Self Defense Helpful Hint For Seniors

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Ken Boire, Author, Writer

There are many ways for seniors to be prepared or to get prepared in a hurry.  Martial arts instructor, Sifu David Bersaas calls these This Golden Responses (in martial arts, Sifu is an honored term for teacher).  One of these responses is often referred to as the “I Pray” stance.  It is actually a neutral non-threatening stance and requires no special training or conditioning to do.  Although it is designed to appear very meek, the I Pray stance is a very strong position for immediate and effective self defense.  From this casual timid position you can be deadly, and it is very easy to learn and perform.

As the title implies, it is done standing with the hands in front at about neck height with the palms together as if in prayer. Do not lace the fingers together.   Actually it is a convincing position from which one can beg for mercy, apologize, act meek, or show apparent weakness and submissiveness.  The head is tilted forward with the eyes on the opponent.   With your head tilted forward your face is protected.  Your forehead is close to the assailant’s face, making a head butt quick and effective.  At the same time, your face is difficult to hit from the front and side.

This protective position we call I Pray can be converted instantaneously to defend against an attack.  The I Pray Stance allows you to reach forward and split any two-handed grab, thus rendering it ineffective.  Or, you can sweep the two-handed grab aside by bringing your hands and arms in a wide arc over the top.

The I Pray stance also allows you to extend your hands immediately to an eye poke.  Or you can move slightly forward into a head butt.  Any of the moves are very quickly done from this position because you are in a ready position for any of them, and they require no strength or athletic ability.  You don’t need to delay and lose the element of surprise by re-positioning your feet or moving your body.  You just need to be mentally prepared to defend yourself.  We will say more about intent and mental preparation some other time.  To effectively use the I Pray stance, a full realization of your intent is essential as you will act from it without warning.


You can see the basic positioning in the above figure.  Following is a depiction of the transition to an eye poke. In this scenario, Mr White grabbed at her breast so she defended herself.










Notice Ms. Black has her head tilted down with her chin tucked away.  With her head down, she is less intimidating.  What is less obvious is that with her head down she is protecting her face from being a direct and obvious target.  Practice how she is looking submissive.  Remember tough looks, scowls, rough voices, or sudden moves will not work in your favor.  Your demeanor should be like a kid who has just been scolded.  Be meek and appear submissive.

We both know your “intent” is to defend yourself.  Don’t show it.  Sun Tsu, author of Art of War, said, “When weak show strength.  When strong, show weakness…All war is based on deception”.   Since we know your inner intent and resolve is like a fortress, this is the time for you to act weak; this is the time to deceive.

Notice how Ms. Black extends her arms and uses her fingertips as weapons.  Mr White will back off and get his hands up to protect his face and try to swat her hands away or grab them.  She might miss or not make solid contact, but with his hands high, she will launch a groin kick.

Self Defense for Seniors, by Ken Boire, is a brand new book that presents 226 pages of a special method of self defense especially for seniors. You can learn more at   <>.  It is available in paperback and electronic versions at practically any online bookstore.