I know who you might be. You see, most people above the age of 40 are married, and because most of the people reading this article are men, we can assume that most are married men. Even if you are married, single or divorced, the fact is that we all want to protect our wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters and daughters.
I recently ran into a high priced self defense seminar where they had a special “daughters attend free” promotion. Many women who attend my self defense seminars are encouraged by other men in their lives.
The challenge for many is not “why” they should get training, or even what they should get training in, but how to train them. Women have specific needs when it comes to self defense, training and personal protection. I am all for “only women self defense classes and seminars, but it is important for women to mix it up with men, and train with them.
Although female on female fights, altercations and spats break out anywhere from concerts to your local Wal-Mart, when we’re talking about attacks, rapes, robberies, other violent crimes and domestic situations, it is usually men attacking women. Therefore, women need to train against men. However, the challenge is “how” to train them properly. The following are some points, tips and methods to keep in mind when doing this.
First, understand the reality of the situation
In almost all cases, when women go up against men, they will be outsized and over powered. A woman will not be able to, in most cases, “win” based solely on brute strength. Women must be faster and more precise with their technique. Women must be extremely competent in their defense, blocking, creating distance and moving away from the incoming strikes and kicks in hopes of staying in the fight long enough to survive and counter the attack. Knowing the reality of the situation and preparing is the first step in training with someone who is bigger and stronger.
Next, be in the present, and stop the self-critiquing.
Don’t get caught up in a mistake which was made or get negative while sparring. Women can become very critical about their performance especially when sparring with men. They must stay in the present, and stay ready for whatever is coming next. Your mind should only be on the next move, technique, counter, block etc. Losing focus or getting side tracked with negative thinking will only have women focusing on their fears.
Third, women self defense classes train like it counts.
Although it is ok to train slowly and even softly while learning a technique, during sparring time, it is imperative to bring on the speed, power and inner beast. Females should always be consider how they would react to a real-life altercation and train in a way that optimizes their survival. This consideration is even more important during sparring sessions. Sparring lends the most realistic opportunity for them to experience what it feels like to hit and be hit and what it would take to survive. So, train like it counts. Spar like you must survive!
As you spar more, the next tip is don’t forget to breathe. Breathing correctly is such an integral part of all training. But there’s nothing quite like gearing up with all your shins, gloves, and helmet and then getting hit for the first time in the head or abdomen as you try not to hyperventilate because you weren’t breathing correctly or you forgot to breathe at all. Doing cardio with all your gear on is such a great way to get used to wearing all that stuff while your heart rate increases but not having to deal with an onslaught of punches to your head. Practicing keeping your breathing under control is crucial for men and women to stay in the fight and to deliver blocks, strikes, and kicks.
Finally, with anything new and challenging, it is easy to want to give up, especially when sparring with someone bigger and stronger than you. And with sparring with men, it can definitely be hard to see progress sometimes. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t progressing. It may just mean that you need to set some small goals that you will be able to see progress in. For example, you could make a goal to always have your hands up. Or maybe you want to make sure you are always moving and creating distance. Or set a goal of always getting in at least one strike against your bigger, stronger opponent. Setting smaller goals and continuing to train hard will eventually get you where you want to be.