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Benefits of Self-Defense Training for Young Women

battle woman campus violence fitness healthyliving parenting physical fitness safety self defense selfcare women's health Dec 19, 2022

Marie joined karate when she was 4 years old because it seemed like a cool thing to do.  She wanted to be like her older brother.  At first, she thought of karate as a hobby, perhaps even a helpful skill to have in the hypothetical case if she was ever physically bullied.  Marie never really thought of it as a necessary skill for a young girl to need because she would have never viewed being attacked or assaulted as something that was likely to occur.  

Taking for granted that being attacked or sexually assaulted was something that happened to unknown strangers but would surely never happen to Marie or my friends.  This assumption drastically changed last year when her closest friend experienced a sexual assault in a seemingly safe environment.  She now realize that she have gained a different set of skills that she may very well need to use someday.

It was overall an extremely negative experience for her friend, not just because of the trauma itself but in the way that it was handled by the professionals who are supposed to protect and guide us.  She found herself with little help from school counselors or police; and our assistant principal shifted the blame back to her when he spoke to her parents about the event.

While watching and helping her friend through this trauma, Marie's view on life, high school culture and the study of martial arts completely changed.  You may be surprised to know that many boys in her school and other schools have been accused of sexual assault.  There are even boys that Marie personally knows who are under 18, and already registered sex offenders.

Marie finds it disgusting to think how many young men are committing violent crimes against young woman and without intervention for them to change their behavior before it happens.

Experiencing the trauma thought the eyes of her good friend has helped Marie appreciate her training.  Now a college freshman, Marie has started to pay more attention to the practical applications in her techniques and spend more time envisioning what she would do in certain self-defense scenarios.  

Marie also recognizes that imagining hypothetical attacks will not help me improve, and recently realized that the only way to be able to respond well to an attack is to have practiced strikes and techniques over and over.  She has trained from a young age, but the truth is that she doesn't really know how she would respond in a real-life scenario. Freeze, or panic? She hopes that that she would fight back appropriately, but understands there is no guarantee that she would do the "right thing".   She believes that taking self-defense classes and constantly practicing is the best way for women to prepare and gain confidence.

Marie is certain that her best friend is not the last woman she knows and care about who will experience a traumatic assault.  It seems doubtful the constant threat of becoming victims to predatory individuals will ever cease and it will always be the unfortunate responsibility of women to prepare themselves.   As for Marie, she plans to continue her training throughout her life, and strongly urges others who have access to self-defense instruction to do the same.

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