1. Take some classes to learn the basics.
A simple google search can tell you where classes for self-defense are being offered near you. But here are some resources to filter that search a bit:
- Rape Aggression Defense System: With classes all across the country, R.A.D. provides services with more than 11,000 trained instructors in various levels of self-defense. Click through to find programs in your state. The prices for these programs vary but are on the expensive side.
- The Gracie Jiu Jitsu Women Empowered Program: A bit less costly and specialized alternative that’s also offered in centers within various states. Find your local one here. They’re 10 classes with free online access to more resources along the way. Kick some ass with a bright pink belt? We so approve.
- Female Awareness Self Defense: Manhattan-based classes that you can sign up for individually.
- Student Central Women’s Self-Defence: Classes in London offered for students. Affordable, useful and easy to sign up. Get on it.
- Premier Self Defence: Workshops and courses based in London.
- Hard Target: According to their site, they’re “Ireland’s longest established self-defense school.” They offer women-only classes as well.
- Scottish Center for Personal Safety: They actually offer courses specifically for “black, minority and ethnic” women. Not sure how we feel about that name, but they do have special moves for women who wear the hijab and niqab.
2. Use free tips and resources online.
If you find the classes are too expensive or you just want some basic tricks, there’s a multitude of links available on YouTube.
- Gracie Academy’s playlist. Remember the classes you could take at their centers? They also have a list of videos on YouTube for their “Women Empowered” program that show sample clips as well as specific moves you can use for specific situations.
- Women’s Self-Defense series: Here are three short videos explaining various ways to escape if a perpetrator has you locked in.
- Good ol’ Refinery 29’s excellent list of moves to keep in mind if someone approaches you.
- SEPS (Situation Effective Protection System) Free Online Program: A module-based resource online that shows step-by-step how to react in different scenarios. If you’re up for some reading with pictures and examples to guide you, take a look at this free guide.
3. Buy pepper spray, a rape whistle and legal self defense keychain.
Invest in these small purchases so you have a quick defense to go to in case of any surprises. Kitty keychains may be illegal in some areas, so we suggest purchasing a MUNIO Designer Self Defense Keychain–which is an entirely legal option. They’re lightweight, can be added to your keychain and can do a lot of damage in case you freeze up or need to temporarily incapacitate your attacker.
Be wary of Mace laws in your country, though. In the U.K., only an alternative pepper spray is acceptable. Some states in the U.S. also have laws about carrying chemicals. Don’t risk getting arrested!
4. Ask if your mosque can host self-defense seminars.
These Toronto women organized their own classes at their Islamic center with a local martial arts expert. And this U.K.-based Muslim charity group hosted classes in North London from a Taekwondo expert. What’s great about these is that they focus specifically on Islamophobic attacks.
Take matters into your own hands if you can’t find the proper means!