Two thousand years ago women’s empowerment, self-actualization and freedom of movement weren’t high on the agenda. That doesn’t explain why we are still stuck. Why aren’t female instructors doing more? And why isn’t there more of a demand? Many women are still guilty of thinking that self defense is the same as kickboxing, or that if the police would just do their job, we wouldn’t need all this crazy violent self defense talk and we could just live our lives!
With kids learning from their parents, or early on in school, we could see a drastic decrease in violence against women, epidemic the world over. If we thought of self defense as a series of mental and physical tools that directly addressed the realities of crime today, we might see things change for the better.
I see classes where, through roll play, moms and kids learn the simple tells and tricks of emotionally unstable people and hardened criminals, so they can identify behavior before it becomes a problem.
Students would learn that a man who insists on helping and won’t give in is disregarding their authority and that any self-respecting person responds to the word “no”.
Girls would know the many ploys a criminal might use to begin a conversation, get her to share a ride, or borrow her cell so he can call himself and capture her number for a rainy day.
A freshman letting loose her first weeks in college would know that no matter how good-looking a man is he may still be a predator and that although he says he knows her friends he may just be a good listener making notes of personal info .
A woman properly trained in her own protection would know how to fight like a pitfall using every object in reach as a weapon should anyone ever pull a knife and try to coerce her into a car.
She would know the statistics are loud and clear that once she’s in that car she’s going to a place of the criminal’s choosing and there’s very likely no coming back.
Unfortunately, those who really need self defense training aren’t getting it. Women only look for answers once they’ve been attacked and need to regain a sense of autonomy as part of the healing process. Or they go to a kickboxing class for exercise and a quick infusion of empowerment.
For the record, kickboxing isn’t self defense. Kicking in the air is nothing at all like kicking a man who’s fighting back. Most guys barely notice it when I kick them and I have 30 years of training and break six inches of pine with my side kick.