January 30, 2014, Toronto, Canada - In this SAFE International Self Defense blog I would like to offer my thoughts on why teaching women self defense is more fun than teaching men. Now, before the men jump down my throat, I do enjoy teaching men, but it is a very different experience from teaching women. First of all, I can hear the men saying, "You prefer teaching women cause they can't hurt you like men can!" That my friends is a load of B.S., as I have had many women do much more damage to me than most men. But, the following are my top 5 reasons why I prefer teaching women self defense.
1) Lack of Ego - this one comes to mind immediately. Women tend to come in very open minded with a primary objective to learn material that will simply help them to "Get Home Safely To Their Family". In my experience, men often come in with many pre-conceived ideas on self defense with the intention of just confirming their own beliefs, or wanting to be right. The ego will cause you to miss out on all the lessons you can be learning (see excuses below).
2) Performance Anxiety - this kind of goes back to the ego, but real self defense has nothing to do with looking good when doing the self defense drills. It is about doing whatever is necessary to avoid, escape, or evade danger. I find men are more likely to worry about how they looked doing the drills. The way movies portray violence and defending oneself is so far from reality, but one that men think they can copy. Women never ask me how they looked after a drill. They will ask how they can improve, what they can do different, but never worry about looking cool as if in front of the camera.
3) Lack of Excuses - I have seen and heard this in seminars I have participated in with men, where they will do a drill that doesn't quite go the way they hoped, and their response will be something like, "I wasn't ready", or "You got lucky with that hit". I can't recall any women I have taught coming up with excuses if they think they "failed". My feeling is that when you make so-called "mistakes", you actually learn much more than when you execute a drill perfectly. Excuses get in the way of the self defense lessons that may save your life.
4) Want to Learn to Avoid Violence - if you gather a group of women and men together for a self defense seminar and begin by talking about how to avoid violence, by discussing awareness and avoidance strategies, you will often see the men roll their eyes because they want to get right into the phsyical self defense material. Women definitely appreciate the topic of avoiding danger much more than men, but I suspect that is because, in my experience, women are exposed much more to daily comments, threats, intimidation. Now that being said, men who have experienced real violence are very supportive of the topic of awareness and avoidance. Kind of funny, but the men with virtually no stories of violence are the ones who think they can handle themselves physically. The order any self defense should be taught in, should have the physical self defense as the last item.
5) Willingness to Share Stories - this is one that women are definitely more open to do. Women have no problem sharing their fears, concerns, or thoughts on violence, or potential violence. Men have a much more difficult time admitting they have ever felt scared. Men tend to keep these feelings to themselves out of fear of being judged or laughed at. It is not uncommon for women to share some very personal and horrific stories of violence very early in a seminar.
SAFE International is a mobile self defense company that has taught more than 185,000 women since 1994. We offer women's self defense parties, high school self defense, corporate self defense, and private instruction. Please check out our main site at www.safeinternational.biz to locate an instructor near you.