DeNial Ain't Just a River in Egypt

One of the challenges in discussing self-defense training with women and girls is the denial factor. You know the conversation:

  • "I could never hurt anyone."
  • "That will never happen to me."
  • "I'm always safe."
  • "My husband, boyfriend (insert any male here) will protect me."
  • "I live, work, shop, etc. in a safe neighborhood."
  • "The class sounds great, but I just don't have the time."

    And as they say, DeNial ain't just a river in Egypt.

    The reality is that women's self-defense training is so much more than just learning to "hit someone." Self-defense training involves understanding the different types of crimes and learning to recognize the early warning signals of danger. Self-defense training teaches you how to create a safety plan. It teaches risk avoidance skills. It teaches you about body language, verbal skills and de-escalation techniques. And of course, it teaches you how to disable (not just hit) a predator so you can escape and survive.

    The belief that "it will never happen to me" is dangerous. Our motto is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. When you mentally and physically commit to your and your family's safety, you will be prepared if God forbid you are attacked. And if you are not attacked, it may just be because you were prepared. So, really, you lose nothing but gain everything in terms of both personal safety and confidence.

    No one and no neighborhood is always safe. There is the potential every day to be targeted as a viable victim. By having the skills to recognize when you're in the crosshairs of a predator, it will give you an advantage in initiating your safety plan.

    Although we grew up on the fairy tales of the rescuing prince and the protective dwarves, the reality is that no one will protect you, but you. Given the fact that most women know their attackers, the fairy tale rescue/protector mindset could get you killed. Do you have a plan when your protector becomes your attacker?

    Most of the women that come into our self-defense classes are there because something bad happened to them or someone they knew. Make time for your own self-defense training ; and don't let a lack of time make you a victim of crime.

    **Angie M. Tarighi is the CEO & Founder of Women’s Self-Defense Institute providing self defense training, education awareness & personal protection products empowering women to fight back against crime.