Today I attended a free 2-hour self-defense workshop given by a local martial arts studio, in cooperation with local police. And it was AWESOME.
We started with a conversation with the police officer about the importance of being aware of your surroundings, and knowing basic self-defense. The officer talked about the cases he’d seen, situations he had been in, and statistics about crime in general. Things like – most sexual assault offenders were known to the victim, and most sexual assaults take place in the presence of alcohol.
I was very pleased when the officer and the instructors managed to completely avoid victim blaming. For example – they said most sexual assaults take place in the presence of alcohol, but never said that it’s your fault that you aren’t able to fend off an attacker because you were drunk. “I don’t mean to say that you should never get drunk, I just want you all to be aware of your surroundings, and be able to keep yourself safe. If you’re drinking, take care of yourself – surround yourself with people you trust, and always make sure you can get to a safe place if you need to.”
Then, we warmed up, learned some basic moves, and did lots and lots of drills. Their main point was that, when you’re attacked, your blood will be full of adrenaline and your mind won’t be working at its best. So, you want to train your body to respond to an attack with new instincts. Practice until you build muscle memory, and those instincts will help you get away.
Afterwards, I feel pretty sore from all the practice ass-kicking, but I also feel empowered – I know that the chances of me being attacked are slim, and I hopefully won’t ever have to use these skills. I know that, if someone does become really determined to hurt me, there’s probably not a lot I will be able to do to protect myself. BUT, I have some skills that I can develop, and they give me a chance to respond with fear and strength, instead of just fear.
10/10, would definitely recommend.
Book News: Finished The Watsons (loved it!!) and into Sanditon (sooooo boring), both unfinished stories by Jane Austen published posthumously. I’m also listening to the audio book of Dragonfly in Amber and it’s KILLING ME SLOWLY. In the best way.