“Women’s” Self-Defense?


We have a women’s self-defense workshop coming tomororw on Saturday November 14th, and as much as I enjoy hosting the workshops, and giving people the opportunity to learn to protect themselves, I actually have a lot of reservations about the phrase “Women’s Self-Defense.” Despite all the progress we’ve made in realizing that women are in fact fully functioning human beings who can lift weights and fight and run companies and don’t need special pink versions of everything, there’s still a persistent view that women have special self-defense needs different from those of men. But that’s not true. Fairly often someone will ask me, “Is Krav Maga good for women?” Well of course it is. If it’s good for men, it’s good for women. It’s like spinach or something.

Krav Maga is a great egalitarian pioneer because from the beginning it has been for everyone: young and old, male and female, Jets and Sharks. Everyone is equal and everyone has the same expectations. There’s no “special” self-defense for women, there’s just self-defense. That’s not to say the women’s-only classes are pointless. Many women prefer to start in an exclusively female environment, and it’s great that they have the opportunity. But we let them know that they are doing “real” Krav Maga, not some “pink it and shrink it” version. Self-Defense for women is just self-defense done by women. Until someone develops a fighting system that specifically uses one’s genitals (and I don’t see that happening), self-defense will be the same for everyone.

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