Self defense is not only for women– of course men are also at risk in this wacky, beautiful, dangerous, violent world that we live in. However, women are often targets, and most importantly, women are less likely to feel capable handling themselves in a physical altercation. We have a lifetime of conditioning that following the myriad Rules of Safely Being Female will keep us safe, and 99% of the time that is true. But 1% of the time Bad Stuff happens.
So, that’s what the self defense class at Team Randori was addressing. It’s important that women know we have tools at our disposal when life goes sideways and we need to protect ourselves. As women are constantly reminded, sometimes they don’t want your stuff, sometimes they want you. During that class Al and Dameron were teaching us wrist grab escapes and getting out and up from takedowns. The emphasis was on escaping, running, turning up the volume, and being generally as un-demure and unobliging as possible.
You might think that learning how to not-get-murdered doesn’t sound like fun. However, as my fellow BJJ students know well, physicality is fun. When you’re in a safe environment, figuring out what you can do and how it affects your opponent and your own next move is a fun thing. Thanks goes to Al and Dameron for sharing their knowledge with us and helping build confidence in the men and women they train every day. I hope the women who came out to train with us never have to use what we learned at Team Randori, but I hope the confidence built on the mat follows them off of it as well.