Recently I heard about a west loop attack that made me think about my experiences with self defense. A young man and woman were walking on a west loop street in early evening. A man approached and started assaulting them. The male victim covered on the ground. His female companion struck the assailant in several vulnerable spots, inflicting enough pain to drop him to the ground, enabling her and her friend to escape. I've seen plenty of examples to prove that you don't have to be big or heavily muscled to effectively defend yourself.
On Wed. 1/7 at 6:30 PM, there will be a free Women's Self-Defense Class at the Lincoln Park REI store. It will taught by instructors from Thousand Waves Martial Arts & Self-Defense Center, a Chicago non-profit organization. Participants will learn how to accurately assess areas of danger in their lives and increase their awareness, self-confidence, and safety. The class includes mental strategies to help you think clearly under stress; assertive communication skills to help you set a limit or de-escalate a tense situation; and positioning strategies to limit your engagement and reduce vulnerability. They also teach simple and effective strikes and kicks to stun an assailant if avoidance is impossible. Space is limited! Email Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan.2 to reserve your spot.
If you've never taken a self defense class, or it's been a while and you'd like a refresher, you may want to check this out. If you could use a self defense class but can't make this one, perhaps taking a class at Thousand Waves or Power for Women might be an option. The mental strategies taught in such a class are every bit as useful as the physical ones.