Eve Carson: Keeping our Collective Eyes Open

Pre-note: Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Eve Carson; an intelligent and promising young college student who was found shot to death early Wednesday morning.  The suspect, who had been photographed a nearby ATM camera, is still at large.  Anyone with information regarding the identity/whereabouts of this man should contact police at 919-968-2760 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515

Which leads me to this very important post:….

I just finished giving 2 lectures this month at BestHealth in Hanes Mall on Women’s Self Defense and since I don’t waste my money on cable…I didn’t realize until this morning that such a tragedy had occurred (word travels pretty slow without cable).  As a self-defense teacher, it makes me stop and ponder a monumental question;

Are we even giving our girls… our wife, daughters, nieces a chance in this (obviously) hostile world?  Parents tell their children to wash up, brush their teeth, do their homework… but they seldom sit them down to talk about self-defense… if they do, it’s usually not much more than once… and when they’re older..  when they’re off at college, parents worry even more than ever.  Why? Haven’t you given your child all the tools necessary?

This burden shouldn’t be on the parents alone.  Women, all women, should find a self-defense program.  Men should support and encourage them.  I think of Eve Carson; a Morehead-McCain scholar…pre-med.. and Student Body President (whom I’ve never met), but who I would believe to be “atop the list” in regards to confidence, intelligence and compassion.  Do any of these traits (that undoubtedly get you far in life) protect you from such sering malice, cruelty and murderous barbarism?

Eve Carson

One thing that we need to convince ourselves of; if you are a parent, is that we’ll never stop worrying.  Sadly, it’s your lot as parents.  As I am not yet a parent… I worry quite a bit about the women in my life (especially when such tragedies occur).  An important thing to understand is this: only spend 10% of your energy (or less) on the problem (you do very little in re-telling the same worrisome scenarios); instead, spend 90% off your efforts on the solution.

(In all likelihood) Eve had only a few moments to assess the situation, before the gun was turned on her and the fatal shots were fired.  As it would happen with anyone, the body’s natural FEAR RESPONSE kicked in and since she was alone, taken by surprised and unskilled in self-defense, the body went straight into a mood of panic.  When weapons are brought into the picture… when escape seems bleak…. there are but two methods: run like hell or fight like a cornered wolverine.  People who believe they have it within themselves to act swiftly and powerfully (without proper training) when danger arises, may (and with much certainty on my end) realize quickly this tremendous folly. 

Women must seek training.  I’m not asking for you to join a Karate or Taekwondo dojo (although there are many qualified instructors there too)… but I AM asking you to seek a Self-Defense class/workshop/ or seminar at some point…(sooner than later).  Part of “the martial art experience” is to learn the traditions, principles and calisthenics of a particular discipline.  Likely it will take you years to become proficient in self-defense aspect of that particular discipline.  Seek a school or teacher that will teach you sound, effective techniques and (most importantly) mental awareness and control over our body’s Fear Response (at least to some extent).  In self-defense training, there are a few rules that should be stamped into your mind and they are:

  • To show mercy to the enemy could possibly become the worse blunder you could make.
  • Fear strikes us all in different ways.  Confidence comes by learning to diminish this fear.  With low levels of fear, we have the chance to react and use the skills we’ve harnessed through training.  High levels of fear will only paralyze us.  *To learn properly, seek a qualified instructor.
  • If you must fight, there must be 100% commitment to the present moment/technique.  Never any less than 100%.  If successful, do not stand and marvel at your work… make sure the attacker can not chase after you or harm you in any way.  (Always make a strong effort to call/get help)
  • Never fight fair (women already know this… but still, it needs to be said again)
  • Through practice, study what works best.  If a technique/strike works time-and-time-again, don’t change it.
  • Knowledge and Training breeds success.  Never cease in your training.  Keep the body fit and set aside at least 15 minutes a day to train.  (once you learn what technique to practice and how to practice them… mental and physical rehearsals can be fun and [over time] produce great skill)
  • Train seriously.  Never hold back (especially if you’re only doing 15 minutes a day).  The person who trains seriously for 15minutes everyday, will (in time) exceed the person who trains for hours but infrequently.  *this only holds true if you first learn how to train properly.

THE PICTURE TO THE RIGHT… is the assumed killer of Eve Carson.  Chapel Hill’s Board of Trustees are offering $25,000 to anyone with information leading up to the arrest of this individual.  Any tips can be given anonymously.  

In closing… I’d like to give some web addresses that can surely improve our understanding and knowledge of self defense and criminal behavior.

www.aftersilence.org(messageboard/chat/forum for sexual assault survivors); www.ncjrs.gov (National Criminal Justice Reference Service with reports, articles and statistics); www.clubdrugs.org (site by the National Institute on drug abuse with info on “date rape” drugs); www.rapeescape.com (worldwide educating and training website); www.defendu.com(research and development group dedicated to leading-edge strategies); www.crimedoctor.com (articles on many crimes. i.e. carjacking); www.antistalking.com (comprehensive website for both civilians and law enforcement); www.chencenter.com (personal website for those in the North Carolina Area).

If you are a martial artist, self-defense coach, or even if you neither of the two… but feel like I’ve left out a step or … if I left out something of importance, please let me know.  If you knew Eve personally and would like to tell our readers more about the kind of person she was… by all means, post a comment. 

I sincerely hope this situation has “opened our eyes” and that it prompts all you women out there to take steps toward learning self-defense.  I realize that for many this is an extremely delicate subject (especially to those who were close to Eve) and I apologize if there is anything within this blog that comes across as rude, insensitive and/or inappropriate.  I will keep a close eye on any comments that I deem “any of these 3”  and shall be quickly effaced from this blog.


~ by chencenter on March 10, 2008.

21 Responses to “Eve Carson: Keeping our Collective Eyes Open”

  1. Yeah, all you little white girls out there need to learn martial arts and pack heat because some big, nasty black man is out there to get you.


  2. You are so far out of line, Tyrone – asserting that Michael is a racist. This is just the most recent example. No one with a CLUE believes this to be a race-issue. NO ONE.

    Michael – thank you for the reminder. I will get on it straight away… thanks!

  3. Michael, this is a great service that you are doing in urging us to better assist our women (no matter what their race Tyrone).

    My wife has been wanting to take some kick-boxing classes and so I think I’m going to bring this up to her and give her a little nudge. 😉 By the way, I’m going to add you to my blog roll. If you prefer not to have it listed just contact me and I’ll take it down.

    Thank-you friend.

  4. Thank you Michael for writing this. As you know, I am a student at UNC and the entire campus has been in complete shock since it happened. I really didn’t know Eve personally, but I know a lot of people who did and my roommate was close to her. I’m going to put some real effort into finding a good self defense class in Chapel Hill and maybe even start a club for it. I could always use some help with that:)

    And Tyrone you better watch out because Michael has taught me martial arts and I own some big guns so shut your mouth.

  5. “An important thing to understand is this: only spend 10% of your energy (or less) on the problem (you do very little in re-telling the same worrisome scenarios); instead, spend 90% off your efforts on the solution.” Awsome statement. It applies to all of life’s problems.

    Great article. Thanks for the informational links. This article provided me an eye opener pertaining to self defense. Although I have two beautiful daughters, aged 21 and 22, I have never thought of providing them with a self defense class. I have taken some training when they were young girls; but I could certainly use it again. My employer offers free training in T’ai Chi, which I began, but did not continue. In the short time that I did take the training, I found it very rewarding, mentally, physically and spiritually. I will begin the training again. Thanks for the prompting. Also, I will look for a gift certificate for the girls to have some type of self defense training. It will help them in self defense as well as provide priceless lessons in life.

    Thanks for the nice comments on my blog. Please visit again soon!

    My prayers go out to the families and friends of Eve Marie Carson and Lauren Burk, two young students who were victims of senseless murders.

    I will email your article to all my email buddies; perhaps it will save at least one life.

    Thanks for sharing–pass it on!

    Peace, Light and Love to you and yours, CordieB.

  6. Tyrone (whoever you are),I have a question: Was the man who shot Eve a racist when he chose to shoot a white girl instead of one of his own race? It’s about murder, not race.

  7. Tyrone- … (who else can see he’s not worthy of a comment?)

    To EVERYONE ELSE- Thank you for you comments, and I’m glad I could hand you some tips and give you that gentle push towards taking a self-defense class. But please, just don’t “plan it”… take action and “schedule something.” And ladies, if you haven’t already, bookmark (at least some) of those informational links. Knowledge is power! Peace & Love…always. -Coach

  8. I would submit the first writer’s name, Tyron W. to the authorities.
    This guy must be sick and we don’t need any more racists around.
    He can be traced down via what computer he used.
    Winston – Salem

  9. Self-defense is by no question a valuable tool, however, we don’t really know what happened to Eve other than the fact she was murdered. We also don’t know what Eve may or may not have known about self-defense, at least I don’t. So, let’s be careful to not imply she may still be here if she’d only had some self-defense training. Some evil person(s) chose to gun her down and we don’t know the details. Yes, self-defense is good. Some general safety is good too, like don’t go out alone at night. In my opinion, banning guns would be good too as well as spending all the money we spend in Iraq here, at home, instead. We could then afford to develop some awesome programs to help all our youth get a good education and proper nutrition while their brains are developing. Violence is a complex problem and self-defense is only part of the solution.

  10. I agree with Ann. I think the article needs to be a little more clear on what we don’t know. Eve may have had no chance at all, she may have even used self defense right up until the end. There’s no dispute: an education in self defense is always a good thing and always believe you have a chance for survival in any situation, no matter how hopeless it may seem. But let’s becareful about what we’re implying in this blog.

  11. Fear generally comes from things being “unknown”, a small amount of study goes along way in building confidence. We should learn a little about:

    the behavior of violent criminals
    how to run
    some form of self defense

    If we understand how to spot trouble early, we can avoid a lot of bad situations. I took an unarmed self defense class from InSights in the Seattle area. They have a simplified system that can give someone practical skills, which they can use immediately. They also have an advanced class which goes into more detail on multiple attacker situations.

    One of the instructors gets some unpleasant responses from people for teaching his young children about self defense, but he sounded like he taught his children to be aware and prepared, rather than cynical. Children are worth protecting.

  12. Only a completely heartless person would make a comment such as the first.

    Michael’s method might not be the best, but at least he is putting in an effort to help others, and obviously cares enough to take the time to write something USEFUL for others to read.

    Rather than spitting out ignorant and completely useless, irrelevant comments, keep them to yourself, or say something worth while.

    Meanwhile, I hope everyone realizes the world will never get better with people like Tyrone in it.

    Keep Eve and her family in your prayers.

    As for all the “little white girls”. I hope you DO learn self defense! Its needed in a world like this.

  13. Ann & Joel:
    You are absolutely right in that self-defense is only a part of the solution. But knowing self-defense is something that is within our immediate control (unlike the banning of guns, for example). In order to paint a realistic scenerio, I mentioned what likely occured via my experience as a self-defense teacher. The majority of self-defense programs spend between 5-10% of their program time on knives and guns. So… in actuality, even someone who is well-versed in self-defense will react in the same manner as the situation I decribed above.

    And again you are right by saying that she could have had no chance at all, but we (both men and women) shouldn’t train to dodge bullets…we should train to win; by any means necessary. You said yourself that “it’s always good to believe you have a chance, no matter how hopeless”… all I’m aiming to do is give others that gentle push towards the studio that may save their life. If by implying that she had a chance (although a minut chance) and by that example I persuade a woman to learn to protect herself… I’m glad for it. Please keep in mind folks, that I know this is a very sensitive subject, but I’m merely here to serve and offer my professional advice. Peace and Love- Coach

  14. Honestly, my opinion on all this is that violence is unpredictable, no matter what the color of your skin is, or your gender, or what you believe…it affects everyone.

    And the sad truth is that sometimes it is taken to an extreme level, like in this case where a young, talented girl was lost.

    All we can do is learn from these horrible events-life is precious, and we should learn to protect ourselves, whether we are a woman, or a man, or a child.

    As for Eve Carson, we are not so sure of all the facts, maybe in her situation she had no time to fight back, we don’t know.

    But what we do know is that in this world, we need to take a stand against violence, abuse, racism, sexism, etc.

    Being able to defend yourself and not allow yourself to become a victim is a start.

  15. The Houston Astros hat that Eve Carson’s killer was wearing does have a gang affiliation. The “H” logo pays homage to Larry Hoover who was in various incarnations of the Black Gangster Disciples, which he founded. Throughout the 60’s Hoover created alliances and “nations” of gangs in the Chicago area. Lemaricus Davidson, the lead “accused” black slayer of Channon Christian and Chris Newsome was also a BGD– and we know what THAT means–the murder of Eve Carson could not POSSIBLY have been racially motivated–lol.


  16. Craig- Thank you for the comment and the information. Unfortunately I had to take down the video links because, however innocent they seemed to be, were laced with “heavy language and racist comments.” Just so everyone knows… “—” is where those video links used to be…and if you happened to view those videos and were offended, I apologize. I did not sanction their use.

  17. I agree with you, Women need to defend themselves by taking classes or broading their minds with information on how to protect themselves in various situations. Better to be prepared than to regret it or not even have a chance to regret it. By learning self defense we women can have more of a chance to survive than a woman would if she had no knowledge of how to protect herself. Race is definatly not an issue by all means. Minorities such as the black community and the hispanic comunity are more proned to a voilant and criminal lifestyle but either way, a white man can hurt anyone just as minorities can. Its not about race but about how to protect our lives.

    This is a great article that will hopefully modivate people to go out there and learn self defense so that we can not end up like that girl mentioned up above. Lets learn from her experiance and prepare ourselves for the violant world ahead of us.

  18. This is a great article and I am considering trying a self-defence class out on my campus.

    I went to high school with Eve and though I wasen’t “Great” friends with her I did know her. she was a senior when I was a freshman and she was our studentbody presedent as well as her classes validictorian. I remember the first time that I had a conversation with her was in a stair case of our school and though it was breif I could tell the passion for the world that she had and I was inspired by her. Eve was the kind of person that could inspire you to be a better person like she has done to me. I hope that the Carson family can find some peace soon and that Eve as well as the Carsons are in everyones prayers. She was taken too soon

    “Only the good die young”
    You will be missed 1985-2008

  19. Hearing of such tragedies among my peers is alarming at any rate. Although i’ve never met her, never even heard her name until it was national news. My heart is still perplexed at how we as people can go to such lengths to hurt others. As a black woman i SERIOUSLY doubt it was a race issue, Eve was merely a victim of opportunity. It could have just as easily been you or me. Ignorance in a time like this is unnecessary and unwanted. So i applaud your efforts Michael, although self defense may not be the complete answer, knowledge is power. And i think we all should take some time to learn some type of tactics to ward off the people who seek to harm us. But if blood is what they desire, blood is what we’ll shed…sad but true.

  20. My parents live in Chapel Hill and they said the entire town is in agony. My thoughts & prayers to the town, the family and school for such a tragic loss. Such a waste of a promising life. I pray for justice to be served.

  21. Hey Sweetheart, you are right on the money. We as parents don’t preach
    enough about self-defense. We might try to push the subject but youth
    think that ‘it will never happen to me’. They have an attitude of being
    indestructible. I know you did as a youth and still do to a certain
    extent. Life can be cut short way too early when one is not alert and
    aware of the dangers in life…even driving defensively is critically
    important. You are more aware and alert but you still harbor that
    naivete(spelling?)of “it will never happen to me”. I don’t even want to
    try to imagine the pain that Eve’s parents are experiencing. Be safe, my

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