The other day, I was walking home with a friend after a nice refreshing jog on a beautiful spring day here in Austin, Texas.
As I was walking up a hill and getting closer to my house, a man came driving down the street and was turning into a parking lot, driving over the sidewalk my friend and I were walking on.
He nearly hit me with his car, and in the process, he got mad at me for reasons I'm unsure of. It really is one of the most bizarre things to ever happen to me, and I have trouble even explaining it because it makes no sense.
Anyway, he ended up getting out of his car and was ready to fight me. He said he was angry because I made an angry face at him, (which was my WTF JUST HAPPENED face).
What kind of reaction was I supposed to have to this? I didn't flip him off, cuss, or anything of that nature, but he didn't care. He wanted to fight.
He was actually trying to fight me. He kept aggressively pointing at me and was raging. I didn't say anything because I was in such shock, and he ended up getting back in his car.
But of course, it didn't end there.
As my friend and I are getting closer to my house, I see from the corner of my eye a 250-pound man walking behind me, following me. The same man that almost ran me over on the sidewalk.
My friend immediately pulled out her phone and got ready to call 911, and in the meantime, we saw a guy in front of us and yelled at him to come stay with us as a guy was following us and being aggressive. The 250-pound man ended up turning back, going back to his regular life of trying to run people over with his car and fight women.
We did call 911, but they couldn't do anything as it's not illegal to follow someone, at least in the state of Texas. WHAT? Yeah, I know, I was surprised, too.
This wasn't the first time I felt uncomfortable and afraid of my safety.
Because of this, I've decided to take self-defense training seriously, and have even thought about starting some kind of martial arts training.
Also, I know I'm putting emphasis on women learning self-defense tactics, but due to statistics, it seems as if it's only necessary for women to enroll in a course. I think everyone can benefit from a self-defense course, but I am trying to put a high priority on women needing to take this seriously.
This post was also inspired by the Seattle Jogger's article where a girl was very hurt by a man while she was out on a jog.
1. Size Doesn't Matter
If a 200-pound man walks up behind you, you're already at an advantage because you know what to do in case of an attack.
Most men that attack women are not at all trained in any kind of martial arts training.
You'll be trained in moves that will teach you how to take down a man much bigger than you.
On top of the physical training, you'll be prepared mentally to get in defense mode and not completely shut down, which can happen to untrained women when they are caught off guard and in shock.
If you are not trained in self-defense training, and won't be able to for a decent amount of time, I highly recommend getting yourself pepper spray. This is the pepper spray I use. It's police graded, and lets you easily turn it on and off (which I recommend practicing doing before your run).
There are also key chains that you can wear when walking to your car.
If you want to get started in self-defense training as soon as possible, this is a highly rated DVD on self-defense training, but I also recommend training with another person and practicing these movements.
2. Raises Awareness
How many women do you know that walk in tunnel vision, with their face staring directly at their phone?
As sad as it may sound, women need to be ready and aware at all times when in public, and especially when walking alone.
You'll become much more aware of your surroundings. You'll walk differently, keep your head held high, and show attackers that you are not afraid.
3. Increases Confidence and Empowerment
You will walk out of a self-defense class feeling confident and strong. Knowing certain mental tactics for self-defense will teach you how to be mentally prepared and ready in case something (terrible) were to happen to you.
Once you take down a 200+ pound man in self-defense training, you'll have some new found confidence in you that will make you feel strong and fierce in any given situation.
You're going to develop a respect for yourself and your body that you didn't have previously.
4. Teaches Discipline
You will be taught a discipline that will carry onto all parts of your life.
This kind of training will get you thinking, standing, and breathing differently. You'll learn how to keep calm and react appropriately to certain situations that you would otherwise lose control.
5. Become an Example for Young Girls
Become a role model for girls in elementary school and even girls on their way to becoming women.
Lead with confidence and strength, and don't be afraid to tell people that you've been training in self-defense. We need to show our children and loved ones how to protect themselves in case the worst would happen.
Enrolling in a self-defense course will not only teach you tactics on how to be physically ready for anything to happen but also mentally. Some people tell me I shouldn't be so afraid and on guard while I'm out on a jog, and all I can say is back is that it's 2017 and the statistics tell me otherwise.
I think there needs to be education and awareness on this matter, and that men should also be taught to NOT physically harm women.
But, until then, I will be taking self-defense training seriously.
I hope I didn't instill fear in any of you, but I also didn't want to be silent on this topic anymore. If you follow the news, then you already know that this type of violence happens often. Don't NOT get trained just because this has never happened to you.
You can easily find a class in your area by typing in “your city + self-defense training”.
Have you ever taken a self-defense course? If not, you should set up a class soon!
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