Skip Nav
Clean Eating
Download Our Clean-Eating App For Easy and Delicious Recipes!
Harry Styles
Harry Styles Is My Healthy-Living Inspiration — but It's Not What You Think
Healthy Living
I Took CBD Oil For 7 Days For Anxiety — Here's What Happened

Exercise Safety Tip: Take a Self Defense Course

I recently polled you guys about skipping workouts due to not feeling safe, and I've been giving you all sorts of tips on how to make your outdoor exercises safe.

User nikodarling shared her own great safety tip that I wanted to make sure everyone saw:

"Ladies - if you do go out running or walking at night, or even during the day I hope you will take a self defense course. I took one when I was in college at the urging of a friend. I hated feeling like everyone was out to get me when I first took it, but it is really good to know how to handle certain situations. And some of the tips they give you are so obvious and simple, yet we rarely put them into effect in day to day life. Even if you feel like your neighborhood is safe or you know what to - please consider it if you haven't done so."

Great tip, thank you for sharing. Still dragging your feet? Well you'll end up burning a ton of calories while learning the basics of defending yourself. Have you ever taken a self defense course?


Join The Conversation
MiyabiNa MiyabiNa 9 years
I took a women's self defense course through my local community college! We were sent to a martial arts dojo that was owned by a couple who were both police officers for the county. They were so awesome and their class was WONDERFUL. I didn't want it to end!! They taught us all these great moves and tips, brought us examples of things that had happened to women and how we can help ourselves in those situations. It was very hands on too..the instructor put on those foam suits and let us beat him up in it! And he tried to make it as real as possible by using his real body weight when he was "attacking" us so we could feel what we'd really be up against if we were attacked. It was eye opening! I recommend anyone for these classes...they're fun and informative! This hit a little close to home not to long ago too~ my friend was attacked in a mall parking lot IN DAYLIGHT where I was working, and she ran into my store sobbing cuz she had just escaped him trying to keep her shoved in him her car!!!! She was sooo smart (and he was obviously novice) since she talked her way out of her car and ran the hell away once she had the chance, but still SCARY! that was right in my parking lot!! The police came and did all their investigating, but he hasn't been caught yet =/ and he's probably out there doing it to other women. >:(
divinelight divinelight 9 years
If the attacker is far enough away, don't even try to defend yourself, RUN You're exactly right, pluckyred. My dad gets asked lots of strange questions when he tells people he teaches self defense. One of the greatest ones: "So what would you do if someone came running at you with a baseball bat?" "I'd run the other way as fast as I could!"
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
I do Tae Kwon Do and Kickboxing and they're definitely gearing me up with "real life" tools! My instructor said "street fighting" at least ten times tonight in kickboxing and is showing us how to block and move and then quickly attack if we do get into a fight. He incorporates bits of Muay Thai boxing into the classes too, it's great. I certainly know how to kick somebody backwards, plant a side kick and then spin round for the finish. Or the best places to stand when beating somebody in.. dangerous. The thing is - if you do have martial arts training and you plant a boot.. it's the difference between serving a community order for aggravated self defence and a prison sentance for common assault!! My TKD instructor is a little bit more reserved. =) It's more for the style and flexibility.
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
I don't think most proper self defence classes are about martial arts sparring moves. The class that I took focused largely on how to avoid dangerous situations and psychology for working your way out of dangerous situations or getting help. brown eyed grrl is right about women who take martial arts classes and think they are bad ass. Fighting should be your LAST option and a good class should teach you this. If you hit an attacker but don't stop them you are in serious trouble. There is nothing wrong with martial arts based classes but please consider a class specifically aimed at practical women's self defence. I don't think a good self defence class should make you feel "fearless". I'm not saying we have to live in fear, but a good one should make you aware that you have to be ever vigilant.
pluckyred pluckyred 9 years
Good point about the school and instructor. Every instructor has his or her own style. One of my former krav instructors - an Israeli - did sparring with more advanced students, mouth guards, padding and gloves, and incorporated moves from other martial arts. I haven't come across it yet but I suspect that my current instructors might as well as we proceed. They're open to teaching what we want to learn. I understand the idea of separating genders but I wouldn't want that either, as one could gather from my previous comments.
Celery Celery 9 years
I would definitely recommend taking a self-defense class! I agree with all of brown_eyed_grrl's points about avoiding bad situations and the difference between point sparring and real-life defense. Practical self defense (which is differentiated from formal martial arts in the schools I have trained at) can give you a range of options and tools to use (god forbid) should anything happen - trust me, the only time I have ever had to employ a basic move was on a busy city street in full daylight. The classes should NOT make you feel fearless - they just give you basic skills to protect yourself, should you ever have to.
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
Also, I know women who have taken a few cardio kickboxing classes and think they're badasses, so it worries me that some people get such a false sense of security...something pluckyred alluded to.
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
"Not all martial arts are good for self defense in the real world. Karate, boxing and kick boxing won’t necessarily give you the tools for “real life” in the way that krav, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Jiu-Jitsu or judo (to name a few) will." Eh...I'd say it depends on the school and the instructor more than anything. I've tried just about every style and school in my city (looking for a new class ever since my instructor quit teaching), and it really does vary depending on the owners or managers of the school...even the national and worldwide styles. For example, I know many people, whose opinions in martial arts I respect, who like Krav, but my local Krav school was a joke. No sparring, then they added sparring and separated men from women (after I'd quit already, thankfully). I'm used to instructors who focus on real-world situations.
pluckyred pluckyred 9 years
In the comments to the post about the Doberman alarm I suggested a post about different types of self defence classes. I've been taking krav maga for awhile now and love it, moving from the basics to choke defences, knife defences and stick/baseball bat defences. It also teaches how to take a hit – because when you’re on the receiving end as the attacker in class you’re getting it repeatedly. Other techniques include break falls, which are useful for other parts of life such as slipping on ice. I'm currently the only woman in my class, though have trained with women in the past. With a few exceptions I generally prefer training with men. When I began I suspected that I'd try harder with a man and be more challenged (think of the athlete who trains with those who are better than them). Women tend to be gentler with each other (physically) and as brown_eyed_grrl indicated, working with a man is more relevant to real life, which is what krav is all about. Also a point that she may have been getting at: Not all martial arts are good for self defense in the real world. Karate, boxing and kick boxing won’t necessarily give you the tools for “real life” in the way that krav, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Jiu-Jitsu or judo (to name a few) will. What do I like about this method of self defence? The confidence it instils, the fact that many of the defenses are intuitive, based on taking natural reflexes and refining them. I like that it makes me feel strong. Also, it’s simply very cool. I now take extra interest when watching fight scenes on TV and in movies. As divinelight mentioned, Jennifer Lopez learned krav maga for one of her roles. Michelle Ryan, the current Bionic Woman, also has a krav maga trainer. After being a fan of the Buffy series since it first aired, I like to think that I could kick some vampire ass if the hellmouth was real. :) Other things we learn: If the attacker is far enough away, don't even try to defend yourself, RUN. Avoid the situation if you can, don't get close enough for contact if you can help it. Why move closer to the weapon when there’s an escape route?
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
I know some people prefer running at night, and it's their choice. But as someone who has taken years of martial arts, full-contact kickboxing and boxing, I'd like to point out that the best way to practice self-defense is by avoiding bad situations to begin with. Don't run at night, or go with a partner or group. You might think you know a lot after taking self-defense (and I highly recommend it to everyone), but unless you've participated in full-contact sparring (NOT point sparring) with a man three times your size, you have no idea what it's like to defend yourself against that. Sure, you might up your chances, but I'd rather not be in the situation to begin with, if I can help it.
divinelight divinelight 9 years
Self Defense classes are great! My dad teaches Krav Maga self defense, and I highly recommend it for everyone, men and women. Krav Maga originated in Israel but is taught worldwide. Jennifer Lopez took the courses for her movie Enough. You learn the best ways to avoid making yourself a target, how to get out of a grip or hold and some basic hand-to-hand combat. Many women have taken my dad's classes, and I know a lot of girls who received gift certificates for classes from family before they left for college.
silver4 silver4 9 years
Sadly, no self-defense class will ever make me feel safe in my city. Although there are many parts of it that I love, I really miss the feeling of security. I still do things like go running in my neighborhood, but not without a real element of fear. Scary fact: if Baltimore had the same murder rate as New York City, there would have been 29 murders to date this year. There have been 259 (and counting)...
SummerBaby SummerBaby 9 years
then i could kick some butt!! hehe
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I want to take one so badly!!! I just need to find some time somewhere in my busy bee life...
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds