Self Defense for Special Needs, Neurodiversity and Women

Krav Maga’s Women’s Self Defense

Classes for women focus on abduction, assault, and rape prevention techniques and tactics. Learn to spot danger signs and how to defend yourself using verbal dissuasions and through physical self defense. This program teaches you how to defend against common chokes, grabs, bearhugs, and other attacks, including fighting on the ground and when confronted by a weapon. We emphasize realistic scenarios and realistic defenses!

The Krav Maga Houston Women Only Program has been carefully developed with valuable input from law enforcement officials, criminal prosecutors, psychologists, physicians, and rape prevention counselors. The program deals specifically with how and where women are commonly attacked. Women are taught how to safely and effectively fend off an attacker with punches, elbows, knees, and kicks.

More importantly, women learn how to defend themselves from worst case scenarios (i.e. where they are already in a choke, bearhug, and headlock, whether standing up or on the ground.)The program incorporates training methods to build womens’ fighting spirit and to train them how to respond both mentally and physically in a time of need, eliminating the danger of “freezing” or “shutting down” in confrontations. Women receive hands on training in actual locations, ATM’s, parking lots, etc. and are attacked by instructors dressed in full protective padding in order to experience what a real attack feels like.

FAST training is extremely powerful for women and is just one of the many training tools we offer at Krav Maga Houston. Over the course of the seminar we learn different threat levels and responses to each threat level from verbal commands and posture to escalating all the way to violence if necessary. What you see in the video to the right is the final day of the seminar and one of the women confronting the attacker with full contact, speed and power! If the video will gets your adrenaline pumping, imagine what being in that moment will do for you!

Personal safety and disabilities –

This combination of issues often leads to assumptions about helplessness that can cause people with disabilities to worry that they do not have any way to protect themselves from an attack. Teaching personal safety to people of many different abilities and life challenges is that what is most important is to focus on how to use what you can do to keep yourself safe.

Those with a noticeable disability that is obvious to other people, are more vulnerable to be attacked. Some attackers target people who seem more vulnerable because they are disabled.

Be Aware, Calm, and Confident

Project an aware confident attitude, this will prevent most attackers from actually selecting you as their victim. Make sure your body language and attitude let people know that you know they are there without acting afraid or challenging them. Be aware of the environment and those whom surround you. Sit or stand as upright.

Glance briefly towards the person and then continue on your way. Even if you have vision impairments, you can still turn your face towards people so they understand that you are aware of their presence. Projecting an attitude of awareness and confidence can overcome someone’s first impression that you are probably an easy target. Knowing the space around you so that a potential attacker does not have the opportunity to get close to you is powerful.

Know How to Set Clear Boundaries with People You Know

Most of the people who bother others are people they know. Be prepared to tell people you care about what is and is not okay with you even if it hurts their feelings or makes them upset. Your safety and self-esteem are worth causing anyone inconvenience, embarrassment, or offence. Problems should not be secrets, so talk issues over with people you trust.

Identify and Take the Power out of Your Triggers

Triggers are thoughts or words or feelings or other behavior that cause us to explode with feelings. When we are exploding with feelings, we cannot think clearly. Common triggers are bad words and foul language, insults, scary words and threats, or confusing words and feeling sorry for someone.  Make sure what you do is a decision based on what is really happening, rather than an automatic reaction.

As a Last Resort, Know How to Defend Yourself Forcefully

Practice with both your personal safety and disabilities taken into account so that you can quickly access your own personal strengths and resources.  Most attacks are stopped by just one strong move, but be prepared to keep fighting until you feel it is safe to leave and get help. Developing skills for personal safety and disabilities includes looking at ALL of your tools, including your body, your voice, and other tools you have.  The basic strategy is to use the parts of your body you can move as well as your wheelchair or walking aid as weapons and the vulnerable parts of an attacker’s body as targets. If you keep yelling as you are fighting, you will have more power and other people will be more likely to notice. If you are attacked from the front you can yell NO! and pull away, strike to the eyes, heel palm hit to the face, knee strike to groin, kick or slap to the groin, slam your wheelchair into the shins or knees of the attacker. People who are practicing skills with their personal safety and disabilities in mind can discover power and choices they didn’t know they had until they practiced!

Leave if you can. Yell for help. Fight if you have to. If you cannot get away right away, keep looking for a new chance to get away. Instead of freezing, pretend to give up so that the attacker will relax and then leave or start resisting the instant you have an opening to do so. Any confrontation is not over until you have gotten help. Even when you get away from someone, it is normal to feel shaky and even ashamed. It is scary to encounter someone who has an intention to harm you.  Find people you trust and ask for support to help you recover from this experience.

Personal safety and disabilities means adapting how best you can implement the basic self protection strategies of being aware, taking charge, and getting help. Practicing these skills helps to build your confidence.  Remember that the fact that someone decides to attack you is not your fault. You have the right and the responsibility to protect yourself and to insist on help and support.

Click here to learn more about Krav Maga’s Women’s Self Defense in partnership with Autisticfit Society.