Well hey there! It’s great to see you again. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to take a self-defense class geared towards women. I had taken the class about four years ago and figured it was time for a refresher. You see, I have somewhat of a Napoleon complex going on. I tend to think that I’m tough as nails with all 5 foot 2 of my badassery. I mean, I’m not totally off my rocker. I do know when to keep my mouth shut, but I like to believe that I could hold my own in a struggle if it came down to it…even against a man.
We spent a little over two hours in there learning some techniques that are based in krav maga. Everyone grabs a partner and we take turns holding the pad for the other partner to punch/kick. But before we got to all of that fun, we determined where our “bubble” was. in other words, how close is too close for a stranger to get. The exercise included getting into two lines and walking towards your partner until she yelled out to stop. Now, notice I said yelled. Some ladies neglected to bring their big girl voices. I hope that somewhere along the line they find those voices, especially should they ever need them. Me? Former cheerleader, tomboy, tree climber, trapeze flyer, performer with no microphone. I’m loud. And if I don’t want you near me, you’re gonna know. The instructor tells everyone, “hey, watch her and be loud like her.” I have crazy expressive eyes and when I’m in this class or possibly in danger, I just have crazy eyes. I will tell you a story with these eyes and if I don’t like what you’re up to, that story is gonna start with F*&K and end with YOU.
Anywho, we got through our brief warmup and figuring out our comfort zones. On to punching! Straight punches, heel strikes, and hammer punches, oh my! No gloves. Just blasting through that pad (and pushing my poor partner over). But ladies, you don’t just have those hands fo punching. Don’t ever be afraid or ashamed to gouge eyes and scratch faces. The overarching theme was FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE. Whatever it takes. A well placed forehead to the bridge of the nose. Whatever. Oh, and hey, those stems! Groin kick! I tell ya, I P90X-ed the hell outta those kicks.
Last time, we learned escaping from a bear hug from behind – bend at the waist, elbow, elbow, elbow, elbow, elbow, elbow (is he off yet??), elbow, elbow, (oh he’s off now?), hammer punch to the base of your neck, hammer, hammer, hammer, groin, groin, kick, kick, kick, punch, punch. I’m done a la Wendy Testaburger. This time we worked on removing a choke hold from the front. The reality is that the move might not fully remove the assailant’s hands from your throat, but it’ll move them enough that you’ll still be able to breathe. And fight. For your life.It’s called a pluck and should almost always come along with a groin kick. Like they said in the Simpson’s, it ain’t Krav Maga if there’s no groin kick.
We do these drills for about 90 minutes before we’re ready to go to simulated attacks. We split into two groups and go into two rooms where our “attacker” is in a padded suit with a padded helmet. All of the ladies stand in a circle with one lady in the middle. They guy in the suit walks/stalks around you, saying some pretty ignorant sh!t, touching you, he pulled my hair (hard!), but you can’t react until he’s truly attacking you. Every word out of his mouth was pretty much the equivalent of overtuning the smallest string on the guitar and his hands on my neck was when the string popped.
There was a Timberwulf sighting at that moment. Pluck, kick, hammer, hammer, hammer, hammer, kick to the chest while you’re on the ground. I’m done. The instructor picked me to go first. Good to have it out of the way so I could just focus on cheering on the other ladies, and in some circumstances, providing hugs and words of encouragement like “in through your nose, out through your mouth!” because one girl was pretty close to hyperventilating. A LOT of tears were shed in that class. Some because, and this is just an educated guess, it was too real and too reminiscent of something that had already happened. Some because they just didn’t realize they had the power within themselves. And some just because like hip openers in yoga, this will just release some emotions right up outta you.
They have the class annually and I really shouldn’t let three years go in between taking it. But next time I go, I really have to remember to cool myself down better and to stretch better. Why? Class was Saturday; today is Tuesday and my shoulder is still crying. Icy Hot and Tylenol are my friends, but a little discomfot is better than not knowing how to protect myself and the options that come with that. I cannot recommend enough that every female get out there and find some sort of self-defense class and take it and take it seriously. It just might save your life.