Run Fu! (But Maybe Not Yet…)

“There’s something about being in the general vicinity of death that brings you back to life. It snaps you right out of complacency. Suddenly, every thought counts, every action. You can’t put off until tomorrow anymore. Things became crystal clear and my mind so sharp I could have slayed the Beast with just once glance.”

—James Capuano from his forthcoming memoir on life with cancer

You’re probably wondering what this quote from James Capuano has to do with running or “flight” in self defense. It’s a plenty good question. So here’s the correlation. When the shit hits the fan and it’s the Moment Of Truth, time to fight or flight (not freeze or panic please) because nothing else will do and it’s going down NOW, what you feel and experience is like a lighting bolt — adrenaline plus highly charged emotion flooding the body and I do mean flooding. It’s a crystalline do or die moment which becomes your everything.

I’ve experienced it myself when faced with would-be and “it’s happening now!” attack and also from from living in dangerous environs (Peshawar Pakistan, for example, where I was once stoned…I mean with rocks). There’s little to compare this to– as if all else STOPS, literally falls off the map of perception, of time and space, of life as you’ve known it.  It’s a razor’s edge moment so full and encompassing that it leaves no room for anything else.

And it comes with an urgency and luminosity that Capuano eloquently describes from his death-defying battle with cancer.

Now The Lesson

In many assault scenarios, when faced with a blistering two or three seconds to make your move, you might need to FIGHT prior to taking FLIGHT.

On that note, allow me to wax rhapsodic about one of our must-have power tools to help you achieve Fight Then Flight: PALM STRIKES of PALM SMASHES which are easy-to-learn and execute, and they can drive a man backward effectively rendering him a civilian, versus a BIG SCARY ATTACKER, allowing you to seize the opportunity to charge in with more slamming bad-assery. (Caveat: It’s NOT patty cake. You need to get your whole self and weight into it. Hopefully this or similar moves will then open up lower body targets- such as le groin.)

Palm strikes are the move that my super hero friend Keri Potts delivered– and it took five or six to literally knock her raging attacker on his ass prior to making her daring escape. 

Here’s the lesson about fleeing and when it does and doesn’t makes sense. It comes to us courtesy of the  FOX & THE RABBIT– better known as predator / prey dynamics and something called PREY DRIVE.

It’s like this: The fox chases the rabbit WHEN THE RABBIT RUNS! It’s the running or in the human realm the recoiling, cringing or backpedaling – sometimes called “cower power”-  that inadvertently triggers the predator instinct to give chase.

Don’t misunderstand: Running, fleeing, taking flight and gaining distance IS the end goal, but there’s a HUGE difference between running TO safety (good) and indiscriminately running away from trouble, meaning attacker, especially if you’re not in great shape AND there’s no good place to immediately run or retreat to.

By the way, when I say RUN I mean like your ass is on fire!

Women have successfully fled assailants, running to the road or nearby dwelling to get help. But when an assault is imminent or underway, backpedaling or bolting is often futile and can trigger this “prey drive” – a predatory instinct to quickly close on and subdue intended prey.

Screw dat. Let’s reverse. Do this instead:

Rather than giving him this tactical advantage, YOU may have to get up in his GRILL and bring on whammo! Close the distance and go IN, striking hard and fast with all you’ve got to then create that better opportunity to flee. Hit the gas, as it were, and ENTER with full forward drive and mojo. (And palm strikes as lauded above.) In effect you must BECOME THE PREDATOR. THE HUNTRESS NOT THE HUNTED. 

YOU GO GIRL!!! And she did…

Here’s a REAL WORLD SUCCESS STORY of a woman who utilized the coupling of FIGHT THEN flight. The headline read: “A Lincoln woman fights off a would-be rapist, then runs two miles to the police station to report the attack.” Note the order: Before taking flight she delivered a few good blows!

Resistance works, people! So heed the lesson from our furry creature friends Fox & Rabbit and remember: By drawing upon our considerable lower body strength and fierce survival powers, women can be powerful fighters on the ground. Word.

 

Dr. Ruthless: Shouting It Out For the Media!

Attention Media– if you want a fresh voice in women’s self defense call me!

Schooling women in ancient skills, attitudes, and warrior wisdom since 1986!   

From no-nonsense fight-back skills to the inner tools and emotional dimensions of self defense; from the larger issues of violence against women to controversial topics such as why women must embrace (not shun) their killer instinct. I can address it all with intelligence and panache. Le’ts shout it out!

Press Release Below–followed by additional talking points. 

Discovering the Dr. Ruthless Difference:

“It’s Not The Size of the Woman in Fight, It’s the Size of the Fight in the Woman”

AMHERST, MA – You know Melissa Soalt (AKA “Dr. Ruthless”) as the go-to expert on self defense from THE VIEW, NBC Nightly News, Huffington Post, Self, Marie Claire, The Wall Street Journal, CosmoGirl, BUST and more, where she’s shared her expertise with countless women via her no-nonsense “Dharma of Defense” – a brand she evolved from decades of immersion in the study of self defense and the female warrior mindset. Now, Soalt takes us deeper into the primal ferocity zone – a place, she says, all women need to be to recover the lost skill of “pulling ferocious from fear.”  It could save your life!

“Female socialization – ‘nice lady behavior’ – actually puts you more at risk with aggressors and criminals,” says Soalt in her blog at Forbes.com, “Being Nice Can Kill You.” Soalt points out that successful fight-back self defense often hinges upon the unspoken truth that far beyond technique, women must harness their “inner ferocity” and “maximum yang” powers if they are to effectively fend off assailants. And this is vital: When nothing else will do but counterattack, women must be ready to spring into action, using their bodies and whatever tools they have at their disposal but most importantly understanding this nugget of warrior wisdom: Regardless of technique, you ARE the weapon, the delivery system! All women have the innate capacity to be dangerous defenders, says Soalt, but in many ways this goes against social mores and traditional female mandates.” See below for the full blog entry and to learn more about “The Dr. Ruthless Difference:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/shenegotiates/2012/06/21/being-nice-can-kill-you/.

Soalt also makes a splash this summer with her latest appearance on Investigation Discovery’s “Dates From Hell,” in an episode focusing on a remarkable rape-escape, set to air July 11th, 10 p.m. EST. http://investigation.discovery.com/tv/dates-from-hell/episodes/ Here, Soalt not only imparts smart fighting strategies but addresses the classic predatory mindset and tactics of a would-be rapist, gives behavior clues that often precede a violent attack which should never be ignored and discusses the stages of an attack. “Teaching women the innate skills to manage fear and adrenalin, and harness their terror, is as important as teaching women to tap into their warrior selves,” she reiterates.

Never one to shy away from bold statements, Soalt is a triple threat – an award winning self defense expert, a former psychotherapist and a Black Belt Hall of Fame recipient. Her message and method of reducing risk, of practical and forceful strategies that work regardless of a women’s size and her proven tips and how to’s have been hailed by law enforcement, street fighters and feminists alike.

Here’s a smattering of the buzz surrounding Soalt:

  • “Every once in a while someone comes along and not only leaves an indelible impression on you, but also changes the way you perceive yourself and your place in the world. Women’s self defense expert Melissa Soalt is one such person… Dr. Ruthless has a lot to offer the world.”   Black Belt Magazine

  • “If you’re Melissa Soalt aka Dr. Ruthless you preach the gospel of low-down, dirty, eye-gouging, groin-crushing, go-for-the-throat self-defense tactics for women. You take your 25 years of training and combine it with your insights as a former psychotherapist. You come up with a potent message to women that constant fear is a crippler, and that you can learn how to fight like a warrior– or a mad dog– always keeping in mind that fleeing, if possible, is your best defense.” Politics Daily (now part of Huffington Post Media.) 

  • “Dr. Ruthless KICKS ASS!” BUST Magazine  

Here is a sampling of lifesaving info that Soalt can share with your audience:

  • Practical assault deterring methods and explosive fight-back skills to facilitate escape, capitalizing on the body’s fight and flight response and minimizing freeze or panic.
  • How to morph your body into a decisive weapon and weaponize! How to use the environment and handy objects. Soalt’s formula: “Whaddya got?”
  • Resist or submit–what the data shows and Soalt’s decades of perspective
  • Use ALL the feminine wiles…where to put your focus, how to collect yourself inside and how to use trickery and deception to create openings and opportunities
  • Occupy your hips! Learn to generate maximum power from that part of the body we love to loathe!
  • Lay it on us, Dr. Ruthless. Does size matter? Yes…and no! Fight “smart” and use your strengths against vulnerabilities. Ask Soalt how!

In addition to her expertise Soalt is also a woman who has fended off attack with stories to share. For more information on Soalt, including media appearances, seminar offerings and her Fierce & Female DVD, please visit: http://www.dr-ruthless.com/index.php

ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS:

First lines of defense. The nuts and bolts” — from danger recognition to body language,  boundary setting, and verbal skills to how lowering your center of gravity IS a deterrent.

Fight back and RAPE DEFENSE skills— attacks against women happen at intimate “hot breath on your face” range. To counterattack and counter the terror we need explosive gross-motor “in-fighting” tools. I’ll share practical moves, addressing PRIME targets and  WEAPONS for stand-up, pin and rape-specific positions. The goal is to disable and escape. (Did you know: the EARS make great handles and targets….More!)

The emotional and mind-setting skills to manage FEAR and remain focused in the MOMENT OF TRUTH when adrenaline and emotions flood your system, potentially producing panic. Seconds count– be there!

Clear the path: Why you MUST overcome the fear of injury and reconcile spiritual and moral conflicts in order to effectively go primal in self defense. Decide in advance: What is worth fighting for? What is uncompromising and non-negotiable? Where do YOU draw that line?

How and why FEROCITY is a superpower.

Understanding predatory tactics and progressive stages of attack. Predators are masters of deception. I can highlight specific behaviors and address “testing” and indicators that typically precede attack. Once a sexual predator gains a woman’s trust and  measure of calculated control, he will “close the deal” by using his greater size, strength, and displays of aggression- in essence, TERROR TACTICS– to gain compliance and control. These stages can happen in one night, or over weeks or months.

How to USE  the environment in self defense— beyond “get your keys or a pen in your hand” there are myriad ways to use walls, counter tops, surfaces and furnishings in your defense – as shields, weapons and barriers. Own your world!

Controversy! How facets of Pollyannaish New Ageism con-conspires in the pacification of women furthering the disconnect from our baser survival selves.

Dr. Ruthless can also address special-focus groups: from tweener and teen safety to female journalist training in sexual assault prevention- a topic she has been cited on- to deeper cultural dialogue around the FEMALE use of violent force and why the learning of radical self defense is NOT victim blaming, but a vital yet often overlooked tool in combating violence against women.