Joran Van Der Sloot is another reason, especially for women, to learn self defense. As you may know, he is the prime suspect behind the disappearance and likely death of Natalee Holloway in Aruba five years ago. He is apparently going to be charged with murder in Peru in what appears to be an open and shut case. The surveillance video of Van Der Sloot and his victim entering his hotel room at 5am and his departure several hours later without her seems pretty damning. It is now reported that he has now confessed to killing the victim.

All of this brings one thing to one mind. While many of us practice in martial arts for a variety of reasons, ranging from self discovery, fitness, and socializing, the most important aspect is self defense. While physical tools can give you a better chance during a potentially violent situation, awareness and avoidance are far better tools in self preservation. One can never know or discern the mind of a predator as they can look, outwardly, like anybody else.

It may be easy to say “there are a lot of sick individuals out there.” While that’s true, I think that it might be more accurate to say that “there are a lot of people who will do sick things.” As the following article points out, most killers are made, not born. What’s interesting about the article, while based on speculation and without an in depth examination of Mr. Van Der Sloot, is that it posits that he probably acted out of rage and humiliation. How many times have we seen people act out of rage, humiliation, misplaced pride and ego? While the rage or humiliation may be a momentary episode, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to surmise that it takes a lifetime to develop the kind of worldview that Mr. Van Der Sloot has.

Unfortunately, we are not blessed with the ability to read the minds of others. What we can do is to practice awareness/common sense and trust our “gift of fear” (the title of Gavin de Becker’s book) and practice avoidance. Here is the link to the article, from a forensic psychiatric perspective, on Mr. Van Der Sloot and it makes for interesting reading:

Mind of a Killer

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