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Part 5 - Women's Self-Defense

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Self-defense is the ability of a person to handle situations that are life-threatening. The most common situations women face is assault, robbery and rape. To face these potentially hazardous situations and survive will depend on many factors. The things that a woman must consider are: techniques, courage, awareness, precautions, physical fitness and self-control.

Self-defense techniques consist of blocking, striking and kicking motions, to name just a few. Blocking motions are necessary to defend against punches and kicks. Striking and kicking techniques are weapons that are used to incapacitate an attacker. Kicking techniques are probably the most valuable assets a woman can acquire as equalizers against larger, stronger males. However, strikes with the hands and fingers to vital areas such as the eyes are important. This brings us to a very important self-defense concept: focus. Focus means to concentrate mental and physical energy, vie technique, to a sensitive area at the correct instant. With focus, self-defense techniques become very effective.

Self-defense techniques require a certain amount of courage. A woman can learn how to kick and strike with power. A woman can learn the vulnerable areas of the body. Nevertheless, when confronted with a life-threatening attack she must have the courage to apply her knowledge and experience. Many women, when taught how to incapacitate an attacker say, “I could never do that!” Well, they better do “that” or the attacker will.

Self-defense is enhanced by awareness. Awareness means being alert to your surroundings. A woman can get a head start on a potential self-defense situation if she can observe her surroundings carefully. For example, if a woman is walking downtown and she notices a man following...how big is he? Who else is in the area that could help? Are any stores open? If he attacks, is there anything on me or nearby that could be used as a weapon? The concept of awareness does not entail paranoia; it simply must be utilized to prevent an attacker from using the element of surprise.

While awareness is extremely important, its need can be minimized by taking certain precautions. For women, it is probably better not to be alone in a secluded place near a high crime area. When alone, project self-confidence and assuredness. These qualities help to deter the attacker who thrives on fear and insecurity. Meeting strangers in a public place is always risky. The best way to avoid problems is to trust your instincts. Unfortunately, precautions do not always prevent attacks. But law-abiding citizens should never submit to fear and allow criminals to take away their freedom to go places and be active. Therefore, self-defense training can help a woman cope in modern-day society.

Self-defense training should teach everything previously mentioned and two more extremely important things: physical fitness and self-control. Fighting for one’s life may require an extended battle and endurance will be the deciding factor. Flexibility and strength will improve the performance of self-defense movements and, last but not least, running may be the best self-defense technique.

Self-control is learning how to control one’s emotions. Panic and fear can render any woman helpless. Keeping a level head and a clear mind will allow prior training to surface when needed. Fear clouds perception and stimulates physiological activity. Fear must be overcome so that solutions can be determined and energy can be utilized. Fear can also be a tremendous source of power. Channeling the power generated by fear is the key to self-defense. Turn panic into power, turn a negative into a positive and any self-defense situation can be handled.

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