I'm currently in the process of going through your book (with a pencil to underline everything important), and I peeked ahead to the section on self-defense for women. I'd been wondering about this topic for a while and I was wondering if you had any more specific recommendations, especially per my particular situation.
Now I have to admit up front that I'm not much of a natural athlete and I'm not in the greatest shape. I recognize this is something I have to work on a lot, probably more than the other areas of my preparedness plan. I'm not so bad that I'm out of breath after going up stairs - I can hike for about four miles on hilly terrain, lift moderately heavy boxes, etc. - but I certainly don't yet match your description of a person fit enough to take on SHTF. Also, I know absolutely nothing about martial arts and thus would not be able to tell if someone was selling me trash in that area. In the past I've also been prone to the "I don't need to learn how to fight because I have a gun" attitude, which your book and blog successfully showed me was incorrect.
So since I knew that I needed get myself into a women's self-defense class, I went online and started to look for local classes. And apparently, women around here don't need to defend themselves, because I could find next to nothing (at least close by). Most of the classes / schools were in the major cities ~50 miles away, and of all the remaining options, I'd say about 75-80% of them were just karate. Since I knew you generally recommended something more mixed than that, I decided to keep looking. Also, 90% of them were very guy-oriented, and you had said that women need an instructor who specializes in training women.
One of few remotely promising options I found was this site: http://www.abdct.com/womens-classes.html. Like I said, I honestly can't tell whether or not something is worth my time, and there's not really anyone I know who knows enough to ask. Does this guy look good to you, or is this more "martial arts BS," as you say?
Another option is a local group of karate schools where two of my guy friends got their black belts. Like I said before, these don't appear to be as mixed as you recommend, but it's still out there. I also remember reading on one of your self-defense posts that you weren't into the mental/emotional stuff in karate/taekwondo, you just wanted to learn how to fight - that would be more along the lines of my thoughts as well. Link: http://www.gabrieleskaratekickbox.com/welcome/
I also have no idea how much any of these options will cost.
I don't want to become a professional fighter, I just want to be able to handle myself if I have to, like you say. I can see plenty of non-paranoid reasons to take a self-defense class, economic collapse or not. Just for starters, the current rape statistics on American college campuses (25% of female students being the victims of rape or attempted rape). Those odds aren't comforting to say the least, so it sort of amazed me that there weren't more classes. Basically, how do the above options look to you, and do you have any more detailed recommendations for women's self-defense?
First, allow me to apologize for not answering sooner. Seems that every time I spend a bit of extra time doing something else email gangs up on me and I’m a month behind replying.
It’s good that you are seeking ways to improve your ability to defend yourself.
While you mostly see relatively young, fit guys in defensive shooting classes and training, the truth is that women and senior citizens are the favorite target.
Put yourself in the bad guy’s shoes: Who would you rather chose as a victim?
My description is somewhat ideal. Its understandable that we’re not all alike, we’re all different people, different bodies and lifestyles. The important thing is knowing your limitations but at the same time not be afraid of some self criticism so as to improve those things that are within your power to do so.
I can hardly think of anything more boring that 30-45 minutes on a stationary bicycle, yet I do my best to drag myself to one when I go to the gym.
Being strong and fast is important though. Not only for fighting but other situations as well. Something as simple as running away from all sorts of threats is within our genes, yet so many people wouldn’t be able to run if they had to.
Some time ago my wife was with my son, shopping in the centric part of town, perfect normal day, about noon, lots of people walking down the bullevard. All of a sudden she heard shots and she had to run with our baby inside a store. Someone had tried to rob a store and started a gunfight with the guard. Its just one small example but I guess you understand my point. IF you have to evacuate your city on foot for whatever reason you also need to be able to do so, the amount of stuff you’re fit to carry will tell how much of the much needed gear, food and water you’ll be able to take with you.
The first link, ABD, that seems to be a god combination of martial arts and practical self defense. There’s nothing wrong with martial arts in itself. The problem is that as time went by its has become less and less “martial” so to speak, to the point where it is often not nearly as good on the streets as some people may be led to believe. As I often mentioned, some of these classes do all they can to avoid something very natural in a fight, which is getting hit.
Check this out, from the FAQ in that same website that says they train you “for the real thing”.
Will I be getting hit? No. Our classes are very SAFE. We use pads, shields, and safety equipment constantly, and the injury rate is VERY low.
Most people do not want to get hit. Some are down right scared of it. In a competitive combat sport or martial art, this occurs naturally when you compete, against someone that wants to beat you. The downside is that some of these martial arts aren’t focused on self defense and leave important things out.
I would still chose the first one, since it seems more self defense oriented. Train as much as you can but always remember, you really don’t know how good or bad you are until you fight against a partner that really wants to defeat you. Its better to get hit in the face with a glove in the gym than getting punched for the first time bare knuckle in a fight for your life.
Its not a bad idea also to cross train. If you get into karate you can learn a lot, and its specially valuable if you don’t shy away from sparring sessions.
Whatever it is you do, know that its FAR better than doing nothing at all. Remember that you need to train at least some with a non cooperative partner, don’t fall for a false sense of overconfidence (which most defensive schools will try to push) and never forget that your main objective is self defense.
Also keep in mind that you have weapons available. Knives can be terrific defensive weapons id you invest a few classes on knowing how to use them. Knives require physical strength and if you don’t know a few basics it can be taken away from you much easier, so don’t overlook some minimum training.
|The Spyderco Delica is a fine choice when it comes to a compact, defensive-capable blade, both for men and women.|
Consider yourself lucky, knives that can be easily purchased in USA and other countries are banned or seriously restricted in UK and other European countries. Take advantage of this opportunity. I got my wife a (purple :-) ) Spyderco Delica. Its scary sharp, solid and easy to open.
Take care Katy.