BA50 women, I think it’s time for us to educate ourselves about self defense. Anyone who is reading the news lately knows what I am talking about. Hate crimes are up, political violence is too, people are angry and many of us feel less safe.
Remember the rape whistles in college, and the mace spray we were supposed to carry. Well, I didn’t remember any of that until I took a self defense class the other week which left me feeling more empowered and stronger. The truth is women feel
My friends looked incredulous, dubious, raised their eyebrows and wondered why when I proudly announced I was going to take a self-defense class. Ah, come on..how are you going to defend yourself against someone with a gun? You hate guns…you’ve never shot a gun. And they continued, what if someone is in a ski mask and tries to rob you when you are walking in NYC…how will you ever be able to defend yourself?
I hadn’t planned on taking a class, but a few weeks ago I was with my buddy and we met this guy who was traveling around the country teaching people how to defend themselves and it came as no surprise that he was super booked out.
“What will we learn? We have never used a gun and don’t really want to but we don’t want to feel helpless, uninformed and useless should there be a dangerous situation. How can women in the 50’s and 60’s defend themselves against an attacker? How can we defend others? There must be something we can do besides stand there and panic!”
And, that’s how we ended up signing up for a 2 hour intro self-defense course. We were taught about using a strong flashlight to shine into someone’s eyes so they were blinded, we were given spray to keep them away, we learned about a device that could be used to hurt someone if we were under attack and we learned how to take a cartridge out of a gun if we managed to get someone to drop it. We also tried our hand at the range which so freaked me out, I don’t ever want to have to shoot. The truth is, all these skills really would be super hard to do because if we were personally attacked it would be pretty hard to imagine our brains would be that rational and one 2 hour session would be enough to override the panic.
The truth is I never want to be tested because I can’t imagine at all that I would be a worthy opponent.
Yet, there were some important skills that may be doable like managing our brains in a panicky situation, how to pay attention and remember peoples faces, license plates and what not to say or do. And that was way more knowledge than we had before our 2 hour immersion.
“If you are feeling increased fear, anxiety, or other intense emotions as a result of high profile crimes or violence being discussed in the media or happening in your community, the following tips may be helpful.
- Get reliable information. One of the best ways to manage fear is to understand what is being done to protect your community. The more we know about the current situation, the more effective steps we can take to help minimize our risk. Be sure to get information from a reputable source. Know and follow all directions from state and local authorities.
- Be aware. When you are in a situation where there is potential violence, it’s important to remain vigilant. Pay attention to your surroundings; have a plan for seeking shelter if needed.
- Focus on what you do have control over. The images we see on social media and television, along with the stories we hear and our own thoughts about violence, can increase our anxiety. Think about what you can control and how you can reduce your risk of being a victim. This may include avoiding an area where violence is occurring. You may want to review your workplace safety plan and discuss safety with your family and friends.
And if you want to start learning a few moves on You Tube this video is easy to follow…