Sunday, June 1, 2008

Why Are Women Different?

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I'll let you in on a little secret I have discovered.

Women need basically the same training that men do. I think the real difference is the approach and the trainer/student relationship. But the risk, weapons, tactics and most other aspects of the training are the same.

I first became specifically interested in training women when I was the Director of Security at a large hospital. With an employee population of about 80% women, it became apparent that there was a need for a training environment that would be comfortable and conducive to learning for women.

Before I go any futher, here are a few differences I have noticed.
  • Typically, women make better students and learn much faster than men. They only need more adjustments in the mental preparedness area. They need to be empowered and convinced that they can do it.

  • Women have no preconcieved notion about their natural born ability to defend themselves. Therefore, they are more open to accepting the instruction they are given. With a mind like a sponge, they absorb and retain more information. (Sorry guys). It's not necessary to break down any barriers before building from scratch.

  • It is in a woman's nature to be a fighter when necessary. That instinct has just been suppressed for thousands of years and needs to be uncovered and brought back to the surface. Once it is, a woman's ability to defend herself is limited only by the amount of time, practice, preparation, etc. she is willing to invest.

While most aspects of the attacks against women are the same as the attacks against men, some are different. Where there are differences, those differences need to be recognized and properly addressed by the instructor. I have found that most male instructors either don't try to relate to these special needs or, for whatever reason, aren't capable of doing so. Women (or men for that matter) should never leave a training session feeling that their needs were not met or their questions were not answered fully.

As a rape counselor I have spent untold hours listening to and learning from victims. As a training officer, I have always been mindful of the special needs of the females in my training classes.

My goal for this blog is to continue along those lines. Hopefully, the post and articles that I write will be helpful for someone out there. I am sure that the post, e-mails and other communications from you will be a learning experience for me. Together, we will progress to a point that you have set your personal goals and objectives, followed a course of action and and will be better prepared to survive a lethal attack.

Please comment, post, ask questions or whatever you feel comfortable with. And please keep me updated on your progress.

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