Under: Self-defense
10 Feb 2008


I have noticed that women are interested in learning of other women that can fight a man and win! I have even seen some websites that cater to this jaunra of fight stories. Lets go back to basics and examine this concept. The very basic way to size up fighters are to look at their size, weight and weapons. If you are examining a man and woman opponent, who has reach, who weighs more, who is faster, stronger, has ring savy, and so on. After you determine who has the basic components that wins fights… you can look at who is the better fighter, who can take a punch and dish it right back.


Why do I care? because self-defense and sparring/fighting are not the same thing. All things being equal in a fight or sparring situation – the fighter with the most of the above qualities will almost always win the match. In self-defense the rules are not the same. In self-defense, all strikes are open… for instance if a woman kicks a guy in the nuts, she can break his ear drums or gouge his eyes to ensure her safe departure. The same woman cannot do that in a prize fight. In self-defense a woman is fighting for her life so she will use any weapon at her disposal. Here is a famous video of Joey Buttafuoco vs “Chyna” Joanie Laurer. Chyna is a pro wrestler that thought for some reason being strong and being the equivalent of a stunt woman (I mean a professional wrestler) would some how make her a fighter. Joey is just an average Joe… a guy that has probably been in a few fights in his day but out weighs Chyna and in my opinion out matches her easily.


[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/JuLWWDoN85E" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]


I think the right question a woman should be asking is not if she can take any man if a fight but if she can defend herself against any man! Note the difference... fight means toe to toe on equal ground. If the women weighs the same, has the same muscle, and she has the same or better fighting skill - I would say she has a chance. But if she is a better fighter but is a couple of weight classes lower than the man - well there are almost no fighters that can surmount that in prize fighting - why would a woman against a man be any different?


Now please do not loose sight of what I am trying to say here... Women can defend themselves against anyone if they use self-defense techniques. When I had just received my black belt - I knew this girl that was a brown belt but had also just had self defense training from REAL (It was a San Diego women's group to help women). I thought the self-defense training was nothing compared to karate (I had a big head back then) so she said to try and attack her on the ground. She was on her back and I tried to jump in on her to pin her... she tried to kick me. I easily slapped her kick away and not over confident I moved in to grab her. She hooked my grab with both of her hands in a circular motion and then gouged at my eyes with her fingers (luckily hitting my forehead). I was shocked as she easily took control from me when I though she had no chance!


Women can use the fact that men think since mostly they are stronger - they can easily beat a woman in a fight. A woman should not give up that advantage by showing her hand before she strikes. Women can strike men in many places that will stop an attack but if she tries to transition from self-defense to a fight - she will give up her advantage!


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4 Responses to “Women’s Self-Defense vs Sparring with a Man!”

  1. Michael Joyce Says:

    John, thank you for the comment on my blog. insightful and true! I picked this entry to comment on because I remember watching this showing quite vividly (it was right before I bailed on cable all-together). Anyways, I was really pulling for Chyna in this one, but it just doesn’t seem to matter…the “man strength” is quite a thing to deal with. What would have happened if Joey was actually “raging” too? Took a look at the pictures too (of you and your friends). I absolutely love the one of you and Bear. Must have been circa 1970’s. You looked like a member of CCR. All the best and I hope you journey back to my page soon. Cheers brother. -Michael Joyce

  2. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Michael,

    I enjoyed your site: http://chencenter.wordpress.com. I will be checking your posts often.


    John W. Zimmer

  3. Sarah Says:

    I totally agree there is a big difference between a fight and self defence.

    People should come and see the girls at the club that I train in. We train in Krav Maga; it’s the Israeli army’s self defence system. It’s awesome, loving every minute of it!

    The girls at our club are much smaller than allot of the boys, but when it comes to training they seem to be allot more ruthless (maybe because they don’t know how it feels to cop a good one in the groin)

    I think traditional martial arts is great but I believe that self defence where it is not training for “the fight” but rather for “the attack” should be everyone’s priority.

    I guess I’m just stoked that they finally bought Krav Maga to Melbourne; I think everyone should check it out!

    Here are the links:

  4. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Sarah – thanks for checking the site out… yes self defense is totally different than sport karate or fighting.