SELF DEFENSE FINALE – Saved the best for last..YOU!

Here it is, the third installment of my self-defense Q+A with the very cool, don’t-mess-with-her, Dr. Ruthless
Why should women take self-defense classes? 

“In a heartbeat, you have to be prepared to act. There are so many physiological reactions that will take place in a heartbeat. Many people become immobilized. I call it ‘survival charge’. The shaking, the dry mouth, the racing heart, tunnel vision, auditory exclusion…you feel disembodied. This is what happens when the adrenaline pumps in.

One of the most difficult things to learn is how to manage all that stress because it’s a very visceral, raw experience. Without training, how do you not panic and splinter into a million pieces? You have to know how to tap into all that intensity so that it works for you instead of against you.

One of the most important takeaways is to learn to be able to bypass that in order to get to it.”

What about women who think self-defense class sounds complicated or that they would take it and then forget many of the moves they learned?

“I don’t teach anything complicated. The overriding technique is to teach women to go from 0 to 100 percent quickly.”

What are key things that women – from the tiniest to the biggest can learn in a class such as yours?

“To anchor fear with groundedness. It’s a skill that can be learned.”

The Marie Claire article did not mention my athletic background. My USA Today piece did. Was that bad? Should I have not mentioned my background? On the one hand, I didn’t want anyone to think they had to be a serious athlete in order to escape an attack. On the other hand, I wanted people to understand why I felt so confident about going over the wall and choosing to challenge myself.

“You don’t have to be an athlete to get out of this. There is something very primal about all of this. You don’t want to have a lot of fancy techniques and you want to stick to real gross level stuff. Adrenaline and fear is to trigger action, not inaction. A woman does not have to have an athletic background and can still be very effective.

One of my messages is:  Turn fear into fire; a very primal but very focused rage and use it for whatever action. It’s a survival strategy.”

I really battled myself about how to present my story to people. I wanted to be sensitive to the women who chose not to fight back because it was, to them, the only way to survive the situation to get out alive.

 “The more women tell these stories, it’s such powerful medicine for more women. There are these gems of wisdom in learning. This is the real deal. We all claim a piece of victory; one woman’s victory is every woman’s victory in a sense.”

How young do you recommend girls/women learn these skills?

“Middle school. 12-13 year old girls..they can be gnarly these days. Girls today growing up are tough, they’ve played more sports, contact sports..women have to know what it feels like to summon and deliver real raw power.

If a larger creature tries to dominate a smaller creature they will close the distance, in men attacking women, they will get close, they want to subdue them, control them, immobilize them and assault them. Women have to learn how to be explosive. If you are explosive and know how to turn the tables, women can be red-hot self defenders.

Margaret Meade said women have no built-in chivalry and are more savage than the men.”

What about the thought “fighting back will only anger him more and if he wasn’t going to kill you before you fought, you might have increased the change that he will now?”

“It’s imperative for women’s sovereignty. The traumatic aftermath of rape is horrific. If we don’t have sovereignty,what do we have. Half the world’s population should not live in fear of the other half.”

Why do women come to learn self-defense?

“Fear. Women are propelled by fear. There is a pull by power. I think deep down every woman wants to know what it feels like to let rip. I think every woman wants to feel that power in her. It’s the unspoken pull. We have to stop outsourcing our protection to men. No more outsourcing. if you want to own yourself, learn this stuff.”

Ok, that’s my plea for anyone reading this who has possibly contemplated taking a self-defense class. Again, it’s not so much about the physical aspect but the mental preparation. It’s about forcing yourself to put yourself in simulated situations in order to make you understand a modicum of what it might feel like to be attacked and to have to mentally steel yourself to get through it. I hope this series helped you.

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