Lauren TaylorLauren Taylor has taught self-defense for more than 20 years, and is certified by the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation. She's taught thousands of women, teens, children and men in the Washington, DC, area, and specializes in teaching survivors of abuse and assault, LGBT people, and people with disabilities. Sarah T of 5 Smooth Stones self-defense has been teaching conflict resolution and self defense since 1995. Most of her hundreds of students are teenagers in high-crime environments and women survivors of abusive relationships.
Sarah T: Hi, I am Sarah T. Today we are learning how to defend ourselves. Now we are going to put everything we have already learnt altogether into a typical scenario. Most assaults do not just happen from a standing or sitting position. They begin with a verbal confrontation and they escalate into a physical assault. In all situations that are volatile on any level, you remember, you want to set clear boundaries. In the event that you are attacked, that your boundaries have been violated and that you are actually in a physical self defense situation, remember to yell. Once you have successfully defended yourself, remember to get to safety, whatever safety is; it could be leaving the building, it could be getting into your car, it could be getting to a telephone and calling for help, whatever safety is.
Lauren and I are now going to demonstrate three scenarios with all the self defense principles at work. In the first situation the attacker gets close to me by asking for directions. Lauren Taylor: Hey, you look like nice, could you help me? I am trying to find Smithsonian Museum. Sarah T: Sure, the Smithsonian, you just want to go straight down here and then make left on 7th street.
Lauren Taylor: Through which way?
Sarah T: Straight down the street that you are already on. Could you take a step back please. I am going to explain to you, I just will be more comfortable if you would take a step back.
Lauren Taylor: okay, I can not see where 7th street is.
Sarah T: Well, you will see once you get back in your car and drive.
Lauren Taylor: Would you show me?
Sarah T: Take your hands off me. Take your hands off me and take a step back.
Lauren Taylor: I thought people will just& Sarah T: I said take your hands off me and take a step back.
Lauren Taylor: I thought people were supposed to be nice say, you are not nice, you should be nicer to me& Sarah T: I said step back.
Lauren Taylor: You should be nicer to me, I am a Taurus, you should be nicer to me, what is your problem?
Sarah T: No, no, no, no. In this scenario, we are going to put all the principles of self defense together into a situation involving somebody that you know. In this scenario, I will be assaulting Lauren and I know her from seeing her around the apartment building that we both live in.
Lauren Taylor: Hey, good how are you doing?
Sarah T: Alright.
Lauren Taylor: Well, you have a lot of stuff there, can I help you carry something?
Sarah T: Oh no really I am okay.
Lauren Taylor: Are you sure?
Sarah T: Yeah, it is okay.
Lauren Taylor: Well, why do not you just let me take something?
Sarah T: No, I am just going to go on up to my apartment, it is alright.
Lauren Taylor: Oh can I come with you? May we can have a drink.
Sarah T: No, no reallyLauren Taylor: Are you sure? Come on, I have always wanted to get to know to you.
Sarah T: I know but& Lauren Taylor: Why are you so stuck up, how can you know what you are going to do? Look you can not even move now.
Sarah T: I just do not like people touching me.
Lauren Taylor: Well, too bad, what are you going to do, I am all on your face?
Sarah T: I said just do not touch me, back up.
Lauren Taylor: I am going to touch you, I am going to touch you.
Sarah T: I am going to consider it an assault. No, no, no. In this scenario we are going to put all the principles of self defense together in the situation involving a survivor of domestic violence and a former partner who she has a restraining order against. In this situation I will be defending as Lauren crosses the legal boundary of a restraining order.
Lauren Taylor: Hey, Sarah.
Sarah T: Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, you need to& Lauren Taylor: I just want to talk to you for a minute.
Sarah T: You cannot be anywhere near me, you need to get just moving.
Lauren Taylor: I just want to talk to you, it is not going to be like that, it is not going to get messy, I am okay, I just want to talk to you for a minute, I need to see& Sarah T: Listen, listen, excuse me, could somebody please call the police?
Lauren Taylor: I need to see the kids, I know I am not& Sarah T: No what you need to do& Lauren Taylor: I know I am not going to see them till next week but really I just need to see them. Just let me talk to them. I am changed; it is really not like you think& Sarah T: No, you need to go.
Lauren Taylor: Look Sarah it is.
Sarah T: It is not even a question& Lauren Taylor: You can not tell me what to do.
Sarah T: No, no, no, no, no, so that is how we put all of the principles of self defense together in situations that escalate from the verbal into the boundary setting and then finally in the physical. As you can see, in each case the defender was aware of her environment, set the boundaries, presented a strong verbal defense and then looked for targets on the assailant and weapons that were available on her and then finally got to safety. In the next segment we will discuss how to make self defense a part of your everyday life.