Self-Defense & Karate for Women
KARATE FOR WOMEN. If you are thinking about signing up for self-defense, we hope you will check us out - we have a comfortable gallery to sit in to watch a class or two, and you will never be pressured into signing up - we don't have contracts - just month to month fees. And our classes typically have 30% female and on some occasions, as many as 60%.
Traditional Karate is an excellent form of personal self-defense. And when you learn karate, you can take it with you anywhere: plane, bus, restroom at Target. What will you do when a mugger confronts you? Reach for a gun, pepper spray? Use a handbag? A cane? With karate, you have a weapon 24 hours/day and you don't need a conceal and carry permit!
Jogging or walking in the Phoenix Valley is like being in a war zone. It can be dangerous: anyone can be targeted by politicians and other scum; so, when things get out of hand because of an abusive boy friend, a serial rapist, or a senator seeking donations, a self-defense clinic at the local martial arts school, police station or community center is not a solution. These make you aware of your surroundings but what you learn will fade from memory after a few days. After teaching karate and self-defense at four universities for more than 4 decades, martial arts grandmaster Soke Hausel indicates striking a punching bag, or a cop in a Redman suit while wearing gloves for one evening is unrealistic. It may build self-confidence and provide things to think about, but if you don't learn to react (without thinking), you are not learning self-defense. One must practice constantly to make self-defense secondary in nature. You must learn muscle memory through hundreds of repetitions - this is what karate teaches - muscle memory along with power & striking points. What can you do when your car is hijacked, how can you defend against a mugger in a parking lot, or what is the best way to insult an telemarketer? Sorry, we can't help you with the last question, but there are good suggestions on the internet.
SUCCESSFUL SELF-DEFENSE. Successful self-defense requires proper training to develop focus while using body mass. Remember high school physics and Newton's 2nd law: F=ma? We use it in karate to generate force (F) by using body mass of a mugger and yourself (m) and accelerating (a) your punch as much as possible. In addition to Newton's 2nd law, there is also physics of karate for proper motion, hip rotation, wrist and fist dynamics. Then there is muscle memory - no matter your choice of weapon; whether karate, kobudo, jujutsu, aikido, gun, pepper spray or taser, without constant training to educate your muscles to react in stressful situations, you are a sitting duck.
Some gun ranges in the Phoenix valley offer special Women's days. Caswells in Mesa offers 'ladies days' twice a week, and C2 Tactical Range in Tempe offers classes and training for women. On ladies days, women can walk in, pay for ammunition, ear plugs, safety glasses and targets and have their lane fees and gun rental costs waived. If you have never shot a gun before, try a small caliber pistol. You will find the gun range employees helpful in teaching you to load a gun, etc.
After you learn to use a gun; remember, each state has laws on carrying guns that apply to honest citizens (not criminals). The Second Amendment was written to guarantee our right to bare arms. But only politicians are guaranteed that right and they are the ones we have to be concerned about.
If you are not into guns, try a taser or pepper spray - but be cautious of martial arts instructors claiming to be human stun guns. Learn which end to point. You can find spray at Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart. But keep in mind, you are not going to get many dates wearing a sidearm or carrying a bottle of pepper spray to the movies. Think of all of the places you cannot carry a gun - jogging, shower, dancing, movies, gyms, library, schools, airports, IRS, State Capitol, California! Some assaults occur while jogging, and there are assaults that occur in broad daylight on massive transit, home, school, or in your Congressman's office! One book published several years ago indicated 1 in 4 women were sexually assaulted on college campuses (another place where only criminals are allowed to carry guns). Remember, you have God-given weapons: we refer to them as hands, feet, elbows, knees, etc, that are always with you. Learn to use them because you can't aways get to a gun or pepper spray!
MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOLS. Enjoy going to the gym? Biking? Shopping? Or do you just like to go to movies? You can have the same enjoyable experience in some martial arts schools. We recommend you visit a martial arts school you are interested in & watch a class or two to find out if you can stand the instructor and if he/she has proper certifications. If his or hers breath is a deadly weapon, if they are interested in getting you to sign a contract, if they are going to stick you in a class with 5-year olds, or if the karate instructor has acne, hold on to your purse and get out while you can. It might be a real ego booster to defend against 5-year olds while wearing angry white pajamas, but how many times do you expect to be mugged by a 5-year old? Search the internet for a karate school that focuses on self-defense for adults. Try a simple Bing or Google search of any karate school or any karate instructor's name before you take your first lesson. As a woman, get into a self-defense or karate class with other women and men, because it likely will be a man who will attack you. Martial arts training should be positive, educational, fun, provide good exercise and keep your interest. This has little to do with the martial art or style, it depends on the karate instructor. Take your best friend, your daughter, son, or mother to train in karate and self-defense with you: make it a family affair. We highly recommend traditional karate, jujutsu or kung fu over sport karate, MMA or Taekwondo simply because the focus will be on street self-defense rather than sport.
Some women are under the impression they can learn to defend themselves in kick boxing classes: learning to kick to music without focus or blocking will not do anything other than burn calories (and not all that many according to statistics). To be successful in self-defense, you must learn to block and hit with force. If you cannot knock out an attacker with one strike after 6 months, look for another martial arts school. Experience suggests you should not be wearing gloves during training as this does not provide proper feeling and will teach you improper striking. Work on affirmations and keep positive and plan to train for life. Get interested in the history and philosophy of martial arts. Kata (forms) taught in karate are beneficial - they are a form of shadow boxing and look like Asian dances. If taught correctly, these will teach you muscle memory, focus, and self-defense as each kata is filled with self-defense techniques.
Along with karate & other empty hand martial arts, we recommend kobudo from a qualified and highly motivated instructor. Why? Having a weapon (tool) in your hands increases your advantage, and kobudo is a martial art of weapons. Hundreds of years ago, people on Okinawa learned to use farming, gardening and fishing tools such as hoes, rakes, paddles, etc for self-defense. Modern tools such as pens, cell phones, car keys, magazines, books and even vacuum cleaners and curtain rods can be weapons. Most anything you can grab can be used as a weapon including rocks and coins.