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Women's Self Defense - Lesson 1

Updated: Feb 13

By George Place - Flow Dojo Training, Fitness, and Wellness

Thanks for trusting me with this training. I take it very seriously. My #1 personal value is mutual empowerment. In other words – helping clients achieve personal empowerment is what empowers me. So, I have put a lot of thought and planning into making this a valuable and empowering course.


Self-defense is a rabbit hole – there seems to be a distinct line that we can use to describe the various trainings: before it becomes physical and after it becomes physical. We’ll cover key areas but remember – If I try to teach you everything, I teach you nothing!

Before it becomes physical – for women 51% of sexual assaults reported are from an intimate partner; 41% from an acquaintance, and only 8% from a stranger. Source: https://www.nsvrc.org/statistics

The lesson and application – trust your instincts, be assertive, and confront behavior that makes you uncomfortable. Attackers and abusers want passive victims and they often ‘test’ potential victims with comments or smaller violations.



Prior to a physical assault you might see the attacker. They are looking for weakness – looking down, distracted by the phone, bogged down by items, unconfident looking – if you spot a suspicious character – create distance, make eye contact, and immediately use your voice if they approach. Never worry about looking ridiculous or making a mistake – you are very justified to tell someone to ‘Get Back’ or like I will say ‘Get the f*** back’. Your voice is your best self-defense weapon! It will end most situations.

The lesson and application – train your command voice and be ready to use it at a moment’s notice. This is not natural – it takes practice.

Physical assault can initiate in a variety of ways.

From the front - an attacker may approach you with a seemingly innocent question (spare some change, can I ask you something, can you help me, do you have a light, which way to so and so, etc.). Do not be polite or nice if you are alone or if your instincts say ‘caution’!!!! "GET THE BLEEP BACK!" If they try to ask you a question tell them – "GET BACK – ASK SOMEONE ELSE – GET THE MOTHERBLEEPIN BACK!" Create distance but don’t take eyes off of them. If they continue to proceed prepare to get physical – either running or fighting or both. We’ll train this – footwork, stances, striking mechanics, head and body movement, weapons, targets.

From the side or behind – the surprise attack is the worst case scenario. You can lessen your chances of getting such an attack through situational awareness. Don’t walk alongside a building in a way that an attacker behind the corner could easily grab you. Don’t walk near vehicles like vans where an attacker could easily open the door and pull you in. Always travel in a way that creates space between you and potential hidden attacker positions. When I walk at night I peak over my shoulder frequently. You don’t need to be paranoid but you cultivate these habits to always train situational awareness. Think of it as mindfulness on adrenaline. Don’t be distracted, talking on the phone, daydreaming about your to-do list, looking excessively down or up, etc. Train yourself to always be tuned in. If you are traveling abroad this is especially important – day or night, alone or with others!

We will train for frontal and surprise attacks. Avoidance is your best defense. Once it gets physical it is all about muscle memory. In a super adrenalized state of mind it is very very very unlikely that you will be able to think things through. You will simply react. If you have training with enough repetition to be in your muscle memory it will be there for you. Consider the act of walking. You are using hundreds of muscles in a complex manner when you walk but because you have done it so much – it is completely unconscious. You don’t think about it, you set the intention and your body does the rest. That’s what we want with your self-defense moves.


Take a look at this 3 minute video for the Self Defense Homework Assignment #1. Practice these moves to get them into your muscle memory. You can make these movements part of a regular exercise routine and greatly increase your self-defense capabilities.




This is where I make my pitch to help you. I started Flow Dojo fitness and training because I love empowering people to feel healthy and happy. Let's work together to achieve your wellness goals. I'm a certified behavior change specialist as well as a personal trainer and instructor of martial arts, pilates, yoga, and meditation. Let me help you find your Flow.




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