Hello everyone and welcome back to the KME blog! Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about myself and how the study of Krav Maga has affected me and helped me become a stronger person, both physically and mentally. Women don’t generally have it easy in society–never have. We are often harassed, dictated to and disrespected on the whole. While societal progress has been made, it’s an unfortunate fact that women are the main targets for physical attacks, and things need to change. It’s impossible to change everyone’s perception of women and it’s impossible to prevent every attack from happening; however, it’s possible for women to fight back (literally) and learn to protect themselves should such an incident occur. This is one of the main reasons I started taking Krav Maga.
When I was a little girl, my father would always tell me to “just kick where it hurts if they try to touch you.” Interestingly, an attack to the groin is a common tactic and is frequently drilled into Krav students’ heads. Not only is it effective, but it’s usually the quickest way to disarm and distract your attacker. And yes, it does work on women assailants as well. Before studying Krav, I always imagined that should anything happen to me, I’d probably do exactly what my father said. I never thought about the possibility of someone carrying a weapon, or just immediately tackling me and pinning me down. How on earth could I give a groin kick if I was in no position to do so physically? Many of my female friends carry pepper-spray, so I thought that I should start carrying some too. Never got around to buying it though. There have been times when I have been followed and talked to (some would call it harassed) as well as plenty of potentially dangerous situations I found myself in before Krav. It will soon be my first anniversary since starting classes and I have to say that my mindset has completely changed.
As a New Yorker, I’ve always been cautious and aware of my surroundings, but at times, a little too carefree. Do I really know what to do in a situation should my life or physical well-being be threatened? What would I do if not one, but two or a group of people ever followed me? What if an attacker had a weapon? What if he was tall and buff? These were questions I’d constantly ask myself, and sometimes still do. But now I know several courses of action I can take depending on the situation: I know how to try and scare offenders away by using a loud voice. I know not to panic if I feel in danger. (Okay, panic a little, but don’t show it!) I now know several disarmament strategies when someone is utilizing a weapon and I know that it’s not necessary to kill the attacker. Most importantly, it’s okay to run away from a fight if it means saving your life.
I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts about the importance of having poise, confidence, remaining calm and minding your surroundings. The calmness part is probably the most difficult preparation for me and it’s something I continue to improve on. The element of surprise theme is used in every class and it helps prepare you for a situation you may face in your lifetime. The only ways you can be completely prepared for an attack are: 1) not letting yourself get into a dangerous situation (not becoming an easy target) and 2) practice with your eyes closed in every simulation. The old me would be too afraid to try this and forget her surroundings. The new me now walks in public with knowledge and confidence, not afraid to take on a challenge.
- This post was written by a guest writer. Taylor L.