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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Effective Women’s Self Defense: Three Things You Must Consider


Almost ever Dojo claims that they teach self defense and arguable any Dojo that encourages their students to become more confident and physically fit is on the right track. However many self defense programs are severely lacking. Over the next few weeks I will be talking about self defense, more specifically women's self defense, and I will hopefully provide some insight into how we can better our self defense programs.

Today we will focus on three key concepts that must be considered when designing an effective Self Defense course. These concepts are relevant to all types of self defense training however in this article I will be focusing on self defense targeted at civilian women. If you are creating a more general or  tactical self defense course you may need to modify some of these points.

People who assault other people especially woman are almost never looking for a fair fight. Attackers intentionally look for people who exhibit weakness and who offer little to no repercussions for their actions. Most attackers will use verbal abuse, stalking and other scare tactics to break down their potential victim’s self-esteem; this could be done during the first encounter or over a long standing relationship.

The Boogie man
Is the least of your worries. All though the news and even self defense courses cash in on the idea of the looming anonymous attacker in actuality most assaults against woman are committed by the people who are closest to them, whether that is thier best friend, mother, father, coworker or boss. Though strangers do attack unsuspecting woman it is not the norm, this is why these attacks can become such a spectacle in the news. The boogie man is a neat and tidy metaphor to talk around the realities of abusive situations. There is a reason why he has always lived in your closet or under your bed.

Punching and Kicking are the Fun Parts
Most all self defense programs focus on the physicality of self defense. This is because it is fun, impersonal and easy to run around smashing pads, while playing out self defense scenarios against would be attackers, however in most violent situations the physical aspect of the assault lasts only a few minutes. Therefore it is important to address how to avoid abusive and physically dangerous situations and how to deal with the emotional harm that may incur in the unfortunate event that some one is attacked.

Next week we will talk about how you can address and train confidence with in your self defense program. I will offer advice both on how to work with these concepts in a theoretical way and on how you can design exercises that reinforce these concepts. Until then let us know what you think is the most important point of consideration when teaching self defense in the comments below.

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