Newsletter 05 – Hindrances to Self-Defence (2)

“It Won’t  Happen to Me…”

One thing some people tell me often: they say that it’s hard to sell self-defence training in Singapore. “Maybe you can mix it in with weight loss, or fitness, or dance! Make it easier to sell…”

I want to sell, not to sell-out!

I’ll talk about my reasons for not mixing self-defence training with all those other things in some future issue. For now here’s a story from my Junior College (JC) days.

One day in my second year of JC, my seniors came back to collect their ‘A’-level exam results. Before the results were released I was in the canteen with one of my seniors and she was telling me how anxious she was about her results. One of her former classmates overheard her and told her “Don’t worry, I just asked the teachers about the scores. They told me that for X-subject only one student in the entire cohort failed, and for XX-subject only one student in our cohort did not get the full passing grade. Don’t worry!”

After I returned to class, the results were released and I later met my senior again in the canteen. She showed me her results, and it turns out that SHE was the one student in the entire group that failed X-subject, and the ONLY one who did not get a full passing grade for XX-subject.

Do you think the fact that she was a rare case, in fact, the ONLY case, made her feel any better?

One of the reasons it’s harder to sell self-defence training in Singapore is because we generally have a low crime rate. That’s why the Kallang stabbings are getting so much attention. But even in countries with a higher crime rate, women tend to think that violent crime will never happen to them. And so they engage in risky behaviour (like associating with criminal-type people, getting drunk in public, leave their keys in the car) with their guard down.

And they are terrified, horrified and shocked to the utter core of their beings when something goes wrong, like when they get robbed, raped or physically beaten. They rationalize (i.e. tell themselves lies that are rational, but are still lies none the less) with “that wouldn’t happen to me” before anything bad happens, and after something bad happens, they keep asking “how could that have happened to ME???”

So much easier to learn REAL self-defence, which ought to include how to recognize and avoid danger in the first place, than to go through such situations. At that point of time, trying to console yourself by looking at Singapore’s low crime rates just does not work at all…

Anyway, Alvin (Eastpaw) a fellow martial artist and thinker did a blog post on a carjacking in Singapore. You can read it over here at and check out how the victim tries to rational-lies to herself both before and after the crime. But before you go, here’s a final thought from my Junior College story.

Later that day, my senior went out with her friends from other JCs. And they sat down at a fast food place and started moaning about how lousy their results were, how one of them should have got an A grade for a subject and only got a B,  how could they possibly get into the popular courses in University with the grades they received, and all that. The usual elite students’ kind of griping.

And in the midst of them all, sitting quietly and keeping to herself, was my friend who had failed a major examination for the first time in her life. It’s obvious that all the worries and complaints from her friends would look so meaningless to her at that moment. They were worried about not getting into their coveted courses in university or how the B grade they got for one subject messed up their track record of getting all As, while she was suddenly plunged into a sea of worry about her next step, how to tell her parents, if there was anything really wrong with her, was she really incapable, and other issues and questions of that sort.

Take what my friend felt that day, multiply it enough times to traumatise you into needing counselling, and that will give you a sense of what experiencing criminal violence is like. You will feel as alienated from your regular life as my friend did that day she discovered she failed a major examination, only many times worse. Even if you escaped unhurt, just knowing that you were so near to harm, that your lifestyle was so much more vulnerable than you thought, is enough to send most people into emotional shock and upheaval.

Far better to approach the entire issue with a clear mind now, to study the subject enough to understand your strengths and weaknesses, and prepare yourself way before any problems arise. Personally, I would urge you to learn everything you can learn about staying safe, changing your lifestyle if necessary, so that you have good reasons to expect that you will never have to use the physical techniques that I have taught you in my classes.

So if you haven’t done so yet, head over to Alvin’s blogpost at and read his account of the carjacking. Pay careful attention to the victim’s reaction to the entire incident and ask yourself if you are doing anything equally stupid in your own life. And if you need any help about what to look out for and pay attention to, that’s what my talks and classes are all about. What are you waiting for?

JJ Huang
Walk In Safety ™

Like what you get in this newsletter? Learn how to recognize dangerous situations and how to deal with them in the Walk in Safety ™ Primer Module!


Wellness Infinity Health & Recreation Club
55 Newton Road
#05-02 Revenue House
Singapore 307987

Class Times available:

Tues: 7.30 pm
Sat: 2.00 pm, 2.45 pm

Do let your friends know about it and sign up for your classes together! I’ll start a class only if there are at least 4 people who sign up, and registration for a class will be closed once 8 people sign up. First-come-first-served, so register quickly!

Registration: email your name, handphone number and desired class time to or SMS your name, email address and desired class time to 94230900.


About Junjie
Musician, Martial Artist and father of two boys. Rambler, thinker and compulsive teacher.

6 Responses to Newsletter 05 – Hindrances to Self-Defence (2)

  1. eastpaw says:

    Good post. And thanks for the referral. 😉

  2. eastpaw says:

    Good post. And thanks for referral. 😉

    • Junjie says:

      You’re welcome. That blog post you did was perfect for my purposes, showing people how a Singaporean lady will rational-lies both before and after crime… 🙂

  3. eastpaw says:

    Hey, where’d my “the” go? :p

  4. Pingback: Newsletter (11) – Women and Self-Defence « Walk in Safety

  5. Pingback: Newsletter (14) – 6 Tips for Preventing Kidnapping | Walk in Safety

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