Since March is National Women’s History Month, I’m dedicating this month’s column to self defense in an effort to help empower women. I’ll also give a free self defense class this month to all female readers of the Doral Tribune.
More than 70% of women in America encounter a violent crime within their lifetime, with about 3,000 reporting they’ve been victims of some forced aggression. (Have I gotten the attention of my feminine readers yet?)
The truth of the matter is that your safety is your responsibility, not your knight (husband, boyfriend or brother) in shining armor, or the government, your association or even a security guard. Remember, you’re not always in the presence of your “knight” and, by the time the police arrive, it might be too late. So what can you do, not to be a statistic?
An African proverb relates that every morning, a lioness awakens to chase a gazelle across the plain, picking the slowest and weakest in sight. A criminal searching for a victim also wants easy prey. Predators prey on the weak (or what I call a ‘gazelle’). So here are three principles that could save your life:
(1) Don’t walk, look or act like prey.
(2) Be aware of your surroundings and everything happening around you.
(3) Walk with confidence and look the world in the eyes.
However, a reality-based street self defense course can have you walking with confidence like the lioness. To accomplish that, you must learn verbal and physical self defense as a confidence builder. You must learn to walk like a predator and not like the prey. You must learn to project your voice in what we call “a bad dog attitude.” You must learn to turn fear into power.
As a corrections officer in a state prison for over 10 years, a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant, martial arts instructor (Kung Fu, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do and Haganah Israeli military reality- based self defense) and through years of research, I’ve also discovered three things the bad guy doesn’t want to happen:
(1) To be physically defeated by the victim.
(2) To have the victim identify him.
(3) To be caught by the police.
The criminal picks women that he perceives as easy victims. (It’s not how tough you really are — but how tough he perceives you to be). Reading books on self defense won’t teach you to defend yourself, only point you in the right direction. You must learn firsthand from a competent, qualified instructor to become the fastest gazelle on your block, with the strengths of a lioness.
Julio Anta is the head instructor at Anta’s Fitness and Self Defense in Doral since 1998. You can contact him at 305 599- 3649 or via the internet at <www.antakungfu.com>,