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If a stranger/predator were to attack you or your child, would you know what to do? Would you be prepared? It’s scary to even think that these sorts of things happen, but self-dense is a must in the world we live in today. Most men feel confident and capable of protecting their family, however, it’s important for all people, especially women, to know how to protect and defend themselves and their children.
A few weeks ago, one of my doulas at BBP, Mary Alice, invited me to attend one of our client’s self-defense classes for women (Fight Back Fit). The owner’s name is Jeanna and she is one amazing and strong mama. I have never taken a self-defense class before so I thought it would be an awesome opportunity to learn how to better protect myself. Having seen some of Jeanna’s videos, I knew that I could learn a lot from her on how to defend myself if I ever needed to.
In the 2-hour class I learned so much and one of the first things that Jeanna taught us was that there are two major areas that encompass much of self-defense for women; prevention and preparation. Because the best way to protect ourselves and our babies is to prevent an attack from ever happening.
Here are the top things I learned that all women need to know on how to prevent an attack:
- Be Aware – If you notice that you are going to be in a poorly lit area, a stairwell, walking alone in a parking lot, or any possible uncomfortable situation, be aware! True self-defense is being aware of yourself, your surroundings, and potential attackers.
- Eye Contact – If you are walking alone or walking with your little ones, it’s so easy to be distracted. You could be on your phone or be distracted by what your child or children are doing. It’s important though to keep your eyes up and to be alert. You want to look up and make eye contact with the people around you. An attacker wants you to be distracted, to catch you off guard and have you looking down. He/she doesn’t want you to know details of what they look like.
- Escape – After you are aware of your surroundings, it is vital for you to identify an exit path. You will be safer if you can run away! Make a scene; throw rocks or a purse or a shoe, yell, scream. Use whatever you have around you. By making a scene you will call for attention, which is exactly what an attacker doesn’t want.
- Self-defense classes – Taking self-defense classes will not only improve your ability to protect yourself, but they will also improve your ability to not get into bad situations in the first place. Look into signing up for a class near you! And when you take such a class, make sure that you practice what you’ve learned.
- Ask for help – If you ever are in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to ask others for help. Ask a co-worker to walk you to your car, if you are alone or with your child and feel uncomfortable wherever you are, have a friend stay with you, or anything similar to make you feel safe.
It may sound like I might be overdramatic, but things like this do happen and you never know if it will happen to you. By just being aware of these things, they can really help prevent you and your family from experiencing harm.
During the class, I was also taught that no matter how much you plan, practice, and prepare, there still may be a moment when you may have to fight. It’s seriously terrifying for me to think of things like this, but when it comes to your safety and your babies’ safety, you absolutely have the right to fight!! And never forget that you are your best protector.
One of Jeanna’s friends and fellow fighter, Mike, joined our class and said that being prepared is like having an insurance policy; you hope to never use it, but it will be worth it if and when you need it. I couldn’t agree more!
Here are the top tips I learned to being prepared for handling an attack:
- Have an Attack Plan – This doesn’t always mean that you should plan on attacking someone that is attacking you or your child, but rather that you should have a pre-made decision on what you would do if something were to happen to either of you. By mentally preparing yourself and deciding what you would do, you will be able to act if and when the time comes.
- Know Your Weapons – If you were walking in a parking lot, do you have your keys in your hand? Those could be used as a weapon. Would you throw your purse or your shoe? Do you have pepper spray or a firearm with you? If you were going for a run, would you throw rocks or sand/dirt or grass in their eyes if they get too close? You need to be aware of what’s around you and use them to your advantage as your weapons as well as your body. Which brings me to the next point…
- Know Some Moves – If you were to be approached/attacked, it’s crucial for you to know how to get out of holds or how to get an attacker off of you or your child. Knowing these maneuvers and plans of attack can save both of your lives. During our class I learned how to do the hammer punch, use my elbows as weapons, knee an attacker, obstruct their vision, as well as get out of a hold if I were pushed up against a wall or a car, etc. After learning these moves and different ways to defend myself, I felt much more prepared and confident if anything were to ever happen.
Thank you, Jeanna, from Fight Back Fit for allowing Mary Alice and I to attend your class. We learned so much and truly enjoyed it! I wish that all women felt this sense of empowerment that we felt leaving your class. I highly recommend that all women look into taking a self-defense class because when it comes to protecting yourself or your child, there is no cost that is too great. Developing self-defense abilities will save you and your child’s life. And when you’re a mama bear, don’t you want to know how to fight back?! I know I sure do!!