Reading through archives on my occasional jaunts through other's blogrolls (gotta get one of those set up one of these days....) I've found a lot in the little sphere that I seem to have landed in that relates to self defense.
In particular, I've found a surprising amount that relates to WOMEN'S self defense.
Many Kudos to everyone who has posted about this topic with helpful hints, tips, and rants. None of it can ever be said enough.
I say that because I know women who haven't the faintest idea how to defend themselves, and refuse to learn. Or are afraid to learn. Needless to say, I try to remedy that wherever I can.
Don't get me wrong, I don't consider myself "highly trained" or anything. I have a little bit of training that I use to best advantage, and a mental standpoint that NO ONE has the right to hurt me, period.
Plus, I cheat.
A fair fight is fantastic for the playground, or two highschool kids trying to work out the pecking order. But, when it comes to my personal safety? Oh HELL no, I am NOT exchanging punches with an attacker that is almost guaranteed to outweigh, and out class me in the reach and upper body strength departments.
Unless, you know, I'm attacked by an anorexic midget, its a pretty sure bet that an attacker, especially male, will be bigger than I am.
So, I cheat. Kneecaps, eyeballs, manballs, breasts, solar plexus, the bridge of the nose, under the chin, anywhere that hurts like hell when its hit scratched bitten kneed or yanked on, thats what you go for.
Its always best not to fight, so practice watching for the best places to run to... busy intersections, into stores/office buildings. And ladies? Practice your scream. I'm serious here, go out into the middle of nowhere and practice screaming as loud and with as much ear peircing tone as you can put into it. You don't know how to sing, and sing well, until you've practiced. Experiment a little with different formations of your mouth and different strengths of pressure on your diaphragm.. does it make a difference? Would you have screamed that way in an emergency? No? Well now you know how to manipulate your voice to be heard at the furthest distance by the largest number of people possible.
Don't try to say anything in your scream, the simple fact that you're screaming like a banshee will alert people that Something Bad is happening. Words come after that. "Help!" "This man is hurting me!" "You sorry son of a..... LET GO!" You cannot effectively scream, really scream, while trying simultaneously to form words. Try it. Men, you try it also, because you never know when screaming like a girl will bring the help that you need in a bad situation.
Besides... going out with friends into the middle of nowhere and screaming your heads off seeing who can scream louder? Kind of fun.
Never discount ordinary objects as weapons, either.
Women who are opposed to carrying a "dangerous weapon" on their persons... You have your car/house keys, right? Hold them in a fist, so that at least some of the keys stick out between your fingers. Voila, one extremely useful weapon if you are unable to apply the "scream and run" plan. You can scratch by swinging your arm, or you can punch for the face/eyes and seriously hurt your attacker. Probably well enough, especially if you hit hard enough (punch THROUGH his face ladies, your target is *behind* his head) and accurately enough to puncture an eyeball.
A lot of the women and girls who are afraid of protecting themselves are now going "ewwww" and "but I *couldn't*!"
If you "couldn't" then I hope you're ready to be beat up, raped, and killed. In that order, quite possibly.
I am deadly serious here ladies... If you refuse to protect YOURSELF, and instead rely on others, your father, your husband, your brother, the police, the general public, ANYONE else, to do it for you, then you MUST assume that one day, they are NOT going to be there.
You are *going* to be all alone. You are *going* to be in a dark, secluded place. There *is* going to be a Bad Man (or Woman) there with you, and they *are* going to do whatever the hell they want to with you.
Unless you get violent enough to stop them.
Because, my gentle female friends, sobbing, begging, and trembling are NOT impressive.
And guess what? By not standing up for yourself, your personal safety and the inviolability of your person, you are handing them the right to do it, in their minds. If you can't stop them, then they have every right to do whatever their sick little minds come up with.
Oh, and every single thing you do to stand up for yourself? Makes you less of a target. It makes you seem like harder prey, and predators always go after the easiest prey available.
No coyote will try to take down a full grown, pissed off cow, if there's a sickly, weak calf in the herd.
And ladies, as difficult as this concept might be, you have to accept it, and plan on it. When (not if, when you think in if's, you never really believe it will happen to you, so think WHEN) you're attacked, your attacker might succeed in raping, or even killing you.
Your job, in this instance, is to make him as instantly recognizable as possible. Mark him, ladies. Mark his face, his neck, his hands, scratch and bite and kick and make as much of an impression on his physical appearance as you can.
Get his skin under your fingernails, make as many scratches on his face as you can. He can't hide his face forever. Scar the bastard. Make sure that he will have a definite mark of the fact that HE was the one who attacked you. Make sure, if you can, that he has a permanent reminder for the rest of his life that he can NOT attack you in any way and get off scott free. Draw blood, repeatedly. Bite off earlobes, take a chunk out of his neck or shoulder or arm, spit it out, and do it again.
Because, ladies, whether you live or die, the police are going to be looking for this man. If you're alive and conscious when the police find you, or you find them, tell them that you got his skin under your nails. Before they take their evidence do NOT wash any part of your body, do not pick pieces of him out from under your nails, between your teeth. Once they've got the evidence they need, some kind officer is sure to take you to a shower and let you scrub your skin raw if you feel the need. But until then, your entire body is evidence that will help them to find the man.
Tell them where you marked him, and how. Remember how his face looked, what body type he had, what color his hair and eyes were. Remember everything you can, because everything you remember brings them one step closer to catching him.
Because ladies, you must be prepared for the possibility, every day, that someone, somewhere, wants to hurt YOU, and that the only thing standing between them and hurting you is YOU.