Violence against women is a serious and widespread issue in Australia, as well as throughout the world. And while the long term goal is education to stop violence against women, there are actionable strategies women can employ, right now. Here are 7 very simple reasons you should consider taking a women’s self defense class.
1 – Don’t Become a Statistic
Frankly, the statistics in Australia alone are frightening. At least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner. One in three women have experienced physical violence. 300,000 women a year experience physical or sexual violence from a stranger.
Violence against women contributes to more death, disability and illness to women between 15 and 44 than any other preventable risk factor. Learning self-defense gives you the power to avoid becoming one of these statistics, now.
2 – Prevention and Awareness
As teens and adults we become increasingly fixated on the front and our devices, often being unaware of what’s around us. You work with an experienced instructor to develop strategies that work best for you against a variety of opponents, attacks and situations. Above all, women’s self defense teaches us awareness and prevention.
3 – Take Control for Yourself and Other Women
Women’s self defense is about taking safety into our own hands. Taking a Self defense class is our chance to take action in our own lives, to take control of our own present and future. The fact is, crimes against women happen and will continue to happen.
Women’s self defense classes can help prevent us becoming victims. Knowing how to defend ourselves gives us a better chance of stopping attacks and even lessening attacks against women in the future.
4 – Great Exercise!
Self defense classes, at the end of the day, can also be a great source of exercise, working a range of vital parts of your body. It not only exercises your body physically, it also exercises your mind, reactions and reflexes. It is also an incredible way of exercising your own power and confidence.
You do not have to be physically strong to be successful at self-defense. If you can learn to successfully escape or prevent a dangerous situation, then you are exercising good self-defense.
5 – Be Accountable
As women, we are constantly encouraged to be accountable for ourselves. We are told to be accountable for our finances. We are told to account for our stress and encouraged to be accountable for our health, weight and diet, along with our workouts and fitness.
It stands to reason that we should be accountable for our self defense. Is it really so hard to add a self defense class to our routine as we would add the latest yoga, pilates or work out fad? However, unlike a fad, this is something that will actually make a monumental, positive change to our lives.
6 – Be Feminine
There is a terrible misconception – unfortunately perpetuated by mass media – that self defense is unfeminine and unattractive. These dangerous articles claim that women who pursue self defense are masculine, “jacked up” and have a distasteful love for violence. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, many models, actresses and even pageant winners are devotees of women’s self defense. Women’s self defense is incredibly feminine because it is empowering. Encouraging women to take self defense is a beautiful, inspiring thing. So, ignore the dangerous misconceptions of mainstream media and enjoy learning self defense.
7 – Do Something Now
Of course we need better education to end violence against women and men. Violence of all kinds is unacceptable. Unfortunately, though, education is long term and may not be able to help you today, tomorrow or even next year. That is why women’s self defense education is important. This is something that can happen now. Women’s self defense provides functional strategies, techniques and training methods to stop an attacker intent on hurting you.
It gives you the security and confidence, right now, that you can protect yourself should the need arise. Unfortunately, no matter how well intended, ideologies can’t do that. So until education catches up with reality, keep yourselves safe. Invest in women’s self defense today.
After many weeks and months in lockdown or heavily restricted, it’s quite common to feeling a case of the lockdown blues.
Less than 2 years ago, the very notion of having our movements and behaviours restricted would have been scoffed at, as something that could and would never happen, especially in this country.
Fast forward a little over 18 months, and we boast the World’s most locked down city, and with much of the East Coast still in lockdown, or very heavily restricted.
Freedoms we once knew, and once took for granted, now seem a World away with QCode check-ins, mask wearing, social distancing, vaccinations, curfews, travel distance limitations, threats of fines or imprisonment.
Once easily accessible regular holiday spots are now impossible to visit, without quarantining on arrival or return, or the fear of getting stuck in transit, and that’s if you can even leave at all.
Being isolated from friends, family, your workplace, your hobbies, sports and travel has been a real strain on people’s mental health. This has been exacerbated by the loss of employment, collapse of a business, illness or even death of a loved ones.
The challenge of maintaining a positive outlook has been a real one, let alone caring for our physical health, diet, education, employment and general health.
We have come up with a few tips and suggestions to assist you and loved ones get through these tough times, and a case of the lockdown blues.
Keeping a Positive Mindset
There’s no doubt it has been a struggle, more for some than others, but a huge culture change to the way we’ve previous led our lives. Many have suffered from depression, some have inflicted self harm or worse, while others wallow in the impending doom of the situation.
The important thing to understand is it will pass. There are countries in other parts of the World, who statistically have lost more people and far greater infection levels, already starting to enjoy the freedoms we once knew. It stands to reason that we will follow in due course.
Naturally, the sooner the better for us all, but it will happen. You just have to hang in there.
Constant negative self talk, social media posting, and getting worked up doesn’t do anything to improve your situation, if anything, its only your mental health that suffers.
We know the strong link between mental health and physical health, so in time it will become a self fulfilling prophecy.
Also be aware that if you are constantly negative, it drags down the people around you, your partners, your kids, your friends. Or they may just take a wide berth to avoid the constant negativity.
Find yourself things to do that make you happy, a hobby, a craft, listening to music, making music, painting, drawing, gardening, enrol in an online course, watch funny movies etc., there’s endless things you can do …… you are possibly working from home anyway, so that in itself should keep you busy.
More importantly, don’t shut yourself off from the world. Stay in touch with friends, family, work colleagues. There’s an abundance of technology available to facilitate that, whether it be messaging online, video chatting, or depending on your locality’s restriction levels, catching up on a social walk to coffee on the go.
The running joke for a lot of people, no pun intended, is the weight they have put on during lockdowns, or the loss of physical conditioning and fitness.
This doesn’t need to be the case, of course. whilst in some cases it relates to loss of motivation or some form of depression (see above section), in many other cases, people just throw their hands up in the air because gyms might be closed, or their community sports are in hiatus.
However, for maintenance or improvement of physical health and fitness, there are a plethora of things you can do with minimal equipment.
The obvious one is walk briskly or jog, get that heart rate up into the zone where it may have some fitness benefit, around 70-80% of your max HR, and do it for at least 30 minutes daily.
On your outdoor stroll you can incorporate steps, benches, playgrounds, hills, so many options for those who really want to make an effort.
If that’s not your cup of tea, kills two birds with the one stone, walk to the supermarket with your shopping jeep, or go for a walk to get your skinny latte, walk off those lockdown blues.
If you find it boring, don’t walk the same route every day, mix it up, Walk with someone else, grab your headphones and listen to your favourite playlist. Or jump on your bike and cycle at the same work rate and length of time.
If you’re a little more motivated, set up some mini HIIT circuits, even incorporate body weight exercises, push ups, sit ups, squats, burpees …etc there are so many. If you have a couple of dumbells, you can incorporate dozens more exercises. The higher intensity intervals will not only help maintain fitness levels, if done regularly, will even improve your fitness.
In many places, outdoor personal training is now permitted, even where gyms are closed. Grab a friend and share the cost of a PT.
With a lot of dojangs closed, or your Taekwon-Do training schedule and routine constantly interrupted, it can be very frustrating and even seem to hamper your progress.
There are many things you can do from home, or in the yard or park. In addition to the fitness tips above, you can practice your skill components as well.
Patterns can be performed anywhere, stretch regularly either during practice or upon waking, or before sleeping, even while watching tv.
Maybe someone else in your household can hold targets or practice routines with. Your instructor is probably running zoom sessions. If they aren’t, many other people are.
There are even regular online competitions now that you can take part in, this keeps you motivated and training. Jump on YouTube and follow some of the many online tutorials or workouts.
There is not a pandemic on good food and nutrition. Don’t fall into the trap of ordering home delivery every day of the week. That is not only financially taxing, but also not going to help with everything we just spoke about in the previous section.
Interestingly, the fast food industry has gone gangbusters during the pandemic, especially those who deliver. Sure it’s convenient, but you can’t really use Covid as an excuse for poor eating.
Leaving home for food has always been permitted, so shopping for your normal groceries was, and is, always possible.
Rediscover the joy of cooking, it will keep you focused on what you eat, and also acts as a great therapeutic tool, keeping you mentally active. Experiment with different meals, follow some of your favourite chefs online. Try to recreate some of their dishes or come up with your own. Maybe now you will have time to make some of the things your previously rushed lifestyle limited.
Whilst its OK to treat yourself from time to time, remember to eat all those things we know are good for us – lean meats, vegetables, fruits, grains and cereals. Be sure to get a good cross section on vitamins and minerals through your diet, along with your macros, lots of fluids and fibre.
Don’t forget, drinking litres of soft drink, or should I say wine, throughout the day is going to do nothing for your health or figure. Aim for sugarless or low sugar options, or even water.
Poor eating can also affect your mood and general energy levels, so you’ll exercise less, lose motivation, and it can become a vicious cycle, then your lockdown blues will be harder to shift. Often the best way to kick start a health regime begins with selection of food.
Monitor your health
With the media saturated with covid talk, you could be forgiven for thinking every other ailment which can impact your health has become obsolete.
There are many cases of cancer and heart disease going undetected, or mismanaged, as people become more reluctant to see their GP.
Compounding this problem, a lot of GP’s and specialists are wanting to do online consultations instead, which is not ideal to physically examine you.
Make sure you are still having your regular blood tests for cholesterol, prostate, blood sugars, checking for lumps and mole changes as well as monitoring blood pressure. If you at all concerned or in doubt, see your GP as soon as possible.
Don’t leave monitoring those health issues until Covid is over, remember, we thought that was going to be a year ago.
If you are on prescribed medications for a health condition, be sure to get your repeat prescriptions once you run out.
Of course, exercising regularly and eating well will help a lot, but some conditions need close medical monitoring, irrespective of fitness levels. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Keep on top of your finances
For many people, this period has had a major impact on their financial situation. Perhaps you have had your work hours cut back, or lost work altogether, maybe your business is closed or suffering. There’s nothing like being broke to make you suffer the lockdown blues.
Maybe you are getting a few dollars from the government to support, but it may not be enough to meet your regular expenses.
It’s important that you keep an eye on your money, especially if your income has reduced. Take it easy with the online shopping, online betting and delivery meals.
For others this has been a great time to save money, with many regular expenses reduced quite heavily, such as travel, fuel costs, pokies, dining and entertainment.
Whilst we all want to go back to doing all those things as soon as we can, it has allowed us a bit of a spending and lifestyle reset.
Remember, much of the Government support is still deemed as taxable income, so you need to ensure you have enough set aside for tax time. Keep an eye on your credit card statements, watch that you aren’t paying interest through the nose on purchases.
Maybe even cut back further by considering cancelling or selling some of the things you are not using – like recurring direct debits for memberships, subscriptions, insurances for cars not being driven, look for cheaper energy suppliers given you are home more and using more gas and electricity.
And finally, communicate, communicate, communicate. As mentioned earlier, stay in touch with family, friends, colleagues by whatever means is available to you.
Particularly if you are feeling a case of those lockdown blues, these feelings can escalate into a depressed state. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
Be mindful that your friends may be feeling the same way too, so touch base to see how they are coping.
Anyway, we hope some of these tips and suggestions help you get through this extended period of lockdown, restrictions, and beyond.