Women's Defense Tips

Written by Robert Coble, Instructor

First, I recommend taking a class from a qualified women's self-defense instructor. Be wary of martial arts schools trying to pass off karate, tae-kwon-do, or any other martial art as women's self-defense. Although many martial arts include effective self-defense techniques as part of the curriculum, these techniques are generally not simplistic in their approach. Make sure the instructor is educated in awareness and avoidance techniques, not just self-defense techniques. Physical defensive techniques should only be used as a last resort. Listed below are a few simple measures you can take day to day to lessen your chances of becoming a victim of a violent assault.


Basic Principles


For starters, be realistic. Learning self-defense will not make you invincible. I have trained in and taught the martial arts for several years, and I can be caught off gaurd as well as anyone else if I'm not careful.

Prevention is above all the most important, and most commonly overlooked, aspect of self-defense. One of the best preventative measures in quite simple: awareness. Always be aware of who and/or what is around you at all times. Keep your eyes up and continually look around. Do NOT keep your eyes on the ground! Don't be afraid to make eye contact, especially with men. Keep your eyes and chin up. Strong body language can often be enough itself to deter a possible assailant.

Think of what motivates a rapist. Power, not sex, is almost always the motivation of a rapist. Rapists, believe it or not, are cowards. Just like school bullies, rapists choose easy victims. Ever wonder why bullies pick on people smaller than them? Lack of resistance. Imagine a small dog. If you knew for a fact that dog would bite you, despite the fact you may be 30 times it's size, you probably wouldn't be in a hurry to stick your hand out towards it. As many martial arts teachers say, it isn't the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

Self Responsibility

Don't assume anyone will be there to help you if you are assaulted, even if there are people nearby that witness the attack. It's unfortunate, but due to the dangers of intervention as well as fear of legal repercussions, people hesitate to get involved in such matters. Self-defense means just that; defending one's self. If you feel people may be near and you think you may be able to get some help, do NOT yell the word "HELP"! Instead, yell the word "FIRE!" Think about it, if you were going about your daily business and you heard someone screaming "fire", wouldn't you be just a bit curious?

Dating Tips


Hey, the guy may be a attractive, but how well do you know him? Don't let those big blue eyes keep you from being smart. Most rapists aren't the types you see on t.v. that weigh 250 pounds, have a beard, bald head, and tattoos all over their bodies. Rapists are usually just ordinary looking men.
When dating, consider meeting your date somewhere public the first few times. You may even suggest double dating. If he does pick you up at home, don't let him just pull up and honk the horn. (There is a reason father's hate that!) Make him come in and meet your parents or roomate, depending upon your age or circumstances. If anything does go wrong, he has already been identified. Also, make sure you tell someone where you are going and what time you are planning on being back. You don't have to give every detail of your plans, but at least give a little information.
When going out, bring your own money, including quarters. Youmay need to call a friend or a cab. If you have access to a cellular phone, take it with you. If you drink, do so in moderation. It's one thing to sit around and get sloshed with your friends, but keep it cool with someone you are just getting to know. I have heard too many women get into trouble sexually and turn around and say, "...it's not my fault, I was really drunk." Once again, don't allow yourself to get into that situation in the first place. Be VERY cautious around a man that tries to get you to drink when you don't want to.

Home Safety


Sexual assaults are most likely to occur in or near the victim's own home. Make sure when leaving or entering your home to secure windows and doors. Be cautious around bushes, trees, or any objects a person could hide behind. If you return home and see signs of a forceful entry, don't go in.
If possible, have an alarm system installed. Put locks on bedroom and bathroom doors. Try to have an escape plan for every room in the house (not just for a break in, but for a possible fire as well). Keep a flashlight wit fresh batteries in the bedroom, as well as a phone.
Avoid hiding keys around the outside of the house. Don't leave tools or yard equipment outside. Be wary of unannounced guests showing up at your door. Be very wary of anyone you don't know wanting to use your phone. Don't put yourself at risk trying to be a good samaritan.

Car safety


Park in well lit areas, even if it means walking an extra few yards. Be cautious walking between cars in a lot. Make sure no one is near you as you enter your car. Once you are in, lock the doors.
If you think you are being followed, make four consecutive right turns, which will bring you around in a complete circle. If he is still behind you, you are probably being followed. Whatever you do, do NOT lead him to your house! Go to a well lit and heavily populated area and get his license number. Call the police.

Mindset

You don't need to be a martial artist to defend yourself. You are NOT helpless, regardless of your size. Remember the little dog? Be ready to bite the fingers off anyone that decides to mess with you.
If you have to physically defend yourself, DON'T HESITATE! Defend yourself with absolute conviction. And don't worry about hurting him, he wasn't worried about hurting you.

Thank you for visiting www.chucknorriskarate.com!

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