|Me. 165 pounds of badass.|
This disadvantage is somewhat negated if I have trained in a useful martial art for self-defense. It's even more negated if I have a weapon available. I do have a weapon available, generally - as I stated in a prior post, my training includes thinking about and using environmental weapons. I also usually have my car keys on me.
|My car keys|
For the purposes of this post, I'm also going to assume the classic "women's self defense" scenario where an attacker unknown to me is approaching me to do me harm intentionally (versus, some drunk guy in a bar out of control or other scenarios where it's not the intent to do me harm).
Why only train to defend yourself unarmed?
Training unarmed - and only unarmed - seems to me to be training to play on the attacker's turf. In sports terms, to try to play and win at his game.
He's set up the game against me thusly:
- He intends to inflict harm upon me, so he has a mental advantage
- He knows what is going to happen because he initiates the confrontation, and thus he has the first mover advantage
- He is bigger and stronger than I am, so he has physical advantage
There's another saying, "You fight the way you train". I have a teacher I respect highly who used to joke that because he'd trained unarmed for so long, in a violent confrontation where he actually has a weapon in-hand, his instinct was to drop the weapon! He has since trained Arnis (he's the one who introduced me to it, actually) and has a different perspective now, but the point holds true.
And there is one more saying, "the weapon is the extension of the hand". If you don't train with a weapon, you don't really know how that works. I have personally witnessed high-dan, very skilled martial artists flail about with the simplest of techniques with a weapon. You have to practice these things in order to use them when there is no time for any thought.
I support training unarmed (and with firearms, if you want to). But you must, you simply must, train with weapons. Especially if you are female, or small, or old, or very young. Because weapons are the great equalizer.