Self defense is simply the right combination of situational awareness, safe choices and behaviors, and physical/mental readiness that enables you to avoid, evade, escape or survive an attack. Note that I don’t say “a person” when I write…because I’m talking about you, your mom, your daughter, your friend, your neighbor…not just “someone.”
Why should YOU take a self defense class? Here are my top 10 reasons:
You are unique. You’re the only you in the world, and there will never be another. You have value and worth, and it’s not okay if someone tries to harm you.
Growth. “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” Step outside your comfort zone and try something new.
Muscle memory. Just like you’re able to ride a bike, type without looking at the keyboard, throw a ball, or any number of things you’ve trained your body to do…delivering a solid strike or performing a release move you’ve learned and practiced will come right back to you.
Basic training. When you’re suddenly faced with a potential attacker and experience the “adrenaline dump,” you’ll revert to your lowest level of training. It’s up to you what that training might be.
Good times! Self defense classes are fun. No, really…they are! The instructor(s) work hard to provide you with useful information and tools you can use, in a comfortable and safe setting.
A safe place to learn. Self defense doesn’t equate to sparring, grappling, or any of those other things you’re afraid of. Don’t worry that you’re going to wind up pinned beneath some sweaty, hulking stranger, boxing with a pro who has a chip on his shoulder, or trying to identify and recall obscure pressure points when you sign up for a self defense class at your YMCA or dojang.
Empowerment! Learning new skills, pushing your boundaries and meeting new people is a great confidence builder.
You might get to hit things or break stuff. A fun, memorable confidence builder for some people is actually hitting or kicking target pads…or breaking pine boards or “rebreakable” plastic boards (they're reusable, plus they provide a consistent break every time)! The instructors can teach you how to do this safely and successfully.
Safer behaviors. Changing just one or two unsafe habits could avert an attack, a break-in, or worse.
Better odds. Statistics indicate that one in three women in the U.S. will be assaulted during her lifetime. If you had one-in-three odds of winning the lottery, wouldn’t you play? This is a lottery you don’t want to win.
I encourage my students (and their moms) to take every self defense class they can. Many are offered free of charge, and every single instructor has something of benefit to share, regardless of your skill level, personal fitness, and past experience. Don’t wait…invest in your safety today and enroll in a self defense class, whether it’s a one-time seminar, a hands-on class, or an ongoing academy. You owe it to yourself and to those who care about you.