Monday, December 17, 2007

it was a reflex

Since moving to NYC I have on more than one occasion had someone I barely know grab an inappropriate part of me in public. And my reaction has been to act before thinking. In one case, I smacked a guy in the nuts. In another, I slapped a guy's face. This unthinking reaction surprises me. I would have thought of myself as more of a deer in the headlights kind of person.

The thing that always concerned me in the self-defense classes I took was that it seemed like you had to be able to react without thinking and react with utter commitment to hurting that person who means you harm usually with the aim of getting away.

I worry a little. I would like to think of each of these as isolated incidents. But they may not be. Which would suck. It would mean that someday, someone will hit me back. And I will need a different kind of self-defense course to help me get out of that situation.

1 comment:

eh said...

Nothing wrong with your reflexes - you're reacting appropriately to the right kind of stimulus. It's not like you're slapping friends who tap you on the shoulder.

In my martial arts classes, per my instructor's direction, I refuse to defend myself if a classmate doesn't attack me full force. I want to develop reflexsive defenses against punches, chokes, and headlocks - not backrubs!

My only concern, as you pointed out, is that you wouldn't know what to do next. Hell, I say you should just skip the nut slap or face smack and proceed directly to a real response. If the guy doesn't seem scary, then twist his thumb or give him a quick jab in the throat. If he *does* seem scary, then I recommend a quick groin kick followed by two knees to the face, then running like Hell. Why even give the bastard the chance to start a "fight"? Just put 'em down and get out.

If you want to learn some real ass-kicking, for if and when someone hits back, my suggestion would be either Krav Maga or maaaaybe a mixed version of Wing Chun.