Rape Escape! Do You Have a Plan?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Self-defense
9 Apr 2011

11 Responses to “Rape Escape! Do You Have a Plan?”

  1. Matt Klein Says:

    Excellent post John. Or is it “You wanna know crazy!” John? lol. Can just see you with the baseball bat as your daughter’s date arrives at the door.

    Yes, I also question the wisdom of going to the ground against a bigger, stronger opponent. She has a better chance of escaping while standing up. Will agree that the legs are a big equalizer as some of my black belt girl’s kicks could put a man in the hospital. A trained grappler/jujitsu specialist on the other hand could do all right, as some of our black belt females who are trained in it are pretty formidable on the ground.

    Agree the best defense is avoidance. Be a hard target, be aware. Excellent advice.
    Matt Klein recently posted..Best Kids Martial Arts MoviesMy Profile

  2. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hey Matt, as always training is the great equalizer. :)

    I thought if a different title but the focus of this was more, “Hey – be realistic and plan for something you will really do.” Not that most women could not train and become great fighters – just that most have no interest so creating a general plan would work.

    I did a post one time on the Sandra Bullock defense where a girl remembered how Sandra bested an attacker and tried it – it worked! :)

  3. Jamie Hayward Says:

    Great article. When my girlfriend and I are watching the news or horror movies we often talk about what we’d do in that situation. Thankfully my girlfriend does martial arts so it’s an easy ‘game’ to play.

    Also when it come to adrenaline, men get a big instant hit that is very powerful but it doesn’t last long, whereas women get less of a surge but it’s more sustained so last longer. Therefore every second that a woman can survive against a man attacking them, it theoretically increases their chances of survival. It also explains why women are always angry about incidents hours after the man has forgotten about it 😀

  4. Matt Klein Says:

    Another good plan is to always keep your keys in your hand. You can open car or house doors faster and can use them to strike your attackers in the eyes. I say, when your life is threatened, there are no rules. Fight dirty!
    Matt Klein recently posted..Best Kids Martial Arts MoviesMy Profile

  5. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Good to know there are like minds out there! Wow – I had not considered the adrenaline thing with women but now that you mention it – things don’t bother me for long and my wife does stay keyed up longer. :)

    My hope is the avoidance or rapid escape or if not – the quick effective strikes (a trained fighter can dole out). I did know one woman’s husband (she was a student) that told me when they get to fighting he had to pick up a bat! She was a brown belt and did not take any guff I guess. Thanks for the comment James – Your girl friend sounds like a keeper!

    Hi Matt! Agreed on the key thing. You get conflicting “experts” telling you how to hold the keys to be the most effective but I think the most important way is the one you do! Have you done a post about improvised self-defence (aussi spelling) weapons?

  6. Dr. J Says:

    Tough subject john!

    We had a rape incident here where they did jump out of the bushes with a jogging woman and hit her immediately in the face with a handgun and that was that! No question, prevention with awareness and location avoidance is more important than any situation where the fighting starts.

    I do support martial arts training, if for no other reason that it will give you confidence during all those times you do not have a problem but are in situations where you could.

  7. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Great analysis Dr. J!

    No one is immune to the sucker punch and why so much emphasis is placed on awareness, distance, and avoidance in karate. One should never place themselves knowingly in harms way. It is not the victim’s fault they are targeted and it is not fair.

    Karate does not solve the world’s ills but rather gives one another tool in their belt to mitigate risk.

    Safety is but an illusion that can be fragile.

    I did a post on the sucker punch before but I think another one is in order to address the concern of how to lessen exposure.

    I once told a co-worker (I had a driving job) how I left a car length space in front of me at stop lights when I was driving in bad areas of town so I could escape if someone tried to box me in or shoot me. He thought it was funny I even thought of such things. I guess I am over cautious maybe. I still cannot walk around a corner with out a slight head check before my body rounds the corner (so I could jerk back and counter attack).

    I don’t think it is right that the world is not a real safe place to be but think of this. I’m a black belt in karate with tons of real fighting experience and I won’t venture into party atmospheres willingly even though I could probably handle the heat. Why? Exactly… Why? Why tempt fate?

    When I used to work the door I got in a fight a week for two years. Towards the end of that job I swore I would never fight for anyone else again. I would not put myself at risk for a bar. You see after that point (I was 23) I decided to stop hanging out a rough bars. I have not been in a fight in the last 30 years just by avoiding a place that people drink and vie for companionship.

    So to put this in perspective if the jogger had felt unsafe running in broad daylight alone she might have fared better. But she probably felt safe and had jogged alone many times. This time a bad thing happened but for 1/3 of the women something like this will be attempted in their lives. Hard to say if the change in behavior (to mitigate risk) is worth the hassle of trying to find running partners or driving to jog around lots of people. That is not fair but may be prudent.

    Finally I agree with your assessment Dr. J! Tough subject!

  8. Lori (West Coast Jiu-jitsu & Self-Defense) Says:

    Awareness is one of the most important things to teach women for avoiding dicey situations, even more powerful than learning combat moves (though it’s well worth learning those too!). Discouraging women from engaging in activities that hamper their ability to see what’s going on around them is important. So many women run while plugged into their ipod or walk around talking on the phone, paying no attention to their surroundings. I wish more women’s self-defense courses focused more on personal awareness. All too often they focus entirely on physical combat, which isn’t the end-all be-all for women’s self-defense.

  9. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Lori,

    How true! The best offense is always a good defense and more to your point by simply not being there or being verbally assertive and diffusing a difficult situation rather than resorting to physical combat.

    I do tend to focus on the mechanics of fighting and I totally agree that the focus should be on awareness and avoidance.

    I’ve always endorsed a layered approach to self defense including avoidance, awareness, running, diversion, trickery, non-lethal (hard to carry guns in CA) weapons, physical self-defense (to the point one can get away safely) and actually trying to win a physical confrontation (the very last option).

    Thanks for your insightful comment!

  10. Jeremiah Says:

    Hi I agree with a lot of things you mention in this post! In fact, I’ve heard of many women raped or harassed when they chose to jog late at night, especially in our campus with a lot of trees. So number one consideration is prevention.

    In our Arnis / Escrima club, one girl was able to successully thwart a pervert who was trailing her, by hitting him with a basic strike on the neck with her umbrella. However it was a good thing she happened to bring one along. I guess martial arts training should be able to teach women how to use everyday items like umbrellas, handbags, jewelry (yes, even jewelry!) for protection.
    Jeremiah recently posted..Ray Floro Streamlined Escrima SystemMy Profile

  11. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Jeremiah,

    I think if I was a woman running alone I would take along a long skinny flashlight that could double as a weapon. One has to be careful in California that one does not call it a weapon because here intent is everything. But if a woman happened to have it – she could use it in self defense legally.

    I’m totally with you on improvised weapons! Thanks for commenting.