Part Two: The ABC’s of Self-Defense
So what do I mean behind the psychology of self-defense? Let me start by explaining the biggest challenge facing women when it comes to defending ourselves. We are taught (conditioned) from the time we are toddlers to “be nice, don’t talk back, be polite, don’t hit, don’t bite, don’t scratch, don’t hurt anyone,” etc. etc. It’s not easy to change a lifetime of conditioned responses. We are essentially taught NOT to trust our own instincts, but to conform instead to a standard of civilized behavior that, in a confrontational situation, could cost us our lives. Now I’m not saying our self-preservation instincts can’t take over, or that we should behave like barbarians, but if we hesitate when we are attacked, we will lose more than a place at the Miss Manners table. That’s why it’s so important to practice techniques over and over in a controlled environment, until they become automatic. We need to learn a new conditioned response to face an attacker and gain the advantage.
I mentioned in last week’s post that if someone is coming toward you and you are unsure of their intent, put your hands up and say loudly and clearly, STOP! If that person continues toward you, they most likely mean you harm. You need to be prepared to act. You can scream loudly, FIRE! and run away if they are far enough away that you can escape. It’s better to look foolish than to foolishly stay in place and become a victim. If the person comes upon you quickly, you need to have a plan. Watch the videos on http://www.justyellfire.comor check out Dr. Ruthless for specific techniques. And stay tuned for next week’s post when I go into more detail about my favorite self-defense moves sure to make an assailant think twice. Whatever action you choose to take, you have to make the decision before that person gets their hands on you…before they are even ten feet away if you have time. Know what you will do and be prepared to do it.
That brings me to another aspect of the psychology of self-defense. Your greatest advantages in an attack are knowledge and the element of surprise. Attackers target victims whom they believe to be easy targets. If you are prepared to fight back, they have already underestimated you, and this gives you a significant advantage. Training in martial arts, women’s self-defense classes, or even cardio kickboxing will give you the confidence and know-how to take control of a bad situation. If you have trained, you will more likely be willing to kick, scream, claw, gouge, bite, tear, or otherwise forget your civility entirely, and fight like a girl. You need to be willing to stand up for yourself, speak out, run the risk of seeming rude or even downright nasty. Confidence and quick action are weapons that will turn the tables on an attack scenario very quickly. If you have spent most of your life being a mouse, it is time to step up and become a lioness.
For those women who have been victims of a violent crime, I applaud your survival. If you are alive today, it’s because you did the exact right thing at the time. The purpose of these posts is not to make you feel as if you should have done more. It’s to help save others from experiencing the horrors of being brutalized by the bullies and cowards of the world who prey upon women. If we can stop one attacker by stepping forward, teach one more sister to stand against an abusive relationship, or help create a safer environment where women don’t have to live in fear, I say, spread the word and know that you have done your part. It is never too early or too late to learn to defend yourself. Learn to FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!
Do you have what it takes to stand up and fight for yourself? Do you have a fighting spirit?
PJ Sharon’s Bio:
I knew I would be a writer someday when I was a little girl sitting on my grandpa’s knee and telling him stories that he would help me put on paper. By the time I entered kindergarten I could already read and write, and I couldn’t wait to look up new words every morning in the ginormous Webster’s Dictionary that sat in the book case at the bottom of our stairs. I would get on the bus and ask my friends, “Do you know what pulchritudinous means?” Between that and challenging the boys to push-up contests at the bus stop, I mostly sat alone on those bus rides to school. But that just meant I had more time to make up stories.
I went on to many other endeavors in life, including the world of figure skating, and later, earning a black belt in martial arts. Though I was a mom at seventeen, I did manage to finish school and somehow made it through college, earning a degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant. After nineteen years, two sons, a divorce, and some fairly lean years, I found that it’s true what they say about life beginning at forty. It was about that time when I reunited with the love of my life and worked my way to owning my own business as a Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, and Yoga Instructor—all of my favorite things. To make my bliss complete, I moved out to the Berkshires and found my muse waiting for me there amongst the lilacs and humming birds.
I now write Extraordinary Stories of an Average Teenage Life in order to share hope with others, especially teens, that no matter how tough life gets, there is always a bright spot waiting just around the corner. My published books include the award winning YA Novels, HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, ON THIN ICE, and SAVAGE CINDERELLA, available through Amazon and B&N Booksellers.
Contact Information for PJ Sharon
Thank you, PJ, for all this great information. I look forward to Friday for the conclusion to your series.