Are you a woman looking to learn effective, reliable, and practical self-defense? The truth is that, in the world of women's self-defense training, there is a lot of misunderstanding about what you need to know to survive. But, one thing is certain, if you really want to be able to survive a brutal attack, you had better be clear about where the threat may come from, and from whom!

In other articles about women's self-defense and having the ability to defend yourself against bigger, stronger, and intensely determined attackers, I have talked about having the proper attitude, and developing the survivor's mindset. To have the right attitude, you must be able to see the value in yourself, and be committed to surviving an attack - no matter what.

In order to develop the proper mindset, you must be able to identify the actual, or most likely, threats that you as a woman will have to face. Statistically speaking, most women that encounter violence or sexual assault are assaulted by someone they know. I'm not going to bore you with a bunch of statistics, but as a minimum in order to be able to effectively protect yourself... should know that 40% of all rapes take place in a victim's home, and another 20% take place in a friend or relatives home. Also, approximately 70% of rape victims know their attacker. Therefore, from a women's sel-defense standpoint, you have to be aware of where and to whom you are most vulnerable in order to protect yourself effectively.

The bottom line is this, no matter what the statistics say, when it comes to effective and reliable women's self-defense training, each woman has her own unique life, and therefor will have to be prepared to protect herself somewhere she normally finds herself.

That means that, if you;re ever attacked, everything will depend on your own unique situation. The risk factor and most dangerous places for a single woman going to college will be different than for a woman in a stable marriage - who is a homemaker. However, that does not mean one should not have a plan for a place that they are unlikely to encounter something, because you always have to be prepared.

In reality, if you are a woman and you are isolated from everything or everyone else, then you need to have a plan of defense in place. You need to know the critical principles and concepts upon which all tactics, techniques and strategies are built, so that you can create a sound plan of escape, evasion, or counter-attack should you need to.

Unfortunately, the most likely place for any woman to be assaulted or raped is in her own home, in a friend's home, or in the surrounding area. Other places that are dangerous for women are their workplace, public parks, parking garages, colleges etc... A lot of places do not have to be desolate or dark to have to protect yourself. You could be walking at the park, a van drive up, someone jump out, pull you in, and drive off. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

The question is, as a starting point, do you have a plan of action for each of the places that are close to home, in your home, or familiar to you? After all, these are the places that will give you the greatest advantage over your attacker! Everything else becomes more and more difficult due to the unfamiliarity and disorientation that you will be facing.

After identifying the location(s) where you will be the most vulnerable, you need to identify the people who put you at the most risk. In actuality, if you have never had an incident with that person before, then you really do not know if they are a threat or not. Usually more often than not, it is someone you are either related too, know professionally, a friend or an acquaintance. Please know that I'm not out to make you paranoid about the people in your life. Just prepared.

If you think it will be difficult to strike, kick, or break the body of a complete stranger - if you can just imagine the shock and disbelief of being attacked by someone you've never met...

...imagine what that's going to feel like when the attacker turns out to be someone you know and love?

Have you ever heard someone say that it seems like family and friends will cheat you before a stranger does? The reason for that is because they are the ones that you trust the most, and you let them get closer to you than you ever would a stranger.

In the context of women's self-defense, the same is true; except that you are trusting them with something much more valuable than money... your life.

I will also say it again; that does not mean you rule out strangers and go around in public with your "eyes wide shut". This also doesn't mean that you should alienate everyone in your life.

What I mean is that to protect yourself with a balanced, aware, and objective women's self-defense attitude and mindset, you must understand, that the people you know could end up being the most likely culprits. If you have one of your acquaintances that stops by when he knows your home alone, they could be looking for an opportunity. It could also be a stranger saying he needs to make a call because his car broke down.

Either way, when that women's self-defense sixth-sense kicks in (regardless of where you are), make sure that you listen to it. Do not feel pressured or be "guilt-ed" or coerced into allowing them to come into your home. Listen to your intuition and, when the hair on the back of your neck raises, it means you're in danger and someone has a bad intention for you. Regardless though...

...with the proper training in effective and practical women's self-defense techniques, tactics, strategies and skills - you "will" be able to protect yourself.

Effective women's self defense requires more than just a few "karate moves." It involves the ability to think strategically, and understand how to defend yourself with as little wear-and-tear on you as possible - against an attacker who will be bigger, stronger, and determined to succeed!

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