How to Kick Ass and Defend Yourself

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As much as I don’t want to kick this off with Trump, I’ll do it because it’s important. Full-grown idiot and president elect Donald Trump has, as you know, made a wealth of comments that degrade and disrespect women (to say the very least).

The “grab them by the pussy” video and soundbite has circulated and made its way into the public forum for discussion. In the first debate following the incident, Donald Trump was forced to confront his behavior. I thought he might apologize with empty cliches, but even that barely happened.

I have been disgusted and appalled by Trump the entire election cycle. But I have not felt the same kind of fear that my Muslim friends felt as they considered the ramifications of his presidency.

I feel so much for them. Yet I have not walked in their shoes and thus can never entirely experience that same fear. However, as a woman, I felt true fear for the first time. Something similar to what my Muslim or immigrant friends (some of Trump’s favorite targets) may be feeling. I jumped past disgust and anger, and found myself picturing a post-election (or perhaps post-apocalyptic is a better phrase) world of Trump’s sheep that, abiding by his gross logic of “locker room talk”, feel free to assault women as they please.

Is this a stretch? Honestly, it is difficult to say. All I knew after watching the debate is that 1) Voting is imperative for us all and 2) I needed to prepare myself for the probability of Trump’s America…and Trump’s men. Self-defense was crucial in that preparation.

Stopping an attacker or assaulter can seem like a lost cause but knowing how to escape a harmful situation is certainly not. To learn self-defense is not just a precaution, but a worthwhile education that could save your life.

While you should always be cautious, especially in some sketchier situations, having a skill-based game plan can help you live your life with a little less fear and a little more preparedness. No one can predict where or when an attack might occur, but you can prepare yourself with physical methods and the information you need to get out of a potentially harmful situation.

A Few Types of Defense That Aren’t Karate

Krav Maga

krav maga self-defense

Krav Maga is used by the Israeli Defense Forces (so you know it’s legit). It was specifically created for self-defense and is based on instinct rather than rigid guidelines. Especially useful for potential, true-to-life situations, gender distinctions in training don’t exist, according to Full Contact Martial Arts, as you can’t choose the sex of your attacker.

This is a useful method as it trains your mind in its preparedness, as well as the body. It is often regarded as the most useful method of self-defense. According to Krav Maga Central, the following are the guiding principles of Krav Maga:

•neutralize the threat

•avoid injury

•go from defending to attacking as quickly as possible

•use the body’s natural reflexes

•strike at any vulnerable point

•use any tool or object nearby

Keeping these tenets in mind while practicing this kick-ass art of defense will help you center yourself so you can focus and beat some attackers down.

Keysi Fighting Method

keysi fighting method self defense

Seen in several of the Batman movies, this method of fighting is unique due to its focus on close-quarters combat. These close-range techniques are useful for the attacks you could most-likely encounter (as opposed blockbuster-level shootouts). Created by Andy Normal and Justo Dieguez, this method is intense, but also extremely disciplined.

Pencak Silat

pencak silat self-defense
Pencak Silat, Wikimedia

According to How They Play, Pencak Silat is an all-encompassing term for a collection of Indonesian martial arts developed, at one point, to combat the Dutch. This one also focuses on throwing weapons which is pretty cool if you happen to have a weapon on you…or something to act as one.

“Cool…But Where Can I Learn All This?”

You have several different options for where you can train, learn, and practice. You can try a formal class held at a YMCA or local gym so you have access to trained teachers, mats (helpful if you flip your partner a little too hard the first time around), and a network of others that may have questions or life experiences that can help you learn.


Another route is checking out Youtube videos or apps such as Martial Arts Trainer, that provide you with detailed explanations and step-by-step demonstrations. You can practice in your own home without feeling self-conscious, and do it on your own time. However, it can be dangerous to practice any new, intense physical activity without the proper instruction. Make sure to take the proper precautions for your own health and safety before going hard on the jiu-jitsu practice. Anyway, all that talk about apps brings me to…

Other Apps That Can Help

Apps may not be ideal in a fast-paced emergency situation. However, in the event that you can temporarily escape said situation, you might be able to make use of one of these apps to get you help faster, put the word out to your loved ones, or alert the police.

SEND HELP – Emergency SOS Panic Button

This free app sends an emergency text and email to your preset contact list as well as letting you publish your location as social media statuses.


Developed by an organization by the same name, Hollaback! gathers user reports to create a map and database of street harassment incidents. It also includes a guide of information on filing a police report and lets users recommend ways to handle street harassment. Not only is this useful for avoiding harassment but also creates a network of informed citizens. To read more about Hollaback! and other amazing apps to aid victims of street harassment, check out Refinery29’s comprehensive article.

I urge every one of you to check out methods of self-defense in one way or another. And If nothing else, carry your trusty pepper spray.

Sources: Full Contact Martial Arts, Self Defense Expert Blog,



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