31 Jul SAHM Tip #7: Take Self-Defense Classes
For those of us moms who are married or in a long-term relationship, it hasn’t been “all about you” for quite some time but man, is there nothing like having a baby to drive that point home. I really feel like this was the the fire under my ass that got me to register for self-defense classes. Not to mention I live in Oakland which, as much as I love it, is not the safest city in the U.S. (aaaactually, it’s the third most dangerous out of cities with a population between 100,000 and 499,000. Eep).
When I started my Googling for local self-defense classes, a lot of martial arts popped up–krav maga, karate, kick boxing, etc. All of these sound pretty sexy to me, especially krav maga which is getting trendier by the second in the “hot girl” community. I think they are finally getting tired of the leering and Israeli street fighting sounds a little scarier than karate.
Anyhoo, tempted as I was to take on a martial art, it became apparent those classes spend A LOT of time on technique, precision, and conditioning before they even get down to what you should do if approached by an attacker.
Perfect example: My instructor told me to sweep his leg after stomping his foot and breaking out of a choke hold. My instinct was to swing my leg from the hip and take out his knee with my shin. Bad idea. MMA fighters have the luxury of ultra-strong shins from kicking the bag all day. It not only builds muscle, it creates tiny fractures in the bone that heal and harden over time. So basically my unconditioned shins could snap like twigs if I tried this in real life. By hammering his knee with the bottom of my foot, I magically skip months of bag kicking and still bring down my attacker. This is the real difference between self-defense and martial arts. We don’t have a lifetime to prepare for shit to go down.
My self-defense class is based in Brazilian jiu-jitsu but it is very basic. Blocking, kicking, gaining leverage, these are all very un-fancy concepts. Still, I of course felt pumped after the first lesson. But my adrenaline immediately made me scared.
I feel blessed to have a very “shit happens” attitude about life in general. It also literally keeps me sane as a parent. And anything that gives me an illusion of control immediately frightens me. Because deep down, like all people, I like control. My subconscious begs to be in the driver seat for all situations. But self defense is not a guarantee against victimization. It merely increases the odds, however marginally, that you may walk away from a potentially very fucked up situation. So that’s my final reminder to you. Take the class. Cross your fingers. Shit happens.