Monday, February 10, 2014

Parenting Pointers: Self Defense Tips

Self-defense and fitness expert Jarrett Arthur recently released her first DVD, “Don’t Mess With M.A.M.A. The Foundation.” M.A.M.A. stands for Mothers Against Malicious Acts, and is the first self-defense system of its kind. This DVD is designed exclusively for mothers as well as all women responsible for the care of children. It chronicles: effective skills against any size assailant, how to successfully defend your infant or toddler, easy to implement safety tips and strategies, realistic, straightforward striking techniques, and fun, positive safety games to play with your child.

I had a chance to interview her to learn more.

You focus on four principles: muscle memory, instinctive responsive, mimic stress, and limit choices. Can you briefly describe what they are and how they help?
All four principles: muscle memory, instinctive responses, mimicking stress, and limiting choices are essential components of an effective, reality-based training system. The physical, mental, physiological, and psychological changes that we undergo during an attack are incredibly unique, and significantly affect our decisions, actions, movements, and behaviors. In order for self-defense techniques to have any hope of working on the street, it’s vital that the training take those changes into account, and give students as close to a “real world” training experience as possible. The best way to prepare to survive an attack? Experience it safely but realistically during training. 
  • Muscle memory is the act of committing certain movements to the part of your brain not dependent on logical thinking. Think of muscle memory movements as actions your body can perform automatically.
  • Instinctive responses are behaviors, actions, or movements, that we all perform automatically in response to a certain stressor. Bringing your hand to a place of pain on your body is an example. If you stub your toe you instinctively grab that injured digit, you don’t reach for your elbow. 
  • Limiting choices in a tactical self-defense system means reducing the number of technique options you have for specific attacks. For example, instead of learning 3 different defenses for the same attack, say a choke, we want to teach one defense that will work for 3 different attacks, say a choke from the front, side, or back. 
  • Mimicking stress is one way that we simulate the adrenaline response in training. It’s one thing to perform techniques when you are energized, warmed up, in gym clothes, thinking clearly, relaxed, with all senses functioning at 100%, and quite another to perform techniques on the street under suboptimal environmental conditions, in street, work, or dress clothes, terrified, confused, and taken off guard. In training we can mimic stress through fatigue, disorientation, confusion, surprise drills and other tactics.

Don't Mess with MAMA has a unique approach to self-defense - one that includes kids being involved. Why is it important to learn self-defense in this context?
The M.A.M.A. Self-Defense system is unique in that it addresses personal safety not just in a “self” context but in a parent context. Tactically speaking, fighting back solo is very different from fighting back with your kids in tow. You can’t focus solely on escape. You have to take protect, shield, and figure out how to escape with your kids. For parents with younger children, particularly kids who might be restrained in a carseat, stroller, or carrier, this presents in even bigger problem. But as a parent, your most important job is to protect your kids. M.A.M.A. address how to do just that at the most primal level. 

If people can only remember one or two self-defense principles, what do you think are the most valuable?
1-Prevention and avoidance through awareness strategies are the absolute best tools you have in your arsenal. A physical fight for your life is an all out war that no matter the outcome will permanently and dramatically alter your life. Add your kids into the mix and the stakes are even higher. Anything and everything you can do to prevent being targeted as the victim of a violent crime is critical, both for your life and that of your kids.
2- Do something. Do something. Doing something will always be better than doing nothing. Statistics have proven this time and time again. Even if you’re never received any training (which I highly recommend you get by the way) react, fight, scream, run, shield, do SOMETHING. You’ve most likely been chosen as an easy target for a specific reason. It is up to you to prove to your attacker that they made a terrible mistake by choosing you. 

Jarrett Arthur’s passion is helping others transform through self-defense training and education, with a particular focus on women, mothers and children. One of the highest ranking female Krav Maga black belts in the U.S., Jarrett comes armed with years of teaching experience and has taught hundreds of men, women, and children over the course of her 10 year career. Jarrett has been featured as an expert on national television shows including Ellen, Access Hollywood and Good Day LA, as well as in numerous publications including Fitness Magazine and The New York Times. Learn more when you like TrainWithJarrettfollow @jarrettarthur, or visit

No comments:

Post a Comment