This a good blog for women interested in self defense.
I’m not a self-defense expert, but I know my share of escapes, grabs, and take downs. I can kick and punch as hard as any other. I need to learn a lot more about what technique works the best, or how to harness more power; but if anything, I know for sure that I will fight back with all my physical and mental strength if it comes down to it.
How do I know? Because I’ve practiced.
I know what it feels like for a larger person to grab me with force and how difficult it is to think in the moment. It is alarming and enlightening at the same time. Even though it was someone I knew, and even though it was just practice, I was taken aback and some of my breath unexpectedly expelled and was lost; power and confidence were drained in a mere second until I got my wits about me.
If self-defense scares you, what about being assaulted? What one scares you more?
Self-Defense classes offer practice and practical advice for real situations. Every class is different. You can choose the one that makes you feel the most comfortable, sounds the most interesting, or lets you drag your friends along. The most important thing that you need to know is that self-defense instruction is not nearly as scary as being attacked, abducted, or assaulted. If you are like me, those things do not sound very good. A little self-defense training is good for everyone, even me. This is a good reminder to brush up and learn a few new things, too.
Even with my training, and two stripes swirling around the end of my belt, I’m still really scared of being attacked. I do my best to not go places in the dark or by myself. I try to be aware. I try to know where exits are or how I would maneuver through a large crowd to safety. While all of that sounds a lot like I’m trying to hide, I suppose I am. I’m trying to hide from being in the wrong place at the wrong time, from getting attacked, or from ever having to use what I think I know about self-defense. Each situation is so different there is no possible way to prepare for every single one. Feeling scared about your safety does not have to be something that hinders you from fully living your life; rather, it should be a simple reminder to heighten your senses and awareness.
If you say that being attacked is a scary thing, but you won’t attend a self-defense class, then your words and your actions are two different things. Your words imply, “I don’t want to get attacked or have to fight,” yet your actions say “I am more afraid of going to a self-defense class with other people who want to be proactive in their safety than I am about the potential of being attacked.”
If you ask me the scariest of the two, I’m going to have to choose being attacked over learning some informational, interesting and educational and perhaps even entertaining self-defense class.
There are no “secrets” to self-defense, but surely there are some simple concepts and techniques that everyone can learn that will make a difference. They may be as simple as awareness of surroundings, personal space, how and what to yell, personal distractions to throw an attacker off-balance, or actual escapes from grabs that are not complicated. There could be topics such as verbal de-escalation techniques or how to move your body in a certain way that will take attention off you as a potential victim.
If there is anything that should truly scare you about any of this, is not knowing one iota about self-defense. If so, your arsenal is already depleted before you can even get started. Build up your self-defense skills the same way you build your muscles. First, go and take a class, then practice and flex your knowledge and ideas as frequently as possible in your mind or practice again with a friend. Start recognizing that you need to be more proactive about your surroundings and what you are doing. If your face is buried in a phone, or you carry yourself without much confidence, you become a target. Self-defense classes should provide you with an understanding of all these concepts, and more, and how to actually apply them in your everyday life or in a confrontation.
I’ve spoken to a few individuals about the ages of women who are attacked most frequently. It seems the range is more often women of college age. They are the most difficult group to encourage to learn self-defense, as well. How can they be enticed to attend self-defense classes? It is a riddle that needs to be answered. When free classes are offered, different types of classes are taught, and even convenient locations and times are available and only a few show up, it appears the clever riddle is even more difficult. What is the key? I ask you to think about it, especially if you know a young woman in this age group.
Self-defense is not just for women. A man at the gym recently explained to me how he was in Atlanta on a business trip when he was unexpectedly attacked from behind. Fortunately, only a couple of months earlier he had attended a series of self-defense classes,because he travels frequently and thought it would be a good idea. As this wild assailant came up from behind, he put one knee down and flipped the guy over his shoulder. The assailant got up and ran at him again and my friend stuck his elbow out and heard it crack upon the assailant’s chin. This was still not enough and the assailant once again ran after him as he got in his car. The perpetrator jumped on his windshield. He drove off as the guy fell to the ground.
He told me he would have never known what to do if not for the self-defense class. He took the class because he had some fear and trepidation about being attacked while traveling. If this type of fear surfaces in your mind for any reason, it is good cause to learn self-defense. I’ll be blunt. Being afraid to attend a self-defense class is a little distorted. If you must have a fear, itshould not be about learning to defend yourself. Your fear should be about the wacked-out crazy who has no fear about attacking you.
Now, if I’ve finally placed fear in the right perspective, then I want you to consider taking a self-defense class. Everyone there is attending for the same reason. Everyone wants to learn some protections and some alternatives to screaming or blindly clawing an assailant. They want to escape. They want to break free. They want to live and survive. You may never be attacked; but still, wouldn’t it be great to have a few real, worthy, concrete ideas under your belt if it does?
When you decide to learn self-defense, you are making one of the best decisions ever. Put your fear aside.