When I was 22, I was living away from my family in a city to prepare for IELTS and GRE. Since my classes ran from morning 8 to evening 6, I did not had much time to cook for myself. One evening, I was walking home with my roommate at 8’o clock with packed dinner in my hand when suddenly, a teenage boy, on a bicycle pressed my breast and went away. Well, I wasn’t as calm as I am writing this right now. I was shocked, and so was my friend. For first few minutes, I could not even realize what the hell just happened? I am walking literally parallel to houses where families live, where streets are lit up, where people are evening walking and someone just touched my breast. The very next day, same time, same street, same friend, same packed dinner, and the same guy came, on the same bicycle and touched the same breast and ran. Well, yeah s*** happens. And this time, it chose me!
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This story taught me one thing::
You either learn to fight for yourself, or accept what happens with you. And I am not the latter type, so I learned to defend myself!
Of course, I bring my procrastinating characteristic with me. I did not do anything since that day until last weekend when the FitnessStudio/GymUniFIT in my University offered an intensive Selbsverteidgungkurs für Frauen – self defense (SD) course for females.
This course, yet intensive, was a pretty good kick start in bringing the dark and bitter truth of our society that :: unfortunately, we live in a World or society where we, the people, are not as nice as we are suppose to be or should be, and thus sometimes some of the bad ones amongst us try to harm the others. And of course, when someone’s trying to harm you, you can’t simply let them harm you. Right? You need to protect yourself by standing for yourself, fighting and defending yourself. This is where, SD kicks in.
So here’s a summarized recap of all what I learned from my harassment experience and the SD course.
1. What is Self-Defense?
Well, if you ask me, it is about defending myself. Now the question is against what? Then I’d say, against someone attacking me, molesting me, harassing me, or someone trying to intrude into my personal space without my permission or approval.
According to my sources, which is wikipedia of course, it says,
Self-defense (self-defence in many varieties of English) is a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well-being of oneself from harm.
2. Why & when do we need SD?
Now unfortunately, we need to protect ourselves and our own private personal zone (physically and mentally) that just belongs to us. Anyone, literally any one trying to do any harm to you or enter that zone, needs to be handled sincerely and extensively.
3. How do you SD?
Rule #1 :: Try to avoid the situation of SD as much as you can. It might sound stupid, but it is like it is. If it is, at all, possible to avoid a situation where you know you might end up in danger or physical/mental harm, avoid the situation. If while walking you get a feeling that someone’s trying to follow you or some particular pathway is dark and doesn’t have many people, just take another way to walk home.
Rule #2 :: Always be alert. In this age of mobile phones and insta,fb,twitter, try not to keep yourself busy by looking at your screen but, be attentive whenever you’re out. Don’t be paranoid of course, but make sure you’re aware of your surroundings.
Rule #3 :: If unfortunately you end up in a situation where you’re attacked or molested, shout! Be loud, and shout or yell as loud as you can. Try to get people’s attention towards you so that they know you’re not in this situation on oyur own will. Some might even come and try to help immediately or the attacker might be shocked from your voice and give up.
Rule #4 :: Don’t panic. I know it is easier said than done, but do not panic. In the incident of any attack/molestation or someone grabbing, try to be calm, collect your strength and focus on how you can get rid of the trap. Use your heel to hit on attackers feet, or attack on genitals or eyes. These areas from forehead till the neck and from the lower waist region until feet are primary areas to attack. If you’re not physically strong enough then try spit, shout and run.
Rule #5 :: Always, inform police. After any incident, no matter what the aftermath is, you’re safe or not, the attacker ran away, etc etc always inform the police, they need to know you were in a situation in a certain area. So at least they’re alerted.
Rule #6 :: Get yourself registered in a SD course or any sort of training art like Martial art of Jiu-Jitsu not because you might end up in a situation where you would have to defend yourself but, because you might help someone else in need.
So, no matter who you are, a girl or a boy, a lady or a man, a kid or a teenager, you gotta stand for yourself. It isn’t enough to have a sit back relax attitude because nothing hasn’t happened to you and it won’t. You never know.
It is always good to prepare yourself for the best but it is even more better to be ready for the worst!