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Saturday, 12 May 2007

Fight Like a Girl

This morning I went to my first self defense class "Fight Like a Girl".

Fight Like A Girl TKM (FLAG) is a female led self-defence school that teaches the Tactical Krav Maga syllabus in a way that is female supportive. We understand that for women to benefit from the effective system that is Krav Maga, they have to ‘own’ their way of doing it. This is why we believe in teaching Krav Maga in a way that is most efficient for women and hope to provide an alternative training environment to the ‘boy's clubs’ that often exist.
FLAG believes Krav Maga can help all people feel safer and better protected, because it’s a realistic system, using scenario training. Everything in the system has been battle tested by elite military units worldwide. Most Special Forces soldiers in NATO armies are not big ‘gorillas’. The typical SF soldier is a slightly below average height, wiry build and trained for stamina.
These soldiers are trained to think, and to fight in situations when there is no alternative.
Sounds like most women. That is, someone who does not want to fight but if left with no other choice, wants to eliminate the threat and then break contact and move away from the danger. A healthy attitude and one that FLAG will help develop and encourage. Fight or flight is the choice that we as humans have developed. As people we’ve also unfortunately developed a ‘freeze’ response to danger. FLAG will eliminate this response from your mind, and focus you on flight or fight.

Nothing else I have written in my blog is as important as this.

If you are a woman, and you are fit and strong, don't think that a man will not see you as vulnerable. Especially if you have achieved your goal and have lost weight. To men, you are small and they presume you are easily overpowered. Don't think it will never happen to you, it is more likely "when" rather than "if".

Go to at least one self defence class and experience what it feels like for someone to invade your personal space, to push you from behind, or to grab your hair and drag you backwards. Learn how to use your size to your advantage, and the places to hit a man [eyes, throat and groin]. Throw a punch, an elbow, or a kick often enough that you don't have to think about how to do it.

Don't walk around at night with your ipod on, or your wallet in your hand. Don't relax when you get to your front door because you still aren't safe until your door is locked behind you. Don't engage in conversations with strange men, or if you do, be on your guard.

Perhaps you are thinking that it is no way to live your life constantly suspicious of everyone. But if you live in a fantasy world where you don't even consider that someone could hurt you, you are living on borrowed time.

You might be lucky like me and just have your wallet stolen out of your hand. But what if that man had forced me into a dark place in the back lane and raped me, or into a car and taken me somewhere to murder me. My reaction would have been the same -- surprised by the attack and then frozen with no idea what to do. My lack of preparation would have had much more severe consequences.

Losing weight and getting fit is principally about finding time to nurture yourself first. Do this one thing for me and for yourself - go to just one workshop, or one class that teaches you how to get out of a violent situation intact. It is the highest expression of self love. Take care of yourself.


  1. When I first started getting down to lower weights - I was afraid - much of the time.

    I am still very, very careful - but no longer afraid.

    But, things that I would do - fat - I no longer do.

    For example - go to shopping centers with large parking lots (like the mall) or go shopping late at night. I take my husband or my son with me - now - to those places.

    No matter where I am - I am VERY careful what type of vehicle I park next to.

    At home I pull all the way in the garage and shut the garage door before getting out of my car.

    I get carry out service - much of the time - if it is dusk or the parking lot is too empty to be safe.

    I do not walk - even in my own neighborhood - which is very safe - on the isolated paths - by myself - even during the day. I don't walk at night - by myself ever.

    At my heaviest weight - it WOULD have been a struggle to get me into a car/van - now - it would not at all - even kicking and screaming and hitting.

    I am going to sign my 13 year old and me for a class this summer - she is about 4" and 25 pounds lighter than I am - and I could get her in a van/car easily. And I think this is her full grown size.

  2. Anonymous7:51 am

    As women we do have to be so careful... I feel lucky that as a mental health nurse, I get yearly aggression management training which involves breakaway techniques which is basically self defense... I think that this should be offered to everyone, not just in our profession! Your class sounds great Katie!
    Looking forward to meeting for coffee!!
    Sue xxxxxx

  3. I'm sorry you had to go through that at all. It must be traumatic even after the fact, and all the "could haves". But I applaud the self defense effort! I think in the long run that will do you a lot of good beyond just being better prepared for muggers.