Women’s self-defense – it’s not only about fighting
Evolution required from men mostly fighting. From women – survival. As clunky as it sounds like blaming the innate traits, we can’t deny a significant truth element. I asked Mateusz Orczykowski, chief and head instructor of Israeli Tactical Krav Maga, about the differences and the importance of self-defense mechanisms, developed over the years among men and women.
how is women’s self-defense different from men’s?
We owe the differences to evolution. While men over the centuries have fought and gained mainly physical skills (muscle strength, speed, aggression), women learned to observe the surroundings. Their survival was on their perceptiveness, ability to read others’ body language, drawn accurate conclusions, and cleverness. The icing on the cake at the end of this list is the unique and exceptional female power – intuition. It’s the most reliable (though immeasurable!), early warning weapon.
“Intuition – an immeasurable yet reliable early warning weapon”
An evening at a dark street, an uninteresting type approaching from the opposite direction… before a man even sees him, a woman realizes something is wrong long ahead. How? It’s because she intuitively feels the impending threat. Men have been doing quite well for years, mainly because they can react fast with fists. The fair sex knows how to avoid it and prevent physical confrontation at all – sometimes just by crossing the street or closing the door on time. In training centers all over the world, men are taught how to observe and draw conclusions. And women? No need to. It’s in their blood.
So, where do such alarming statistics on violence around the world come from?
The sense of security and faith in the personal inviolability of another human being, which the 21st century gave us, drown out this inborn early warning weapon more and more effectively. Women in the world have forgotten that they have power, or they have entirely stopped trusting it. Since everyday life threats are not diminishing at all, it is so vital to rediscover these unique abilities. How? Through learning. In training conditions, the ability to use intuition can be restored – and this directly translates into the safety of not only the women themselves but also their relatives (e.g., children).
In Poland alone, 700.000 women annually experience violence: not only physical but also psychological, sexual, and economic.
Is krav maga the right thing for women?
M: Yes! The basic rule of krav maga is: ff you get the chance, don’t fight. But if you have to – do it effectively. Good physical condition, knowledge of combat techniques, and methods of neutralizing the attacker increase survival chances – it is indisputable and obvious. It is always worth developing them. But it’s still better to avoid a physical confrontation than to face it, especially when it comes to women. Fortunately, assessing the situation and risk, reacting quickly, making the right decisions under time pressure and stress, or even crisis negotiations, can also be learned through training. In controlled conditions, of course!
Fortunately, from time to time, various Polish associations organize self-defense training courses dedicated to women. Unfortunately, most of them are limited to learning the techniques of hitting, throwing, grabbing, and leverage – which is very important, but without proper mental training, they are just not the right path for women.
So when looking for training for yourself (or your loved one), it is worth paying attention to the program – and choose the one that puts enough emphasis on the psychological aspect of women’s self-defense.
*Data from the Women’s Rights Center in Poland, 2020.
Author: Mateusz Orczykowski
Translation & edition: Kasia Maciejak