There are lots of reasons why learning self defense is important!
At home, you have smoke alarms and safety plans. At work, you practice CPR. In schools, your children have fire drills. Around pools and water, we learn how to swim. On hikes and camping trips, you pack a first aid kit. Driver’s Ed classes, spare tires and car tune ups help us stay safe on the road. For life and relationships, there’s self-defense. These are skills you can use and practice every day, for the rest of your life.
Our very foundation at Naga is a remarkable martial art developed with key principles of self-defense in mind. Students (men, women, children) learn effective and practical skills from their very first class.
Women’s Self Defense workshops are an integral part of the programs here. We also teach self-defense workshops for boys and girls, along with self-defense, de-escalation and active shooter preparedness for corporations and private groups.
Self Defense is about:
- Setting Boundaries
- Speaking up and speaking out
- Effective and powerful hitting and striking
- Community and support
At a deeper level, self-defense is empowerment and confidence. At its deepest, it is the realization and acknowledgement that YOU ARE WORTH PROTECTING!
Why Women’s Self Defense?
Since the dawn of time, women have been perceived as fragile and vulnerable, making us likely targets for assault. The continuum of sexual assault starts with things like demeaning comments, put downs and being ignored or looked over. It includes things like staring, ogling, inappropriate comments, grabbing, groping and touching. At worst, it includes choking, beating, rape and murder.
How to Pick a Good Class
A good self-defense class identifies the spectrum of what women deal with daily, and addresses all of them. A good self-defense class teaches internal skills like awareness and breathing along with easy prevention strategies. It includes practice using your voice as well as striking techniques that are simple and effective. A good self-defense class provides you with opportunities to get additional training, if you want it. The goal is for you to leave class feeling empowered, not condescended to, not more afraid. I would wager to say that a good self-defense class is taught by women who know, and understand on every level, what it means to be a woman living in this world.
Why Self Defense for Children?
As a parent, one of your primary jobs is to keep your child safe, but our children grow up! We know that when a child is assaulted, the perpetrator is likely someone they know or are familiar with. Yet, a child’s work is to explore the world and spend increasingly more time away from home. You want to be sure they have the tools they need to stay safe, even when they are not by your side. Oh, parenting! It is not for wimps!
You want to know your son or daughter can trust themselves, set boundaries and speak up at school, on the playground, at sleepovers or camp, and whenever and wherever the situation demands it.
How to Pick a Good Class
A good self-defense class teaches kids how to stay safe, not just with strangers, but with familiar adults and older children. It provides skills for handling bullies and uncomfortable situations. A good self-defense class keeps parents in the loop, so good communication is encouraged and fostered. It leaves kids feeling empowered, not scared or anxious. Explore carefully before you pick a class for your child. Understand the underlying philosophy of the instructor. Ask other parents for referrals. Read testimonials. Stay on site during the class, so you know what is being taught and can discuss anything that may arise later. Look for an instructor who relates well with children, is fun, engaging, empowered and really cares about their work.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself!
- Take a self-defense class. It doesn’t have to be a class at Naga, just find a good class and take it!
- Take a refresher class every year. Keep your skills up to date. Just like CPR training, regular practice can really help!
- Practice saying “No!” Get comfortable with saying it! Sometimes it takes a while, just keep practicing!
- Know what your boundaries are. Think about them and consider them carefully. Let other people know, in no uncertain terms, what those boundaries are. Hold them firmly! A good self-defense class can really help with strategies.
- Walk with purpose. Perpetrators are looking for a woman who won’t get them into trouble, i.e., someone who looks afraid, uncomfortable, distracted, unaware… Keep your eyes up, swing your arms, walk with a long stride, shoulders back, YOU OWN THE STREET!
- Communicate! If there is a person or a situation that is making you feel uncomfortable at work, school, home or anywhere, talk to some other women about it. Talk to the authorities. Speak up. The safer you are, the safer ALL women are.
- 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime (by all accounts, many assaults go unreported so this statistic is likely very low)
- According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Criminal Victimization Survey, in 2012, there were 346,830 reported rapes or sexual assaults of persons 12 years or older
- The Justice Department has estimated that one of six victims of sexual assault are under age 12
Links to more data:
And by all means, enroll yourself and those you love in a self-defense class!