Thread: Women's self-defense
9/24/2008 8:51am, #1
So here's the situation. Recently the student union at my university have decided to run some women's self-defense classes for new freshers so as to vaguely seem like they're doing something after a couple of assaults last year. Normally such a decision would warrant a huge, great steaming load of indifference from me. However, being that I'm fairly active in combat sports on campus generally, I've been asked to help teach this class, specifically in regards to grappling techniques.
I'm now actually pretty interested in doing this. Hopefully I can help dispel some of the bullshit that seems to revolve around "women's self-defense" and offer some genuinely useful advice. To be honest though, I'm not so sure how much good I can really do in just a few classes beyond vague platitudes like "be aware of your surroundings" "try to stay in a group" and stuff like that. At best, I suppose I can teach some basic principles about how to avoid being controlled on the ground and how to get out of an inferior position so as to run the hell away.
My questions then. Does anyone have a better idea of how to teach a useful but limited self-defense class? What should I include and what should I leave out? To experienced grappling instructors especially, if you had one class to teach someone the basics of surviving an encounter on the ground, what would you teach and how? Thanks.
ETA: My initial thoughts were something like the following:
Avoiding takedowns and breaking away from the clinch
Basic escapes from mount
A couple of basic sweeps from guard
How to stand back up
Knowledge of basic principles (e.g. don't let your opponent keep you on your back, always try and create space etc.)
Last edited by Liffguard; 9/24/2008 9:11am at .Dedicated to legs and the disrespecting thereof.
9/24/2008 8:57am, #2
Escaping mount (upa).
Multiple sweeps from the guard (scissor, butterfly?).
Have them practice yelling. This can break tension and be very liberating.
Knee strikes--on a pad, until they're tired. No "Mr Padded Attack Man RAAARR" BS.
Palm strikes to the face.
Maybe a shoulder throw?
9/24/2008 9:01am, #3
Originally Posted by 1point2
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
9/24/2008 9:07am, #4
basic escapes from mount, no submissions.
then stick to awereness etc.
ive tried to do basic grappling in sd but there's not enough time to really do those techniques properly.
9/24/2008 9:12am, #5
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
I wouldn't discount threat avoidance completely. I believe it was Rorion Gracie who said that teaching a woman to box against a man was futile. No offense to female MMA fighters, but you know where I am going. An attacker isn't going after a trained athlete, but a naive and vulnerable target.
Technique wise, yes train the guard. More importantly, I think you need to also teach how to get in the guard form the mount. I'll look for the magazine to back this up, but I believe the Gracie article said he trains women from being mounted, as if they had already been taken down. The strategy being a woman had already been sneak attacked and was on the ground.
9/24/2008 9:17am, #6
mantis i dont agree with you and yet i do.
allow me to explain: its totally up to the type of people you're training and how much time you have to train them.
im thinking uni stuff here: girls who feel unsafe and who'll attend once maybe twice a week for over a period of 3 months max.
you can use the 100% of that time drilling groundwork but then you neglect vital stuff such as groinshots etc and then get the hell out.
9/24/2008 9:26am, #7
i think that women's self defense is something that has to be approached very carefully.
you want to give the women the confidence to fight back or preferably avoid the situation or escape, but at the same time you don't want to build false confidence, or the belief that groin strikes or eye gouges are an "off" button on their attacker.
i think that omega wrote about his experiences teaching these sorts of classes, and if i remember right, he said that the use of the protective suit was crucial. the women have to be able to hit full force against a realistic attacker who is both physically and verbally abusing them (the verbal abuse is particularly important, and also particularly disturbing - i would hope - for the guy in the suit.)
this sort of scenario gives them a better idea of what they might have to go through to escape, and may even show them that taking a handful of self defense classes isn't going to cut it, and that they need to train for real."Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
"When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
"Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
"Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
9/24/2008 9:28am, #8
The bases to hit are:
1) You can do something, and this is how.
2) Hit hard, be loud, and let's practice it.
3) Jesus christ, don't believe that what you do today will stick with you--please join our university judo/karate/BJJ/boxing club!
Seriously, make sure they understand all 3 of those. Mount escape, guard sweep, knees, yelling, and HERE'S A LIST OF THE CLUBS YOU CAN JOIN THAT ARE FUN AND WILL MAKE YOU BETTER.
9/24/2008 9:30am, #9
i'm no highly regarded expert on the topic but i'll give you my opinion.
i'd make it clear that most men are capable of physically dominating most women, simply due to a size difference. just knowing this will make them more "aware of their surroundings". it should be stupidly obvious, but some people don't realise that you don't want to be walking through a park drunk and alone in the middle of the night.
otherwise, suggest that they begin regular training which would help their chances of overcoming a larger oponnent. i'd fucking LOVE to hear a story in the news one day about a chick who triangled a rapist unconscious or some ****...
but the case is usually that they won't have time for that/won't be interested in regular training. so show them a few escapes and so on - but don't make them feel invincible and empowered.
i knew someone who would go on self defense seminars with his instructor. they'd get a female volunteer, then tell her that she had to stop my friend from dragging them across the room (they often did this in basketball courts). invariably he'd grab them and just start walking in the other direction, and there was nothing the girl could do about it.
my point is, if you're only doing one class i'd put the emphasis on the reality check.
edit - and let them know that sometimes it's just a good idea to go APESHIT if someone attacks them.
Last edited by danno; 9/24/2008 9:33am at .
9/24/2008 9:30am, #10Originally Posted by Ming Loyalist