Be Your Own Defender

Walking through a Target parking lot after sunset shouldn’t be a potentially dangerous activity. Mace, pepper spray and other self-defense tools shouldn’t be necessities. And women shouldn’t have to worry about engaging in physical activity alone or wearing headphones as we walk through our own neighborhoods.

Yet this is our reality.

According to RAINN, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network, on average,  a sexual assault occurs every 107 seconds and nearly one in every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.

Sarah Davis/In Her Shoes Foundation

Photo by Sarah Davis/In Her Shoes Foundation

It’s easy to think, “It won’t happen to me." But statistics show women who prepare themselves as less likely to fall victim to a predator. One way to take smart precautions while also building up your inner sense of empowerment is through self-defense classes.

Many gyms, fitness clubs and martial arts associations offer classes geared toward general self-defense or particular styles of martial arts - if you want to take down an attacker and be fancy about it! These classes typically come at a price, but the following benefits you will reap are sure to outweigh the costs:

1. Protection

Defy the odds. Don’t become a statistic. Be a woman who knows how to handle an attacker, be it on a deserted street or in your own home. Become your own inner Katniss Everdeen to take on even those bigger and badder than you.

2. Self-Esteem Booster

Learning self-defense will be a huge confidence-booster not just out in the streets but also at home and in the workplace. Women may leave self-defense classes feeling proud of themselves for being able to physically and mentally defend themselves. If you can do this, what can’t you do?

3. Fitness Goals

Taking self-defense classes allows you to learn self-defense skills, improve upon them through practice and build up both strength and stamina. Additionally, these classes will sharpen your reflexes and make you quick on your toes. Kill two birds with one stone - learn skills to last you a lifetime while trimming the waistline.

4. Physical And Mental Skills

Not only will these classes teach you the physical techniques to take on an attacker, but they will also improve your street smarts. They often include tips and tricks on being aware of your surroundings and becoming more diligent in identifying when streets and alleyways are safe.

5. Empowerment

Nothing says badass like a real-life Kim Possible. Having the power to protect yourself is worth bragging about, and with the resounding support you’re sure to get from other women, your drive to protect yourself will soon become just another part of what makes you so awesome!

A simple Google search for “Women’s Self-Defense Class” is often the easiest way to locate classes in your area. Programs such as R.A.D. (Rape, Aggression, Defense) System also offer a variety of locations.

Whatever route you choose, know you already possess the power to defend yourself. All you have to do is hone your natural instincts and you can be your own heroine.

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