How Learning a Few Simple Moves Can Save Your Life

The good news is that women are feeling empowered, stronger and more confident. They are standing up for themselves in business and in their personal lives. We’ve learned how to take control and clear away obstacles in front of us. But the reality in one piece of life is stark: We are vulnerable to physical attack, to being overpowered and possibly victims of crime. We strengthen our bodies with boot camp classes and workouts, but learning self-defense should be part of that routine. It could be life-saving—and empowering as well. According to Phil Ross, author of Survival Strong and owner of American Eagle MMA & Kettlebells in Ho-Ho-Kus which offers self-defense classes, while women are vulnerable there are many ways to avoid an attack and learn to fight back.

“Unfortunately, many women don’t see the need to learn how to defend themselves ,and that could be a terrible mistake,” he says.

Learning what he calls the three As—Awareness, Avoidance and Action—is crucial.

“The goal, by being aware and practicing avoidance, is to prevent anything from happening in the first place, but if it does, preparation and practicing techniques to fight back can be empowering,” he says.

Caption 1: “We’ve all heard of the fight or flight response, but what is more likely to happen when you’re being attacked is you’ll freeze,” Phil says. “Which is why it’s vital to be prepared and to practice defensive moves.”

Caption 2: Know your target zones, Phil says. When you have to hit, remember that everyone has throats, eyes, knees, groins and shins and you know where they are. Go for those with unrelenting force. And every woman should have pepper spray, he says, “but not at the bottom of your purse where it is 1,000 percent useless. It should be in your hand, at the ready when you need it.”

Caption 3: Phil recommends practicing self-defense scenarios and techniques on a regular basis, giving you both confidence and muscle memory to perform the techniques when called upon in a real-life situation.