Our “10 Lessons” Reside Below!

In the following 10 lessons, I will touch upon these primary topics:

  1. Attitude
  2. Exercise
  3. Diet
  4. Self-Image (and the media)
  5. Relationships, Dating, and Boys
  6. Dangerous and Emergency Situations
  7. Alcohol and Drugs
  8. Environmental Self-Defense
  9. Education
  10. Sexism / Discrimination

While we go over these topics, ever so briefly (considering the magnitude of the subjects), I will also touch on some of the issues that swirl around these subjects. I’ll introduce you to some smart people, recommend some reading, and hopefully I’ll get you to look at self-defense a little bit differently than you did before we met. 

I’m already receiving calls and e-mails from martial arts teachers that would like to use the 10 Lessons as a guide for their own self-defense classes —and I’m fine with that, as long as they are willing to do all the reading and watching and research required to know, at least, the fundamental principles behind each topic. 

I’ll be following this site up with an instructor training program, done on-line, for teachers that want to take their self-defense classes to an entirely new level. 

I/we may offer a few more lessons, but for now, I’m going to go back over the 10 posted here and make sure every point is crystal clear. 

The blog STARTS with Lesson 10, so you’ll want to scroll down to Lesson 1 to begin. 

Tom Callos

Lesson 10: Sexism

OK, here’s the GIST of this lesson: You’re not LESS THAN, in any way, nor are you going to allow yourself to be treated as something LESS THAN, just because you’re a girl. 

Now allow me to ineptly explain what sexism is: 

Racism is, essentially, discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race and/or the prejudice that members of one race are superior to members of other races.

In other words, just because your skin is a different color, you get treated differently than someone else.

Sexism is when a man or women discriminates against or devalues someone of the opposite sex, just because they are of the opposite sex; as in:

“I’m better (or privileged) because I am a man, a male, and you are a female.”

Sexism is something we learn. For example, from Disney! (See the Video Below)

Self-defense against sexism (that is, in being a victim of discriminatory behavior aimed towards you, just because you’re a female) begins with BEING AWARE when someone is behaving in a way that treats you as “less than,” just because you’re a girl.

Being aware that something is “not right” —allows you to think about, and take action on, things that ARE right. 

If and when YOU “buy into” the idea that you are less than, not as strong as, more delicate than, or not as capable as a male of our species, then you are perpetuating sexism. To pay you less, just because you’re a girl, to be ordered around, just because you are a girl, to be treated not as a person, but as a “thing” or “object,” just because you are a girl — all of this is NOT OK.

Some good reading / viewing about television and the media and it’s practices (including sexism) can be found at the website: Media Awareness Network. The resources there are pointed at parents and teachers, but you may find it interesting as well. 

While the word “sexism” isn’t used by many girls, until they’re in college, it’s a good word to understand early on. If you know where discrimination is going to come from, it allows you to prepare for it, in advance —which is known as “self-defense.”

Girls (like all people) defend themselves with their heads. Knowledge IS self-defense.

Gender roles are learned —and here, Disney does its part to teach us how girls and boys are “supposed” to act. Seen from this perspective, it’s no wonder girls are discriminated upon and/or often victims of male aggression.

Lesson 9: Your Education


Do you want to be a poor adult, struggling to make a living?

  • High school dropouts earn about $9,200 less per year than high school graduates and about $1 million less over a lifetime than college graduates.
  • High school dropouts are twice as likely as high school graduates to slip into poverty.

Do you want to work doing something you love —or something you could care less about?

  • High school dropouts were over three times more likely to be unemployed than college graduates.

Do you want to suffer, unnecessarily? 

  • High school dropouts are also more likely to be in prison, on death row, unhealthy, divorced and single parents.
  • Dropping out of school is associated with delayed employment opportunities, poverty, and multiple social and health problems, including substance abuse, delinquency, intentional and unintentional injury, and unintended pregnancy.
  • Young female dropouts were nine times more likely to have become single mothers than young women who went on to earn college degrees.

Make a self-defense decision: “I’m going to stay in school, no matter what!”

Note: That might be some of the best self-defense advice you’ll ever get. 

Lesson 8: Environmental Self-Defense

The next three video are about stuff. It’s stuff related to the use of stuff. It’s stuff that’s coming out of our ears —and it’s about the environment and our attitude about what we use, where it comes from and where it goes. 

Self-defense in todays world is a global issue. It’s about defense from an attitude that more is better, that consuming and consuming and consuming without regard for what that means, is a dangerous path. And for most of us, it’s the path we’re on —and everyone we know is on it too. 

If we don’t change our thinking, if we don’t wake up to the what we really want and need and what that means to the planet, well, we’re already in trouble, but we could be in a disastrous, painful place in the not too distant future.

So these these three films, while just a drop in the ocean of info about consumerism, the environment, conspicuous consumption, and pollution, they’re a decent place to begin addressing the issues involved.  

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

From www.Ted.com: Artist Chris Jordan shows us an arresting view of what Western culture looks like. His supersized images picture some almost unimaginable statistics — like the astonishing number of paper cups we use every single day.

Consumerism and Stuff

This film, from the AMAZING website wwwTED.com, has something very important to do with self-defense. It’s about garbage. It’s about waste. It’s about pollution and poisons, and the way we throw things away —when there really is no “away.”

Having a healthy attitude is self-defense for the brain. Escaping a bad guy and/or blocking a punch is self-defense for the body. Paying attention (also called “looking deeply”) at what we consume and throw away, often without a second thought, is self-defense on a big, grand, global scale.

If we don’t take care of our planet, if we’re not more respectful and careful of what we use and what we throw away, we’re headed for some very bad times as a species.

These substances and the marketing behind them are some of the most destructive forces in our world today. See more commercials about how alcohol is actually marketed to young people by going to THE MARIN INSTITUTE’S youtube channel. 

Lesson 7: Alcohol and Drug Abuse

For many, many people, alcohol and drugs are the beginning of the end.

The end of happiness. The end of family. The end of clear thinking. The end of the enjoyment of nature. The end of all that is healthy and good and lovable and alive. It’s the end of a good life, the end of being a hero or a reader or a thinker or a doer. 

They are everywhere (drugs) —and the sale of alcohol and drugs to young people is everywhere too. 

Here’s a publication called DRUGS: Shatter the Myths. It’s put out by The National Institute on Drug Abuse. It’s a colorful publication talking about subjects that can, literally, take the color and pleasure out of your life. 

And here’s a site specifically for teens. http://www.teens.drugabuse.gov/

Getting sucked into the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs is, by far, the worst, most insidious, most damaging thing that could ever happen to you in your life. Avoid it at all costs, no matter what, no matter how many of your friends indulge, no matter how harmless you’re told it is, stay away