Some Thoughts About Women’s Self Defence
When training for any type of self-defence it is important to train in context. If you are a woman who has decided to train to defend yourself you have already taken the first step (sometimes the hardest step). Now, you need to understand the nature of the crimes you are trying to defend against.
You should not only prepare yourself for the stranger in a ski mask jumping out from behind a parked car. Seven out of ten female sexual assault victims know their attacker. Of women who were murdered, 43% knew their assailant. 25% of violent crimes happen at, or near the victim’s home. 76% of violent crime occurs within five miles of the victim’s home. While reported incidence of weapons use during sexual assaults and rape are low, almost all homicides involve the use of a weapon. Nearly half of women who are robbed, are robbed by strangers. Over half of all robberies involve the use of a weapon (all figures from the USA).
With all of this in mind we can begin to understand the context of assaults against women. As Defence Focus Shooting Instructors we operate under the Plausibility Principle. This principle states that we “spend our limited training resources appropriately, relative to the likelihood of gaining useful value.” Ninjas may slide down your chimney and steal your jewellery, but it is far more likely that a drug addict will rob you in your driveway or your car will be hijacked. Train for what is likely not just for what sounds challenging, or cool.
When training in open hand self-defence try to find a school that teaches you a few very effective techniques that work in many situations. With traditional martial arts it may take years to develop the skills needed to defend yourself in a dynamic assault. By learning a few very effective options that work in a number of situations you limit the amount of time needed to decide how to defend yourself. Rapid violence of action which allows you the opportunity to deploy a weapon, or escape, is much more effective than a protracted fight with a larger stronger opponent. Shy away from “if he does this, you do that” type training.
If we only train in the gym, or on the square shooting range we are missing a lot. We need to experience training in real world scenarios. Practicing on pads in the middle of a big open room is good, but at close quarters in a small room with obstacles gives you a feel for the real world that you don’t get on the range, or in the gym. Seek out instructors / teachers that believe in progressive real world training. Do not limit yourself to one type of training. If you are currently only training in open hand martial arts, learn to use a firearm. If you only use firearms, learn some open hand self-defence techniques. Remember other options such as Taser, knives and pepper spray. You may be in a situation where you are unable to carry a firearm and unable to resolve the situation without a defensive weapon.
Here at C.P.D.M.S. Ltd a lot of our students are female. It is a heart breaking fact that nearly half of them come to us for training after they have already experienced some sort of assault. Do not wait until you have been attacked to begin training. Train now, train hard and train often. Seek out the best instructors you can find. Intuitive reality based training is more effective than heavily choreographed step-by-step training. Do not crawl then walk then run. Run, run as fast as you can, without falling.
We hope to see you in the training group soon.