Q: WHAT IS SELF-DEFENSE?
Self-defense is a set of awareness, assertiveness, verbal confrontation skills, safety strategies, and physical techniques that enable someone to successfully escape, resist, and survive violent attacks. A good self-defense course provides psychological awareness and verbal skills, not just physical training.
Q: DOES SELF-DEFENSE WORK?
Yes. Self-defense training can increase your options and help you prepare responses to slow down, de-escalate, or interrupt an attack. Like any tool, the more you know about it, the more informed you are to make a decision and to use it.
Q: MUST I TRAIN FOR YEARS TO LEARN TO DEFEND MYSELF?
No. A basic course can offer enough concepts and skills to help you develop self-protection strategies that you can continue to build upon. It does not require years of study to perfect.
Q: IF I USED PHYSICAL SELF-DEFENSE COULD I GET HURT WORSE?
The question to answer first is what does "hurt worse" mean? Rape survivors speak eloquently about emotional hurts lasting long after physical hurts heal. Studies show a physical self-defense response does not increase the level of injury, and sometimes decreases the likelihood. Also, people going along with the attacker have sometimes been brutally injured anyway. The point of using self-defense is to de-escalate a situation and get away as soon as possible. Knowing some physical techniques increases the range of possible self-defense options, but the decision to choose a physical option must remain with the person in the situation.
Q: AM I TOO YOUNG OR TOO OLD? OUT OF SHAPE? WHAT IF I HAVE SOME DISABILITIES?
You don't have to be an athlete to learn how to defend yourself. A good program is designed to adapt to every age and ability and provides each student with the opportunity to learn. Each individual is unique and students should be able to discuss their own needs. Some programs have specialized classes for specific groups.