SELF DEFENSE

Seminars



If you're looking for a Self Defense class in Miami, you've come to the right place! Most people consider Martial Arts Classes and Self Defense Classes as one in the same. Martial Arts and Self Defense are actually two different topics. Related, granted - but in the end completely different. One issue that often gets overlooked is the refinement and pinpointing of our goals. People get swept up in a sales pitch about the effectiveness of one style of martial arts or the other in something like a "bar fight." They forget that, in the end, their goal is not to beat someone up, "submit" someone, or win a match - but to escape in order to go home, get up the next morning and live another day. Bar fighting we do not condone, much less teach. And if one's goal is to become a great competitor, choose your martial art and TRAIN! But if your goal is only to survive the attack of a violent criminal, then one must focus on the goal of escape and avoid devolving into "fighting."

This brings to mind another common lack of clarity in the subject of self defense. Fighting, sparring and self defense are three completely different issues. The way we at South Miami Martial Arts define a "fight" is a physical conflict to settle something that could not - or would not - be settled verbally. To us, sparring is a contest in which there is no conflict. Both partners in the match have to goal of helping one another improve their martial arts skills. Then Self Defense is simply the topic of surviving a life or health threatening situation with as little damage as possible. The goal of a fight is to WIN! The goal of sparring is to TRAIN. The goal of self defense is to SURVIVE. Most times, survival means AVOIDING a fight if at all possible. Then if one is forced to fight, it should not be a "put 'em up and duke it out" kind of scenario, but rather an explosive, devastating attack / response, the goal of which is not "victory," as such, but to delay, distract or incapacitate an attacker, providing us the opportunity to ESCAPE. No style of martial arts is best for this, and don't let a slick sales pitch convince you otherwise. Rather, a few techniques from a number of styles - and then a few "dirty tricks" that are beneath the dignity of ANY style - is what we believe to be the best recipe.

Given these and other issues, a self defense seminar must be planned carefully. Most Miami Self Defense Classes are assembly line, boiler plate kind of affairs. "One Size Fits All." This is no good - at least to me. Of course, certain topics will be common to any group. However, depending on the age, size, strength, gender and ultimate goal of the attendees, various topics will be addressed, emphasized or omitted all together. For example, if a group of law enforcement personnel planned a seminar, we'd likely want to include how to contain an attacker with as little damage to them as possible. Containment of a "bad buy" is part of their duty, and thus must be addressed. On the other hand, for a group of soccer moms, containment of an attacker would be the LAST thing they want to do! And a 230 pound, athletically inclined man would have different tools available to him than a 12 year old boy - and thus we'd want to focus on different techniques depending on a number of different characteristics. Granted, it is entirely possible - if not more difficult - to hold a seminar for a mixed group of attendees. Whatever the case, it helps the efficiency and streamlining of the seminar if we know in advance who all, exactly, we'll be working with.

  • What we cover: Violent Criminal Behavior, Conflict Avoidance, de-escalation, various environmental scenarios like vehicle, home, bed, shower, public places, remote locations etc, techniques for escape and attack, weapon avoidance, weapon disarms, weapon retention - and the most important subject: addressing any and all individual issues and experiences. One area we always delve into is combat psychology. One unusual tool we use for this is board breaking! The goal with that exercise is not the breaking of the board, of course. Rather, it's to experience the process of overcoming a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. It requires very little strength - but a lot of confidence, commitment, courage and technique. Over 30 years of watching this process has demonstrated its effectiveness. Once you've experienced slamming a body part through something harder and stronger than you are, it completely alters one's perspective as to just what, exactly, they're capable of.

  • When: Usually Saturday afternoons, but we can arrange most any time.

  • Where: By far, the best place to hold the seminar is our fully equipped facility. We have pads, bags, targets, training weapons, mats, mirrors, timers and just about anything else you could think of. It is entirely possible to hold a "remote" seminar just about anywhere. But that's going to mean hauling tons of gear as well as travel time and expenses. Limited equipment / setup and higher price tag... Possible but most definitely NOT recommended.

  • Where: By far, the best place to hold the seminar is our fully equipped facility. We have pads, bags, targets, training weapons, mats, mirrors, timers and just about anything else you could think of. It is entirely possible to hold a "remote" seminar just about anywhere. But that's going to mean hauling tons of gear as well as travel time and expenses. Limited equipment / setup and higher price tag... Possible but most definitely NOT recommended.

  • Who Can Participate: We can accommodate just about any arrangement, from women's self defense groups to law enforcement personnel to a seminar for elementary school aged children. While a good combination of men and women gives us more training options, we do NOT recommend mixing those under and over the age of about 14. Again however, we can accommodate any combination of attendees.


  • Duration: Self Defense Seminars usually run anywhere from one to two hours. I would plan on at LEAST an hour, and likely over two hours. The bottom line is, once we're set up and running, it's all the same to us. This is what we do and we LOVE IT! Trust me, you'll be begging to go home and rest long before we're even warmed up!

  • What to Bring: This is an investment, and you'll want to make the most of it! We highly recommend setting up a video camera in order to capture everything! Skill requires practice. One day's training is insufficient to render one's self a "deadly weapon." Thus, it would be prudent to pull out the video often in order to watch, review and even train by it. It may also be a great idea to bring notepads and writing utensils.

  • What to Wear: For the main portion of the seminar, you'll want to wear something loose fitting in which you can move freely. However, if people can bring normal street clothes and shoes, we can experience how it feels to execute techniques in various clothing and footwear - from dresses to slacks to jeans to shorts... from sandals to running shoes to high heels to dress shoes. Trust me, it's completely different.

  • Cost: $20 per person, with a $200 minimum. It is perfectly acceptable for one person to pay $200 for a private session. Or 5 people to pay $40 each, etc. However, for best results, you'll want as big a variety of people as possible. This because escape techniques work and feel completely different depending on size and strength. We recommend at least 10 attendees. If you 10 or more, each person of course pays only the $20 fee, so there is that. However, we don't recommend more than about 40. Here again, this is entirely up to you. We have a huge facility and countless instructors around here and can accommodate virtually any size group.

  • IMPORTANT BONUS!: As stated above, expertise requires PRACTICE! And so for every attendee of your seminar, we extend ONE FULL MONTH of regular classes here at the dojo, completely free of charge. This will give everyone ample time to refine technique and get a head start on their continued practice - besides offering an opportunity to experience the psychological and spiritual rewards of regular martial arts training and practice. Finally, anyone who decides to make the plunge and join our school after the free month that comes with the seminar, we will offer over 50% off our dojo tuition. Regular tuition is $149 per month. For any and all seminar attendees, we will offer a tuition rate of only $70 per month - and that's FOR LIFE! This is just an option, definitely not required of anyone, but is a great deal for anyone whose interest in martial arts gets sparked by the seminar.


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