Aug 8, 2016

The Importance of Women Learning Self Defense

Women have never had it easy in this world. We're seen as weaker than men, even though we're the ones that bring life into this world. Not only are we seen as weaker, but we're seen as "easy targets" by men. 1 in 6 women in America will be assaulted while 1 in 4 will be in an abusive relationship. These statistics send a chill up my spine.

Do you want to be a part of these statistics? Do you want to have to rely on someone else to come rescue you, or do you want to be able to protect yourself? I have truly been blessed with a great life, but I've always been looked at as innocent and naive- which I'll proudly admit that I am, but when you throw my height (5'4") into consideration, I knew I needed to learn self defense soon.  I knew that not so great stuff was happening in the world, but no one in my small town ever addressed any abuse, violence, any anything really. I heard a story when I was in middle school that left my naive self curious and fearful of those that could be around me and their intentions. I knew a self defense class would be necessary for me.

My older brother has pretty severe autism. By severe, I mean it's difficult for him to communicate and he tends to have some aggressive behaviors. Of late, these behaviors have gotten especially worse. As you can see, I had a few personal reasons to take a self defense class.. but I strongly believe that every woman needs to take a self defense class. 

For one thing, it's empowering. Being able to know that you, a woman, have the physical capability to bring a lot of physical pain to a man. It's ridiculous how empowering taking a self defense class is. Because of how often we're seen as weaker than men, it's great to know that you have the skills if and when you need to use them.

You feel instant security. Because the class teaches you what your strengths are and how to play to your strengths, you feel like you've discovered your hidden power. I've never felt so secure in my life. It's incredible.

My younger sister won't be kidnapped. Hearing kidnapping stories breaks my heart. Prior to this weekend, I would picture my younger sister being grabbed while I am preoccupied and not paying attention. Now, I know that my sister (age 10) can get away from a man or woman trying to take her from my family and I.

You learn what to say + what not to say to the attacker, cops, and others in the area at the time. Because, if you do get attacked after taking a self defense class, and you do fight and win over your attacker, you're going to have to explain what you just did. 

Like previously mentioned, the statistics for women's safety are not too great. Odds are pretty terrible actually. Seeing those statistics as young high school students or college students (like most of you lovely readers are) that should be motivation enough to take a self defense class! 
I'm pretty independent. I don't enjoy putting myself and my safety in another's hands (I will definitely admit that I have trust issues). What I'm trying to say is that there's not always people around. There's not always capable people around. Did you know that Walmart and gas station employees are not allowed to leave the inside of the store to assist someone without losing their job as well? And even if you do see other people around, that doesn't mean that they'll help you. 

Taking a self defense class means that I don't have to rely on anyone else for my own personal safety. And can I just tell you, it feels great. It's great to know that I can do it. If I'm attacked, grabbed, choked etc. I know what to do to get away. These are skills that I wish every woman knew. I want to see those numbers drop. I want to live in a place where I and other women can feel safe. Currently, South Carolina deaths are more than twice the national average for women murdered by men. The only way these numbers will drop is if women learn the appropriate skills to protect themselves.

Of course, it does help when you walk in the light, not wear revealing clothes, stay off of your phone when walking, and just being alert to surroundings. But there might be some point where you check your phone, put your kids in the car, are distracted by something else where you aren't as alert to who and what are around you.

I understand that this post is mainly ramblings, but I hope that you see the importance and urgency in what I say. PLEASE look into taking a self defense class. It's essential. If you're heading to college, in high school, the local middle school in my city trains its students, moms, women in general NEED to know how to protect themselves.

Check out:
Model Mugging 
(There are online courses, but think about the accessibility of them. Men are able to access those courses as well and thus may be able to counteract your defense.)
The SASS course at the University of South Carolina

I took both of my classes with my mom through SASS Defense. My younger sister, this past weekend just took a "Back to school" self defense class also through SASS. I'm extremely lucky because the CEO of SASS lives in my small town. However, I encourage you all to be active in your personal safety. GO OUT and find a self defense class in your city. And if there isn't one? Please take your safety and others in your area into consideration and book a class in your area!

Stay safe, ladies!!!

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