I've been interested in finding a women's self defense class for a long time now. As a single mom, being confident in keeping myself and my children safe is a huge priority to me. But there just wasn't much happening since covid shut everything down.
I finally had the opportunity to take a one day class with 5&7 Tactical in October and it was quite informative; different from what I expected, but I learned a lot.
I want to share with you three main takeaways I learned that I think are important for any woman to know.
Not Your Average Self Defense Class
Most people assume a self defense class is going to consist of fighting techniques. This was not that kind of class. The focus of this course was how to avoid and evade dangerous situations, particularly getting assaulted or taken. We learned various ways to handle real life situations, as well as some techniques with some self defense tools. I'm sure there is a lot more that could be taught, and I absolutely still want to learn more physical fighting techniques, but this course was a real eye-opener.
To me, this is the number one more important way you can avoid being randomly victimized. Being alert and aware of your surroundings is going to help you from being blind-sided. Especially nowadays with so many of us walking around on our phones.
In cases where you are walking in public alone; especially in stairwells, parking lots, or elevators; you want to have your eyes and ears alert to your surroundings.
Look out for anything or anyone that seems suspicious and don't proceed alone if a situation makes you uncomfortable. Our intuition, especially as women, is pretty spot on when we feel like something is off.
I have always made it a point to (and I teach this to my children as well) appear confident and strong. It's my view that if you look timid, afraid, or confused, you will appear like a weaker target to someone. I also recommend and practice, not having two earbuds in if I'm alone so that I can always hear what's going on around me.
Close The Gap
Now I would not have know this or thought of it prior to this class, so I wanted to pass the tip along to you. Besides being aware and alert so that you avoid even getting blind-sided, you want to avoid getting into an engaged fight with your attacker. We were taught to "close the gap" between you and them. The more space you have between you, the more chances he can swing at you. If you grip him bear hug style around his torso, it really reduces the way he can swing to hit you.
It would be hard to explain without a visual, but you could google or go to YouTube fore more on "closing the gap". I had never heard of this before and think its important to know.
Proper Pepper Spray Use
So many women own and carry pepper spray for that feeling of security. And I'm one of them. The class had us practice effective pepper spray technique for effectiveness against an attacker. We also learned how to clean ourselves or a loved one, should they happen to get pepper spray on them. I think this is super important knowledge that most of us may not have had the time to consider.
I think most of us would just point and shoot, should we find ourselves in the situation to use pepper spray. We want to avoid using it without effect. Know that pepper spray may not always prevent an attack, but it's a powerful deterrent for some, especially if you use it properly.
You want to be about 3 feet away and aim toward the eye area, spraying in back and forth motions. The pepper spray ideally wants to get into your attackers eyes. If you shoot aimlessly and it just lands on his shirt or pants, it won't have a very powerful effect.
If you accidently get pepper spray in your eyes, or if someone in your home does, try to remove as much as you can before rinsing with cool water. Blink as much as possible to flush out eyes. If it gets on skin, put whole milk on to reduce burning. Check out more details on this here.
Having pepper spray or a self defense weapon absolutely helps me feel more protected. If you are a female who has to travel or commute alone, or a singe mom, I think it's smart to have something that helps you feel confident. Whether its a martial arts class, a taser, pepper spray, or weapon, make sure you know how to use it effectively and safely.
Classes like these are made to empower you, and I'd highly recommend taking one when you get the chance.
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Malia was born and raised in Kaneohe, Hawaii and graduated from Azusa Pacific University. She spent the majority of her career as an Early Childhood Education Teacher/Administrator.