Why Women Don’t Learn Self-Defense (But Should!)
Women’s self-defense, as we can all admit, is an important subject. But unless you are a celebrity instructor, have an amazing marketing team or wide access to women with a lot of time on their hands, chances are, you’ll have only a small-to-moderate turnout.
We’ve all heard and read the statistics; it’s uncomfortable to hear and imagine. We shrug our shoulders and hope that it doesn’t happen to us. We watch a program on the news, but as soon as you feel something the newscaster switches to another catastrophe, another piece of “breaking news.”
The Truth is…
We know what’s good for us. We know that we should eat our veggies, brush our teeth… but what many don’t tell you (especially if you are a woman) is that you have a 1-in-4 chance of being raped or sexually assaulted in your lifetime. Just think about the fact that even if it isn’t happening to you, it is likely happening to someone you know/knew and care/cared about.
If you acknowledge one thing (man or woman)….
You must acknowledge that you can become a target and crimes such as: bullying, domestic violence, sexual assault & rape can happen to anyone!
Even though every woman has thought about this at some point in their life, many are still not taking the necessary steps of prevention. And just to make this clear – I’m not saying that learning self-defense is the definitive answer, but it is one of the best methods we have on this complex subject. Taking classes with someone who understands not just the physical side of dealing with a would-be attacker, but placing enough emphasis on the physiological side – quick decision-making; when to run/escape, when to feint compliance (if necessary) and when to fight back, is of monumental importance.
“Violence is like treading water in a typhoon. Most of the time, the typhoon is short-lived. But if you don’t even know how to swim, you’re lost.”
But why do women neglect to train if the stakes are this high? …
- Many have grown up with negative associations. Things like: age, size, weight, fitness level, their level of comfort, body image, etc., play into their thoughts about their ability in class and their potential to fend off/escape/subdue an opponent in a real situation.
- Violence being done to you or a loved one is a terrible thought. It’s easier to “put off” or go into denial that violence will happen to you.
- Some women are not comfortable taking lessons from or with men. [This behavior makes it not only more difficult to get them to class and learn, but more susceptible to victimization]
- Many women (many whom I’ve met personally) don’t believe there is even a solution. They feel they are and always will be incapable.
- Some women have been victims themselves and a class will conjure horrible memories of the fear and hopelessness they once felt.
- Some women may feel that fighting and learning to fight is “something men do” – It’s not “lady-like.”
- Women (like many men) work hard during the day, and don’t feel like they have the TIME. [we make time for what is important]
- They are or feel as if they are strapped financially.
Of all things…
Of all things, don’t let time or money be a factor. There are some amazing, yet affordable programs out there (as well as products*). And as far as TIME is concerned – like I said, we make time for what is important. If we choose not to, well… that’s just plain foolish.
The Cycle of Behavior – Tony Blauer
Ten Titles for Women Learning Self-Defense – Michael Joyce
Sexual Assault Prevention (+Video Clip) – Gracie, Kennedy, Joyce