I recently took a short self-defence course. Up until now, this was something that I had always thought would be a good thing to do, but I'd never before been offered the opportunity and had not been sufficiently serious to seek out such courses for myself.
However, my daughter is a brown belt in karate and her club sent an email around to all the parents of their junior members offering an SOS (safe on the street) course for women. I booked, thinking that this was my opportunity and that I really shouldn't miss it.
I turned up on the day somewhat apprehensive. After all, I've never attacked anyone in my life and my exercise of choice is somewhat different--a combination of yoga and swimming.
The course itself was good. We learnt straightforward things like how to spot and avoid trouble, how to handle more than one attacker, and how to disable an attacker by punching or kicking them in vulnerable areas. The course ended by each person having to fend off an 'attack' by one of the trainers in a darkened room after having been tired out and disorientated.
It was certainly a useful thing to have done and I now have a good idea of what to do to defend myself, but I can't really say that I enjoyed it.
Something that I found interesting was the different approaches and attitudes of different people on the course. Some took it light-heartedly, while others took it terribly seriously. And the person with whom I was partnered seemed to think she knew it all and was in a position to criticise my technique, despite the fact that she had no experience in this area and didn't appear to be doing brilliantly herself!
Oh well, it takes all sorts, I suppose...even in self defence!