How a simple self-defense class can save your life

Women are viewed as weak. Inferior to men. Incapable of protecting themselves. 

If you are a woman and you buy into these standards that society has bestowed upon the female gender, you need a wake up call. 

We are not weak or inferior to men or incapable of protecting ourselves in any way. 

Maybe you aren’t the strongest person or don’t know how to defend yourself, but that does not mean you are incapable of doing it. 

A week ago, I took a self defense class. I did not sign myself up and I probably never would have if it wasn’t for my mom. 

It had never even crossed my mind the need to take one and the reality of the world around me until someone I know and am close to was almost sex trafficked. 

We always see cases of women being raped, kindapped, sex trafficked, etc. and we think “oh, that could never happen to me.” 

The fact is: it can and it might. 

According to the Department of Justice, there are an average of 433,648 victims (age 12 or older) of rape or sexual assault in the United States each year.  

That is 1,188 women every single day. 

For people like me, who have never experienced or never been directly involved with someone who has been sexually assaulted or raped, this statistic is just a number. Your mind does not really open up to the reality of this statistic until someone around you goes through this. For me, this reality hit right after Christmas. 

A close friend of mine got a job at a local restaurant that opened up not too far away from her house. It was her first job ever and she was extremely excited to be working at the new restaurant. 

She had probably only been working there for a week before “the incident” happened. 

When she explained what had happened, she said it happened so fast she couldn’t even really remember what she was thinking except that she knew she had to get away.

It was a weekday. Her shift was at 4:30 p.m. but she showed up 10 minutes early. 

As she walked into the pick-up door of the restaurant, a woman ran up to her and grabbed her arm frantically saying “my boyfriend just hit me, I need your help.” 

My friend acted calmly and told the women she would get the manager; however, that was not what the women wanted. So, she kept screaming she needed help as she pulled my friend across the parking lot. 

My friend explained the next part as if it were in slow motion. 

She said there was a car parked not too far away and the back door was open. She could see what it looked like to be the “boyfriend” in the front seat. 

At this time, her heart was racing. 

She pushed the woman off her and ran inside. The next thing she knew she was inside but so was the “boyfriend” who had ran in the front door looking for her but at the sight of the manager instantly ran back to his car. 

When telling the story to me, my friend acted as if it was not a big deal. This happens to everyone, right? 

No, this is not normal and should not be the reality of every woman’s life. That is what prompted me to take that three-hour long self defense class. 

We should not have to be worried about walking around and being unsafe. That is not fair. Why should women have to worry and men shouldn’t? 

One of the important lessons I learned from the instructor of the class was that no matter how strong you are or weak, you can still defend yourself. There are numerous moves and self defense skills that do not depend on strength but rather knowing where the weak spots and pressure points of the body are. 

It was a long three-hour session that included both pain and tears. 

Learning how to defend yourself is not comfortable because you’re going head to head with the reality of the world … there are people out there that want to hurt you and do not care if you are in pain. 

Despite this reality, you should not walk around watching your back 24/7 because that will get you nowhere. Instead, I recommend you learn how to defend yourself. Take a self-defense class; it is definitely worth your time. Just remember you are stronger than you think.