In Peace Corps Morocco

Women's self defense

In my last semester at MSU I took a semester long women’s self defense class. I loved it. It was so empowering learning ways to protect myself from those who mean me harm. I learned so many techniques to defend myself from a number of different attacks.  

All these things helped me to feel more prepared if I were to find myself in a dangerous situation. On top of having all this practical  knowledge I finished the class with the notion that it doesn’t matter your size or strength in an attack. If you know the proper moves to make you can both outsmart and outfight your attacker.

The idea for this workshop spawned from when I asked my sister Rababe if she would know what to do if she was attacked. Her answer was just curl up in a ball on the ground. I knew then I had a duty to share my knowledge with young girls in my town.

I picked a day and decided to have a two hour workshop about women’s self defense.

We started with a discussion about how to prevent yourself from getting into a dangerous situation. Prevention is the best defense. Here are some of the discussion questions and points I used:

1. What do you know about self defense?
2. Where and when can a situation get dangerous?
3. If you must be out alone, what can you do to stay safe?
4. If a situation feels dangerous, it probably is. Listen to your gut.
5. Walk with confidence. An attacker is going to attack someone who they think  is weak. Look like you know where you are going, even if you do not.
6. If you think you are being followed, change your path. Get into a store or well lit area as soon as you can.
7. When you see/feel a situation start to get dangerous being looking for all the exits that are around you.
8. Try talking your attacker down. If this aggravates them just stop.
9. It is ok to hurt someone in self defense. It is either you or them.
10. Last resort is to fight.


My program included many ways to aggress an attacker and ways to get out of different restraints.

Aggressive moves:
-Defensive position
-Proper punch
-Hammer fist
-Nose break
-Eye poke
-Elbow punch
-Foot stomp
-Knee hit
-Kick to groin
-Using keys as a weapon
-Distraction technique
-Assertive verbal skills can also be easily used. Yelling “back off”, “stop”, “no”, or any number of other things in a LOUD, and CONFIDENT voice can draw attention to you and deter the attacker.



Escape from restraint:
-How to get out of frontal choke hold against a wall
-Get out of choke from behind against something
-Get out of bear hug
-Get out of hair grab



I am very much against giving certificates for little things but in this case I thought it was appropriate. I found a simple certificate of completion online and printed some copies to give my participants. I wanted them to feel proud in themselves for completing something that could ultimately save their lives.

I used Youtube to find the proper execution for all of these moves. If you would like to do a program like this yourself please feel free to follow the notes I have written. If not, please review all these things just for yourself. Learning how to defend yourself can make you feel stronger and more in control. It’s worth taking the time.

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