Navigating Self Defense

Michael Davila
I look at all the ads for women’s self defense and can see why many ladies shy away from participating. You have the classes that focus on more of the fitness aspect, teaching little of effective self defense. There are the classes that attempt to teach you violent, damaging, full-on go ballistic techniques. And seminars that are a lead in to taking a martial art, karate classes, or some other fighting form. So what’s a lady to do? Some sign up for classes or a seminar, etc, and buy into the program. Some write it off and hope they never are confronted with a situation. Some buy some mace, or a taser, a little novelty weapon, or get a conceal carry permit.But are they really ready? I don’t think so. In fact, I know they are not. Physical confrontations are scary. Your state of mind changes drastically and survival instincts take over. For instance, have you ever had to do a task, but had someone standing over you? Like a boss, supervisor, etc.? You may have done the task hundreds of times, but the pressure of having someone standing over you, critiquing, judging you, made you uncomfortable and nervous, and you didn’t exactly do your best on that instance.Now imagine that feeling in a life or death situation. My point is that you have to be taught in a manner that prepares you for what may happen. You have to get in that mindset while training. Just as playing Halo or Call of Duty does not prepare you to deploy with the military to fight a war, most of these classes and seminars do not prepare you to deal with an attack.I’ve seen the ones where the “attacker” dresses up in a suit of padding, looking like the Michelin Man’s shiny cousin, and the ladies get to kick and punch at will. Great for taking out frustration, but is an attacker going to attack at the speed and mobility of a zombie in one of those cheesy movies from the 80’s? I think not.
  • Bad guys know that the bread and butter of most teaching consist of stomping the foot, striking the groin, and poking eyes. They know how to avoid that.
  • A 5’2, 100 lbs women will not do enough damage to a 6’ + tall, 200 lbs. + man by punching and kicking to discourage him from doing what he intends.
  • Trying to learn too many techniques to combat many different scenarios is not an effective way to learn.
To all the ladies seeking self defense training, be careful what program you choose, don’t be victimized by the many “snake oil” salesman out here selling false sense of security. Self Defense is not hard, it is not rocket science, it is instinct. We are all born with “survival instincts” and strive toward “self preservation” in a confrontation. Self Defense programs that focus on these facts are what you need to partake in. Choose wisely, your life may depend on it! Master Mike Davila is the Chief Instructor at Two Keys Self Defense located at 15522 Hwy 44, Gonzales, LA