Tag Archives: Fight Like a Girl

Safety Tip of the Week: FIGHT BACK!

Tuesday night I gave a women’s self defense seminar at my dojo.  We practiced the techniques from the FLAG (Fight Like A Girl) program as well as some techniques from our dojo curriculum used to defend against the same attack.  So, naturally, the question arose.  “Which technique is the best?”

My answer: “Whichever works!”

Think about it.  You’re attacked.  You react.  Your reaction either stops your attacker or doesn’t.  If it stops your attacker – excellent!  But what if it doesn’t stop him?  What if it doesn’t work?  What now?  Do you coil into the fetal position and fall to the ground?  Hell, no!  You try another technique.  And another one.  And another one after that.  And you keep fighting until you’ve succeeded or until you’ve breathed your last breath.

The point is fighting back, no matter what techniques you use, will double your chances of him breaking off the attack.  Remember, every criminal fears two things – getting caught and getting hurt.

Of course, we all want a higher than 50% success rate against our attacker.  That’s why I recommend learning self-defense.  If you’ve never taken a self-defense class, please take one!  It could be the single most important thing you do.  If you have taken a self-defense class, take another one!  Repetition, repetition, repetition will help you fight back with confidence and effectiveness.

There’s more than one way to stop an attack.  The important thing is stopping it.

~KM Fawcett

Back to School Safety: The College Freshman

Women of every age are the victims of sexual assault, but statistically speaking, girls between the ages of 16-20 are at the most vulnerable period of their lives. If you put those numbers under a microscope, the most dangerous time is the freshman year of college. Some young women are from small towns, away from home for the first time, and far too trusting.  They don’t know the campus; they don’t know who to trust. So, in addition to a mini fridge and laptop, The best thing you can get for your high school or college age daughter is good a self-defense class.

Try to find a class specifically for women, one that emphasizes not only how to avoid being a victim, but how to best fight back against an attacker who will bigger and stronger than your daughter. Also look for a class that will give her the opportunity to try the techniques on a well-padded male attacker.  This is the only way she will learn which techniques work best for her and give her confidence in her ability to use them.  A great class will also cover dangerous social situations and date rape/date rape drugs.  If not, then please address these topics with your daughter.  She needs to know that a predator will look like everybody else. He can be a stranger, her roommate’s boyfriend or the cute guy in her Calc class. He can slip something into her drink in a split second.

Department of Justice studies show that 50% of all attackers will abandon the assault if the girl merely indicates she is willing to put up a fight.  This is great news.  Half the time.  But the other half will keep coming. Girls CAN fight back if they know what to do.

And when you find a class that looks promising, sign yourself or your wife up too.  Because all women should know how to protect themselves.

Safety Tip of the Week: Learn to Defend Yourself

We’ve talked about the common sense things you can do to try and avoid becoming a victim. We’ve also talked about the various products you can use to defend yourself. This week we talk about learning to defend yourself, because  no matter how vigilant you are, you still may find yourself in the position of having to protect yourself.

There are a multitude of martial arts out there that you can learn that will teach you practical self defense techniques. Karate is a striking martial art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes as well as  open-handed techniques to defend yourself against an attack. Melinda, Kathy, and I study different styles of karate. Kathy studies Isshinryu Karate, a much more tradition style of karate. Melinda and I study Kenpo Karate which is sort of a hybridized style to begin with that also incorporates elements of aikido, kung fu, and jiu jitsu.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is another martial art that can be especially beneficial to woman. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a self-defense system that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. It emphasizes the principle that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themself against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique.

There are many benefits to studying a martial art such as:

  • Increased reflexes and coordination
  • Increased stamina and strength
  • Increased flexibility and balance
  • Improved concentration
  • Stress reduction
  • Increased self-esteem and self respect
  • Increased confidence levels

Plus, the regular classes will help you build muscle memory. The more you practice the movements, the more automatic they become, and the faster you’ll be able to react in the event of attack. If you’re not sure what martial art will suit you, try a variety. Call various studios and see if they offer trial classes. Sometimes, local recreation centers will offer a variety of different classes relatively inexpensively.

However, if studying a martial art really isn’t your cup of tea. There are numerous self defense classes you can take. Check with local recreation centers and police departments. They may offer or be able to suggest local self defense programs. One especially good program is the Rape Escape program developed by self defense and women’s safety expert, Steve Kardian. This is a four part program that is designed for the real world. The first part entitled Fight Like a Girl(FLAG) teaches self defense techniques that the average woman can use in realistic sexual assault situations. In other words, you don’t need to have a martial arts background to learn and remember these techniques.

As Kathy discussed in her post on Being a Hard Target, most assailants look for the person that appears to be the easy, unsuspecting target. Whether you learn a martial or take a self defense class the one thing you will gain is the confidence of knowing that should the need arise you can defend yourself. This confidence will shine through and can help lessen the likelihood of you being victimized.