Women and Self-Defense Classes: The Fallacy of Self Defense for Women
Women’s self-defense classes, seminars and videos are short-changing women. The idea that women can learn to defend themselves against men, without training with men, is simply false.
There are many who say women learn self-defense better in an exclusively women-only environment. The so-called “experts” say it is less intimidating if women don’t have to compete with the men,Guest Posting or, it is easier (more comfortable) to discuss subjects like rape without men present. So, the new trend in self-defense programs is “Women’s Self Defense” classes.
I don’t agree with this line of reasoning, because the overwhelming evidence suggests that this is the wrong approach. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “I took a women’s self-defense course once. But, I went home and tried some of the stuff on my husband (or boyfriend), and it didn’t work!”
There is nothing more confidence-shattering than to spend the time learning all the techniques and starting to feel good about yourself, only to have the bubble burst the first time you try out your new-found skills. Women then begin to feel there is nothing they can do to protect themselves when they can’t even make it work against someone who isn’t really trying to hurt them.
The real shame is when someone is really attacked, and after repeated attempts, can’t make their self-defense techniques work. At that point, they simply give up, and won’t fight back no matter what. I can only imagine that someone in that situation would look back on the time or money spent for self-defense classes and feel that they had been victimized twice!
Why “Women’s Self Defense” Programs Don’t Work!
Most of the people who take my self-defense classes are women. Sometimes, I even have a class that is all women. However, that is by coincidence, not design. Women who sign up for my classes know that there may be both men and women in the class. Whether there are actually men in the class is not important, after all, I am instructing the class, so there is always at least one man in the class.
The point is, if a woman is so intimidated by men, that she will not even take a self-defense class with men, she will never survive an attack by a man. Why? Because “intimidation” is just another word for fear. Until she can prove to herself the techniques work on a man, she has done nothing to help her get over her fear of men.
If she is ever attacked, it will probably be by a man! If she hasn’t gotten over her fear of men, she will immediately panic, no matter what she has learned. If she hasn’t learned how to deal with the bigger, stronger, more aggressive male, she will not understand how the dynamics of the situation will change in the real world!
Women MUST practice self-defense techniques bulletproof backpack against a man! Otherwise, how will she know they work against a man? This is what we call “realistic scenario training” (more about this later). If she has only practiced self-defense techniques with other women, she gets a false sense of security that her techniques will work in the real world. But, an even bigger problem is that most of what is taught in these so-called “women’s self-defense” classes wouldn’t work anyway!
Poor Teaching Methods
Much of what is taught as “women’s self-defense” is not only ineffectual, but insulting as well. Courses intended only for women assume they are weak, less capable of defending themselves, and therefore need different methods from men to counteract violence. Women have been told to “yell ‘FIRE’, carry a hat pin or umbrella to jab at him, do something vulgar to gross him out, like tell him you have VD.” If any of that junk worked, we’d be teaching men to do the same thing.
The following sample of bad advice still shows up in high schools and women’s self-defense courses:
“Confrontation always makes everything worse. Don’t react-it might be an overreaction. Don’t add to the violence by becoming violent yourself. Don’t make him mad. Trying to escape risks escalating the problem.”