My wife likes watching a TV show where a petite 90 pound lady regularly beats up all sorts of big tough guys, everyone from big US SEAL’s to Russian Spetznaz special forces soldiers. The character uses techniques like groin kicks, and flying head scissors (jumping in the air while throwing her legs around a guys head to take them down). And boy can she take a punch! These huge 6+foot, 200+pound guys hit her with everything they’ve got and she just gets back up and beats them up.
OK back to reality.
While these moves look cool on camera, I have to crush the myth that tv shows and movies portray of women fighting men. Why? Because it's irresponsible. For example, recently a female client asked me if I could teach her the "flying head scissors" because she saw it in a Marvel movie. Women who don’t know better believe they can beat any man with a couple of slick moves. Not only is that just not true, it can put them in very dangerous positions.
As a small kid growing up in the rougher neighborhoods of the Bronx, NY, and Chicago, Ill, and in my adult years competing in no holds barred competitions (where there were no size or weight classes), I learned a few things about how a fight with a bigger, stronger guy really goes down.
Here's what I learned:
Size matters! The odds of a petite person knocking out, or out-wrestling a man three times their size is rare (and it's nearly impossible if they have never trained to fight). That's why combat-sports all have weight classes.
Men are stronger than women! Sorry ladies but human physiology dictates this rule. Men carry more muscle, have bigger bones, and less fat than women. They tend to be more involved in weight bearing physical activities, including manual labor, weightlifting, and wrestling around with their buddies in the backyard, than women.
Men are more aggressive! Blame it on testosterone, extra human growth hormone or society, men are more physically aggressive than women.
A groin kick may not end a fight. I repeat, A Groin Kick May Not End A Fight! Why do so many shows demonstrate a woman kicking a man in the groin, and the man collapsing to the floor into the fetal position? It’s just not true! If you’ve trained in any martial art, including kickboxing or wrestling, you know that groin shots are just part of the sport, and yes guys can get use to them. Additionally, if the man is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or just plain adrenaline, that groin kick will not stop him.
So what does this mean? Women must understand this reality:
An unskilled stronger man versus an unskilled female = the man wins.
A trained stronger man versus a trained weaker woman = the man still wins.
An untrained strong man versus a trained weaker, smaller woman = the woman might win.
An untrained weaker man versus a strong, trained woman = the woman wins.
So what to do ladies?
Let’s take your solutions one by one:
Men are bigger, there’s not much you can do about that but you can counteract their size with your endurance. You see big guys require a lot more oxygenated blood to carry those big bodies around which means they run out of gas quicker. Train in activities that tax your muscular and cardiovascular endurance systems (i.e. running). This way you can finish the fight they started.
Men are stronger so you will need speed to counteract this. Speed training will make it harder for the big man to hit you, and grab a hold of you. Also, when a bigger person fights a faster person, it taxes the bigger persons body, leading to their early fatigue, and fatigue equals weakness. Additionally, women can get as strong, and even stronger than men. That coupled with speed will make you hard to beat.
Did you know that although men are stronger and more aggressive, women are tougher and more vicious? (if they choose to be). It’s a known scientific fact that women can endure more pain then men can. When a woman’s child is being injured she will do anything from picking up a car to beating a mountain lion away. Now that’s tough! And viciousness? just look at two untrained women fight, they will pull hair, bite, and tear into each other’s skin. A guy wouldn't do those things to another guy in a fight! We are just not as vicious or tough as women are.
Finally, Don’t just train like a guy! While I firmly believe all women should train in various martial arts (kickboxing, wrestling, BJJ). That should just be your first step. To beat the bigger, stronger, or experienced man, you will need to train other tactics as well like Krav Maga, and/or Close Combat martial arts (both of which I teach).
So there you have it, a few strategies that will work for defending yourself against a man. A woman can beat a man in a fight if she has the correct training. Please don’t believe the nonsense techniques you see on TV or movies, they can get you killed!
If you are a woman who wants to learn how to beat the bigger, or stronger man, contact me for a free self-defense seminar (in-person or online).
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Until next time, Stay Safe!
Author, The Short Fight