Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ladies of Legend

Today's Ladies-only class was awesome. I totally dropped the ball and forgot to advertise the upcoming class, plus it was a holiday weekend, and I still had a group of ladies in cute clothes ready to whoop some butt.

After some warmup drills we worked on the concept of bursting in toward a pull. I didn't teach arm drags or hair pulls, just bursting in, period. Then we played monkey-in-the-middle, where the defender is dragged around by her hair, clothes, arms, whatever we could grab while still holding a pad for her to attack. She also had to put up with being body-slammed with the pads, then turning to attack that pad.

From there we went on to practice a scenario that a fellow student described to me of what happened when she was attacked by her ex. He (once again) assaulted her and attempted to murder her - but she fought him off! We all defended exactly that attack, using that defense, against each person in the class. So, student who told me your story (I'll tell you who you are privately), you just helped a lot of people survive that type of attack thanks to your courage under attack and your willingness to share!

Next we worked the concept of running away vs. running to. The difference is largely mental (like so much else we do) and you can actually see the switch in the student when she makes the change. Very exciting to watch that happen, we'll do the drill again in the morning level 1/2 classes next week so the guys get a crack at it, too.

The last thing we did was create a plan of what we will do in case of attack. Now obviously, you can't plan for every scenario - and it's usually the last thing one expects that actually happens. But by creating a basic plan and talking it out with someone, and even practicing it, your chances of success (meaning survival) increase tremendously.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when creating your first plan:

Who do you spend the most time with? It may be your co-workers. Create the plan based on a scenario in which you are with that person or persons. Are you at the location of your job? Are you out to lunch together? We are not trying to make a prediction here, just practicing thinking of these things objectively and logically.

If you are in the office, where is the most logical place for a person to attack you? Would they just be entering from the lobby? At your desk? In the parking lot?

This person you are frequently they know how to fight? Will they be able to talk to the person or distract him (or her) while you get help or initiate defenses? Can they call the cops for you?

What is the fastest exit you both can get to? What if they chase you through the exit? What is the fastest safe place you can reach?

Bring these questions up to the person you have in mind. They may roll their eyes at you, accuse you of being a scaredy-cat, etc. Tell them your teacher told you to have this conversation and keep at them.

A plan does not consist of, "yeah, I'll probably fight and scream, you should just take off".

A plan looks more like "I'll distract him while you run. You always have your phone on you, so dial 911-SEND. You will keep running. Do not look back to see if I'm okay, do not come back for any reason. I will fight the second he is distracted and you start running. If I survive I will go straight to the Starbucks next door. Tell the 911 dispatcher the ambulance may find me there instead of in the office. If I can't escape the office I'll barricade myself in Bob's office. His desk is near the door, I can use it the block the door." (Question: Can you move Bob's desk? You'd better find out.)

Having a plan is empowering and can keep you alive. Having a pre-set place to run TO makes you run faster (seriously), and makes it possible for help to reach you sooner.

Lastly, sometimes the people we spend time with (even those who love us) don't really take our efforts in Krav Maga seriously. They might believe we are too small, too nice, too whatever. Maybe they think violence doesn't really happen to nice people. We are cautioned to "just give him your purse" (as if that would stop a rapist) or we are otherwise counseled that we will get hurt if we fight.

Of course, we will get hurt if we fight. We might even die.

We will also get hurt and maybe even die if we do NOT fight - if the attacker wants to hurt us. He may even take pleasure in that.

In certain situations, compliance with an attacker might ensure your survival. In others it might get you killed. You must listen to your gut during the violent encounter itself.

But know this: even a little bee can sting. Even a small person can defend himself or herself against an attacker. You are worth defending, and you can do it.

Need an example? Check out this awesome entry on Badass of the Week. (Warning: profanity!)

Next time someone tells you that you are too small to defend yourself, remember Badass of the Week's little Rukhsana Kauser and the terrorist who beat her family so he could rape her. If she could defend herself and her family, you can do it. See you next month, ladies!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I don't know why it says, C's post has been removed by the author, I never even saw it!

  3. It was such an amazing class! I wish there were one every week.
    Thanks Parker!