A couple of weeks ago the moms group I’m a part of (Mothers of Preschoolers) had a guest speaker who taught us about self-defense. At first it seemed like an odd topic. Why would you need to know self-defense? Isn’t karate more of a sport than something practical.
The speaker informed the audience of moms about how unsafe different situations can be. And I have to admit I realized I have let my guard down in a few situations and was lucky to not have had to deal with negative consequences. With articles circling about kids possibly being taken for sex trafficking. It is important to know the dangers are real and how to protect yourself and your children.
Importance of Self-Defense
After discussing the importance of self-defense and ways to protect ourselves we practiced a few simple things. One thing we practiced was telling someone to stop as they got within two arms length of ourselves and put our hands up. It seemed silly, but even when we practiced the hands up and stern tone made everyone stop. Putting your hands up helps you be on the defensive in case the person does intend to harm you, you can be ready and be better able to protect yourself.
Next, we practiced how to get away from someone if they grabbed your arm. I was quickly able to get out of my friends grasp while a few ladies at my table struggled. They came over to me and said teach me, you know this from when you were in the military.
I laughed and almost said no I don’t, but then I realized I do. I took a few self defense classes during my years of being in the military the most memorable one being a two week class before I left for Afghanistan. The class prior to Afghanistan was intense training in getting out of different positions. Luckily, I never had to use any of the information I learned, but I was surprised that I remembered it and it came back so quickly.
I don’t think it was the technique was being used incorrectly by the other ladies, but they did lack something I had. Confidence. I knew if I followed the instructions it would work because I had done it before. Once I gave them clear instructions on what to do, keep your arm straight, then they were all able to easily accomplish the move.
Is there a way to teach you over the internet without a video? I’m not sure, but the tip I would say is keep your arm straight and twist toward the thumb.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
But I can tell you some of the important tips the instructor gave us. Keep aware of your surroundings. The military calls this situational awareness. And they harp on how important it is to notice tiny things out of place so you can be prepared for what is coming. Don’t get wrapped up in your phone while walking and always have your keys out and ready when you are walking to your car.
The next main point is to trust your gut. It isn’t rude to protect yourself. If someone is making you feel uncomfortable or is getting too close you can tell them to stop moving closer. If they do not intend to harm you then they likely will realize you are only protecting yourself.
Practice, Practice, Practice
And finally practice. You can practice with your kids. A good example is a drill where the kids have to get in the car quickly no questions asked. It is a game, but it really serves as a way to protect your kids and help keep them safe. When I got home from the talk I had my husband grab my arm and I was able to get away. It took more effort than earlier in the day with my girlfriend, but I was easily able to get away. Practicing gives you confidence. If I learned anything from the military the more you practice the more natural and easy it will be to do the next time you face it.
I hope this article can help you, but I know I didn’t address all your questions. Comment below with any questions you have and I will get back to you.