As a woman, and even for some men, it is easy to feel vulnerable, especially when alone in a large city. Not that you should constantly be afraid, but it’s important to be aware and learn how to protect yourself should a situation call for it. Learning self-defense is a great way to improve your feeling of safety and readiness.
Why Learn Self-Defense?
Over 30 years ago, I was attacked. At first, I felt afraid of everything: I looked over my shoulder, I locked doors compulsively (I’m still very careful), and I put on a lot of weight as a shield. As the years went by, my confidence came back. I lost 150 pounds, but then I felt vulnerable. So I enlisted the help of a Krav Maga instructor that was teaching actively in the area. I’ll be honest, it’s not for the faint of heart. You do come out with bumps and bruises, but you also come out empowered, with knowledge of how to fend off attacks should they come, and permission to use that knowledge to defend yourself.
For women, this is really crucial. As children we are taught to be gentle, don’t hit, don’t talk back. We aren’t given permission to take our power back. I’m not saying some men don’t have the same issues, but there’s a reality to being female that includes an expectation of good social graces and gentility. So when the punches come, we just aren’t ready.
Be Safe, Be Ready
So first, here and now, I’m giving you permission to do what’s necessary to keep yourself safe, and that starts with you knowing that you can. Your brain is your first and most powerful weapon. Keep your eyes open. When you walk outside, stay aware of your surroundings. Hold your head high and your chest proud. Walk with purpose. Keep your phone in your purse and don’t walk looking down at it. If you have headphones on, keep the music volume low enough so that you can hear what’s going on around you.
Last month, I was able to share my knowledge with a women’s group called Lean In (from the book by Sheryl Sandberg), and our time was not only well spent, but also raised money for Meta House, where I have volunteered in the past teaching self-defense to the women trying to reclaim their lives. We also were featured on Fox 6 Real Milwaukee’s live broadcast on 7/19!
Here is the link if you would like to watch it!
An easy way to start to learn some of the basics is to come to my 1/2-hour Kickboxing class. It’s cardio kickboxing, and we learn the proper punching and kicking techniques so you will at least have a basic understanding. Then several times a year, I offer classes for neighborhoods or women’s groups. Here at the club we can put one together for you and your friends, as well. In the meantime, be safe, and I’ll see you in class!
Saturdays, 8:00 am – Cardio-Kickboxing at Elite-River Glen!
Written by Melissa Abramovich, ACE CPT, NASM CGT, AAHFRP Medical Exercise Specialist at Elite Sports Club-River Glen
Melissa Abramovich went into Personal Training and Group Exercise instruction after successfully losing 140 pounds through healthy diet and exercise. Her desire to help others drove her forward into a career helping others to make healthier choices. She is an ACE certified personal trainer and now also a Medical Exercise Specialist (AAHFRP), helping clients with a myriad of health issues at Elite Sports Clubs. She holds a Bachelor’s degree, and many group exercise related certifications as well.