Thursday, April 1, 2010

On the Dark Side--Thinking of Self Defense

Tonight, I met up with three friends for a self-defense intro course with Santa Barbara Women's Self Defense instructor Teri Coffee McDuffie. I've always known Teri was bad ass, but not in a tattoed, Harley Davidson riding sort of way--but in a finely-tuned-instrument-of-precision-and-power way that does nothing but raise her stature as a dignified, empowered woman who's primary goal is to empower as many women as possible by arming them with the skills of self defense, presence and confidence.

I would never joke around about her power, such as "I wouldn't want to piss her off," because that is not where her power lies. She is not flippant, or vengeful. She is about the flow of energy, and being present in your surroundings. She is about giving women the tools to defend themselves in bad situations.

I left the flyer in the car that outlines the four principles. But, in general, the tools are first and foremost, attitude. Walk with intention and awareness. Exude your big energy and most people will leave you alone, based on the basic flow of energy. This is just the opposite of walking with victimhood written in your posture, your stance, your downcast eyes.

Be present and observant in your surroundings.
I think this would be self explanatory, but it takes practice.

Learn self defense.
I plan to sign up for her 4 hour course this summer. The basic moves I learned this evening already make complete sense, but they take practice. I found myself thinking about the moves, rather than feeling them as reflexes in my body. The most common reflexes we have when faced with an assailant are unfortunately, usually the wrong reflexes: screaming, flailing arms, moving backward without intention, deer in the headlights sort of thing. I want that palm to the chin punch to be ingrained in me, like catching a ball--quick, with precision and purpose.

The number one goal is to avoid an attack all together. But, if you are attacked, the goal is to give the attacker pause, if not scare them away completely with your lion roar. Hear me roar! Actually, I hope I never have reason to roar. But if I do, I will roar! not squeak.


Defense is about keeping your senses, getting in a few blows if necessary to ward off, scare off and break contact and then getting the heck out of dodge to a safe place, where there are people, or a business, or a general sense of order.

These are life skills to have, and a one hour intro won't do the trick. Looking forward to getting in touch with my bad ass, hear me roar side very soon.

Thank you Teri Coffee for an awesome intro!

For more about SB Women's Self Defense, you can check out Teri's website at or call 805.252.9099

Guys, I get the impression its just for women, but I could be wrong ;)

Signing off!

Noelle Aguayo

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