Women's Self Defense

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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There are a few misconceptions about women's self-defense courses that ought to be addressed in any discussion of a program's merits. Number one, the skills learned in the safety of a studio may be the same as those you'd use in a dark alley, but the similarities end there. It's not enough, therefore, to learn to throw your sensei to the ground; you must be conditioned to fight off a real attacker who's likely to resort to any tactics he can to make off with your purse (or worse).

This leads to misconception number two, that women's self-defense courses are about building the physical strength to stave off attackers. While strength is always a plus, it is mental toughness that you'll need to call upon when faced with a real-life challenge. This means preparing yourself for "dirty" tactics, verbal insults, and hostile surroundings, none of which may be thwarted by power or strength alone.

What To Look for in Self-Defense Classes

If you're looking to learn the finer points of wielding a kubotan or nunchukas, a self-defense course many not be for you. While fancy weapons look cool, it's survival that should interest you the most. An honest-to-goodness showdown is no place to whip out your billy club and attempt to apprehend a criminal. Rather, it's an occasion for buying yourself a few seconds to escape, which may be done through physical force or the use of a stun gun or Mace.

The ideal self-defense class for women then will combine tactical defense with psychology and subject you to as real-life a situation as possible. You may be cornered by two men or approached with a stick or baseball bat. Generally, your instructors will wear full-body padding in order to encourage you to fight back with all the intensity you can muster, just as you would in a real crisis. It never hurts to have backup measures, such as pepper spray, available either.

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