Training: 7 Things Every Self Defense Class Needs

Once I realized I needed to learn some self defense techniques, I started looking around.  I went to the computer and googled several key words.  I went  to  the Sheriff’s Office on Golden Hill and tried to apply for a gun permit.  I asked around. Most of these efforts were total dead ends.  I found one place that seemed promising…until they told me they didn’t train women.

Oh well, I’ve heard that story all my life.

“Sorry, we don’t hire women.”

“Sorry, we don’t rent to women.”

“Sorry, our school has no women students.”

“Sorry, you can’t join the chess club.  We don’t have any women members.”

“Sorry, the Marines don’t take  women.”

So, here I was…ready to learn to defend myself.  I wanted to learn to win a violent encounter.  What was I going to do?

I began to think about what I needed.  I came up with some criteria.  The list may be helpful for you if you’re in a similar situation.

The first thing is  to CHOOSE SOMETHING THAT’S NOT GOING TO TAKE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE TO LEARN.  If it takes a couple of years to learn a few effective techniques, what happens if a mugger appears or a barroom brawl erupts in the next couple of months?

The second thing  is SOMETHING THAT ISN’T GOING TO TAKE EVERY WEEK TO KEEP YOUR SKILLS UP.    You want something that you’re going to be able to learn and keep your skill level up for the rest of your life.  You want something you can learn the same way you learned to drive a car or walk in heels.      Once you have the skill, you want to have the skill.  Or, that’s how I feel about it, anyway.

The third thing  is TRAINING THAT’S NOT JUST A LOT OF FANCY PEACOCKING OR SHOWBOATING.  I went to a demonstration where the students were mesmerizing.   It was a real life Harry Potter show.   My first question was:  “Am I going to break my best hip learning this”?  My next question was:  “Is this what serial killers and rapists do?”  Somehow, I just wasn’t convinced.

The fourth thing  is TRAINING THAT’S GOING TO WORK FOR EVERYONE.  Let’s face it.  I’m a cotton top.  You may be a lovely 30-something.  In a real life assault, we’re going to both have to do the same thing.  So, try to find a teacher who doesn’t care whether you’re short, tall, fat, thin, go to the gym everyday or never.

The fifth thing is to FIND TRAINING THAT THROWS AWAY THE RULES.  When we train to protect ourselves, we’re not in a competition.  Rule books are just not part of the scenario when someone wants your purse or your life.  Teachers who prepare students for competition scenarios are just not being real, not for what I need anyway.

The sixth thing is to find A TEACHER WHO’S UNAFRAID TO DEAL WITH SITUATIONS INVOLVING MULTIPLE ATTACKERS.   Criminals don’t care if the scene is one-on-one or three-on-one.  In fact, they prefer the three-on-one scene.  After all, they’re out for one thing and one thing only:  to win.


When my life is on the line, I want to be able to deal with the situation.  This is not the movies.  This is not a competition.  It doesn’t matter what my fancy footwork looks like when I successfully stop a mugger or rapist and  come out alive.  I feel that I need to find methods that look like those used on the news – not on TV fiction.

The best teacher/trainer for self defense is not the guy who talks a lot and brags about things he’s done.  The “real deal” is a trainer who is going to be quiet and get you ready to save your own life.   The “real deal” is going to teach me to be comfortable in violent encounters where my life may be threatened.

In other words, he’s going to teach me to drive a car and walk in high heels.

We all need protection, safety, and self defense.

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Thurman Greco

A Sociopath and the Tarot


Back in the ’90s, I learned to “throw the Tarot”.

I met a lovely young woman named Shoshana Hathaway who just happened to be a professional tarot reader.  I convinced her to give some classes and we embarked on a journey.

For over a year, Maria Newberry, Marianne Yatsko, Barbara Kaplan, and I met for our Tuesday morning class at 9:00.  We lived for the adventure this knowledge gave us.

Then, the people Shoshana lived with moved to the Jersey shore and she went with them.  The classes became weekend events in my home.

One of the most important cards in the deck which applies to our subject is the Major Arcana card entitled The Lovers.  In the Universal Waite deck, this card shows a man and a woman standing side by side.  This card signifies that the querent will soon be facing a choice of far reaching circumstances.  This choice will probably be neither easy nor straightforward.  All Tarot cards have a message…more than one actually.

Of the several messages, The Lovers has one which is appropriate here:

If something appears to be too good to be true, it is too good to be true.

Respect this observation.  Get the hell out.This card could very definitely appear in a reading of someone who is becoming (or already is) entangled with a sociopath because sociopaths often appear to be too good to be true.

Sociopaths have many traits.  Throughout this blog, I will outline, classify, describe, and define them in posts over time.  That is not to say that this blog is about sociopaths.  But, it is to say that they loom large in the lives of people who find themselves needing  protection.

Charm is one trait  possessed and used by almost all sociopaths.

If you meet a person (or already know one) that you can describe as charming, it’s time to Get the Hell Out.

Sociopaths use charm to get people to trust them.  They create a mask which is difficult to penetrate as they present a convincing fictional person.  They need this mask so they can be accepted by the victim.

In other words, they turn on the charm to seduce you, the victim.  They do this to gain power, control, money, sex.

Sociopaths are always assessing people and situations to see how they can be manipulated.

Lying is a trait very common to sociopaths.  They create a charming veneer to cover for the fact that they are hustlers, con artists, crooked salesmen, unethical business people, or just plain criminals.

It’s sometimes difficult to identify a sociopath early on.  The important thing is to have your antenna up.  Be sensitive to charm and lies.  It’s better to be suspicious sooner rather than learn later after  you’ve been had by a sociopath who will do whatever he wants whenever he wants if you are none the wiser.

Don’t get caught up in a person’s lies, claims and promises.  If a person lies to you once, s/he is offering suspicious behavior.  If a person lies to you twice, it’s time to cut your losses.  Three strikes and you’re out.  Leaving may be hard, but it’s going to be more difficult with every passing day.

The same goes for broken promises and irresponsible behavior.


give your money, your time, your secrets, or your love to a person who lies and cannot keep a promise.

be caught at the end holding the bag as the sociopath makes off with everything you own.

get trapped at the end submitting to someone you fear.

Thanks for reading this blog post.

I hope you found this helpful.  Please leave your comments below and check out our other posts.

Please refer this article to your preferred social media network.

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We all need protection, safety, and self defense.

Thurman Greco






7 Reasons to Take LaCroix’s Class


Well, I’m 75 years old, I’m 5’3″ tall, and I weigh 150 lbs.  That makes me  the answer to somebody’s criminal dreams if ever an old lady was one.  I’m an ideal slow moving target, that’s for sure.  I need something to level the playing field.

If attacked, my job is to injure the attacker in such a way that he won’t be able to come after me.  I need something to trump superior physical ability, knowledge, experience.

Anything that happens in a confrontation is worthless if I can’t defend myself by causing an injury.

Paul LaCroix teaches a class every Saturday morning at the Fitness Connection which I wish every woman in the country could take.

He patiently teaches me how to injure an attacker using my elbows, feet, fingers.

Let’s define injury here:  An injury affects how the body functions.  An injury means that the person can’t walk because of a broken leg or the attacker can’t hold a gun or knife because his hand is smashed.  The attacker will not get over the situation by himself because his/her injury needs medical attention.

THE ATTACK ENDS WITH AN INJURY.  Paul taught me that the thing I need to do with an attacker is injure the person.  Once I know the attacker is injured, I should injure him again until he can’t get up.

INJURY CREATES AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ME TO GET AWAY.   Things can be very serious.  I may be facing an attacker who is intent upon killing me.  A poke in the eye changes the game completely.  A poke in the eye offers me an opportunity to get away…to escape.

INJURY HAPPENS WHEN FORCE OVERCOMES A VULNERABLE BODY PART.    Pain is not the object here.  Some people have higher thresholds of pain than others.  Whether or not there is pain, the body part will not work.

FANCY TECHNIQUES ARE NOT NECESSARY.  The important thing is the injury, not how the event happens.

ALL INJURIES ARE THE SAME.  The only thing that is important is that I have injured that person.  The attacker may or may not be faster, stronger, than I.  I have not succeeded until he can no longer come after me.

The only thing that is important in a physical conflict is what I do which inflicts injury.  So, every Saturday morning I learn new techniques.  Paul also teaches classes on Tuesday evenings and Thursday evenings at the Fitness Connection.

Join us.

So, why, you ask, am I doing this?  At my age?  I’m doing this in honor of women and men everywhere who have been unjustly assaulted by sociopaths, psychopaths and criminals.

I’m doing this because I’m tired of reading  stories in the newspaper and going tsc. tsc.   I’m arming myself.

“Lady, at your age, rape is your fondest dream” a man recently told me.  He’s probably right about the probability part.  Few people try to rape an old lady.  However, if I arm myself and you arm yourself, and if she arms herself, we’ll have a movement going.

That’s the Woodstock part of the story.  Remember Arlo Guthrie and the song he sang?  “If 1 person does it, you’re crazy…..If 3 people do it, you’re a movement.

So, I’m the crazy old lady looking for people to join me in defending ourselves against rape, assault, abuse, bullying.

Care to join?

Let us all achieve protection, safety, and self defense.

Thank you for reading this blog post.

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Please send a comment.

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Thurman Greco