Personal Protection

Since I was a kid, my biggest fear has been of being kidnapped. I remember several young girls being kidnapped that were around my age in upper elementary school, but I was afraid of it before then too. I’m not sure what started that fear, but it is something I’m still paranoid about today.

Being pregnant and then having a baby has made it worse in some ways because now I’m afraid that something could happen to both of us. A few months ago I was putting the baby in the car seat after a doctor’s appointment and a guy walked behind me and asked if I had any spare change. I’m normally pretty giving to people in that situation, but he scared the heck out of me. Thankfully he stayed back a bit–if he had been close I would have instinctively tried to hurt him in some way. Not that it’s ever cool to sneak up behind someone, but I’ve become extra sensitive to giving parents extra space.

The scariest statistics I ever see are about sexual assault around the world. It really makes me sick. I don’t know why the world is the way it is; I suppose there are many reasons. I am grateful for those who do something–anything–to help. I think everyone should take some self-defense classes. Assaults don’t just happen to women. Children, adults and seniors of all ages and sexes can be victims. Sandra Bullock taught us well:

In college I took a R.A.D. class for a P.E. credit and it was awesome! R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) is a great organization that teaches self-defense all over the country. My class was specifically for women, no boys allowed other than the cops who taught the class. It was pretty cool to go into a room full of women learning how to defend themselves. We’d learn the moves and then practice on the instructors. It was really empowering to kick a big cop and watch him get knocked back from my force. The point of the system isn’t so you learn how to beat the crap out of anyone that messes with you, but to immobilize them long enough to get away. The move that taught you how to get away from knife-point left you with cut hands, but you’d be alive.

Occasionally some people said they didn’t think the moves would actually work. I had a roommate who thought it was really fun to attack me and see how I’d react because I had mentioned that the moves become instinct. In class they gave us and taught us how to use a kubaton. My roommate jumped on me once when it was in my hand and I automatically rammed it into her back between her ribs. I felt bad, but she asked for it 🙂 I love this thing and still hold on to it all the time when I’m out.

Packs a surprising punch

Packs a surprising punch

For the final, we had to get across the room. Sounds simple enough, except that there were 5 cops acting as aggressors that you had to use the moves to escape from. And they were wearing this:

I may or may not have had nightmares about this thing.

I may or may not have had nightmares about this thing.

Of course it’s there for their protection, but it’s really intimidating. Especially when your biggest fear is getting kidnapped. I was pretty anxious for the final, but I was very happy once I completed it. How often in life do you get to practice taking a kubaton to someone’s head? I felt strong and able to keep myself safe.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone was able to feel strong and able to protect themselves? Of course things can still happen, but it’s empowering to get some training so you don’t feel at the mercy of whatever weirdo comes your way. You can go to the R.A.D. website and see if they offer the classes in your area. They have classes for women, kids, seniors, and I just saw a men’s one on their website too! If you complete their course then you can go to any facility anywhere and practice for free. There are non-profits, colleges, police departments, etc. that offer other self-defense classes. I know that the Mesa, AZ police department teaches R.A.D. for free! Google away until you find something that works for your schedule and location. If anything, go on YouTube and look up self-defense videos.

I was on an airplane back from St. Louis once and a guy chatting me up touched my sternum (a.k.a. my breasts) as he explained getting hit in the sternum. I was so shocked I just left. Whenever I think back on that I wish my 19-year-old self knew to hit that creep. Even more I wish I had called a flight attendant over and filed a sexual harassment charge. Whether it is from a stranger or someone you know, learning how to defend yourself is important. Ladies, especially if you’re on a date or with a boyfriend (horribly enough, even a spouse), remember that you don’t owe anybody anything in regards to your body. You don’t owe a date, you don’t owe a kiss, or anything else you don’t want to do.  We live in an amazing and beautiful world. Every new place I live has gorgeous things to see, new cultures to experience, and people to meet. Unfortunately, there are scary things in this world that we need to be prepared for too. You’re worth protecting, do something to help you learn how!

 

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