As you know this is a self-defense blog dealing with real self defense issues? It is not a political correctness blog where we try and say how we wish the world really was! For instance when I was remarking to my step-daughter one time my views about women in the military front lines and started extrapolating about women in other potentially dangerous jobs such as police or firefighting… she started accusing me of pulling the “woman card.”!
More on that conversation later but here is the question. Should be look at our self defense strategy from how we would like the world to be or how the world is? I would argue that a child or woman should not go running/walking at night unless the areas are well lighted and there are lots of people around (for instance at a beach boardwalk in the summer evenings would be safer). Read on for my supporting arguments and how I answered my step-daughter.
First take a look at this video – if you go to the 60 second mark, she starts talking about running at night and her concerns.
So it is good to know that a lot of women do think about safety. This lady seemed to have sound advice but younger women I have seen often ignore advice like this. The seem to walk and text/talk/listen to music totally oblivious to their surroundings. And they take this into their workouts running deserted trails in the daytime and even at night!
I am usually blown away by this because wishing the world was a safe place does not make it so.
Here in San Diego we has a murder a few years back of a teenage girl that used to run in a park by herself in the afternoons. She became a victim of a serial killer that happened to be looking for targets. She did not do anything unusual for teenage girls – many of them think running by themselves is safe so long it is daylight. Many even think running at night is ok.
One thing that made me sick to my stomach was a year after, an event was organized, called take back the park. It turned into a run where girls met to do a run yearly. So now that the girls have taken back the park – does that mean other girls are going to feel safe to run along in deserted trails? Will the future serial killers take notice of that park and not go there because the girls have taken back the park?
Enough of that weird logic but as one get older – what you say and more importantly what you do means something. As a Kenpo Karate instructor I really want women and children to realize that you just cannot do anything you want safely just because we live in a nation of laws. Some people are bad and break the laws. So it becomes important to be prudent to stay safe.
So here is the deal, it may not be safe for me to go running in the back country or at night but I am a guy, fighter, and totally accept that some day I may have to fight for my life against several punks. I will either win or I will not. If I do not win I will be taking several with me. No big deal. I know what is possible and what I am willing to accept.
The real question is do you accept the probable? Getting into an alteration might not be likely but if you put yourself at risk often enough – some day it will. I would suggest you do not put yourself into harms way unless you are prepared to fight back against all comers. This is not a macho thing for me. It is just me. I like to fight. I always have but I am not a bully. I only will fight in self-defense! I also will enjoy every minute of it. I cannot help that. I think I got too much testosterone or something like that but I really enjoy fighting (if I am in the right). So I am happy to work out alone in the back country.
With any luck women and children will not take risks like I do. In any alteration the bigger, smarter, faster, stronger, more skilled fighter will win. This is even true in karate. Learning a short term self-defense lessons will only give you enough for some quick strikes and a break away. If you want have way more skill than potential attackers, you have to study some form of fighting such as what I teach (Kenpo Karate). There are a lot of good fighting methods but after all is said and done… women and children will not often beat a bigger male antagonist unless he is smaller, slow, weaker, unskilled and dumb.
So women and children have two ways to go. Be smart about how you do your workouts, live your life, or learn a martial art and become great fighter. If you choose C, and do nothing AND tempt fate by running in deserted trails in the day or night – you are just taking a huge risk that may not go your way someday. I hope you make a wise choice.
As for my step-daughter, I was able to dissuade her from joining the military by showing her how many women died in combat a year in Iraq and Afghanistan. You see she was in a pretend world where nothing bad ever happened to women. I don’t think I convinced her that police or fire was more dangerous for women. You see I have the whole political correctness media that don’t believe me either… who am I compared to them?