Self Defense & Personal Safety

WHAT IS SELF-DEFENSE?

Self-defense is not the same thing as martial arts! Many people have the impression that to learn to protect themselves against everyday dangers they have to learn a martial art. This simply isn’t true! While many martial arts evolved as self-defense systems, they suited the needs of a people in a specific time and place. They don’t necessarily translate well to practical, modern-day needs. Instead, self-defense techniques are those you would use for the real dangers women and girls face in our society today, such as harassment, abuse, and sexual assault. These are best addressed through a quality women’s self-defense class. Self defense and martial arts each have strengths—and they do have some things in common.

SELF DEFENSE MARTIAL ARTS BOTH
Anybody can learn basic physical self-defense skills, even somebody small, elderly, with physical disabilities, overweight, or out of shape. Is a good workout. Will get you in shape and bring you the health benefits of fitness. Some schools are geared toward sports and competition and attract younger or more athletic people. Other schools are non-competitive and view martial arts as a practice open to anyone. Get you in touch with your physical power.
Teaches skills to use against harassment, abuse, and assault, including everyday situations that don’t involve physical attack. May help you develop the confidence to handle daily situations. Also may teach awareness to help with prevention. The physical fighting techniques of martial arts contain ancient and powerful self-protection information. Effective self-defense training can help you better understand their practical, realistic application to current-day attacks. Increase confidence.
Effective skills can be learned quickly. Must be studied for a long time to attain proficiency. Often a life-long pursuit. Create a stronger mind-body connection.
Develops a broader awareness of issues related to violence against women and girls.
Develops self-respect and awareness. Encourages personal insights into experiences with violence. Develops discipline, respect, focus. May spur internal change as well as learning specific skills.
Depending on the program, may connect to feminism, anti-racism, and larger sociopolitical issues. Depending on the focus of each school, may encourage spiritual development and/or martial arts as sport and competition. May make connections beyond the particular focus of the program or school.

 

Your personal safety is something you should take the time to learn about.

There are several dimensions to self-defense and personal safety.

First, find resources and safety services at your place of work, your school campus, or any other place you spend a significant amount of time.

Second, think about the places and times that could be dangerous. Take measures to avoid these and keep yourself, your family, your friends out of harm’s way.

Third, help yourself, a family member, or a friend, leave an abusive relationship.

Fourth, find and enroll in a self-defense course in your area.

Lastly, lean about safety devices. Do they really protect you? Do you know how to use it? Is it legal to carry on you?

Resources & Safety Services that may be available:

 

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Why you should defend yourself

If someone has mal-intent (plans to harm) you, it would be helpful for you to know how to defend yourself. Because the possible offender is not expecting you to know what to do in the event of an attack, you will have one up on them. This means you’ll have an advantage that others may not. This is a good thing! You may be scared that you are not strong enough or the person that is trying to hurt you may do more damage if you try and fight back. This is common. However, learning how to be aware, as well as some self-defense techniques and building confidence may save your life!

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Would you rather ‘just deal with it’ if a situation arises?
  • Would you just like to think that you could simply “talk or reason” with the assailant”? thus eliminating the necessity of learning skills for safety?

Self-defense training can increase your options and help you prepare responses to slow down, de-escalate, or interrupt an attack. Like a muscle or any tool, the more you know about it, the better prepared you become should you need it. Knowledge is power!!

“The best fight you have ever had is the one you were never in!”

Perhaps you have heard the following myths, or have even thought of them yourself:

  • If someone tries to mess with me I’ll just punch him in the balls!
  • If I am ever attacked, I will just try to reason with them and give them what they want – surely they will go away.
  • If I am attacked, I will scream at the top of my lungs and just try to avoid getting in the car.
  • If I am attacked, I will pretend that my boyfriend/girlfriend is on the phone with me. I always carry my cell phone in my hand for that very purpose.
  • I won’t be attacked – I carry Mace with me at all times.
  • It won’t happen to me. That kind of stuff only happens in movies or in cities prone to such things.
  • I have no idea what I would do if I was attacked.

 

The problem with all these thoughts is that they are all absolutely ineffective, and they leave you with no real plan. During an unwanted encounter, or a situation that is escalating in a negative way, you only have seconds to act, and the list above won’t save your life against someone who is aiming to do you harm – or worse.

Learning personal awareness and self-protection gives you the upper edge you wouldn’t have if you didn’t learn this information. Your assailant is caught off guard, and you have a much better chance to escape!

This is one of the BEST books on Self Defense for Women!!

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