SonadoraXVX

MTF TG-How do you train for Unarmed Personal Self-Defense when you...

18 posts in this topic

​lost 50% of your physical strength due to HRT. I deliberately stopped doing hard labor, such as hiking with a 50lb backpack up hills and doing arm weight lifting to lose muscle mass and become frailer looking, but in the process, I feel I lost about 50% of my physical strength and muscle mass. My question, is as it pertains to unarmed personal self-defense...
1. Do you adopt more of a female self-defense regimen, due to loss of strength?
2. What would you suggest from personal experience would be the best approach?

1. I'm personally looking into more women's self-defense courses(dvds and downloads), and exercising my best assets in strength, my legs, in the form of running away from the threat.
2. But as it pertains to a ambush or pummelling, I'm looking into Rory Miller's excellent DVD on The Logic of Violence and his book Conflict Communication (ConComm): A New Paradigm in Conflict Communication(Amazon.com) and the Personal Defense Network (personaldefensenetwork.com) women's unarmed self defense download and the Bulletproof Mind download.

All answers welcome....since we know that us as TG people are a targeted minority for bigots

P.S. The reason I mentioned MTF's, is that we lose much more strength on estrogen/progesterone/spirolactone/srs and convert to the weaker sex in the eyes of many bigots and conversative people as opposed to FTM's. I have a background in physical security as a USMC MP and law enforcement and crime analysis, the reason I bring this topic up. I'm pretty sure, we as a collective we can come up with some great responses, to mitigate violence against our community.

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I'm not a self defense expert or anything close to it, Sonadora, so I can't help too much. I am small and have never been strong. I rely largely on situational awareness and personal self defense weapons for self protection, and my belief that I am prepared to use them if and when I have to. It isn't a guarantee of anything, but its better than nothing.

Carolyn Marie

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I am in agreement with Carolyn on this one. Situational awareness hence avoiding possible conflict. This tends to be heightened with women as they grow up being more vulnerable. Back in male mode I read an excellent book years back on dating which had much psychology, one of the facts being that women assess everyone in a room within moments of entering. I don't know how true this is but can believe it. Similarly just watching people it is usually easy to tell if someone is streetwise or not. This is something that can be learned by everyone. Just take notice of what is going on around you and how people are interacting. Think about how they may be thinking. If you see someone get on the wrong side of things think how they may have approached it better.

I think the yearly fire lecture has given me one answer. A fire officer we had always used to say when you go into a room (lecture hall, dance club etc) look for a way out if you are not able to use the door you came in by. ie Be ready for the unexpected.

In my opinion self defense classes would be preferable to online or video learning as it is one thing seeing what you can do but yet another to put into practice in a situation which can develop in seconds. There may not be time to think, it needs to be more instinctive. For most of us it may well be to run but, like in a recent situation at work visiting clients when suddenly confronted by a loose aggressive German Shepherd dog, you need to be confident and decisive (I didn't feel confident at all here but with no chance of escaping I just stood, faced it and shouted 'hey' - it deterred it long enough for the owner to get there - I was scared thinking I was going to get badly bitten).

Tracy

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The first line of defence for women, any women: Cultivate and use your creep meter. Using the conceal carry classes training, situation green, yellow alert and red alert. Smart and beautiful women are seldom situation green alone in public dealing with strange men. They are yellow alert picking their surroundings, ascertaining what common items in arms length can be used as an effective weapon. Don't ignore your creep meter and don't go in ignorant.

Two women can take down a man, stick with your sisters. Females all have more weight and power in their lower bodies, cultivate that too. Read people, befriend woman and ask them about it, they have dealt with this all of their lives. Assume your new role gaining new skill sets.

Never let three men of any age put you in the "Devil's Triangle". With you in the middle one at the back you have almost lost all situational control. Any training you take, use the women's classes because male is gone don't hang on to the past.

Creep meter on ultra sensitivity and be safe. Now go run the boys Kiddo! Giggle. Hug. JodyAnn

PS - Fight dirty your life depends on it!!!

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Well an age old girls tactic is the knee to the groin area - he'll drop to the ground like a sack of spuds. The other is the manicured nail - don't be afraid to use them.

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Perhaps it is because i'm getting older (getting?) as well as loosing muscle mass but i am in the position of simply avoiding situations where i could have a problem to the best of my ability. I have not spent much time learning or working about self defense with the exception of how to avoid situations where it might be necessary. Apart from the grocery store one rarely sees women shopping or moving about alone. One unfortunate part of our and many other societies is that many young males are simply a threat especially when alcohol or drugs are involved.

My wife is getting a service dog which is great because she is in a wheelchair and we look very vulnerable. The dog can legally go anywhere with us as we travel together and may make possible threats think twice.

Our farm looks lovely but the 115 lb guard dog has a fierce bark. His bread has been known to attack and chase grizzly bears when they threaten a flock. Every farm that i know of is also able to eliminate most pests with a serious and abrupt method of lead poisoning if necessary.

I obviously do think of self defense but at this point have no intention to take classes.

Hugs,

Charlize

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Wing Tsun kung fu is a great place to start. It was invented by a woman hundreds of years ago in China. The art also goes by Wing Chun kung fu as well. Personal self defense isn't about strength, it is about knowing how and where to hit, and being well practiced at it.

Erin

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I have lossed a lot of strength, and muscle mass in the past year and as a result since appearing in public as dressed as a female I have begun to realize just how vulnerable i feel out in the world, and when mentioning this to my girlfriends I realize it is just not me as a transitioning male to female but most women in general,My partner who transitioned years ago tells me it just one more thing to learn, that being aware of your surroundings at all times. That being said I have not been in a physical altercation in almost 50 years and don't see at my age how any physical defense training would help.So thanks to a mail carrier friend I now carry in my purse a can of pepper spray and when out at night and going to my car I put the end of my car key between my knuckles just in case I have to poke someone in the face but that is about how physical I could get.

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I'm ex military special ops having served in Vietnam. I have lost a lot of upper body mass...yay!

I have also lost a lot of weight so I don't have a weight advantage against most people, especially males.

My best advice is keep a sharp eye out as said above, avoid eye contact if someone is staring since that is usually a warning sign. Let things slide off of you if at all possible. And my best advice is to exit when it's safe.

If you are forced to defend yourself physically then my choice is Krav Maga. It is a style of defense that the Israeli Mossad use. Their thought is to put the threat away as fast as possible, and there are lots of online techniques that they use.

However, my personal choice is to avoid confrontation altogether. If it's just name calling, and not physical, again, look for a safe exit, and leave! IMHO

Peace, and Love

LesleyAnne

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I was in a law enforcement field for 33 years that did not carry iron, but still was required to do our work in conditions where there was fear and hostility from others. Learn how to thoroughly observe and evaluate situations and environments. Being Trans* is not the only thing that will set off someone against you, so let ordinary non-trans senses and outside indicators be your first line of interest. Just keeping your eye out for fire exits, earthquake (for California types) cover spots, or tornado shelters, and similar general safety concerns will be a first line of preparedness, since in those quick surveys, you will see people without staring at them and be able to get some evaluation. There are "games" out there that can teach you to quickly see, process, and evaluate hazards or benign sights and sounds. I made up some of my own for new employees that I trained. I was only hurt once in my career and that was when I was talking to a group of new employees while we were out on a city street, and a Fire Hydrant valve stem attacked me. NOT a class act.

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I have realized from a knife attack I survived, when in my younger years, "speed is your friend, against surprise" and since adrenaline kicks in during a surprise, you have the momentary advantage of speed to run, faster than you normally would. I was able to dodge and run for way a longer time when that attack happened, I was not injured in that incident, but it taught me, that speed saves, surprise kills. I especially see it in the national geographic movies when wolves attack their prey, or cheetahs stalk and hunt down their prey, they use the element of surprise and speed along with violence of action to take down their prey. Now speed does save the prey from time time as the antelope can dodge and run away at times from the predator, in my case, I was able to dodge and run away, very very fast. I also like to point out that adrenaline can numb you in case of damage done to you, if your cornered, which can work to your advantage as you could then run/move away very fast from the attacker.

I also learned from someone else that:
1. Barriers
2. Time
3. Distance

Are you friends to mitigate violence on you.​

SA or Situational Awarness is your best bet to avoid dangerous areas, as Vicky mentioned above, but when you can't mitigate dangerous elements, Plan B has worked for me so far.

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Ok so I am new here and just beginning my journey towards transition, but I can assure you that strength is only a small part of things. As Sona said, barriers/time/distance is important for trying to avoid conflict, but if you have no choice, there are plenty of options.

I am currently in a line of work that trains me in self-defense, take-down maneuvers less than lethal and lethal weaponry as well. Im going to refrain from telling you to do something specific but rather guide you towards specific things to potentially research. There are numerous martial arts, some of which you train solely for defensive and disabling maneuvers. There are also plenty of pressure points on the human body that can break off someone from attacking.

Other options if you cannot avoid a confrontation would be O.C. or pepper spray but that is not 100% as it is possible to build up an immunity to it if someone has been sprayed frequently. A stun device is also another option as well. In the end, doing what you can to avoid confrontation for all involved is always a good thing.

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I dont know I stopped strength training of any kind when i transitioned too but unfortunately my job (Police) requires a certain level of strength. I weight lift to tone, and push-up to strengthen my upper body. I'm not ripped but I can hold my own in Defensive Tactics classes.

I would say just start a workout regimen thats designed to tone and strengthen with out bulking.

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Well, I guess that I should give some input on this topic since I am kinda an expert in martial arts.  I started martial arts training in 1966, back when the Green Hornet was my favorite TV show, and Kato was my favorite character (played by Bruce Lee, who also did the fighting choreography for the show.  I practiced many styles of martial arts over the decades.

In real life, I survived many personal attacks usually from multiple opponents with weapons (1970-1974).  I also learned a lot later in life when I was an infantry sergeant, and also working as an armed special police officer (1986-1998).

I probable have lost 40 percent of my strength since starting transition over two years ago. Situation awareness is vital for women, use your intuition, if something or some place seems scary, don't go there.   I avoid going out alone at night, I don't go in bad neighborhoods alone, ... etc..  In other words, yeah I act like any other woman.  I don't carry weapons, and I don't plan to defend myself since I don't plan on putting myself in a situation that might lead to me getting attacked.  Women in patriarchal societies are seen as vulnerable, as potential targets.  I see mirrors, so I know what I look like, a tall slim middle aged woman, ie. a potential victim.    That is the most important realization IMHO.  

I have no illusions about my abilities, but I really hate hurting anyone, it really bothers me.  I hope to never have to use my skills again for real.  If you do want to pursue martial arts for self defense, then I do have suggestions: study a complete art, one that will deal with real situations (multiple attackers, possibly with weapons).  Choose a simplified, streamlined art that can be learned easily.  This is very important.  In a crisis, your mind needs to be free from thinking, muscle memory is what is needed.  The difference between a master, and a novice is 5000 repetitions, so practicing a few moves many times is much better than knowing lots of techniques.  

My two favorite martial arts for real combat would be the combination of Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do (as taught nowadays by Teri Tom) and Ninpo Ninjutsu as taught by my Sensei Mike McGee of the Bushikai Bugei dojo in Frederick Maryland.  I have no respect for martial arts where you need to go down on the ground with your opponent, that is a good way to get your head kicked in by the other attackers (remember bad guys travel in groups!).  I hope my input is useful to someone.

Stephanie

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One of the major things I have learned in conflict mitigation, is KNOW THE CULTURE YOUR IN. This cannot be dismissed at all. Different settings, have different acceptability standards, as to what is acceptable, since as in a blue collar conversative Hispanic/African American neighborhood, as compared to the more affluent Caucasian/white collar multicultural settings. For example, Southcentral L.A. and Compton, there culture is different than Santa Monica and West Hollywood, CA.

For example: Santa Monica CA, less trash on the street curb, than in Southcentral L.A.

For example: Southcentral LA, more neighbor acceptability of blocking the driveway with homeowner permission, than in Santa Monica CA, where there is no tolerability for driveway blocking.

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I would agree.

There has been a level of irritation here recently which resulted in a housing association errecting residents only parking signs just because a family who had three cars had to park at least one other than outside their house. I live in a quiet county but have known people get very irritated when someone parks continously outside their house even if it is not creating any other issue.

Petty things can start a war!

That said, it has been my experience visiting people in different cultures with work, that people are people and as long as you are showing them respect (and they realise it) then there are not usually any problems

Tracy

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Yes, like Rory Miller says,

Social violence is started by a violation of, in no particular order:

1. Territory

2. Hierarchy

3. Rules

For asocial violence, you then got your resource predators, like petty thieves, thefts, conmen/women, who are looking to thieve/rob you of your goods. The other predator is the process predator, which his/her main focus is you, for typically rape and/or killing, eg. serial rapist or killer.

You can negotiate with social violence, but with asocial violence, you CANNOT negotiate, since things can go sideways, real fast.

 

He has an excellent DVD titled, "Logic of Violence", which is great.

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The ability to defend oneself isn't always related to strength. Go to any place that teaches women self defense. Find out if you can legally carry OC. I have OC with me where I can get to it in a second...

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