Article by Sors Grobbelaar

Good day all. As of recent I have received many inquiries on “self-defense” classes and if we provide them. I must say well done for asking this and looking into the options of learning these skills. A some of you might know, I have been involved as an Combat Sports athlete, instructor/coach and club owner for many years. Let me be the very frank in stating that there is NO QUICK FIX OR SEMINAR to quickly empower you in the skill of self-defense. In order for you to be able to defend yourself and get empowered with these skills and abilities to defend yourself, you need to sustain it on an ongoing basis. You need to enroll and actively train in a form of combat sports such as Boxing, Kickboxing, Muaythai, Karate, Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo and wrestling to name but a few, to hone and develop your newly acquired skill. And even then it will never be a guarantee that you will tower over your attacker, foot on head as if you just shot the big bad monster.

One of the biggest motivating factors for people NOT TO DO one of the above mention combat sport (some more than others) is the fact that it doesn’t suit you. Things like “euww its sweaty” or “I don’t like it when people are in my personal space” or “I don’t like getting hurt” or “girls should do this” or “I don’t like it when I have to train with men/boys”. Guess what, when that person is there holding you down, have you in a choke or submission of some kind, standing over you and kick/punching you or if he has violated you and is busy forcing himself on you with his sweaty body and stinking breath, will it still not suit you and you comfort zone?

What makes this even worse is that there are many perpetrators that actually have skill in combat and handling of weapons. As a professional athlete your train 6 days a week, between 4-6 hours a day for anything between 6-12 weeks in preparation to compete against someone ells. The outcome of those fights someone looses and from time to time get serious injuries. Now what if the circumstances are not in a controlled environment (where there is rules, a referee & judges) but of life and death. When someone is willing to kill you to take your property or have sex with your against your will. Or are there still people that believe you live in a safe community or it will never happen to you…. This year my home was burgled 3 times in 6 weeks. This is in George….IN GEORGE. People invaded our privacy, took our belonging and roamed around in our sanctuary without our permission. They were still in my home when I arrived back from work, TWICE, one of the times where my girls were with me.

Enrolling in combat sport and learning correctly taught realistic OFFENSIVE & DEFENSIVE TECHNIQUES under realistic conditions by competent, accredited and experienced instructors/coaches might just be the difference between you being a victim & part of the gruesome crime statistics in South Africa or a VICTOR in a situation where your skills enabled you to successfully defend yourself and you could walk away from it. It is never a guarantee that any technique will work and in a perfect world under the perfect situations (you know, those ones that gets created for you by the people simulating unrealistic attacks and behavioral patterns that’s taking your money), you might be lucky. Realistically people should kick, hit, submit, choke and smother you in order to experience the discomfort and realistic feel to what would closely, if possible resemble to real situation. Not all forms of combat sport are the same and we will not all like all of them that are available. Make the efforts and find one for yourself that you feel fits you best.

But unfortunately we live in world where we have strict children and obedient parents. We hand out participation prizes and we are just too happy for that. When kids do something like combat sports and they are expected to put in some work, the discipline expected from them is to strict, they received a kick/punch on the belly or the instructor/coach is to serious/strict, the tears come flowing and they move onto the next activity. Mommy and Daddy obviously jump as their angel can’t be wrong and they want to do is cover them in cotton wool. REALITY CHECK…The big bad world out there when we become adults and what our your children are now exposed to, HITS HARD. It wants to hurt you and take everything from you. It’s about survival and how hard you are willing to work. It’s about earning your place and winning it from the guy/girl that wants its just as much, if not more from you. Parents, the biggest gift you can give your children in the times we live in today is a platform for them to empower themselves and learn how to defend themselves. Over and above that it contributes to their discipline, health, concentration, social cohesion and they might even possibly be the next world champions should they choose to be competitive. This is the one investment you will make that can be the difference between life and death.

In addition to enrolling in a combat sport, be responsible and adapt to situational awareness:
Don’t walk around alone, Male or Female.
Don’t walk and text.
Stay in public places
Refrain from sharing personal sexual content with other people.
Observe around you when you are in your vehicle and you stop at traffic intersections.
When you done shopping or whatever and you get in your car, lock your doors immediately and drive off.
Don’t pick up strangers, as hard as it might be.
If somebody gabs your stuff, let it go. At that point in time that is what they want, not you.
Always inform people close to you where you are going and notify them once you are there.
Don’t ever get into a vehicle or a room with people you don’t know. If you are forced in, put up a LOUD FIGHT
Most importantly, if it feels wrong and uncomfortable, trust your gut and get away from it.

As part of my efforts to help with my plea to each and every person to start training any form of combat sports available in George, training for people interested in starting at our gym, Scorpions Martial Arts Academy, will be free of charge for the month of September. Please feel free to contact me should you be interested in making use of this offer or to enquire what other combat sport academies/gyms/dojos there are in George. I am blessed to have a full time career that I love and work hard at, so believe me I am not involved or teach students with money as my motivation. It is my duty to share my knowledge and experience with my community and it is a privilege to do so and like me, there are several other instructors/couches that share the same sentiment. Therefore I humbly request (not challenge) other gym/dojo owners to open up their doors to their respective communities they serve and help empower our fellow South Africans in this fight that are all of our responsibilities.

Stand up to crime and prepare yourself. Look out for each other and lets be each other’s keeper. Good luck and please be safe.

Free training/tuition for our respective communities for the month of September is something I feel many of us can offer as some sort of a attempt to unite against violence as the combat sports community.

If you are willing, as as a gym/club owner, please send me a direct message so we can inform the South Africa public where they can go to receive help. It will only require your time and knowledge that will make a huge difference to so many people.

Please send me your gym name, location and contact details so a consolidated directory can be shared.

Please feel free to share with your network so we can post it by Monday 9 September.

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