Women in recent decades have become more and more involved with martial arts, which is a great news—not just for self-defense purposes, but also for stress reduction, health, and longevity. Also, the advancement in athletic sciences, converging with progressive martial arts systems have made it clear that neither martial arts by itself, nor athletic training in its own domain would suffice to save you as a woman successfully in a violent assault. Therefore, the first thing to consider is don’t just pump weights; and don’t just go sign up in some traditional martial arts school, thinking that’s going to save you automatically.
The second thing to consider is to ask yourself—can this art that you want to get into, for self-defense purposes—–comprehensive enough to deal with a wide variety of violent assaults. If so, is it just punch-kick-oriented—-is it just sport oriented…etc.
The United States Department of Justice, World Health Organization, U.N Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Women Global Database on Violence against Women—-all talk about the rise of violence against women in an unprecedented rate. The United States Department of Justice, back in 2008 provided the following stats for just women alone:
Overall violent crime number: 551,590—–Rape/sexual assault number: 35,690—–Robbery number: 38,820—– Aggravated assault number: 70,550, and Simple assault number: 406530. Unfortunately, females made up 70% of victims killed by an intimate partner in 2007. It goes on to say that females were killed by intimate partners at twice the rate of males.
Bureau of Justice Statistics says: Women ages 20-24 are at greatest risk of domestic violence. In addition, National Institute of Justice provides us with some stats in which it says, women age 24 and under suffer from the highest rates of rape. The Justice Department estimates that one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape during their college years, and that less than five percent of these rapes will be reported. The Pew Research Center also says, most crimes are not even reported to police , and most reported crimes are not solved at all.
These stats are not just numbers, but tell us that these crimes are real, every day occurrences. I am not trying to create fear, but it is what it is! It would not be a bad idea to get yourself involved in a practical self-defense program that addresses these exact problems and at the same time provides you with a portal through which you can maintain a better and healthier life style. There was a time when men mostly farmed and women for the most part raised children, milked the cows, and worked in the kitchen. That era is over. Human relationships, the frequency, and the number of human interactions have exponentially increased due to advances in science, technology and the change in human perception and world views.
Mental illness has increased at an alarming rate, the presence of every day financial distress, family issues, hopelessness, emotional despair, uncertainty of the future, decline in moral standards, increase in divorce rate, the rise of terrorism, suicide, substance abuse and many others factors—-all take their tolls and the symptom of such trend is just pure violence!
So in short, one of the best things we can do, in order to stay immune to this mess, is to take care of our health and at the same time involve ourselves with healthy groups of people—especially those who have dedicated themselves (good, solid, sincere martial art instructors and athletic trainers) to the cause of self-preservation. This would decrease stress, increase health, and at the same time, as a woman you learn something that can actually do you good, should violence show up at the door of your life, KNOCKING!!!
But be realistic in choosing where you are going to commit yourself in order to reach your goals. Make sure to consult with a few trusted people about this. I assure you that if a system is teaching you as women (even men) to only punch some big violent individual who may be on heavy drugs and alcohol——-or if that system is teaching you even kneeing him in the sternum and this man happens to be some big violent, corn-fed 290 lbs fellow——-and you have been told that it is going to work——-and you have assumed that it is going to work—–I am afraid, you are going to be very very disappointed. I am just being frank and honest!
To make this point to some of my own students (guys) in group classes, for demonstration purposes, I have, in the past, picked good size guys who are good athletes and can hit very very hard as fighters, I tell them I want you to hit me as hard as you want right on my liver, spleen, sternum, legs——–pretty much anywhere except my eyes, throat, and groin; and they have hit me with everything they have got. I have let them hit me 10-15 times or as many as they wish. I just stand there staring at them. I say, are you done?!! They are like, wow! I tell them, NO WOW—–I am not even on adrenaline rush. This is not to brag, but to demonstrate and get this illusion out of their minds, that even a good size [guy] would be in big trouble if he attempted to do something as stupid as that—–now imagine, I tell them, a woman who weighs, let’s say 110 lbs, or 130 lbs or whatever lbs, trying to hit a big violent guy. Do you really think she is going to save herself!? or is she going to just piss the guy off even more! There are exception here and there of course, but we don’t live or train by the standards of exceptionalism. It is not wise to do so anyway! We want to work with normal everyday people who have normal lives, but desperately, are in need of a good, solid, training program——I am more interested in that person than the ability of an exceptional man or woman.
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