4 Reasons to take a Women’s Self Defense class

     Next Sunday, here at AIM Human Performance, we will be offering our Women’s Self Defense course.  During this 3 hour workshop we will cover a lot of material, however, this will only scratch the surface of what can be taught.  So why should a woman take this course?  The obvious answer is to learn how to defend oneself.  This is often the answer I get when I ask women to sign up for this class, but they also respond with, “I already know how to defend myself. I’ll just kick him in the balls!”  Ok, but what if he has you by the hair, in a bear hug from behind, or worse, has a weapon pointed at you?  What would you do then?  Kicking him in the balls is not going to be effective in these scenarios (and might make the situation worse). So, here are 4 reasons why every woman should take a women’s self defense class, aside from the obvious of learning how to defend oneself.    

#1: Self-Confidence 

    When I first started on my own personal martial arts journey, I was told that one of the discoveries I would make was self confidence.  I found this to be true for my self and now for my students. During my 10 years teaching women’s self defense classes, I have repeatedly seen the participants’ self confidence grow from the start of class to the conclusion.  The confidence in themselves at being able to handle a scary situation, as well as the confidence of being able to deliver an effective strike, increases with every practiced kick and successful escape.  By having confidence in yourself, and confidence in your strikes (should you need them), you will carry yourself with courage and boldness, which makes you a harder target.  Predators like easy prey, so this self confidence and posture will make you safer and less likely to be a victim.

#2: Permission to Fight Back

    One aspect that surprised me when I first started teaching this class was the shock in the students’ faces when I told them to fight back.  I’ve even been asked the question, “So it’s ok to fight back?”  One could label this as the self-confidence to fight back, but I see it as permission to fight back.  Yes you can, yes you are allowed, and yes you absolutely should!  

    I once had a student who was the primary caretaker for everyone in her family.  When someone was sick, when a babysitter was needed for her grandson, or when anything went wrong; she was the go to.  During the first class, she was so uncomfortable with the idea of striking back and hurting another human being that she couldn’t bring herself to even hit the bag.  During the week that followed our first class, she had an uncomfortable experience of a teenager who was lingering around her and her grandson at the playground.  When she began feeling uncomfortable, she packed up and walked away.  As she started for home, the teen began following her.  Fortunately, a neighbor was outside and spooked the teenager off.  Sadly, she needed this experience to understand that she may have to fight back and hurt someone in order to protect her family, if necessary.  By the end of the course, she was striking and fighting with confidence, and that confidence built over each class.  She now understands that if she can’t take care of herself, she can’t take care of the ones she loves. She has permission to fight back and this may mean inflicting harm on someone else who wants to cause evil. 

#3: Environmental Awareness

    A third benefit from taking this class is environmental awareness.  During this course, we discuss situational awareness and the importance of listening to your gut. When students provide feedback after the class has concluded, they share how they now notice the finer details around them, like someone following them longer than they should, or how they recognize where the exits are in a store.  This indicates vigilant awareness of their surrounding environment which increases their security because now they are not an easy target and they have an escape plan in the event of an emergency.  This is one of the simplest skills that we teach in this class, but can be hard to implement when we always have our faces in our phones.  

#4: Skills & Training beyond just “aim for the balls”

    When it comes to fighting back and defending yourself, any strike is a good strike.  However, as I mentioned earlier, when someone says to me “I’ll just kick him in the balls,” it might not be so easy.   For example, does the bad guy have a gun or knife on you? A sudden, wrong movement could be the end.  Does he have you by the hair and dragging you?  What if he’s got you in a bear hug?  In these scenarios, just “kicking him in the balls” is not going to work and could even put you in worse danger. Learning how to deliver a well executed and precise strike will turn flailing into fighting.  For example, should the bad guy have a gun to your back and leads you to a dark alley for something more nefarious than wanting your purse, even attempting that kick will end in disaster for you.  Even if you do manage to execute that kick, and it hits the target, yes he will go down, but did you disarm him, incapacitate him so he doesn’t get back up? Even worse, you try your kick and miss.  Now what?

    Being able to recognize the situation, knowing how to defend yourself with which strike at the correct moment, and most importantly, having the confidence in yourself are all key takeaways from taking a women’s self defense class. As students often find out when taking this class, the moves are not second nature and often times require you to do the opposite of what would come naturally. This is one of the main reasons for attending a women’s self defense class!  It’s so much more than just “aim for the balls.”


    These are four reasons that every woman should take a Women’s Self Defense class AND plan on attending again to refresh these skills multiple times over the course of her life. It’s not second nature. We’re not born with a “self defense chip” preprogrammed inside us. It’s a life skill, just like learning how to swim, that when done properly, can save your life. And yes, kicking him in the nether region is always a viable option!   I hope this has opened your eyes to the importance to attending this class.  I look forward to seeing you in class and teaching you how to kick some butt!

Chris Viggiano