Women’s self-defense classes can come from a variety of disciplines- but if you truly want to learn self-defense the right way, martial arts is a no-brainer! There’s so much more to our self-defense program than meets the eye, including lessons in danger awareness, confidence boosters, and hidden mental benefits that may surprise you.
Read on to learn some basic self-defense tips and to learn more about our self-defense program in Longwood!
Self-Defense Classes – The Basics
Self-defense is kind of a loose term. Some people hear self-defense and think of guns or violence. Others associate it with legal justifications (“I did it out of self-defense!”).
At American Top Team, our definition of self-defense is powerful- it’s about using your voice and your actions to protect yourself and others from harm.
This is what makes martial arts self-defense training so different from any others. It’s not just about the punches and kicks that can protect you. It’s about stopping conflict dead in its tracks with your confidence and your assertiveness before things even have a chance to go sideways- and learning how to stay out of trouble in the first place.
It’s about building confidence and bravery to look someone in the eye and loudly say, “Get your hand off of me” or ”Stop harassing me.” And ultimately, it’s about protecting yourself and your loved ones with as minimal damage as possible.
Self-Defense for Women
While martial arts is for everybody looking to get fit and learn self-defense, we would be remiss not to dedicate some time to discussing the positive effects for women, who are unfortunately more likely to use self-defense in their lifetimes.
According to one 2013 study from the University of Oregon, when women took self-defense training they were 3x less likely to be raped and 2x less likely to receive unwanted sexual contact than those who did not take self-defense classes.
Many factors play into sexual assault, and if you’ve experienced sexual assault, it’s not your fault. But this study shows that there are actions we can take to teach ourselves, our daughters, nieces, neighbors, and the women we care about how to use their voices to be heard and de-escalate conflict before it even begins. Girl power!
Self-Defense Tip #1- Keys Between Your Fingers
Self-defense tip number one- keep your car keys between your fingers. A common time of attack is when you’re walking to your car at night after work. Luckily, most people know to hold their keys between their fingers on the way to their car in case of an attack- but if someone came at you, where would you strike? The answer- go for the leg to wound your attacker enough to then get yourself to safety.
How We Teach Self-Defense
So if you’re interested in Women’s self-defense classes, it’s helpful to know how we teach it. Unlike other self-defense training, the physical act of self-defense is just one piece of our martial arts classes in Longwood.
Our classes are centered on different activities and moves that our students work on throughout the week. They practice consistently to make the moves muscle memory so that they know exactly what to do in an emergency, pretty much without thinking.
Some of the self-defense techniques that we work on in our martial arts school are kick techniques, punch techniques, and striking techniques. These can be at a distance or up close to the attacker to prevent assault from any distance. So there’s the physical aspect (that’ll get you into great shape, by the way), and then there’s the mental aspect.
We also teach the “soft skills” that are needed for success in any facet of your life, including perseverance, discipline, and confidence, through lots of positive reinforcement, encouragement, celebration, and pushing our students just beyond their comfort zones every single week to build resilience. Again, these benefits extend into work, relationships, and hobbies… everything improves with martial arts classes, not just your knowledge of self-defense!
Self-Defense Tip #2- Don’t Park in the Dark
This may seem like a no-brainer, but we’ve all got squirrels running around in our heads (read: we’re a bit scatterbrained). Often we’re just not thinking when we’re running post-work errands or pulling into the parking ramp first thing in the morning. So this is your reminder- stay diligent. Park where it’s well-lit and stay sharp when you’re walking to your car (see tip #1).
Don’t Just Learn It, Use It: Staying Calm with Self-Defense
Self-defense is important to protect yourself from danger- that part’s obvious. But you must know how to stay cool in a high-stress situation so that you can use the self-defense skills you’ve worked so hard to learn.
Since you’re reading this article, we can assume that you’ve picked up a few things from YouTube or training here or there. But without consistent practice (or a professional to show you the way), it’s just not going to stick. And (and this is huge), without practice, you’re way more likely to panic. If you’re out at a bar or just in the wrong place at the wrong time, can you realistically defend yourself from a one-off YouTube video? If you haven’t gained real-life experience in self-defense from dedicated instructors who live and breathe this stuff, the answer is probably no.
Mastering the moves every week until they’re muscle memory gives our martial arts students a huge advantage over any other sport (not to mention killer self-discipline). After years of martial arts classes, our students sniff out “bad situations” and avoid them, protecting themselves and their loved ones from harm in the first place.
So, in essence, knowing martial arts will give you a huge advantage in protecting yourself. But knowing how to use your martial arts training to keep calm in high-stress situations, which is what we teach every single class? That’s priceless.
Self-Defense Tip #3 – Broom Handle
Think about it- what better weapon could you have than a weapon that doesn’t even look like a weapon at all? A broom handle is an effective tool that can be used like a staff for defending oneself. You could also break it into two, like Kali sticks, for more leverage. Our advice- keep a broom near your door or under your bed -just in case.
Confidence – Your Secret Weapon
Something really special about martial arts is that while you’re crushing it in your workouts and building up physical strength, your mental strength is skyrocketing. Our classes are as much about becoming unshakably confident and mastering self-discipline as they are about mastering punches and kicks.
We use positive reinforcement and push our students outside of their comfort zones every single class so that they leave each session with something to hang their hats on. We also focus on cheering each other on and creating a positive environment for our students to be as badass as possible. Because of this, our students can stand up for themselves when they need to the most.
That confidence carries over into other areas of your life, by the way. You’re walking down the street and you know you can physically handle anything that comes your way- that’s an unbelievable feeling! And it just feeds the flames of self-respect and excitement over how truly awesome you are, and you understand how little you deserve anything less than the best in your life.
You may start to stick up for yourself in other ways, like asking for that raise you’ve been waiting to ask for, or eating salads over doughnuts. That’s what martial arts can do for you- draw out the best version of you. And that best version is a badass that knows how to defend themselves in any situation. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
Self-Defense Tip #4- Self-Defense Classes
So these tips are great and all, and you can probably find a ton more online- but what’s not online is an instructor dedicated to you and your unique understanding of how to protect yourself.
In an emergency, your adrenaline will kick in and if you’ve never been trained on how to use self-defense, you may panic and not know what to do. Self-defense classes with American Top Team are the number one way for you to learn how to protect yourself and the people you love.
Women’s Self-defense classes at Longwood can help you build the physical strength required to protect yourself as much as they can help build mental strength, stamina, and confidence you never knew you had.
See for yourself how American Top Team self-defense classes can change your life the way it’s changed all of our students’ lives … our risk-free trial is the way to go! You’ll love it! Trial Offer!