In junior high, self defense was one of the regulars on the gym class syllabus, amidst aerobics, diving, and jump rope. Also, in junior high, I had a negative BMI.
Our school thought the best way to teach self defense was to invite a fully-padded, massive man to the school to individually fight each prepubescent girl in the class. Donning matching grey shorts and green tshirts, my classmates and I would stand against the wall watching one of our fellow classmates fight as hard as she could while waiting our turn to take on the fake attacker.
What I remember…
–Palm heel. When under attack, use the heel of your palm to smash the nose up into the head. Note: if you smash too hard, the nose bone will go far enough into the brain to kill someone. Not something I cared to know or attempt to learn as a seventh grader.
–Pen to the jaw. The lower jaw under the chin is just a soft patch of vulnerable skin waiting to be punctured by a pen, keys, or whatever relatively sharp object you can find.
–Go for the groin. This one stuck. As useless as my chicken legs were, I knew prepubescent me could do some damage in the groin area. Honestly, my especially boney knees could probably do more damage than my classmates’ normal joints.
–Fire. Honestly, I’m not sure if they even taught this is class or I just picked it up later in life; however, when attacked, yell “fire!” instead of “help!”. For some twisted reason, people are more likely to come check out a fire than whatever other situation necessitates assistance.
Judging by my seventh grade gym class comment cards, I’m surprised I actually even remember those few nuggets of knowledge. According to my teachers, I was too busy talking to “truly appreciate [my] potential in our diving section” and “a bit distracting to the other students during jump rope.” Fellow Wildcats, sorry if I hindered anyone’s jump rope dreams.
While I appreciate the handy tools I picked up in seventh grade gym class, the most effective form of self defense I’ve come up with in the past 28 years is the same tool that inspired this blog. When you’re built like Gumby, you have to work with non-limb-related techniques.
Come at me with whatever you’ve got, but prepare yourself for a whip of quick wit and a bitch slap of sass. It will sting and probably do some permanent psychologic damage. I’ll get in your head and tap dance around for a while. Believe me, it’s far less enjoyable than whatever you’re imagining. I’m happy to provide references.