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Old 05-19-2005, 06:45 AM   #25
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 543
Re: Can women defend themselves?

Back to the question at hand; I hear the question frequently.How much of a disadvantage are women at with their smaller size; lighter mass and bone structure?

Well; if you're fighting; then a lot. The average human male can both withstand and deliver a tremendous amount of punishment in a very short space of time - to be blunt; it's what we're built for. Overcoming the size difference can easily prove impossible in the short time provided by a physical fight.

BUT - we're not talking about fighting. We're talking about Self Defense. The two are not the same thing. They're not even remotely related. In a defense situation; or to be more precise in a violent assault, the very thing which limits a woman in a fight (her smaller size and mass) gives her a powerful advantage.

In my SD classes; I refer to what I teach as 'The School of Down'. The overall plan is 'Down And Out". Everything is down - the defender must strive to get down; to keep her feet on the ground, to keep her mass and inertia down. Then out - away from the attacker. SD is concerned with one thing only - escaping the attacker.
A woman's smaller size is a major advantage in this: Women tend (especially when trained) to be far quicker to acellerate and manoeuver than men. They can exploit holes, dodge and twist like lightning when compared to the bulkier, heavier half of the species. Their smaller mass gives them this advantage; and it's this quickness to exploit openings which is the most critical factor in the escape part of a defensive plan.

In the initial assault of course (and this is the downside); the size difference is a problem. In a typical assault the male will attempt to use his mass and inertia to overwhelm his victim. That's where training comes in - to be able to deal with the initial assault.

Psychologically; women have another advantage: The ability to go totally batsh*t on their attacker. I don't know how many times I've seen a woman go from kitten to wildcat in zero seconds flat when required. It's oft the butt of jokes and even more frequently thought of a something to be 'trained out' but frenzy really is the best defense in a violent assault - take the attacker off the initiative, set him back just long enough - a split second - to bolt.

So yes; women can defend themselves and can do so very well. But they can't think in 'fighting' terms for SD; that's suicide.


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