Boxing Isn't Self Defense

I’ve too often had members say to me, “You don’t worry about being attacked because you know how to fight”. Or “Jess you could totally kick a guy’s ass”. Even when I say, “No I never go around thinking that and I probably couldn’t beat up most guys” some ladies will doubt me and continue thinking I can take on a man. Are their SOME men I might be stronger than yes, but I’m not going to go around assuming because I am strong and a former boxer than I could defend myself from an attacker.

Men are for the most part the physically stronger sex. Yes women are strong and in some cases stronger than men their own size, yet that is not as common as we would like to think. The physiological makeup of men allows for them to out lift and over power most women. I am 150% girl power, but I also need women to realize that men and women are different. It just is what it is. And that doesn’t mean women should stop building their strength, it just means we should use common sense.

So why do I bring this up? I’ve been thinking a lot about women’s strength and our ability to defend ourselves since the recent horrible attack of a local woman. I keep wondering, “What would I have done in that situation”, “Would I be able to over power an attacker?”, “Can women escape attacks from men?”. It’s scary stuff, but I think it’s something we can’t afford to ignore. We need to be realistic. Women need to understand the world isn’t fair and that anyone of us could become a victim of a brutal attack.

Here’s the deal ladies...Boxing is not self-defense and thinking you can over power an attacker is the first step to putting yourself in a bad situation. Yes I am a boxer and I have hurt opponents and out boxed some male sparring partners (smaller than me), but boxing is a sport. Please never think that because you box for fitness or as a hobby that you have the skills and ability to fight your way out of an attack. No I am not saying if you find yourself in a horrible situation not to fight back…fight back with everything you have, but don’t walk around thinking you’re some tough ass chick that doesn’t need to worry about being victimized.

I am not preaching to live life in fear and worry, but I am saying to be cautious and not delusional about your strength and abilities. The first step to NOT being a victim is to be smart and aware. You must have situational awareness. Reduce the opportunity for attackers to target you. While that isn’t’ fool proof, reducing your odds is always good.

This young woman in our area who experienced a brutal attack will never be the same. Her experience of the world and people is forever damaged. She like many women victimized throughout the world will most likely live in fear, suffer flash backs and their lives are devastated. Let’s not ignore her story and think it could never happen to us. Let’s learn from this and realize we must be cautious and aware. Remember the gift of fear; it tells us when something isn’t right, listen to it.

While boxing is not self defense, it can give you confidence, the kind of confidence that will keep your head up and aware when you are walking through your neighborhood. Hopefully it gives you the kind of confidence that will keep you making smart decision about your safety. Don’t adopt the foolish confidence that you can over power an attacker and especially a man with a weapon.

No one deserves what this woman experienced and my heart goes out to her as she fights to recover from this brutal attack. The news reports explain that she fought back as hard as she could and thank god she fought because that effort could be why she is still alive. So ladies, please I beg you don’t live in denial, things like this unfortunately happen every day, please be aware of your surroundings, have a healthy level of fear and don’t think boxing could keep you safe.

To donate to the victim to help with medical expenses please visit the Mimi Strong GoFundMe Page.

Check out this article on How to Avoid Being a Victim Anywhere Anytime.

Jessica Storch, MA is a boxing coach, personal trainer, health coach and owner of Knockout Women's Boxing Club in Westmont, IL. Her mission is to empower women to be their best through the sport of boxing. She promotes a health focused mentality and encourages women to let go of the diet mentality. Jessica believes weight loss doesn't equal health and works with women to support them in building healthy lifestyles and happy lives.