What does it mean to be empowered? Especially when it comes to self defence and self protection... If you know me well and/or have taken a look at the sections of my website, you will have seen that I am passionate about what I teach and how and why I feel the things and way I do... The following article is a piece that I wrote a little while ago now as part of a Self defence topic... and the responses I have had from it have been phenomenal! So now I’m sharing my article with you.. why? Because although I wrote it a while ago, I would still write the same today, and because that was and is my empowerment. It may not be nice reading but .. I hope very much that it empowers you too...
On the subject of self defence for women...
"My view is that any physical training for women, if it is being advertised and sold as "self defence" should be as realistic as what the instructor/"bad guys" can make... Obviously it is never going to be as hard/full on as the real thing/an actual attack (although some attacks are not hard and full on, they play 'mind games' with you instead, they put the fear into you as, before and while they get physical with you, it's a combined attack/assault).
But I think that the aim of any self defence physical training especially for an initial session should be to have the women who attend, come away from there, having woken up to the fact that they are going to be limited with what they are going to be able to do and that in some situations they will have no choice but to submit because they are not going to be able to get away or stop what is happening. They should come away feeling 'broken' so that they can begin the fixing process!
You want to have those women come away from there thinking how they never ever want to end up in those situations, not the other way round: thinking that they will be ok. And if they do, are in a situation, that all they might be able to do is survive which might mean not being able to do anything.
That would then, if it's done correctly, make them start wanting to think about the soft skills, all the awareness, listening to what your instinct is telling you, and then when you've got them from having that initial physical session where none of it goes how they think it will go, to them wanting and doing soft skills training, then you can start to take them back round the loop to looking at some physical skills that they might be able to 'try' emphasis on 'try' and 'it depends' depending on the situation they might find themselves in, and by still having them failing on some of the bad guy drills. Because It's that sickening awful feeling where your adrenaline is dumping all over the place which is going to help teach women more than all these self defence classes where you know full well the bad guy is giving you hardly no resistance at all and/or allowing you to get the shot. That is false confidence.
I would much rather have the confidence to recognise my own limitations and be made to face up to the fact that most likely unless i am lucky or i manage to get my timing perfect or i see an opening, that i am not going to be able to get a man off of me and/or stop him from doing what he's already got in his head he is going to do.
Out of all my regular training that i am doing, the BJJ, the times i learn the most is when i find myself stuck underneath one of the guys who has me pinned and//or puts enough pressure on that i can't get out and i can't move and i can't breathe and I'm having to a)not have a panic attack/space out, try to keep myself as alert and 'in the moment' as much as possible, b) try and work out how to make the uncomfortable position I'm in as comfortable as possible, take some of the crushing pressure off while I'm trying to work out what can i 'try' from there, try to get myself out from being pinned and c) face my worst fear that I'm not going to be able to get out, get him off and that 'it' is going to happen (in an attack).
I think self defence training for women (if it's physical) needs to be as hostile and uncomfortable as possible.. probably not what a lot of self defence instructors want to do because otherwise they won't get any women through the doors. But i know that if I've paid my money and I've made the big decision, time and effort, to do that session/course, that i would much rather be shown just how much force disparity there is and how difficult it is going to be to get out of an attack once it's started."