Fight Like A Mother Grizzly Bear — 5 Self-Defense Tips For Women

white woman with boxing gloves punching, training

A few years ago I was teaching one of my self defense courses for women. It's a two-hour seminar that deals with defense against an unarmed attacker. (I have other classes dealing with armed attackers and other situations.) One lady was doing a pretty good job learning the strikes, but she just was not hitting as hard as I know she could. She was still being "nice."

I was trying to figure out what would bring out the savage fighter in her (which I know lurks in almost every woman on the planet). Her daughter was only eight at the time and quietly playing in another corner of the room. I said, "They're after your little girl!!!"

The rest of the women in that room noticed the sudden and violent transformation of that lady. I saw the "Mother Grizzly Bear" come out. There was "blood in her eye" and she just erupted: punching and shoving and kneeing and chopping me and my kick shield across the room. I couldn't stop her repeated, relentless strikes. She finally had me pressed up against a wall and I said "Ok! Stop! THAT's what I wanted to see."

Now she knew what to do. The techniques I taught her were effective, and she knew she could defend herself and her child.

I believe that the majority of women and girls do not naturally come to a defensive situation with either the ability or mentality to physically defend themselves (yes I know there are exceptions; I've met them). About 95 percent of the time when I ask a woman to make a fist, she balls up her hand in a way that would make a boxer cringe (usually it is with the thumb sticking out). Men, on the other hand, almost always know how to make a proper fist and throw a good punch.

However, I am also convinced that the vast majority of women can learn very quickly to become effective, ruthless, ferocious fighters who are quite capable in defending themselves against attackers. All they need is the desire, proper techniques (and knowledge of targets), encouragement, and the time to train.

The following are the tips I teach all the women and girls in my self-defense classes. (I also teach CCW to women and I highly recommend that women learn how to shoot and carry a pistol wherever it is legal to do so. However, not every woman is able to carry or wants to. Some may not have the gun nearby, so it is important to know how to fight to get to the gun.)

Here are five basic principles for self-defense. I hope these tips are helpful to you as you train.