(the word no) is trying to control you.” Exchanges like this are very often the first of many as the woman gives up more control to a would-be stalker, abusive boyfriend, or stranger who is “interviewing” her as a potential assault victim.
Even when women take the proactive step of enrolling in a self-defense class, many feel cognitive and emotional dissonance about their legitimate need to defend themselves. Defending against a violent assault requires us to move past the psychological barriers that would, in any other circumstances, justifiably cause us to recoil from the thought of harming another human being. The often unspoken question is whether you can live with that necessary possibility.
These are very personal decisions, and no one can make them for you. If you find yourself struggling with these thoughts, however, there are a few points we would make in response. The first, and most telling, is that though we’ve heard different versions of this question many times, we have never heard it from someone who has been face to face with an attacker whose intent to harm outweighs any consideration for the humanity of his victim. Women who have faced that situation come to self defense class with a very different attitude and one primary question: “What can I do to prevent this from ever happening to me again?” They do not flinch at the answers.
Likewise, women do not flinch at the thought of doing whatever is necessary to protect their children. De Becker’s book, Protecting the Gift, is filled with examples of ordinary women who astounded even themselves with their ability to fiercely and effectively defend their child. Protecting the child was of such paramount importance that no other considerations mattered. They did whatever it took to remove the threat.
Workshops and Classes in Goshin Jutsu: the Art of Self Defense
Shin Gi Tai clubs offer women's self defense workshops periodically as a service to the community. Workshops are typically two to four hours long and focus on simple, effective techniques. No prior martial arts experience is needed.
We also offer ongoing classes for children and adults. The classes are focused on traditional discipline-based martial arts with heavy emphasis on practical applications and self defense.
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