Self Defense sessions at SWIFT

Xavier Duval was recently offered to give two Self Defense sessions to SWIFT staff in Hong Kong. One session in each of their offices.

If self defense is not our main focus here at the Seishin Tanren dojo but it is always interesting to come back to it punctually, in order to take a different look at our training, in a modern context with all that personal defense implies outside of the technical approach of things.

Both sessions started with a theoretical approach of self defense, and in particular with the crime triangle and Cooper’s color codes of awareness. The crime triangle emphasizes the need for three elements to co-exist for an assault to happen: an aggressor, a victim and an opportunity. Remove one and the assault won’t happen. As a consequence if no one can avoid the presence of an aggressor, it is easy to avoid being a single woman walking in NYC’s central park at 2 am, as you can avoid being perceived as a victim by the way you stand, walk and by the level of awareness you are in. Levels of awareness were obviously an important point, in a city like Hong Kong were crime is so low that no one takes care of their direct environment.


After the theoretical part where attendees learnt to avoid a confrontation by not creating the conditions of it, focus was on the next step: disengaging. Cool down the situation, adopting a posture that encourages a deescalation (and that will bring the witnesses on your side if needed) but that can act as a guard, remaining polite, or encouraging witnesses to intervene. Distance, Te Hodoki and attitude were the key elements of that part.

Last but not least the sessions moved to the self defense techniques part, that you use when everything else failed. Easy techniques on a variety of attacks such as wrists grabs, lapel grab or chokes, the same concepts being replicated from one defense to the other for better assimilation.