Once, when a drunk friend became aggressive–and my words didn’t work as he backed me into a corner–I kicked out. His response? “Nice kick.”
THE STUDY OF PHYSICAL MOVEMENTS WITHOUT AN UNDERSTANDING OF CONTEXT CAN BE DANGEROUS. False empowerment can cause us to jump into situations we aren’t ready to handle, and a lack of understanding about the before, during and after of an emergency, can mean we get in too deep before realizing we had other options.
THERE IS SO MUCH MORE WOMEN CAN DO TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AND THEIR LOVED ONES THAN KICK AND PUNCH. WE NEED A FOUR DIMENSIONAL APPROACH TO SELF DEFENSE TRAINING: MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, CONTEXTUAL, THEN PHYSICAL. Physical options should always be a last resort since the end result is often… unpleasant.
Many instructors will talk about self-defense being ninety percent mental, but that’s not what you get in class. That’s because learning to listen to your own brain whizzing and whirring and cultivating the self awareness that enables you to fix things your own glitches, are much more time consuming and complex than any physical technique could ever be. And because this kind of thinking is difficult to teach, it isn’t being taught. Some of this kind of knowledge is available in sports and military endeavors–understanding aggression, control over biological and emotional reactions to fear, quick decision making in which injury or death is at stake; as such, mostly men have had access to it.
There are an infinite number of possible crime scenarios. No number of physical techniques will answer all the variations. Chess players know there are more combinations of chess pieces on a board than atoms in the universe. Crime is an ever-changing game of strategy that requires constant adaptation. And, life is even more complex. We have to learn to think, to see and to make quick, constructive decisions sometimes under intense pressure.
Women are not only smaller and weaker than their attackers, they are conditioned to react to asocial behavior, like threats, with social behavior, like kindness or self deprecation. A woman might be pregnant or responsible for multiple children. Gangs and fraternities work in teams against unsuspecting and weaker individuals. For all of these reasons women’s self defense can’t just be a different version of men’s self defense, it needs to be a different species.