Women’s self defence requires extra considerations to men’s self defence. Sometimes they will face the same issues as a man, such as mugging or possibly a same sex fight. But with women there is of course the issue of sexual predators which is not usually a consideration for men! For men, it is most likely to be either a mugging or a dominance fight (“macho” men trying to show who is toughest). Dominance fights do occur between women, but are far less common. Continue reading “Womens Self Defense: Why It’s Different For Women” »
I have written before about women’s primeval survival instincts which featured a video by Black Belt Hall Of Fame member, Melissa Soalt, otherwise known as “Dr Ruthless”.
The video below also features Dr Ruthless teaching self protection to women, most of whom are completely untrained in martial arts. Although this video does not really include anything dramatically new, I think it is good (especially for women) to remind ourselves how powerful women can be with the right motivation and a real will to survive no matter what the odds.
As I mentioned in my previous article, society can teach women that they are the fair sex and weaker, sometimes giving the impression that they should not even try to fight back if attacked. Woman are often taught that they don’t stand a chance.
However, just take a look at how much raw power untrained women can generate when they keep their heads instead of panicking and when they ignore any inappropriate social conditioning that might affect their personal safety.
Most predators look for an easy target. Even lions look to isolate a weak, old or injured buffalo from the herd; then don’t go for the strong young bull with the great big horns. Why? Because they don’t want to get hurt themselves, why would they?
A street predator (mugger/rapist) looking for a victim is just the same. They select a target who they think will not put up much of a fight. If it does become a real fight however, often they’ll back off as that is not what they are after. Even though women generally may not be able to win an all out fight against a man, what is often overlooked is that most street predators are not looking for an all out fight. Making as much noise as possible (like in the video below) is also a deterrent as the attacker knows that this will attract attention, which is the last thing that they want.
Of course this may not work against a drunk who is just looking for trouble and not thinking at all; but a mugger/rapist is more often sober and calculating and can potentially be even more dangerous. So if he calculates that this target is too difficult or that the target will attract help from others, then they might just flee the scene.
So . . . . . respect to the ladies . . . . . give yourself more credit.
I come across this video below from a Facebook friend. It is from the woman’s self protection perspective. One of the main things that I liked about it is that it makes the point that self defence is a primal instinct, which we all have the capacity for.
When severely threatened we can all resort to the most primitive and basic animal instincts, which is savage, brutal and barbaric. Civilisation has taught us to control such instincts. In many cases it even teaches us to bury them completely. This is especially true of women, where they are encouraged to be feminine (which is considered exactly the opposite of getting down and dirty and in a fight).
Things have improved over the years. As a kid I remember that the role of a woman in an action film was to get into trouble, scream lots and be rescued by the male hero. Nowadays women are portrayed as far more capable and independent . . . . . . . and rightly so.
Women in martial arts used to be a tiny minority. They still are in the minority, but they make up a bigger percentage today then when I first started back in the late 70’s. Although perceptions have changed and many prejudices have been overcome (still more to go), many women still have this cultural conditioning which bury their primal instincts.
Some years ago, I helped a friend, Wayne Badbury (from Kamon Wing Chun) doing a self protection course for women. I was one of the stooges to be hit. I had a kind of crash helmet, cricket shin pads and body armour. It was like an early primitive version of the FAST Defence. I had to provoke the women into an emotional response and then be hit. I have to say that I was quite amazed at how hard some of these women hit when actually emotionally aroused (with fear). I would not have liked to be hit like that without the protection and most men would not have been able to withstand it for long.
I hope I don’t offend anybody here, but these women in the emotional state hit harder and were more scary than a lot of female martial artists that I’ve trained with. Most times that I’ve sparred with women, I’ve felt obliged to tone it down a bit (masculine cultural programming). I will say that this is not always the case. I remember once trying out a new club and being partnered to fight a female 3rd Dan. I thought “OK, take it easy”, but the second we started she jumped in and hit me reverse punch. “OK”, I thought, “I’ll go up a gear”.
Now some people may think that I’m sexist, but that same lady 3rd Dan later admitted that she too had to tone it down with most other women. Now don’t get me wrong, I not suggesting that the guys should be laying into the women and knocking them about, far from it. What I am suggesting is that if women can overlook some of their social conditioning, they’ll find they are much tougher then they think they are and are much more capable of physically fighting of an attacker then they think they are.
One of the most primal functions of a woman’s body is child birth. Most men could not take that level of pain, yet many women do it over and over again. Women have far more depths and capacity then most men give them credit for. For that matter, they have far more depth and capacity then most women give themselves credit for. Having the will to fight back (if necessary) does not detract from feminism (as some social conditioning may have women believe). In fact many men actually have more respect for and are more attracted to a strong willed & spirited woman.
Ironically, many women would without hesitation fight to the death to protect their child, but not for themselves. Don’t let social conditioning set you up to be a victim.