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Women's Self-defence: A Very Important Question to ask?

Women's Self-defence: A Very Important Question to ask?

Women's Self-defence: What would you be prepared to do to protect yourself and your family? How far would you be prepared to go?

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To some who are reading this may seem like a simple question but, you see, when it comes to women's self-defence, it is not always simple.

I have women come to my Ladies' self-defence classes, called “Looking Out For Yourself” who particularly at the beginning of the classes would say that they just know. Others have said at the beginning of the classes that they know exactly how far they would go but by the end of the classes have had a chance to assess just how far 'exactly' would take them and what the consequences of what that would be.

I would have considered myself to be a pacifist for most of my life, despite doing Judo virtually that entire time. I treated Judo as a sport and never wanted anything to do with it as self-defence. Logically absurd I know, especially when you consider that I started Judo to stop the bullying I was getting at school. But I was able to reconcile it. Particularly since the bullying stopped after about 12 months without me having to do a thing and reconcile doing a martial art with my faith, turned out to be no more difficult than those that played football or did boxing.

As a single man, it was easy to be a pacifist. Even if I got killed there seemed little threat or consequences to anybody else. But then I got married and suddenly I had others to consider.

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How does being a husband reconcile with making sure my wife and children are safe? It is my duty to provide for and protect my family how would I do that?

It was only at that point that I genuinely considered wider issues. A friend of mine had a brother who was in the military and he said, “everybody hates a soldier until the enemy is at the door”. My father was a military man, how arrogant was I to reject that when I was young when the only reason I could reject that was that he and so many others fought in a terrible war. And what if one of my sons were to join the military? How would I handle that?

And what if any of the joined the police? There is so much resentment against the police, the vast majority of which is unfounded. But if a crime is committed against you, to whom is your first call?

Then there is my wife. Do I want her to be helpless in an assault? Do I want my children to be helpless if they are bullied? But how far do I want them to go?

When I discuss self-defence I don't give any answers to these questions. Though I have my own conclusions I need others to work these things through themselves. But I do give my students plenty of information, strategies and skills so that they have the tools to use in most situations however they choose to use them. It is my experience that if you have the tools you avoid panic and panic only makes things worse.

So ask yourself?

What would you be prepared to do to protect yourself: how far would you be prepared to go?


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