I have a bit of a bone to pick with some of the “women’s self defence” programs out there that teach pie-in-the-sky, lowest-common denominator techniques and sell them like they’ll work uniformly. They seem to perpetuate the idea that you can take the simplest execution of a recycled martial arts technique and make it totally relevant to a swath of attack types.
All the while, they ignore the obvious: every attack and every attacker is different. Different pain tolerances, different physical attributes, different response to stress and adrenaline, etc. Many of these techniques are practiced in a “fun, non-threatening, ladies only!” class, which usually means:
- Under-stimulation in the attack scenarios, if there even are attack scenarios and not just pad drills;
- No men in the room. Because reality dictates that attacks will always be similar-sized women, right? And you should feel safe during an attack… It's time to ditch the reverse-sexist idealism. Men are most likely to be the attacker, so that's what you should train against. Highly unlikely you'll be attacked brutally by a woman. Dollars to donuts you'll never be attacked by a kicking shield at 5 km/h.
- No physiologically-correct response/reaction scenarios (anyone out there with two X chromosomes know how it feels to be kicked in the berries? Got any idea how pissed I’m going to be if you do that to me?) Take a guess how long you'll be upright if you don't drop the attacker in one shot.. Time's up. You're dead.
Before I launch into the video, remember – you can learn a little self defence in a seminar. But you won’t remember it and you won’t employ correctly if:
- You’re not trained under duress;
- You don’t have attack simulations and scenarios often;
- Your attacker isn’t an existential threat to you; and,
- You don’t train often.
As you’ll see here, a variety of responses are plausible, from dropping your attacker outright (don’t count on it!), to getting bull-rushed and pounded into the pavement.
If you plan to use a groin kick as an offensive strategy, ensure that you are going from feet to hands-to-face in a split second. Kicks are a secondary offensive weapon in Urban Combat Systems – meant to create a physiological response (move the attacker’s body) that enables a more aggressive and final attack using primary weapons (the hands) against primary targets (eyes, nose, throat, head & neck).
Next week: Myth #3 – Yell ‘fire’, not ‘rape’!
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