Recent attacks by one of more serial rapists in the Omaha< Nebraska area have prompted women to seek out self defense methods for personal protection.
Judy Williams with the help of a few volunteer Airmen from Offutt Air Force Base charge women 35 dollars for a self defense class where they "learn" to take a gun or a knife away from a street corner thug.
The techniques that these women "learn" can not be completely taught or absorbed in a single afternoon session. Classes like these set women up to get seriously hurt or die, because very few if any of the participants PRACTICE what they have learned in the days, weeks and months after the session. Even if they go home and practice this stuff with friends relatives and family who is going to determine if they are still doing it right in the days months and weeks after the initial afternoon?
Training like this calls for the student to constantly perform the moves in front of a certified instrucotr UNTIL they have it ingrained in their mind and body. If you have to think about what you were taught when it comes time to use it you will get hurt or die. Tactics like this have to be applied naturally without the "If the guy holds the knife here the teacher said do this" or "If the attacker is holding the gun this way I need to do this". In a violent encounter there is no time to remember you have to act, act now or lose. It's great to learn how to do it in an afternoon and by the end of class most women can perform the task pretty well.
How about a year from now when that woman is about to be raped and facing a gun or a knife? The techniques that Williams teaches require CONSTANT PRACTICE. How many women, or men for that matter are willing to devote several hours a week to rigorously maintaining an acceptable skill level? Anyone man or women that takes one of these Sunday afternoon Matinee courses thinking they are going to be safer as a result are deluding themselves.
As an introductory session to a very physical future of regular weekly or bi-weekly training and practice, these Weekend warrior classes provide a wonderful insight into what a person needs to work toward.
These classes should taught with the understanding that the demonstrations participated in are what people can become capable with months or years of dedication. No these afternoon tea parties show a few Bruce Lee moves and send the students on their way with a certificate pronouncing them trained to stop a rapist in his tracks.
If a person wants to get an idea of how much training is involved and what can be done with the martial arts then these classes are a good start, but you cannot learn and noone can teach you how to survive an assault, mugging or rape in one afternoon for thiry five dollars.