Words Aren’t Enough. You Need A Teacher

Raz (pink gloves) training with his students. Picture taken by author.

I recently got this question on Quora.

I’m a female. How would I defend myself if a man suddenly picks me up and starts walking or running?

So to the person who asked, and everyone who is reading, I need to lay down some hard truths first.

Your opponent isn’t just the kidnapper. It’s your own mind. You will very likely freeze up and go completely blank in shock. Two weeks ago, a friend in Krav sneaked up behind me and jokingly grabbed me.

I’ve done over 450 classes, I was four feet from my favorite teacher in my own Krav school and I still froze in complete horror. It’s natural, but freezing is going to get you killed by the second and more deadly opponent, the kidnapper.

So you have to stop being a nice, law-abiding peaceful person and go berserker. You have to be ready and willing to hurt this guy as badly as you can by any means needed, including lethal or dirty tactics to get away. This guy is trying to rape/kill you. Your life depends on getting away.

This is not an easy or normal thing for people to do, to create that level of aggression that will permit you to gouge and rip and smash another human being. I still struggle in it and I train a lot.

If you can flip that switch, getting out of that situation is not something I can answer on one foot. It really depends on a lot of factors, such as size, distance, environment and a whole host of other things I can’t teach you in writing.

When you watch self-defense videos (and there are some great ones) you will be told to strike at weak points. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. You need to practice the techniques before you can do it effectively under pressure.

For that, you need a teacher and you need to get on the mat because these techniques can save your life. So, I’d advise signing up for a martial arts class.

I’m really fortunate to have an extraordinary teacher, Raz Chen. I’d make a self-deprecating joke about how I’m fortunate he puts up with me, but Raz does not permit negativity, self-pity, excuses, laziness, Diet Snapple, fast food, or whining in his students. It’s one of the reasons he’s awesome.

Raz’s mission in life is to teach self-defense and fitness efficiently and effectively in order to help civilians live the safest and healthiest life possible. His classes are meant to be put into use immediately, and stress practicality and safety over flair. Although I dreamed of learning martial arts to be more like a Jedi, I’ve learned to rethink my path to be “How can I get away from danger quickly?”

A lot of the time, it’s fun, such as when we play Israeli hockey, a game that is neither Israeli nor hockey. It makes sense in context.

At the same time, I do also have to learn about some dark truths of life. Much of the world is good, but there are predators among us who seek to do harm.

I have been (safely)choked, grabbed, taken to the floor and had people pin me to the ground. Raz doesn’t sugarcoat the threats in life, but he also has taught me that I have the power inside me through my own natural reflexes to defend myself.

I can use situational awareness to monitor my surroundings for threats in order to avoid them if possible.

I can use body language and my voice against someone invading my personal space.

I can use objects around me as a means of protection.

And if all else fails, I can use efficient and accurate strikes to weak points against even a much stronger opponent.

I may not be tall or especially athletic, but as Raz reminds me, even trained martial artists won’t do well with a swift knee to the groin or a nice sidekick to the knee.

Of course, this comes from the study. It’s hard work but I know I can walk this world in peace.

So, that’s my answer. Find an incredible teacher and learn what to do to defend yourself.

Because your life might depend on it.

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