Saturday, 8 January 2022

The Nutcracker – the beauty and pain of ballet 🩰

When discussing the alarming negligence in wearing protection in many men’s sports, one commenter made a very harsh comment I should not stick my nose in men’s business but rather do something more feminine, for instance ballet. This comment just got me. Actually, I did take ballet classes when I was a teenager. Well not for long, I soon realized that neither do I possess enough talent nor the necessary endurance to continue.

Ballet means both beauty and pain

Ballet is not for weaklings. Any aspiring ballerina or danseur learns from the beginning one of the basic rules of ballet—pain means gain. Forgoing bodily comfort and embracing pain as a part of the training is essential to achieve the desired goal, in this case a flawless performance. In the comments we already touched upon the so-called ‘sympathy pain’ men feel when seeing other men being hit in the testicles. Honestly, I feel something similar when watching the party scene from the movie Titanic when Rose (played by great Kate Winslet) got en pointe just in her pantyhose.

I got a backlash from some of the commenters when I wrote that Peter and Bob offered their bodies, often without any protection to us girls for achieving realism in our self defense training and some argued that the pain they inevitably experienced (including the testicular pain) was not justified. Here I ask the question why an artistic performance is worth the pain more than the ability of young women to defend themselves in a life-threating situation.

I quitted ballet soon after I started, but my dear friend Amalie continued in her endeavor to become a professional ballerina. She studied an academy of performing arts and now has a contract in a ballet company. When we meet from time to time for a chat, she tells me a plenty of interesting stories, so I got a quite some insight from the professional ballet world. I wanted to see her in The Nutcracker so badly just before Christmas, but it was cancelled due to another covid wave. It is so sad how this pandemic took a toll on some professions.

Dance belt prevents testicular
injuries and hides the genitals

But to the point of this post. If you haven’t noticed yet, male ballet dancers do protect their testicles. Not only from the injury but also from the sight of spectators. They wear a special garment called the dance belt. In a way it is similar to the jock strap I already talked about before, but in a form of a thong. It has multiple functions both protective and aesthetic. When wore correctly, it lifts the male genitals up and onto the body and holds the testicles in the front and the penis pointed upwards.

Amalie explained me it is not a very comfortable piece to wear. Her dancing partner and her boyfriend is always relieved when he can take it off. Although not very convenient, without it any routine would be difficult or maybe not possible at all. Why to keep the male organs in such an awkward position? Well surprisingly the worse enemy for a danseur’s testicles is his limbs. Hanging loose, the testes would be frequently crushed between the thighs. And a danseur should fully focus on the dance not on his aching balls.

When Tom learned that I attended the ballet classes in the past, he started to brag in front of his friends he dates a ballerina. This is of course bullshit; I hardly remember the basic positions. Last time he demanded I show him some steps. I promised to do so only if he tries to do a changement completely naked for me in return. Well, not that easy move for a beginner but even more difficult with a swinging tender scrotum between the legs 😊.  As I expected, he ended up upset on our sofa ‘manspread’, giving his baby makers a bit of rest, and angrily commented What a stupid activity, this should be done by women only. I just laughed, patted him on his head and told him My dear Tom, I told you, pain means gain, and not only the pain here.  I pointed with my index on my toes.

Frequent compression of testicles between thighs might be quite uncomfortable, however, some of the most dangerous situations for the testicles happen during pas de deux, the dancing in pairs. For instance, when a ballerina does a pirouette and her knee spins around in a great speed very closely to the danseur bulged-out testicles. Look at the GIF how the danseur is focused when performing this routine. At this point a sudden loss of balance or misestimation of the distance can result in a horrible injury.

Another risky move are lifts. In this case a ballerina’s leg travels up and down inconveniently close to the man’s most sensitive parts. Any momentary hesitation or loosing the firm hold and her leg instead off the ground meets the danseur’s bulge. In the GIF below you can see such an accident. Luckily, this time the ballerina’s foot missed the partners groin by just a couple of centimeters. 

Amalie told me in her ballet company they have a nickname for such an accident, they called it the nutcracker 😊. So now you know The Nutcracker is not only the famous ballet piece I miss so badly because of the pandemics. Amalie also mentioned that these mishaps rarely happen during the actual performances but are quite common when rehearsing. The more inexperience the dancers are, the higher likelihood and frequency of such fails.

She admitted that once she accidentally kicked her ballet master in the groin when she was practicing the grand battement at barre. It is a move involving quick swings of the straight leg forward, sidewise and backwards. Unknowingly she is about to practice this move, he approached her to ask something when she suddenly thrusted her leg backwards and in her words My heel just lifted him up off the ground by his balls. It was so funny as he was trying to keep composure and pretending like nothing serious happened, but it was obvious he was in great pain. I felt so sorry for him; he lost all his previous cockiness but luckily no ball. He avoided to talk to me for days.  

She noted that some of these ‘accidents’ are not accidents at all, there is a lot of rivalry and competition between the dancers. Dirty tricks are often used to freeze out adversaries to gain opportunities etc. Outside the theatre stage, ballet is not such magical and glamorous world as many people believe. 

Some ballet steps resemble
self defense moves 
Amalie was very interested in the Linda’s self defense course. As all ballerinas she is beautiful with a perfect body, so she receives a lot of unwanted attention. She was thinking some of the techniques are similar to the ballet steps and it would not be difficult to learn them at all. She also added, Well, I don’t need to be taught about the sensitivity of the testicles this I know already. We started to laugh so loudly that the all the café guests’ eyes were on us.

Back to the topic of this post. It is important to note that the question of wearing a dance belt is not solely the danseur choice, it follows the visual preferences of the audience and enables to wear tights. The light padding smoothens the outline of the male organs, so they become less noticeable. Also, ballet involves vigorous movements and flopping and bouncing balls and penis would be quite distracting and embarrassing. It can even hide (at least to some extent :) any spontaneous boner. This also happens believe me, Amalie told me quite some hilarious stories. 

In conclusion, do I have the right to speak about the necessity of protective cups during sports? Yes, I think so. Do I support wearing a protection of male genitals during any sport or artistic performances? Yes, I do and not only for safeguarding the most sensitive and precious male parts.  

Saturday, 11 December 2021

Zap those balls! ⚡

During the last lockdown we watched with Tom a lot of movies. The selection was quite diverse, Tom likes thrillers and action movies, I rather prefer movies to be romantic or artsy, so we had to alternate styles to satisfy both of us. It somehow happened we stumbled across a movie called ‘Eight legged freaks’ about inhabitants of a small Arizona town terrorized by giant mutated spiders. Rather a B-movie sure, but I admit it was actually a quite entertaining slack, not to mention seeing young Scarlett Johansson before she became famous. In one scene Ashley (played by Johansson) and her boyfriend Bret (played by Matt Czuchry) ended up in a pickup truck in the middle of the Arizona desert. For the horny guy it was apparently a right moment to try to push their relationship to a more intimate sphere. However, Ashley wanted to keep her virginity for a little bit longer and maybe did not see that dirty truck in the dusty desert as a very romantic setting. When the overzealous boy disrespected Ashley’s NO, she took a stun gun from her handbag and zapped his balls. This made a full stop to his unwanted advances. If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t worry I won’t make any more spoilers here.

There is always a risk in disrespecting a girl's NO

Tom and I had completely different reactions to this scene; Tom commented A hysterical bitch. I opposed his opinion No Tom, the boy just got what he deserved. Next time he will be more attentive to the wishes of his girlfriend.  Tom just shook his head in disagreement but then rather focused on the following action.

These movie scenes are not always a non-realistic fiction and sometimes do provide quite good ideas on different scenarios in female self defense, often not covered by conventional courses. Self defense tools for women’s protection is a broad and interesting topic, and as other aspects of female self defense, are shrouded in many controversies and dangerous misconceptions. You can hear or read a wide range of opinions from The best thing you can do is to buy a pepper spray, you’ll be safe to These stupid gadgets are just to make money and do not work. We already talked about the pepper spray and the penis as a neglected but highly sensitive target for capsaicin. Today I will discuss the stun gun also called the electroshock weapon.

As I mentioned before, Linda has never been a huge proponent of self defense tools but at the same time she has never disregarded them. She worried they might create a false sense of security and rather emphasized the idea that a girl should always learn the hand-to-hand techniques first and then to complement these skills with a protective tool. We had a couple of sessions where she described the proper usage of some of the common ones: pepper sprays, stun guns, keychains but also protective jewelry. Attacks usually come as a surprise and the tool might be just lying in your handbag or purse when needed. For this reason, when you appear in a risky situation, for instance being in a secluded area, you should firmly hold it in your hand to have it ready for the right moment. Often overlooked and rarely discussed is the applicability of these tools for last resort self defense. Even if a tool got forgotten and left unused initially, it might come in handy at the later stage of the attack. Linda covered this aspect in great depth during one of our training sessions. She brought three different types of stun guns. One was really big and scary looking; the second one was just a right size for a small woman’s hand. But our attention really grabbed the third one which looked like a pink lipstick.

Would you guess the pink lipstick
is actually a small stun gun?
“I would definitely buy this one as it looks super inconspicuous exclaimed Laura and immediately told us a story. Once one of her friends was talking to a bunch of guys, one of them was her secret crush. She accidentally dropped her handbag, and besides all that common girly stuff – makeups and brushes etc., a pack of condoms, a huge pepper spray and a stun gun fell out. The boy she liked joked It seems you have prepared a whole arsenal against us. She told me it was quite an embarrassing moment; she was blushing like hell, but saved the situation by saying Sometimes I simply have to stimulate guys with these.

We were all laughing. Linda commented Yes, professional models, like this black one, are used by police and are much powerful generating several millions of volts. But the lipstick-looking one, when used properly, can be effective as well, especially if used on the most sensitive areas of the attacker’s body. Their discreet appearance and small size are a plus. I do understand a woman feels much more comfortable carrying such a cute gadget rather than a huge weaponry”. She then explained us The principle of the stun gun is to generate a high voltage which creates an electric arc between two electrodes. The discharge causes the muscles to spasm and a lot of pain. It is a non-lethal weapon, but it leaves two burn marks which also tag the attacker. You should always aim at the most vulnerable areas such as the neck, the armpit or the genitals. The highest effect can be achieved if these points are exposed, but it works through clothing as well. 

She then surprised us and took out a piezoelectric gas lighter from her backpack Who wants to try out how does it feel to get zapped? Linda asked the audience. Ana, as always, boldly volunteered. As instructed by Linda, she put her finger in the nozzle of the lighter. Linda then pressed the trigger and Ana immediately shook her hand and screamed in pain It f.cking hurts!

You see, and this is not even 1000 volts. Now imagine what several million volts can do. Any other volunteers? No surprise, there were none.

Linda then announced the next activity OK girls, now let me demonstrate the usage of this stun gun in some common attack scenarios. She put the middle-sized stun gun in her rocker style black handbag, hung it over the shoulder, and called out Bob and Peter to play out bad guys. For the first scenario, she asked Peter to grab her in a front bear hug. I think both boys loved, but at the same were dead afraid of these very close contacts with Linda. Some hesitation was always apparent.

Linda, in Peter's tight hold, then explained step by step what she was doing “As you can see my movement is restricted by his hands, but I am still able to sneakily put my hand in the handbag to grab my weapon. The most available area in this case is his genitals. It is the target closest to your hand and out of his sight. As soon as she was holding the gun in her hand, she quickly pressed the electrodes into Peter’s prominent bulge. Suddenly a harrowing cracking sound came out! We all got shocked, but you should have seen Peter’s face as he almost jumped out of his skin.

The silence was broken by Laura whispering in awe Did she just zap his balls?.  

Linda was just smiling and hugged her ‘attacker’. Sorry Peter, that was just a sound effect, I defuncted the arc generator. Despite that affectionate hug, Peter looked at her in anger, but as usual this was his only protest.

Proper use of a stun on exposed testicles.
After a couple of demonstrations of other types of attacks, she moved on to discuss the instances when a stun gun can be used as a last resort self defense tool. As an example, she used the case of forced oral sex. “As always, the key is to deceive him. You can for instance tell him you want to use a condom you have in your purse. This creates a window of opportunity to secretly get hold of your weapon. It is important to never telegraph your intentions, try to keep it out of his sight as much as possible. His naked testicles are an excellent target for the electrocution. The best effect can be accomplished if the electrodes are positioned one at each testicle, so the discharge arc goes all across his genitals. Additionally, if the contact is made at the back of the scrotum, it makes it more difficult for him to budge or to pry it off him. You can even push him to your weapon with the other hand. Once he is stunned, use the opportunity to deliver additional debilitating blows. Do not hesitate to make his balls ache even more. Alternatively, if he has an erection, you might consider directing the electrodes to the exposed head of his penis. Greatly effective in eliminating any dirty sexual desires as well.”

She then turned to the cringing boys, raised her mighty device and triggered that horrible sound effect again Bob, now it is your turn to help me with the practical demonstration…

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Interview with Linda (part 2)

In the first part we already learned about Linda’s occupation, how she got into self defense and about her interesting research. In this instalment we will discuss male volunteers, how she found Bob and Peter and get them involved. I also hope she will satisfactorily rebut some of the concerns about their treatment during the course.

Linda maybe we can now talk about the course you lead. How long have you been teaching the course?

This year it is already the fifth season.

You mentioned that you received some backlash from the management. What happened?

The new dean gave the Linda's course a green light
When I was setting up the course, I knew that my style of the teaching will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but to be honest I was not expecting such a resistance. Apparently, there have been some anonymous reports—I don’t know from who—to the departmental management that I promote violence and I ‘misuse’ the male volunteers. I was told that I must ‘readjust the curriculum to follow the university moral codex and protect the dignity of all participants immediately.’ 

However, the atmosphere changed with the election of our new dean. One of her goals is to cope with epidemics of sexual misconduct and to increase safety on campuses. I had a brief meeting with her, and she told me she alone was a victim during her studies. She supported me in everything I do, and said to me, I do not care if it is offensive or what your methods are, if it works, teach it! Linda, I need you to teach those girls proper self defense. If I had more time I would love to join and learn how to properly kick balls. The allocated budget is also quite generous so I could buy some new equipment and give some small cash to Bob and Peter, so they have another reason to stay. It would be a pity to lose them.

I remember all the rumors about your unconventional approach. Some of us girls were afraid to participate, one of my classmates called me crazy because I did. Do you know you even got a nickname?

Not really, what is it?

‘Cruelinda’

(We both laughed). Well, I do not force anybody. Those not afraid to join my course—usually 5 to 8 students—are very committed and motivated and even thou maybe having some initial doubts and qualms, they soon realize why I do things the way I do. My mission is to teach self defense to young women properly, not to be politically correct.

Let’s talk a little bit about our two ‘darling attackers’, Bob and Peter. Have you had any volunteers before?

Yes, the course volunteers are usually the same I use for my research. Because Mike and Felix decided to leave due to that accident, I had to find new ones. I was very lucky I got Bob and Peter.

So how did you find them?

Linda recruits male volunteers 
among university students
They are our master students at the department. I was looking for the replacement of the two lost volunteers to be able to continue with my research and the course. At first, I thought I will make an advertising poster and stick it in a hallway, but one of my colleagues came to me that she already has two good candidates. She told me both were too focused on their training and forgot to take some theoretical courses and now they are missing some ECTS credits and whether participation in the experiments and the course can earn them some. So, I invited them to an interview to my office.

How did the interview go? How did you convince them?

Both were quite shy from the beginning. I think I explained them in all honesty what the goals and methods of my research are and what the course is about. I stressed that the training is very realistic, as will be their role as model attackers. I told them that I am looking for someone comfortable to get naked in front of the girls and not being afraid of direct physical contact. This also means they should expect some trashing and pain, including the testicular pain. This cannot be completely avoided when teaching female self defense. I told them this is just a small price to pay if they are dedicated to make their female fellows safe. I promised them that I will arrange those ECTS points and such a volunteering activity will look good on their CVs.

How did they react?

They gazed at me in surprise first, then at themselves, but finally nodded in agreement. I guess they really needed those ECTS points. But then I said All right, show me your true commitment and drop your pants! You should have seen they surprised faces. Peter asked, You mean like right now? I insisted, Yes, I am serious, I need to see your genitals.Reluctantly, with a blushing face, but they did. This wasn’t just to test their true commitment—they passed—I also wanted to see if they are suitable for the purpose of the particular research objectives and to be able to demonstrate variability in one of the most important targets. As you could also notice, they have a bit different testicles and penises.

Are you satisfied with them?

So far yes. I was glad we are going to have assistants in the same age group as the female participants. Statistics are clear, most university-aged women will be attacked by an attacker of their age, often classmates or dates. It does not only add to the realism of the training, but it also helps in bonding. Surely it can get quite intimate sometimes. Their athletic body type and stamina is also a plus. One of my philosophies is that girls should always go through that important empowering step of taking down a man regardless of their height, size or muscle mass. I always ensure this experience happens for every girl during the course.

How would you react to those accusations that you did not treat them well?

Linda arranged sperm count for
Bob and Peter to rebut any concerns 
Those boys are not from sugar. Both do sports on a semi-professional level. This means they must obey an authority and submit to a strict discipline. They train and workout daily, so they are used not to be treated with kids gloves. Last but not least, they were informed and agreed to help with the class with all it takes. Importantly, they also signed a waiver. When there was a problem I or Susanne took a good care of them. By the way she would be a perfect andrologist as well. She could be very empathetic with guys and also gentle with her hands. I admit that occasionally they left the dojo limping, with some bruises and they might have had to skip sex from time to time, but I am sure they have not sustained any permanent injury. However, once they earned those ECTS points to keep them for the next round I remunerate them with some pocket money. So technically they are not volunteering anymore. 

There has been a heated discussion in the comments, whether they got ‘harmed’ or not.

I always try to find a good balance between the realism and effectiveness of the training and the risk of permanent injury of our dear assistants. You can confirm that in some instances, when a serious injury would be imminent, I insisted they wore a cup and a head protector. However, full force, ‘no punches pulled’ sparing is an integral part of my teaching and accidents cannot be completely avoided. So yes, from time to time we had to deal with bruises, black eyes, limps, and a swollen scrotum. Luckily, neither of those have required any medical assistance.

Nevertheless, some of you, especially Laura and Susanne were concerned about long-term effect on their reproductive health. To comfort them, I arranged a sperm count check at a fertility clinic where one of my friends works as a clinician. I also saw some anti-doping screening results so I can reassure everybody that their sperm count and the level of testosterone is perfectly normal for boys of their age. Their role was to play attackers so one can expect they got beaten and be harmed in the same way as one can expect they fall from a bike from time to time getting some nasty bruises. I am pretty sure if they did MMA they would be at higher risk of serious injury. 

Doing any kind of sport puts a male at
risk of testicular injury
This is what I would say to all my critics. If you have serious concerns about men’s ‘testicular health and safety’, advocate for mandatory cups not only in MMA fights but also in other sports such as soccer. Occasionally we do a mixed match between our female and the male soccer team, and I could never understand that strange carelessness when it comes to wearing cups. It is so tiring to deal all the time with a male player writhing on the playground in horrible pain. And it is also so heart-wrenching to see those young men anxiously protecting their genitals when making a wall during the free kicks. So who is a sadist here me or the coaches of the male team?

To be continued...

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Does size matter? 🍒

Testosterone and sperm are the
two great products of testicles.
No, this post won’t be about the importance of the penis proportions. There is already a lot of articles out there about this topic, and of course I have my own opinion on the subject 😊. But today I will talk about the size of the two tender thingies dangling behind the man’s pride. The testes are male reproductive glandsextremely productive little factories producing both male hormones androgens and sperm. In one of my earlier posts, I already mentioned that their size and shape do vary significantly among men, the average size is app. 4 cm (1.6 inch) in length and 3 cm (1.2 inch) in width.

What is the significance of the testicular size for female self defense? The first thing to mention relates to the varying levels of testosterone. For years it has been a controversial theory, but several recent studies finally confirmed that testes with increased volume do make more testosterone. This also implies, the more ‘testicularly endowed’ a man is, the higher likelihood of him becoming a dangerous aggressor.

Not all testicles are high up on the scale. 
Ironically, large balls also represent a larger target for numerous techniques of female self defense. For instance, during kicking and kneeing the risk of balls escaping the impact is lower and the chance of hitting them 'dead on' significantly increases. However, a woman with small hands might have some difficulties to effectively grab such a sizable scrotum. In this case the best option is to focus the attack on just one testicle and possibly to apply the divide and conquer principle mentioned before. On the other hand, when the testicles are small, they tend to slip out of the grip more easily.

Throughout the course, Linda made a really great effort to cover all the possible variables in detail. During one training session we looked into the importance of testicular size both theoretically and practically. As I mentioned before, she often used various analogues of testicles in her teaching. That evening she brought a couple of different types of fruits. Some were from her garden, some especially those tropical ones, she had to buy in a supermarket. She laid in front of us pairs of gooseberries, cherries, strawberries, plums, figs, kiwis and small avocados and gave us some perspective first.

Representation of testicles by fruits has deep historical and linguistic roots. For instance, the word avocado comes from the old Aztecan ahuakatl, which also meant testicle. And as you probably know ‘plums’ and ‘nuts’ are also used as colloquial expressions for testicles in English. She explained us that the fruits she brought depict the wide range of testicular sizes of men. The average testicles more closely resemble plums, but it is not uncommon that they reach the size of small avocados. Then she also mentioned that given the positive correlation between the testicular volume and testosterone production, it is quite likely that a woman would encounter an attacker with overgrown glands.

 Range of testicular sizes represented by various fruits.

After this intro Linda initiated a group work. Girls divide into two groups and discuss and specify which of these fruits resemble Bob’s and Peter’s testicles the most.

Linda, you mean just size-wise or also how hairy and wrinkly they are?Ana asked  humorously.  We all immediately burst in laughter.

Linda was smiling as well. This time focus on their size, but of course you can comment on other aspects as well.

We already got quite familiar with both of our ‘darling attackers’ young balls, yet we have not reached a unanimous opinion on the task. After a couple of minutes-long, very heated discussion the leaders of the groups were about to announce the outcome.

Ana started on behalf of her group. We finally agreed that Bob’s testicles resemble smaller kiwis by both size and hairiness, Peter’s figs by their size, but avocados how bumpy the skin is.

Thank you Ana, and what about you? Linda inquired the other group. Laura responded, as always quite shyly. Well, we actually had quite some disagreement in our group, but the final outcome is that both do not have testicles larger than these plums. She used her index finger to point on the two plums lying on the mat. However, some of us believe that maybe those of Bob reach the size of these figs. She then moved her finger over the figs.

Well, I see there is indeed quite some disagreement. Linda commented these results, OK, lets have a look who got it right. She called the two boys to leave their smartphones and to join the girls’ discussion forum.

Once they stood in front of us, she asked them directly, “Boys, will you show us your balls?

Linda used the fruits like a
regular orchidometer
They already lost their shyness and got used to Linda’s ‘weird’ requests and without much hesitation they pulled down their shorts and proudly exposed their genitals. Linda then gently scooped up each scrotum with her hand, removed the penis to the side with her thumb and by putting the suggested fruits next to them she was able to make a precise comparison. Exactly like a doctor would use an orchidometer. This measurement proved that neither of the two groups made a correct estimation. Bob’s testicles were more like plums and those of Peter were as big as strawberries. 

“You little bit overestimated their family jewels. However, both are perfectly in norm and as you can see they produce enough of testosterone to make them good sportsmen with nice muscular bodies.” She gently caressed their six-packs to signify her statemen.

Thank you boys for this kind demonstration! She looked at them with satisfaction and helped them to pull up their shorts and at the same time she patted both affectionately on their buttocks. “OK, now go back to your smartphones, I will call you once again for the practical session once I finish the theoretical part with the girls…”

Friday, 22 October 2021

Interview with Linda (part 1)

When I started this blog some of you were outraged by Linda’s unconventional approach in teaching self defense to female university students. To me the course was an eye-opener, I really learned a lot and I consider Linda one of my role models. She is a smart, top fit lady in her mid-30s, and she really knows her stuff. I have been planning an interview with her for a long time, but due to covid restrictions it had to be postponed. Luckily, I have been in contact with her lately. I told her about my blog and that some aspects of the course stirred controversy, and it would be very helpful if she would address those issues and explain her standpoint. I was so glad she agreed to an interview, and she invited me to her office at the university where we could have a friendly chat. I also met there her PhD student Tina. We even went through some of the comments, and we had a very interesting discussion. 

So I really hope with this long-awaited interview she will satisfactorily rebut the concerns and answer the questions of the readers of this blog. However, at some point I realized it would be too long for one post, so I divided it into several parts. In this part we will discuss Linda’s career path, how she got into self defense and we will learn about her extremely interesting ground-breaking research.

Linda is an accomplished scholar in the area
of experimental female self defense.
Linda thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. Let’s start with a question what do you do for living?

I am a tenured assistant professor at the department of physical education. I do research in a new subject - experimental female self defense and I teach two master courses and one PhD course. Hopefully I will finish the first comprehensive textbook on this subject soon. Besides organizing and leading the student self defense course I also co-train the university female football team. In my free time I do gardening and take care about my two cats.

So how did you become interested in self defense?

Honestly, this topic has never been of much interest to me till my early 20s. After the high school I decided to study medicine. My aspiration was to help people and it appeared to me the best way possible to do it is to become a doctor. In the second year of my studies my best friend got raped by her date. I saw how devastating it was for her. The same year I thwarted a similar attempt. In my case a sharp well-placed knee to his testicles did the job. Just one knee strike and a muscular aggressive thug was on the floor incapacitated. I have not had any prior training; it just came very instinctively. After this incident I realized that instead of medicine I should educate myself in self defense and to spread this knowledge among young women as another, often neglected way to save lives. So I left the medical school and enrolled the police academy.

Why exactly the police academy?

They just opened a new study program in pedagogy of personal safety. This program was intended to prepare a new generation of self defense instructors, particularly females. After graduation I entered the governmental project SIREN to combat the rape epidemics in some parts of the country. A major part of this project is still classified, so I cannot talk much about it. Later I did my PhD in physical education and got a tenure here at the department.

What does the experimental self defense mean?

It is a scientific discipline which seeks answers to basic questions: What is the best approach to female self defense. What are the most effective techniques and how should we teach them to women? For years, self defense systems have been based on a principle ‘one said/I believe/I read, this should work’ or have been constructed as a modified martial art. That’s why you would always stumble across so many conflicting advices, either during courses, in books or online. This just confuses and demotivates women when they want to educate themselves in the area. It is not uncommon that in one book you would read: ‘The best technique is to kick him in the groin’, in another ‘You should never kick him in the groin because…’ Which advice should they follow, where is the truth? How can we find out? My approach is to make the subject more scientific and evidence-based, by both performing experiments and by collecting and integrating already available data to develop a simple but highly functional system.

It sounds very interesting. How does such a research look like?

It consists of both a theoretical and practical part. In the theoretical part we do a metanalysis of available data such as police reports or news articles. In simple terms, we collect and analyze cases in which the self defense was successful but also those in which not. In addition, we try to make interviews with women who have been previously assaulted as well as with convinced offenders.  In the experimental part we simply test different techniques and tactics. For instance, we arrange realistic scenarios when a woman is attacked and has to defend from a male attacker. You have to understand, when I say realistic it is absolutely realistic. No padding, no protection and full force. It is a high risk, high gain research, and not surprisingly it was very difficult to get an approval from our ethics commission. Usually, I have two male and two female volunteer participants and my PhD student Tina. I avoid directly participating because I am already well-trained, and it would create a bias. 

An experiment went wrong?
You already told me that one of the experiments went wrong, what happened?

We wanted to simulate a common real-life scenario, a surprise attack from the back. The rational was to test the theory of the effect of freezing. The idea was that Mike, one of our volunteers, would ‘attack’ Tina unexpectedly anytime time and any place. He attacked her at night in a parking lot when she was leaving the campus. Unfortunately, he ended up in a hospital with a severe contusion in his left testicle from a back kick and a fractured rib from an elbow jab. Luckily, he recovered in a couple of days with no permanent damage.

So actually, the experiment was successful!

In a sense yes (Linda was smiling). But I was afraid they are going to shut down the whole research program. But fortunately, the atmosphere changed with the new female dean. I got a green light to continue and even got some more material resources. However, as you can imagine I lost two dedicated volunteers. I have to say the dean also supported me in setting up the self defense classes the way I wanted.

What are some of the outcomes of your research so far?

Ooh there are many over the years. I would like to mention a comprehensive paper before submission I wrote with Tina about the testicles as a target. We managed to debunk some of the long-perpetuated misconceptions and myths. Particularly, we busted the myth, that the GTP move should never be performed when an attacker has pants on. How else would we found out without actually performing experiments?

To be continued...

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

The art of kneeing (part 3)

Finally, we have our two Adonises back! exclaimed Linda happily when Bob and Peter returned from their grooming break clean and fresh. As Linda ordered, they were wearing only what she gave them, thin gym shorts and no T-shirts. However, those shorts were definitely not of the right size for their athletic bodies. Bob got very tightly fitting, at least a size smaller making the outline of his male organs quite visible, which of course caused some chuckles and ironic comments. On the other hand, Peter got those baggy ones, possibly a size bigger. I strongly suspected they might have had a quarrel who is going to wear which.

Bob's shorts and pecs
Linda immediately initiated the training session, Girls, with this exercise you will train memorizing, visualization, and precision but at the same time avoiding telegraphing. She grabbed Bob, positioned him in front of her and asked him to slightly spread his legs, so she could demonstrate us the planned activity.

 The first step is to gently place your hand on his groin area and feel it, get familiar with his anatomy, she instructed us and cupped Bob’s bulge with her open right hand. Bob’s face immediately showed a mix of uneasiness and suspense. She continued, Try to memorize the details; how high his groin is, what is the position of his thighs, penis and testicles. Notice how Bob’s testicles are pushed back and up to his body by the tight shorts but Peter’s are hanging rather freely. Now put both your hands on his shoulders to maintain your balance and to keep the distance. Then without looking down there, just from memory, raise you knee in a slow continuous movement and try to find his testicles with the sturdy spot above your patella. You should feel them as squishy round movable objects. Very gently touch and push them up a little bit and then return your leg back.

Some exercises resembled ballet classes
But be really gentle, do not actually knee them!  She strongly emphasized the word ‘gently’ and warned us, If this is not done carefully and gently, the exercise just ends prematurely, I guarantee. Each of you has three attempts. You will possibly miss the right spot the first time, so with each next attempt readjust your aiming. While explaining, she was balancing like a ballerina with her raised leg and the Bob’s double bulge got visibly distorted by her knee but apparently without causing him any significant discomfort. She slowly placed her leg back on the floor and kindly caressed Bob on his back as a sign of appreciation. She could be very affectionate towards the boys sometimes.

OK girls, we will make two groups. Wendy, Susanne and Emma, take Bob and Tania, Ana and Laura take Peter. You will go in rounds, each girl one at the time. After two rounds the groups will swap the boys. As always, the exercise was easier said than done. Even we tried our best but sometimes our aiming got miscalculated and resulted in occasional yelps of our boys.

After Emma and Susanne, it was my turn. Although quite awkward, I acted very seriously and professionally when I was probing Bob’s genitals and engraving it in my memory. However, once I started raising my knee, I somehow got afraid I miss and hurt him so I could not resist to briefly look down there. Linda was closely watching our performance, and of course she noticed that. Wendy, do not look down, Linda commanded me strictly, “look straight into his blue eyes or at his nicely formed pecs! She was right, those pecs were just perfect, clearly the purpose of having the guys bare-chested was to help us to direct our sight there.

Gentle touching the groin area with female hands and
 knees naturally results in a training assistant's erection
Suddenly a loud laugh came from the other group. When we looked in that direction, the reason was immediately clear. Peter was covering his manhood with his hands and blushing. He could not hide it at all, it was obvious he pitched a tent! And a big one! Well, that’s a normal reaction of a young man after all that touching and probing with girls’ hands and their knees.

So what! Why did you stop? Continue with the exercise! Linda ordered the hesitating girls. “Use the opportunity to study how the target changed with erection. Well, not all girls were happy with the development of the exercise, especially Tania wanted to be excused, but Linda convinced her it is for her good. These exercises were sometimes not a piece of cake, but for her as lesbian I can imagine it must have been even more difficult and stressful sometimes. Soon after Bob pitched a tent as well, which was quite uncomfortable for him in those tight shorts. Nevertheless, we continued with the exercise…

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Divide and conquer! ✊

When it comes to female last resort self defense there is no one universal technique. On this blog I already described two techniques which can be applied to an attacker’s bare testicles. You can read about those here and here. In the coming posts I will describe some more. However, before doing that I thought I should cover one very important but often overlooked aspect related to these techniques. 

Tight and large scrota are more difficult to
grasp using a lock mechanism.
The crucial starting point of all hand-performed strikes on testicles is to establish a firm and well secured grip on the target before going further with the technique. This is not always easy.  It all depends on the size and strength of the female hand and the size and type of the attacker’s scrotum. During our self defense course Linda emphasized the importance of making a correct decision in using the right move which should be also thoroughly practiced so it can be applied quickly and effectively when needed. She used a high-quality silicone  analogue of testicles I mentioned before: she held it in front of us and we had a second to grab it and then she pulled it back. If our grasp was insufficiently secure and strong, the testicles slipped out of our hands. Sometimes she also used two walnuts in a sock and when we succeeded, we could keep the prize. That was a good motivation😉. Of course, we also tested our grip-applying skills on our boys. But I won’t write about it today not to upset some of the sensitive readers. 

Description of 'divide and conquer'
by Susan Smith 
So what are the ways to get a good grip? One is by using a lock mechanism by ringing the forefinger and thumb around the root of the whole scrotum or by locking and isolating just one testicle. The latter can be recommended if the woman’s hand is small, and the testicles hang low. Otherwise, a woman can used the so called divide and conquer technique.

The name ‘divide and conquer’ (or ‘divide et impera’ in Latin) is an old principle of ruling known from Antiquity. The idea is to divide an enemy or a state to smaller entities which when separated, and often put against each other, are much more easily defeated or ruled. For instance, Julius Caesar used this principle when successfully invaded Gaul (sorry Asterix and Obelix). Nowadays, the concept is also used in computer science for solving complex problems. And of course, it can be applied to female self defense as well. 

How does it work? For this this type of grip, take a hold of the  whole scrotum and divide it by forcefully digging fingers between the testicles. One testicle then becomes secured by four fingers and the other one by the thumb. You can now conquer each testicle separately! The best depiction of this maneuver is in the  book Fear or Freedom from Susan Smith which contains a very good illustration. Once applied, the testicles can be then squeezed and jerked or hit sharply with the other hand. Depending on the situation the hand attack can come either from the rear or from the front. 

Stress balls are excellent for training
 grips and improving strength.

One of the best ways to train this technique is by using a stress ball which is by the way also good for improving strength of your hand. I always keep one in my office desk. I noticed, when practicing (sometimes during busy hours) all my male colleagues rather leave me alone. An excellent way to relieve stress, to reduce your workload and to gain some respect! I can only highly recommend to all women😂!