Women’s self defence courses have become popular in recent times but do they really work? Realistically what can a maybe nervous and slightly built women learn in a short time that will improve her safety and general well being? Self defence courses can vary from being excellent to worse than useless, would you be able to spot the difference?
Just as a first aid course, while being useful and worthwhile, won’t turn you into a doctor, a self defence course won’t turn you into a martial arts expert. Be realistic as to what you can achieve from a self defence course. You could expect to start to gain an increase in personal confidence, a greater awareness, being more street wise and having an edge.
One of the most common questions that people ask on self defences courses is what if he has a knife? Running is always the best option even for a well trained martial artist when faced with a knife because in the heat of the moment even a slight mistake could be a disaster. To think that you can learn to disarm a knife man on a self defence course is a dangerous way to think. If an instructor tries to show you how to defend against a knife get your money back and walk!
By being aware of your environment and quick to pick up on danger signals you can often preempt trouble and avoid a situation before it gets nasty. Some people are just naturally more aware than others and a trait natural to some can only be acquired by others with a lot of work. Reading changes in a situation or picking up on the intentions of others can’t be taught in five minutes but a good course will point you in the right direction.
Learning to hit hard.
Learning to hit hard is a great confidence boost and probably the best practical skill that can be learnt on a self defence course. By learning to get your body weight behind a blow you can increase the effectiveness of your strikes. Knowing that you can at least land a telling blow means that you are no longer a helpless victim and can at least fight back and hurt your attacker.To make this knowledge an instinctive part of you takes consistent practice, otherwise in two years time it will just be a dim and distant memory.
An introduction to the world of martial arts.
You might find that a women self defence course gives you a taste for this type of training. If you really enjoy the course and want to take it more seriously why not join a martial arts club? A good self defence course should be a useful preparation for this as you now have a little experience and some idea of what to expect.
Along side the more established martial arts such as karate and judo kick boxing now seems to be very popular with the ladies. Kick boxing offers a great work out and hitting pads and bags is a great way to get rid of stress.
While a brief self defence course may show you that you can be taught to hit harder regular training in a martial art will mean that you can really start to pack a punch! It always pays to be as fit as you can be in a fight situation. Kick boxing will tone you up while you enhance your fighting capabilities.Women are stronger in their legs rather than in their upper bodies compared to men of the same size so the leg strikes in kick boxing often feel quite natural.
Any skills or knowledge that you pick up on a self defence course will be subject to skill fade in all to short a time. The course might be good bad or indifferent but it can at best only introduce to you what can be achieved with consistent practice.
Many martial arts techniques can take a couple of years to learn and are too elaborate for a short course. If the instructor is showing you something that doesn’t feel almost instantly natural it’s probably going to be of no use to you. Everyone is different and out of six simple moves three might be right for you and a friend might favour the other three, practice what works for you.
Your on your own.
With the break down of families more and more people live on their own. Extended families and close knit communities are no longer the norm. Passers by won’t always help people in distress partly because of scare stories in the media. Even if you have a big husband or big dog nasty situations have a habit of happening when your least prepared for them.
A self defence course could be a useful eye opener but don’t expect super skills overnight. Confidence is a great thing to have and a lack of it almost guarantees that your going to be intimidated when even slightly out of your comfort zone. Like anything worth having building your confidence takes committed work over a long time but a self defence course could be the right place to start.
If you would be interested in a talk or seminar on self defence or Tai Chi at your place of work please feel free to ring the author of this article on