7 Dictums of what NOT to teach in self-defense for WOMEN
Many martial arts instructors DON'T understand the specific problems of women, like -
1- The average Women is SMALLER than the average Man
2- The Woman will be under extreme FEAR and STRESS during a sexual attack
3- Most Women are PUT OFF by Violence; so, learning to fight does NOT appeal to them
4- Most Women DON'T see themselves as capable of fighting a bigger & aggressive Man
The emphatic answer is a big "NO"!
Recently I saw a video of a self-promoted martial-arts guru, in Chennai, who is offering a course for women.
The scenario - Knife-threat to woman's throat by a probable rapist.
Step 1 -The instructor showed a technique where the attacked woman nonchalantly bends the thumb of the attacker's hand which is holding the knife! At the same time, she also steps on the attacker's toes and cuts his mobility!!
Step 2 - The attacker immediately falls to the ground writhing in apparent pain.
Step 3 - Then the small woman puts one foot on his face while holding down the attacker in an intricate Aikido wrist-lock.
Then she looks proudly at the camera and smiles!
What are the major blunders committed by this martial-arts instructor?
Blunder 1 - TOO MANY ASSUMPTIONS - As I often say the expansion of ASSUME is "It makes an ASS of U and ME".
The technique is so complicated that it will be difficult even for a martial-arts veteran. Assuming a small novice woman can execute this technique will only expose her to more danger.
Blunder 2 - TECHNIQUE TOO PRECISE - Small-joint manipulation
Highly precision movements like bending the thumb backwards, that too the thumb of the hand holding the knife just won't be possible for 2 reasons -
1) The attacker WON'T be static. The woman will only end up cutting her hand on the knife blade
2) The woman will be in extreme panic, that she CAN'T EXECUTE this precise Aikido small-joint manipulation.
Blunder 3 - STRENGTH DIFFERENCE NOT FACTORED IN
1) A small woman CAN'T just like that create enough pain that makes a bigger, more aggressive man fall like a mannequin.
Blunder 4 - AGGRESSION OF ATTACKER NOT FACTORED IN
2) Her foot on the face WON'T hold that angry attacker down.. and that too he has one hand free! He can do so many things with his free hand, like tripping her leg, supporting himself and turning his body. Its stupid to assume he will lie there silently.
Blunder 4 - TOO MUCH OF ENGAGEMENT WITH THE ATTACKER
1) Longer engagement in close quarters only exposes the woman to more danger
2) Women instinctively will only move away.. and NOT increase physical contact with a threat
Blunder 5 - TEACHING A WOMAN CONTROL and WEAPON DISARMING
This is the common problem with traditional martial arts. They were designed for warriors and NOT an average woman. The Instructors just keep teaching them to school girls!
Controlling and Disarming is NOT required for a woman, unless she is a Police Officer!
THE 7 DON'TS OF WOMAN SELF-DEFENCE TECHNIQUES
1) ... should NOT be based on STRENGTH
2) ... should NOT be COMPLICATED & LAYERED
3)... should NOT assume the WOMAN is going to be COOL and OBJECTIVE
4) .. should NOT assume the ATTACKER is going to be STATIC and COMPLIANT
5) .. should NOT increase ENGAGEMENT with the Attacker
6) .. should NOT teach CONTROL of the attacker
7) ... should NOT teach DISARMING WEAPON
In a later post, I will talk of What to Teach in Women's Self Defence Class.
Meanwhile give me your feedback and suggestions.
Related Posts -
“How to find out if the martial-arts instructor is a martial-fart”
Sexual harassment - Myths & Realities
KravMaga - safety tips for Children & Women - NDTV Hindu Chennai
SreeRam has started W.A.H.R (Women against harassment & Rape)an NGO devoted to increase personal safety awareness amongst women and equip them to handle sexual harassment at public and work places.
SreeRam conducts KravMaga personal safety and self-defense workshops at corporates, especially IT/BPO companies where many women work late. He has also conducted workshops, for rural women.
On 8th March 2012 ( International Women's Day) KravMaga SreeRam released a small handy booklet for women titled " 10A-s of Personal Safety for Women"
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