Ever since I finished reading Always Terr and I have been discussing the idea of taking a self defense class. She is 44 and just had gall bladder surgery and has chronic shoulder problems from the kind of work we do. I am physically fit, run every day, ride my bike everywhere, dance a lot, and generally feel great but I do have nerve damage to my right arm that I generally have to work around. The thing is, that physical things aside, neither one of us knows if there actually are classes in self defence for couples or for that matter for both sexes. It seems silly to me to assume that men don’t need to know how but then the way the world looks at things is quite often silly. So I guess my question is this, are there classes for both of us or should we be looking to take a class separately and then share with each other?
Where do you live? East coast? IMPACT in Boston does women and men’s classes–though I’m not sure if they teach both at once. The Center for Anti-Violence Education in Brooklyn teaches women and men (though I think they may have a policy that you must belong to a community–such as trans or gay or women–which is statistically more at risk. But check.) For links to these and others, including west coast and national organisations, see the community resources page of my website.)
I think there should be SD for couples. I think it would be seriously cool. Just think of all those films we’ve seen in the last few years, e.g. Batman Begins and The Brave One, where couples get attacked and killed. Imagine if they had known what to do. (No story. No movie. Uh-oh…) Both Kelley and I have studied sd. I taught my previous partner while we were together. I think it’s really important to have the same perspective in case of emergency. Most men are stronger than most women, but SD isn’t about strength. So, yes, men could learn a lot from SD workshops.
SD is for everyone, no matter one’s age or physical ability. I was recently asked if I’d teach a SD workshop at a camp for people with MS, later this month. I had to say no because I couldn’t fit it into my schedule. But it would be marvellous to help people who have, to some degree, begun to think of themselves as helpless, as victims waiting to happen, to unlearn that attitude. You can learn SD if you’re ninety, or blind, or have cerebral palsy. You can learn if you’re six, or one-handed, or in a wheelchair. Clearly if you belong to one of the above categories, you can’t do some of the things that young, fully-functional, or healthy can do, but you can do a lot. SD is as much about awareness as anything else. Please do check out those links and talk to people. If you’re in a big city, I think it’s very likely you’ll find something suitable–but it’ll take a bit of looking. And if you do find something, please let me know so I can add the info to my community resources page.