In the wake of the #metoo movement, it’s more obvious than ever that all women should learn self-defense.
You’re most likely aware by now that a long list of powerful men stands accused of sexual misconduct andor sexual assault.
That alone should serve as a sobering reminder that sexual assault doesn’t just happen in movies and TV shows: it can and does happen in real life. Worse, if it can happen to celebrities, it can happen to you. Or your sister. Or your mother. Or your wife.
(As a side note, recent events confirm that sexual assault happens to men, too. For now, however, we will focus on women, as they are still the most frequent victims of sexual crimes.)
The #metoo movement is also a powerful reminder of yet another scary reality: most victims of sexual assault were attacked by people they knew.
Masked strangers do lurk in alleys or break into homes to hunt down their prey, but the plain truth is, you can just as easily be sexually attacked in a boardroom, college dorm, or even your own bedroom.
What this means for women
I’m not trying to scare anyone. There’s a good chance you’ll die of old age without ever having encountered a predator, sexual or otherwise.
But IF you do, do you really want to be unprepared?
Whether it happens in a work setting, outside a nightclub, a subway platform, or the hall of your building as you fish for your key in your purse, a sexual attack is one of the most dreadful situations anyone could ever find themselves in.
The good news? Just learning self-defense will increase your odds of not being attacked in the first place.
That’s right—go to a school like EMA Toronto for any significant length of time, and you will be doing more than learning how to defend yourself.
But before I explain why, we have to go back in time to a classic psychological study.
What your body language, posture, and other traits say about you
In the study, researchers asked convicted murderers and rapists to view a video of pedestrians walking down a busy New York City sidewalk and identify the ones they would have likely targeted. (The pedestrians were unaware they had been taped.)
The convicts not only identified their potential victims in a matter of seconds, but also tended to identify the same people. The researchers realized the criminals relied on nonverbal signals like posture, body language, pace of walking, length of stride, and awareness of environment. They dubbed these cues “precipitators,” personal attributes that increase a person’s likelihood of being targeted by a violent criminal.
“If I had the slightest inkling that a woman wasn’t someone I could easily handle, then I would pass right on by.” —Brad Morrison, a convicted sex offender who raped 75 women.
If you’re curious about the study, check out this article.
So what are these precipitators?
It’s not always clear-cut, but if your walking style lacks organized movement and flowing motion (which could indicate a lack of self-confidence), or if you drag your feet or shuffle along, I have bad news for you: you’re unconsciously marketing yourself as a victim.
Good things that can happen to you when you learn self-defense
By now you probably have a pretty good idea of what I’m about to say: if you’ve studied self-defense for a decent amount of time, you probably feel at least somewhat more confident. You’re also in better shape, and you’ve learned to move fast and efficiently. And those are all things criminals pick up on.
Of course, now that you know what violent convicts look for when choosing a potential victim, you should make a conscious effort to appear confident, to walk firmly, and most importantly, to be aware of your surroundings.
It should go without saying, however, that there are no guarantees. And if despite your best efforts, you’re still attacked, well, that’s when all that groin kicking and eye gouging will come in handy.
Help us help women
Do the women in your life a favour. Tell them about our award-winning school. (Did you know we were just voted, again, Toronto’s Best Martial Arts school?) Tell them they can come in for a free class, no obligation. Tell them also about our free monthly women’s self-defense seminar. If we’re too far, or if for some other reason they can’t come to our school, then, by all means, let them go to another self-defense school. (With a major caveat: not all self-defense schools do what they advertise, so stay tuned for our upcoming blog post on how to choose a proper self-defense school.)
If you have been the victim of an attack, sexual or otherwise, and want to reach out to us with questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 647) 919-5728 (KRAV).
—by Alain Latour