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An Interview with Coach Rob: Debunking Myths in Women's Self-Defense

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

JW: Coach Rob, there's a lot of talk about "Women's Self Defense." What's your take on this specific terminology?


Coach Rob: Jane, the term "Women's Self Defense" has often been misused, either by those with a superficial grasp of self-defense or those with a product or service to promote.


The fundamentals of unarmed self-defense - be it striking, grappling, standing, or on the ground - remain consistent regardless of gender. Techniques effective for men are equally effective for women. Weapons, their use, and their defense are similarly universal.


A punch or a defense technique doesn't have a gender label on it. To insinuate a unique defense approach based on gender could be not just misleading but dangerous.


JW: That's interesting. So, you're saying there's no separate system of defense for women and men?


Coach Rob: Exactly. It's a misleading notion, and potentially dangerous, to suggest that women need a completely different set of techniques. Yes, there are physiological differences between the average man and woman, but effective techniques are universal. The key is to tailor the strategy based on an individual's size, skill, and potential threat scenarios, not merely on gender.


JW: Given these physiological differences, aren't there any scenarios where women might face unique challenges?


Coach Rob: A fair question, Jane. While the defense techniques remain consistent, the motivations behind an attack might differ. For instance, gender-based violence is a sad reality. However, when defending, the focus should be on countering the immediate physical threat, not necessarily on the motivation behind the attack.


JW: In your experience, what's the role of psychology in self-defense, especially for women?


Coach Rob: Psychological and preventative measures probably hold the most significant distinction between self-defense and the *personal protection we teach, to both men and women. Societal norms mean threats can manifest differently. While certain tactics might be more common against women, the universal principles of awareness, recognizing potential dangers, and proactive prevention are vital for everyone.


JW: Let's talk about your "Go Home Safe" seminars. How do they fit into this narrative?


Coach Rob: Our "Go Home Safe" seminars, although exclusively tailored for women, taught as a womens only class, underscore the principles of personal protection, not some mythical gender-specific techniques. We're committed to equipping everyone with the best personal protection tools, irrespective of gender. The distinction between self-defense and personal protection is paramount, and that's a core tenet of our seminars. JW: That's a unique approach. So, in essence, the techniques taught in the "Go Home Safe" seminars aren't any different from what men are taught?

Coach Rob: Precisely, Jane. The techniques themselves remain consistent. It's the environment and the mode of delivery that's tailored. Having a women's only class creates a space where women might feel more comfortable, especially if discussing sensitive topics or concerns. But the core techniques and principles remain the same. We believe in a universal approach to personal protection, and gender should not dictate the quality or nature of the training one receives.

JW: With this approach, it sounds like you're aiming to ensure everyone, irrespective of gender, feels empowered and equipped to handle potentially dangerous situations. Would that be accurate?

Coach Rob: Absolutely. Our ultimate goal is empowerment and safety for all. Every individual, regardless of gender, should have the tools and knowledge to protect themselves and their loved ones.


JW: Any final thoughts for our readers?


Coach Rob: Defense is not about gender; it's about strategy, skill, and understanding the situation. Find an instructor who recognizes this, and you'll be on the right track.


Remember, the ultimate aim is ensuring safety and empowerment for all. If you're interested in diving deeper, feel free to read this post about the difference between Self Defense and Personal Protection. [linked blog post].


-Coach Rob

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