According to the US Department of Justice, someone in our country is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. If we did our math right, this means approximately 882 people will be assaulted today, and the vast majority of them will be female. Whenever these victims are raped, nine out of every 10 of them are girls/women.
These statistics are sobering, and we don’t share them to scare you. Instead, we want to help you stay safe. Because a lot of the information you may hear about self-defense sadly isn’t true, our hope today is to debunk five self-defense myths everyone should know. Knowledge is power, and avoiding these self-defense mistakes COULD save your life.
What are the Myths?
Here at MP USA, we believe the most important part of self defense is education. As we welcome participants to each of our Women’s Ultimate Personal Protection And Street Survival Events (WUPPASS), we begin replacing myths with facts right away. Here are some examples you may even have considered yourself:
- MYTH: Sexual Assault is a rare crime and will probably never happen to me or anyone I know.
- FACT: In Utah, 1 in every 3 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
- MYTH: A woman isn’t strong enough to fend off a male aggressor and should not fight back. She should instead pursue conviction after the assault.
- FACT: FIGHTING BACK WORKS!
- MYTH: Self defense training is intimidating, and I’m not coordinated enough to learn it.
- FACT: Learning to kick tail at our Women’s Empowerment Workshop is fun, and it feels amazing. YES, you can learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones! It’s easier than you might think.
If you want to learn our secrets to self-defense and become more personally empowered with the tools we share, we invite you to enroll in a WUPPASS class. In the meantime, here are five expert tips about self-defense myths everyone should know from bestselling author Tim Larkin shared in Women’s Health (March 2018), coupled with some ideas of our own. Each MYTH is in bold. The TRUTH follows in italics:
- If you’re attacked, scream for help. Yes, you want to make some noise. But when you are being attacked, says Larkin, “You don’t have time to wait for a hero.” The truth is, research shows you have about five seconds to act, and the best thing you can do is cause an injury to your assailant.
- You need to cause pain. “Wait,” you might be thinking. “Didn’t you just say I should cause an injury?” Yes. And causing an injury is DIFFERENT and infinitely more important than simply causing pain. There’s a big difference between making someone say, “Ouch!” and inflicting a strategic defensive injury. “You don’t want to ‘hurt’ him; you need to injure him,” says Larkin. “Anything you do in a violent, life-threatening situation that does not cause an injury [to your opponent] is worthless to you.”
- Being fit can save your life. If you don’t have any targeted self-defense skills, being physically fit isn’t going to help you a lot if your attacker is bigger and stronger than you are. Being fit can certainly help you fight back with more strength, endurance and precision, but you have to know some techniques. This is where MP USA can help! Merpati Putih, the martial art that serves as the basis for our empowerment workshops, can be mastered by people of any gender, size, or age. This means that once they master the skills, even smaller women can outmaneuver larger, stronger attackers.
- Backing away from your attacker helps. In a word, NO! NO! And NO! Backing away from an attacker puts you at a significant disadvantage. Think about it. We can all move forward much faster than we can move backward, and you always want momentum on your side.
- Keep focus and block the attacker’s attacks. Adhering to this BAD advice will only get you hurt. Your chances of coming out alive are better not if you BLOCK, but instead if you STRIKE. Though you might hope to reason with an attacker, remember Larkin’s BETTER advice. “Attackers aren’t playing by the same societal rules you are, so you can’t react as if they are. All you can ever really do is level the playing field.” Fight back!
What’s the Next Step?
If you’re ready to take on the self defense myths everyone should know, don’t let this opportunity to join WUPPASS pass you by! This class works! And don’t just take our word for it. MP USA’s self defense classes for women are endorsed by the Ogden and Salt Lake Rape Recovery Centers, and we have served nearly 1,000 women in courses sponsored by the following organizations:
- Northern Utah Women’s Conference
- Ogden YCC
- Ogden Rape Crisis Center
- Layton Kiwanis Club
- Salt Lake Board of Realtors
- Equity Real Estate
- Academy Mortgage
- Salt Lake Rape Recovery Center
- Kairos Fitness
Our next (and final) WUPPASS workshop takes place Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The price is $75 at the door, but you can save $25 by registering online TODAY! Just click the link below to get started.