SEPS Free Online Personal Safety & Self-Protection Course
Our Women's Self Defense Program is split into nine distinct modules, each one is taught in a seperate class (with classes rotating through them). These classes can be taken in any order but it is only by attending all nine that a fully comprehensive understanding of violence against women can be gained. Below is a brief synopsis of each module, and the foundations module.
- Foundations Of Personal Safety
- 1. Rapists & Sexual Predators
- 2. Identifying Potentially Abusive Relationships
- 3. Stalking & Stalkers
- 4. OC/CS/Pepper Spray
- 5. Muggers, Financial Predators & Abductions
- 6. Date & Acquaintance Rape
- 7. Home & Car Security
- 8. De-escalation & Conflict Resolution
- 9. Redman & Adrenal Training
Although there are specific types of violence that we must be aware of and educated to, there are also general principles regarding personal safety that we should be aware of and adhere to. In this section of the site we look at the general concepts and principles upon which the SEPS (Situation Effective Protection System) are founded.
This module introduces the student to the way that sexual predators and rapists behave and act, including how they go through the process of targets and victim selection and how they gain access to these targets. This session is not overly concerned with the different types/categories of sexual predators but with the practical measures that can be taken so an individual can take the preventative measures that will stop them being identified as a target. Students will also be introduced to the "Pre-Violence Indicators" that allow them to identify the behaviors and actions of would be sexual predators.
Prevention is far better than a cure, and in this module students are introduced to the warning signs that mark out potentially abusive partners (emotional and phsysical) who may when ex-partners later go on to be stalkers. It may be that students are in the early stages of a relationship and will identify these signals in their partner, or it may be that they are trying to exit a relationship and these warning signs will be something that they can relate to and reinforce their case for leaving (it is not the aim of this module to offer advice on how to leave an abusive partner or resolve an abusive relationship).
This is not "dating advice" but how to identify those individuals who may cause emotional and physical abuse when in a relationship. With the majority of violence against women being committed by those who know them thei is an oft neglected but very important aspect of female personal safety.
Stalking is a strange crime because it is determined by the way the victim/target perceives another person's actions and behaviors, rather than by those actions themselves. A person can make continuous phone calls, send emails, have gifts and packages delivered to another, and as long as that person doesn't feel at risk from these actions or mind them happening they should not be defined as stalking. When these actions and behaviors form a campaign, which causes the target/recipient of them to fear for/consider their personal safety then the term "stalking" can be applied. It is important to note that it is a string of activities committed over time rather than odd isolated incidents, which really define stalking.
There are many different types of stalkers, defined by their relationship status with their target e.g. they can be strangers, acquaintances and people we've had previous intimate relationships with. The majority of women who are stalked are not celebrities, and have had a previous reletionship with their stalker. This module looks at defining terms and practical measures that can be taken to prevent stalking and to deal with it if it occurs.
In 2015 Massachusetts, allowed the purchasing and carrying of defensive sprays (Pepper, OC, CS, Mace etc), without the need for an FID license. Pepper Sprays are one of the most useful defensive weapons to carry and use. They are non-lethal, unlike firearms, and so are much more likely to be used and deployed in a real-life situation; many people who carry firearms hesitate to use them for fear of the legal consequences, if they were to kill somebody - this is such a low risk with these defensive sprays, that are recognized as being non-lethal in nature.
Whilst they are simple to use there are some common mistakes that people usually make when both purchasing and deploying them. This seminar aims to deal with and rectify these mistakes and misunderstandings. Particpants will be introduced to the different types of sprays available, along with the relative merits of each, and will practice deploying them with inert units. This class is a full 60 minutes of the practical applications of these defensive sprays.Read more about Defensive Sprays by clicking here.
This module looks at how to behave when dealing with muggers and other financial predators (pickpockets and the like). Certain abduction scenarios are also covered, especially when a crime such as a mugging develops into an abduction and sexual assault etc. The primary aim of this section is to debunk several myths around street robberies and muggings and the way in which they should be handled and instead explain the modus operandi of the common mugger and how they should be dealt with.
In this module you will be taught how to think as a predator thinks, and to view the world through their eyes.
This module looks at personal safety when in a variety of social settings such as bars, pubs and clubs, as well as at parties and other social/public gatherings both at private and public venues. Rather than just looking at self-protection when in these settings this module will also look at safety issues around being out at night in general. This module will also focus in on date and acquaintance rape, and look at detection, avoidance and preventative measures that can be taken to avoid becoming the victim of such an assault.
This module takes the module on sexual predators and applies it to a distinct type of sexual assault.
This module looks at some distinct situations that a person may find themselves in, and/or have concerns/questions about. Although Home Invasions are rare, as is being at home when a burglary takes place etc. these are still incidents that do happen and concern people. This module looks at preventative measures that can be put in place around home and car security as well as how to non-physically deal with certain situations and scenarios should they occur. The situational factors and principles that are demonstrated in this module should translate across scenarios and situations and not be restricted just to those explained.
With the amount of time that people spend in their cars, the issue of car security - how to approach and exit a vehicle is extremely important. With a large number of assaults occuring in parking lots and similar, knowing how to act and behave around your vehicle is extremely important.
It is not only predatory individuals with pre-meditated plans to harm you that you need to be able to protect yourself from. Violence and aggression can erupt "spontaneously" due to situational factors e.g. you spill a drink over somebody, inadvertently take someone's parking space etc. Some of the people you will end up dealing with may be completely reactive in the way that they respond, that is they react in the moment to the situation, without having any goal or end game in mind. Such situations have the potential to be dealt with by verbal de-escalation, avoiding the need for any physical resolution.
De-escalation is perhaps one of the most misunderstood aspects of personal safety, and a skill that many people believe and are confident that they have - it is often only when they find themselves escalating a situation and making it worse that they realize just how lacking in this area they are.
When we are placed in potentially dangerous situations our fear system kicks in and we become adrenalized. This cocktail of chemicals and hormones improves certain of our abilities and functions e.g. we become more tolerant to pain etc. and reduces others - we lose our peripheral vision and get tunnel vision etc. Most people rarely experience these sensations and so when they do they often panic or freeze. In this module we look at how to control the body's natural responses to fear and how to work with them in order to maximize their positive effects and improve our survival chances.
Self-Protection Google Talks
SEPS Head Instructor has presented two author talks at Google (one in 2015 and another in 2017). In these talks/presentation he goes through the different processes and methods that criminals and predators use to target and access their victims, and how to predict, prevent and identify them, along with ways to de-escalate aggresive individuals etc.
Gershon Ben Keren 2015 Google Talk
Gershon Ben Keren 2017 Google Talk
Anthony Brooks NPR Interview
In 2013, NPR/WBUR Journalist, Anthony Brooks, visited Krav Maga Yashir Boston, to talk to Head Instructor & SEPS Founder, Gershon Ben Keren, about violent situations where compliance may not be the best option - this was in response to the express kidnapping and murder of Amy Lord in South Boston. In this 15 minute interview, Gershon Ben Keren, talks about different types of violent crime and how to deal with them. To listen to the interview click here.
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