|Two teenage girls with an intense background in martial arts and street fighting created a video aimed at teaching teen girls how to protect themselves and get away from a potential abductor or a rapist. (The video can be downloaded for free, just follow the link from the banner on the left.) I have watched the 90 second preview and read the website. The video appears to include street fighting techniques that would be relatively easy for a teenage girl to use against a larger, stronger man, including ear slaps, eye jabs, and kicks to the groin.
However, I am concerned the video might not include a discussion of prevention-oriented behavior, particularly with regard to traveling alone, staying in well-traveled and well-lit places, and holding yourself confidently, supplemented with a discussion of the dangers inherent when teenagers and young women are impaired through drugs or alcohol.
My friend and neighbor Tom Parish had this to to say about the video:
First yea the trailer is edited to have a great deal of very dramatic
impact. They are selling a DVD for self defense.
Let me add, having practiced and taught Aikido for 15 years that there is a necessary preventive piece that is often left out of quick promises for instant self defense lessons.
You’ll notice in all the dramatic clips (I watched the 90 second one) that every time a young teen as abducted she was alone. You cannot see how she’s holding her self from a self confidence perspective.
You significantly improve your personal safety by always traveling with others and being bold enough to ask for someone to escort you if needed to your car. I have taught my teenage daughter things like not falling for someone trying to trick her into helping them take bags or whatever out to a car alone.
Learning to be stand erect and feel self confident and look around yourself before entering new areas is quite helpful in being singled-out.
Should the awful possibility occur — it can be helpful knowing where to kick or hit hard and effectively the first time. You just have to also know that if the person is bigger then you and your punch might be a lot less then theirs. Making them more violent from the git-go may only make things worse for you.
I’d focus on a number of conversations about prevention and practice the art of thinking ahead in situations where you might be alone in public places and being aware of options and asking for an escort. DVD’s like that can be helpful. Just realize it’s not the only solution.
I don’t have a perfect answer for anyway but I do want someone to realize there aren’t any perfect solutions for self defense. I know what it’s like to get hit and to hit someone else. if that’s your only solution you’ve limited your solutions and choices for success. Best to find aways to avoid ever getting to that point.
So what to teach your teenagers about abductors and rapists? First, as Tom suggested, is an understanding of how to not need fighting skills. This can only be effective if the teenager is able to use the knowledge to make good choices. And I can’t stress the importance of maintaining full awareness as a critical step in that process (i.e., not being high or drunk). A really good martial arts school will include those skills in the training. I’m highly in favor of martial arts training for young women. It’s good for the mind and good for the body, even though the hope is that she will never have any call to use her training on the streets. (I like what this site has to say to teenagers.)