January is National Personal Self-Defense Awareness month and as badass women we couldn’t let an opportunity to educate our readers slip past us. We enlisted the help of Jarrett Arthur (whom you’ve seen before on the site as well as in Indie Chick print magazine) to guide us through the month with self defense tips and strategies. You’ll be seeing her videos and articles throughout the month.
If the “Pre-Fight” (awareness, avoidance, prevention, de-escalation) part of the self-defense spectrum is the most important to learn and practice consistently, then the “Fight” (stance, movement, striking, blocking, defending) part is by far the scariest. You can’t stop it from happening at this point. It’s just you against him. He’s planned this. He’s ready. He’s much bigger, and he’s willing to do whatever is necessary to get what he wants. So what do you do? What does that mean for you and your own personal safety?
Here’s where you need to take a moment for a serious reality check. You can be the baddest mutha out there, but if you are targeted as the victim of a violent crime, and either don’t see it coming or weren’t able to avoid and prevent it, you’re going to be right smack in the middle of a fight for your life. The intensity, aggression, hatred, horror, and speed of an attack like that you can’t possibly imagine unless you’ve experienced it. Listen, I’m a strong, confident, independent woman. I’ve been a nationally ranked athlete for the better part of my life, including in college. I’ve been training, studying, and fighting in the world of Krav Maga (widely accepted as the most intense, aggressive tactical hand-to-hand combat system on the planet) for 10 years. I’ve had my nose broken, been knocked out, broken bones, dislocated joints, had my front teeth driven through my lip. I can go from sweet and unassuming to a primitive animal in a split second if need be. But the thought of having to fight off someone who wants rape, take, harm, or otherwise terrorize me scares the shit out of me. It’s downright terrifying.
Get Your Game Plan Right
If your game plan is to simply “whoop some ass” you need a new game plan. In the world of violence against women the old adage, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail,” is 100% accurate. Only the consequence of failing may mean your life. Thought you were in for some light reading, huh? Not so much.
The point of this isn’t to scare you so badly you never leave your house. The point is that you have two choices: assume that you won’t be targeted (statistics say otherwise, by the way) and go about your life; or get real about what it means to be a woman in the world today, learn how to prevent violence to the best of your ability, and train to survive violence. Would it be nice if we didn’t have to think about these things? Sure. But we do. If it’s still too scary, consider all of the super dangerous stuff you willingly participate in daily, like driving your car or riding a bus. It’s part of life so you accept it, and do it, usually without intense anxiety as part of the process. Acquiring self-defense skills should be no different.