There is no evidence that there ever was human societies without violence. In contrast, the extent of violence varies in different societies. When it comes to Sweden, violent crime decreased between individuals. Analysis of Stockholm show that, for example, the number of persons per 100,000 inhabitants, who were convicted of murder and manslaughter was about 80 in the late 1400s and has since gradually decreased to 1-2 per 100,000 in 1800 and the 1900s. Possible fluctuations in violence statistics can be attributed to alcohol consumption in Sweden. When alcohol consumption increases, so does the violent crime. The alcohol is obviously a stabilizing factor factor.

The number of cases of lethal force that is located in Sweden since the mid-1970s is at 100 per year. The number of cases of rape  in 2012 was at 6320 notified and was marginally less than the year before but have increased in the past decade. This case also shows a link between increased alcohol consumption and the number of reported rapes. There is also a socio-economic gradient in the sense that men without higher training are overrepresented among those who are notified.

Takamatsu demonstrating a form of Tehodoki.
Takamatsu demonstrating a form of Tehodoki.

The deadly violence has not increased and even show some reduction in recent years which is an indication that other forms of violence, especially beatings, has stopped increasing. Usually lethal force is a tragic outcome of a fight. If fewer people die as a result of violence it should also be that the number of fights have also decreased. The thesis that the actual violence has not increased over the last 20-25 years is also supported by the fact that the number of people taken to hospital because of violence related injuries has not increased. Among the victims men are predominantly involved in the  violent crimes in which the outcome is not fatal. According to statistics from 2005, women constitute 37% of assault victims. In the 2000s, it was men who were convicted of approximately 90% of all violent crimes. The girls, however, constitute almost a third (27%) of the adolescents in grade 9 public schools who reported in survey that they had committed an act of violence.

In summary, men are involved in far more violence than women. As violence perpetrators men dominate even more. So it is mainly men who use violence against other men, women, and sometimes even against children. The causes of men’s violence against other men and against women is largely the same, although it can occur in different types of relationships. This violence, we need the perspective of self-protection handled in the same way, not as two different problems. For moral reasons one could distinguish them, but for tactical reasons we have to deal with those same.

Violence directed almost always against persons who are physically disadvantaged in relation to the perpetrator. This also applies to violence perpetrated by men against other men, for example when the perpetrator makes use of weapons or when multiple perpetrators abuse or rob a person. For this reason, we do not distinguish the self-protection of women from self defense for men. Our Goshinjutsu (self defense; 護身術) is a method of protecting themselves against the physically Supreme in an acute emergency.

Goshinjutsu is thus our term for self-protection, but we are dealing with two definitions of this word. It’s easy to fall into a mind trap where you define goshinjutsu (護身術) as a way to solve threats and violence with the application of a technique with strength, speed and size.
Self-defense and self-protection is so much more than mindless violence performed against the eyes, throat, and groin. Just because you learn so called effective self-defense techniques, one can not be calm, especially if you are physically inferior to his opponent.
As for women, the average muscle strength is around 60% of the comparison with a man, and therefore a woman can never rely on physical techniques to overcome a violent man.
What is important is not what you do but how to do it. All our actions in emergency situations shall be based on the “self-defense underdog”. Alternatively, one can say that we do not have any special self-defense training for women because all training is specially arranged for the physically weaker people.

Goshinjutsu 護身術 means “method to protect the body,” included in our training, even goshinjutsu (護心術) meaning “method to protect the mind“. The latter is about learning a particular attitude and way of life in everyday life. There is an uncertainty reducing dimension of our training, which intuitively acting on pre-incident signals [PINS] and the survival instinct as an attack initiates. This is in contrast to goshinjutsu as a method to protect the body which is a tactical dimension when one instinctively improvises the conduct required by the situation.
A rule of thumb in the “uncertainty-reducing” goshinjutsu is to behave with dominant body language, the correct distance and the correct positioning in relation (not response) to the threat. Keep in mind that 60% of all communication is body language and it is sufficient in most cases to get a potential attacker to choose a different target than you. Arbitration, however, the dominant body language and aggressive behavior.
Another rule is that you should forget about the ego. Respond all situations without prestige, with a blank mind. Self-defense is about survival, not about performing well and winning a fight. Use tonsojutsu and escape the situation as soon as possible in order to survive. Use different forms of misdirection.

Gosha dori is the collective name for the 7 tools practical and tactical for self-defense that we have to deal with emergency situations when we are at a disadvantage. The seven are:

  • Happa (Eight Leaves; 八葉) strike with open hand
  • Zu dori (Head Grab; 頭捕) control of the head
  • Kikaku (Demon Horn; 鬼角) kind of hard body parts
  • Yubi dori (Finger Grab; 指捕) check the small joints
  • Ashi Dori (Leg Grab; 足捕) check Mobility
  • Tehodoki (hand resolution; 手解) initial movements
  • Taihodoki (Body Resolution; 体解) continuous movements

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