Resounding shouts of “No!” and “Stay Back!” were heard by those passing Master Lockman’s Black Belt Academy last Saturday afternoon, as over 25 women participated in an Adrenal Response Self-Defense workshop. Sixth-degree black belt Master Brandon Lockman, owner and head instructor at the academy, educated class participants in several self-defense techniques but also touched on area of women’s self-defense that is often neglected, how to avoid “freezing” in a high stress situation.
The class began with a discussion of self-awareness techniques all people should utilize when in an unfamiliar or potentially unsafe area. Some were common sense ideas such as projecting confidence and making direct eye contact with those you pass. Other techniques were less well-known, such as not making wide turns when going around a corner, as attackers could be hiding right next to a building or structure waiting for a potential victim.
Lockman also dispelled some myths about self-defense, for instance the tactic of holding your keys between your fingers as a weapon. “In fact,” Lockman said, “when you place a key between each finger of your hand, you are more likely to rip the webbing between your fingers, doing injury to yourself rather than your attacker.”
Students were instructed on many ways in which they could defend themselves from both an arm’s length distance and at close range. Some techniques, such as eye gouging and facial appendage tears, were met with groans of disgust from the group. Agreeing that certain tactics were tough to stomach, Lockman advised participants to remember, “when you think about the potential outcome of an attack, ripping off someone’s ear or biting a chunk out of them in self-defense is better than the alternative.”
More precarious situations were also simulated, such as defending yourself if attacked from behind or how to escape when pinned to the ground. And size is not always a factor in self-defense. “If you are a petite 5’3” woman, and your attacker is a huge 6’5” man, if you stomp down on that man’s foot with all your strength, you’re going to break his foot.”
As the final exercise, Lockman and fellow instructors acted out mock attacks with several volunteers from the class. With the intent of creating a realistic-feeling situation, instructors wore sunglasses and hats to disconnect with participants and used aggressive and inflammatory language to trigger an adrenal response. Volunteers were instructed to use the techniques and strategies learned in class, but were also given a foam blocking stick to use as a weapon during the mock attack.
After each simulation, the pros and cons of the volunteer’s response were discussed. One participant reported after her simulation, in which two instructors attacked one after the other in a tag-team situation, that she was “so focused on the first attacker that I didn’t even see the other one until he was already too close.” Lockman reiterated the importance of taking a 360-degree view of your surroundings, an awareness tactic learned earlier in class.
Participant Jennifer Hodgkins felt the workshop to be very beneficial and plans to sign up for future classes. “I took away a lot of great information and techniques, and I feel prepared if I was to be put into a situation where I would need to defend myself,” Hodgkins said.
Due to the amount of interest in this first class offered by The Black Belt Academy (many were waitlisted due to class size limits), Lockman will offer another class to held on Saturday, June 1. Topics from this month’s class will be reviewed, and new material and situations will be introduced. To register, visit https://bit.ly/2GrBc0x.