Women’s Self-Defence (Part 2)
Previously, we discussed the idea of tapping into our unique advantages as women. More specifically, that we can use our natural skills in communication in conjunction with boundary setting as a foundational skill for effective self-defence. In this post, I will cover two more core ideas we use in Krav Maga that form the foundation of safety and self-efficacy in women’s self defence.
Be a Hard Target
Traditional society has taught women to be peacemakers and to make everything nice for those around us. Unfortunately, this mindset sets us up to wait and see what happens when generally the wait and see mentality will only lead to worse outcomes. Just like with boundary setting, tapping into our own self-efficacy by calling attention to unwanted behaviour can make us more trouble than we are worth to a pest or a predator. In Krav Maga, we work on being aware, communicating clearly about social discomfort, acting instead of waiting, and switching on aggression when appropriate. Harken back to the child analogy, because at the heart of it all, they are the most unfiltered, unsocialised versions of us. Do teachers often notice bullying on a playground when both sides fight or when one side bullies and the other party submits to it? Definitely the first one! Be loud, reaffirm boundaries, get the attention of people around you if you are receiving unwanted or predatorial attention. Be more trouble than its worth!
Stop Talking About What We Could Do and Just Do
“Move! Move! Move!” You will hear this on repeat if you join one of my women’s classes. We women are brilliant analysers and communicators. We hypothesise, we discuss, and we have fantastic ideas. Unfortunately, if we are hypothesizing and discussing, we are not acting. In self-defence, this can be detrimental. Too often, a boundary is crossed and our socialisation tells us to see where it goes or to reason it away. In Krav Maga, we teach women awareness of their own boundaries, how to de-escalate and set firm boundaries, when to act and when to use force, but never to wait and see. We practice by putting ourselves in threatening/compromising real-world type scenarios (with safety guards in place for training) and seeing how we react. If what we did did not work for us, we practice again and alter our reactions until our natural reactions promote safety and self-efficacy.
Some Final Thoughts
At the heart of it all, self-defence is about putting a value on yourself and backing it up. So often we talk about our children, partners, parents, or even our pets as someone we would do anything for. And while this is very noble, why not put this value on ourselves, too? Our first step toward tapping into our strengths as women is to train enforcing our boundaries, being a hard target, and “Move! Move! Move!”
Article written by Instructor Amanda Dalgardno Towle, Lead Women Instructor at Krav Maga Newcastle.