“I declare to you that women must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.” – Susan B. Anthony
Last year I embarked on a journey to take personal responsibility for my own personal protection. That journey has included defensive tactical firearms training, as well as formal NRA instruction, and certification to receive my credentials to teach basic pistol. My Instructor Training continues as I work towards earning advanced credentials that will qualify me to teach Personal Protection Inside the Home, Personal Protection Outside of the Home and the ever popular national Refuse to be a Victim program. Oh, and did I mention that I am also in the process of certifying to be a Range Safety Officer?
As I work with firearms and increase my proficiencies I haven’t helped but wonder what I would do if I found myself in a situation where I was unarmed, or in a situation where it was inappropriate to use my firearm. Or, what if I am armed but deadly force isn’t justifiable or necessary? What would I do if I did not have time to retrieve my firearm or
were facing my attacker in very close quarters? I knew I needed a plan and I knew I didn’t have one? But I knew someone who probably did. That someone is a defensive tactics instructor who agreed to train me beginning with non-weapons personal self defense. I am training slowly, learning new skills a few at a time and practicing them until I can do them in my sleep.
i was reminded in my training that bad guys aren’t looking for a fight. They are looking for easy victims … weak, vulnerable, distracted, easy victims. The more difficult we appear to be, the less likely it is that an assailant will approach us in the first place. We spent a lot of time talking about body language and how our potential attacker is already reading our body language before they even approach us. We practiced stance and posture that project
confidence and vigilance.
I also learned last night that Martial arts does not necessarily equal self defense. In fact many people who are trained in martial arts are often not prepared to use the skills they have acquired when faced with a real life situation. While martial arts is a great way to stay in shape and to focus your energy, it is not necessarily the training to rely on for personal defense. When the rubber meets the road, kicks and strikes may not be enough.
When faced with a threatening situation, the body reacts in a physiological way. Fear induced stress causes a weakening of the motor skills and often results in temporary
paralysis of the small muscle groups. This is why training and practice are so important. When faced with a threatening situation our response time slows and the brain goes through a series of involuntary steps to analyses the threat. There is no time to consciously think … only time to act.
I learned a couple of skills that we could begin using immediately, if necessary, and then we spent additional time talking about how to handle close-quarters confrontations and how to use a bad guy’s own flinch response to create opportunity to turn the tables. All in all if was a fantastic lesson and we are totally looking forward to next week! There will be more to come … you can count on it!
If you are interested in personal defense training for yourself, please reach out to me. It is up to each of us to take responsibility for our own protection. The time is now. Our lives may depend on it.