Archive for the ‘Austin Self Defense’ Category

Austin Women’s Self Defense Classes

If you’re looking for Austin women’s self defense classes, consider taking our F.O.R.C.E. Course™ for women.

The FORCE Course™ (“FORCE” stands for Full-power Objective Realistic Confrontation Education™) covers sexual assault prevention, awareness, safety, and most importantly realistic full-power scenarios to prepare women for surviving and escaping a sexual assault.

Classes are held in a small group setting with 1-2 instructors per group. Cost is $49 per participant. Course is 4-6 hours in length. Call Mike Massie at 512-670-9333 to schedule a class for your group.

Women’s Self Defense Class Saturday July 30th

Austin womens self defense classI’ll be teaching a women’s self-defense class this Saturday at Fighting Fit Boot Camp of Austin from 10 am to 2:30 pm.

I’ve taught dozens of these classes over the years, and the feedback is always very positive. In this class, I’ll show you how to fight out and escape realistic situations – the type that a woman is most likely to face.

This isn’t one of those, “Stick your keys in his eyes and scream” type of classes – it’s a real women’s self-defense class covering realistic scenarios where you’ll learn easy yet effective techniques and tactics that could very well save your life.

I only have 7 openings right now, and registration is first-come, first-enrolled.

Registration Instructions:

  1. Send an email to staff (at) that includes your name, phone number, and email address.
  2. I’ll email you an electronic invoice in PDF format for the class fee of $50.
  3. Click the link in the PDF attachment and use the code to pay securely online.

That’s it! Once you click the link and pay your spot will be reserved.

Show up about 15 minutes early for registration. We’ll take a short 30 minute break for lunch at noon. There are plenty of places to eat in our center, but you’re welcome to bring a lunch.

Also, wear workout clothes that are suitable for working with a partner during floor and ground escape situations (bike shorts under workouts shorts, board shorts, sweat pants, etc). Bring water and something to take notes with. I’ll have a few handouts for each participant.

Be advised – we specifically address imminent sexual assault situations, so there is a lower age limit of 17 years old for this class.

Thanks, and I hope to see you at the class this Saturday.


Michael Massie, B.A.A.S., CPT
Owner/Head Trainer
Fighting Fit Boot Camp of Austin
14735 Bratton Lane, Suite 285
Austin, TX 78728
(512) 670-9333

Austin Self Defense Classes Enrolling Now!

Combat Science self defense classesWe are now enrolling for our Austin self defense classes teaching the Level I Combat Science Systems™ curriculum.

Level I covers all the core curriculum and is a great starting point for anyone who is new to reality-based self defense, or if you have previous experience but you’d like to learn more practical self-defense skills.

If you’ve ever wanted to take a martial arts class that’s “all fight and no fluff”, now is the perfect time to get started. Classes are held @ 6:45 PM Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Fighting Fit Boot Camp of Austin in Wells Branch.

Call us at (512) 670-9333 for more information or to schedule a FREE class.

Ego And Posturing Among Self-Defense Instructors

Why Ego Is A Liability When It Comes To Self Defense Training

Fun self defense class

Studies have shown that you retain more of what you learn when you are in a relaxed state and enjoying the process. Above: Jaime and Robby Bray doing floor exercises at a recent instructor seminar.

One of the most useful carry-overs I retain from my background in traditional martial arts is the concept of defeating the ego. And, an early lesson I learned when I started experimenting and cross-training in other styles and systems is that having a large ego is a liability when it comes to learning realistic self defense skills.

For one, it can cause you to have a false confidence in your abilities. Now, confidence is an oft-discussed topic in self defense circles, and for good reason. Being confident and carrying yourself in a confident and aware manner can make a person less likely to be targeted by a criminal predator.

And, having real confidence in your abilities based on time “in the lab” testing them under controlled pressure is a necessity; doubt causes hesitation, and hesitation leads to catastrophic failure under the real life pressures of sudden violence.

But… Pride Goes Before A Fall

On the other hand, false confidence in your style/system/approach/present skill level/etc. can be just as dangerous. Thinking your style, system, or skills are unbeatable can be a prelude to disaster.

I remember being the top student in my karate school as a teenager; at the time, no other student in the school could match me in the ring, and I soon became full of my own skill and abilities. Then I had the opportunity to train for a few months at a professional kickboxing gym known for producing champion kickboxers back during the heyday of American kickboxing. And, I got my head handed to me on several occasions.

That was the experience that really opened my eyes to a whole world of training that existed outside the realm of what I had known. It taught me that my ego was a liability, a weakness that led me to be close-minded in my training.

Soon after I started cross-training in other systems and styles. Being open-minded while keeping my “base” in a traditional art helped me develop fully as a technician, while also developing practical self-defense and training methods that at first rounded out, then replaced the methods I had learned previously. In short, by setting my ego aside and being a constant student for the next couple of decades, I was exposed to valuable skills and training that I would have never had the privilege to learn otherwise.

“I Can’t Concentrate On What You’re Teaching Because Your Big Head Is Distracting Me…”

But besides the practical need for being humble enough to realize that there is always someone who can teach you something new (sometimes at the end of a glove or boot), there are other important reasons to set aside your ego inside and outside of the training hall.

The first of which has to do with being a decent person. People with large egos are generally hard to be around and become victims of their own inflated self-image. In the world of reality-based self defense, this is evidenced by all the “tough-guy” and “tough-chick” posturing you see in the marketing materials and websites of schools that offer self defense classes.

I’m sure you know the type. The crossed arms or hands on hips, a hard look in the eyes, firm set mouth, the “thousand-yard-stare” – basically, parroting a ridiculous caricature of either someone they may have learned from, or of what they believe a “real” self-defense instructor should look like.

Well, I’ve trained with some of the toughest martial artists you’d ever meet. Folks that are incredibly skilled in various striking, grappling, and weapons methods. Professional fighters, soldiers, and personal protection specialists. In many cases, what professionals would term “real world operators”.

And guess what? The toughest people I know are some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. They smile, they laugh, they joke with their students, and they have a general relaxed confidence that puts you at ease in their presence. In short, they are really good people.

Moreover, these folks have no need for posturing; to them, it’s silly to boast about their exploits, skills, and training. They know that it’s typically the sign of false bravado, of shoring up a fragile ego. Beyond stating their credentials in simple and professional terms, you won’t hear them trading “war stories” or talking about how good they are at “x” skill or method. Their skill says it all.

Is Your Pride Worth Your Life?

Here’s another reason why it’s best to learn how to set aside your ego. In a real confrontation, egos can get in the way of calm and reasoned thinking. Sometimes, it’s better to lose than win. I grew up in honor-based cultures, where young men were expected to “save face” (to coin an Asian term) by defending their honor versus all comers.

Well, that’s a child’s game, and there comes a time when adults should leave childish things behind. The sad facts are that people are killed every day in violent confrontations that could have easily been avoided had one or the other party been willing to “lose face”.

As I said, losing can be winning. I’d rather be called a coward, agree wholeheartedly, and then go to the house. The alternatives of hospitalization, jail time, a law suit, or an early funeral are simply not worth it.

Closing Thoughts

I hope that when you come to train with us in group or private classes that you find a noticeable lack of ego here, and instead find an atmosphere that fosters friendship, community, and practicality without posturing. One of the best compliments I could get from a new student is, “The classes are hard, but the people here are so nice!”

See you in training!

Crime In Austin Texas

Austin Crime Rates Lower In Some Respects, Higher In Others When Compared To Other Cities

Violent crime rates in Austin

Proper training results in being aware and confident, which can reduce your chances of being targeted for a violent crime.

According to the FBI’s 2008 Austin crime report, crime in Austin Texas is relatively low compared to other large cities in the U.S. (I believe we’re at around #60 on that list as far as violent crime rates go).

Higher Property Crime Rates In Austin

However, the property crime rates in Austin are extremely high – we’re actually 15th on the list, ahead of cities such as Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, and New Orleans. This is unfortunate, since property crime is often related to drug crimes, and may possibly be indicative of increased drug problems here.

Austin Has Lower Rates of Violent Crime Than Most Cities

The good news is that Austin has one of the lowest rates of all large cities when it comes to violent crimes such as murder and robberies. However, our city ranks somewhere in the middle with regards to forcible rape. This may have something to do with our being a “college town”, as the rates are significantly higher for women in the age group of 16-24.

Austin Area Crime Rate Map And Crime Index

NeighborhoodScout has some really interesting data on crime in Austin. They actually have a color-coded crime map that shows the safest and least safe neighborhoods at a glance. Now, the most interesting thing about NeighborhoodScout’s crime data is that they claim to have data compiled by over 17,000 different law enforcement agencies. So, presumably their data is more complete.

And, according to their reported data, Austin is only safer than 6% of U.S. cities. Most shocking is that, according to their data and despite our low crime rates, you have a 1-in-181 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Austin.

So, What Can You Do?

For starters, don’t be an easy target. Criminal predators base their victim selection on just a few simple criteria that revolve around how easy of a target the victim is and how unlikely their chances are of getting caught. Opportunity for criminals is everywhere; however, the violent criminal also requires the victim to be vulnerable. And, they typically require at least some modicum of privacy to complete the crime without undue risk of getting caught.

So, harden yourself as a target. Lock your doors and windows (both in your car and at home). Keep a cell phone handy at all times. Be aware of your surroundings, and avoid texting or talking on your cell phone in unsafe or unfamiliar public areas (and talking or texting while walking in parking lots, parking garages, or anywhere that you are not in the company of others is a no-no).

When you arrive home, be aware of things that may be amiss in the environment – doors or windows that are open or that have been tampered with, missing items, lights you left on that are now off, and so forth. If something looks out of place or amiss, don’t enter the premises and call the local police to come check it out.

Finally, invest in yourself by learning more about how to avoid being the target of a violent crime, and what to do if it does happen. Attend a crime prevention class, take a self-defense course, stay in shape, and practice being aware of your surroundings at all times.