Monday, January 3, 2011

Top 5 Excuses NOT to learn Self Defence

This blog is a guest contribution from Chris Roberts of SAFE International

ExcusesIn this blog, I will look at the Top 5 Excuses I have heard to not learn self defense. While my business SAFE International obviously has a vested interest in self defense since it is my profession and passion, I find it interesting to hear so many excuses to not learn self defense.  While it would be great to spend weeks, months, and years learning how to protect oneself and their family, I still hear the excuses when it comes to just spending a few hours learning this valuable skill that could potentially save your life or the life on one of your family members.

Excuse #1 - I AM TOO OLD!
I hear this one from people even in the 30's or 40's.  Regardless of your age, you are never too old to learn self defense.  In fact, seniors should definitely learn some self defense skills, if only preventative skills.  An attacker chooses someone who they feel will be an easy victim, which is exactly why seniors should partake in a course.  If an 85 year old woman sticks her fingers in my eyes, it will still hurt and one of the things an attacker does not want, is to get hurt.

This is one excuse I find can be quite frustrating.  Let me start by saying that I can completely understand that people have financial challenges.  That being said, sometimes when I will quote a price, people will say that they find it too expensive, but will have no problem going out and spending a hundred dollars on dinner. If you knew that sometime in your life you would be attacked, how much would you be willing to invest in some basic self defense training?  What if it was your child?  I would guess that there might not be a limit.  Now some people might get upset with me bringing their children into it, but there is nothing more important in this world than the safety of yourself and your family.  The problem is that people are willing to gamble with the odds of being attacked instead of being proactive and learning some self defense as an insurance policy.  I have recently had a few women contact me about learning self defense with their daughter.  I have congratulated them on being proactive because most people are reactive, waiting until something happens to them before learning any personal protection skills. I have blogged before about an 18 year old woman who was held up at knife point and got away.  Ask her if what she paid to learn self defense was too much?

This is an excuse I hear from younger women to women in their senior years.  There is still a feeling among many that only attractive people get attacked or sexually assaulted.  Rape has nothing to do with what the person looks like.  It is an act of being in power and controlling a person.  There have been women of all ages, looks, etc attacked.  Many senior women in to their 80's have been attacked and sexually assaulted.  Anyone is a potential victim. Regardless of your self esteem about your looks, it is important to learn self defense skills. An attacker looking to rob someone is not choosing you on how attractive you are, but rather, if you look like a good potential victim who is not confident or aware.

Guess what?  The majority of the time you will not be as strong as your attacker.  That is one of the reasons they chose you.  There are not many attackers looking for a challenge.  They want someone who appears to be weaker and vulnerable.  This can actually work to your advantage.  If someone chooses you as a victim, you can use that false sense of confidence they have to your advantage through the element of surprise.  When you develop the proper reasons to fight, which I learned through Tony Blauer, you can develop the proper triggers and mindset to defend yourself.  I always tell women that I would rather attack your stereotype big, bad biker than an angry mother who is fighting for their child.  The mother has more to fight for because her reasons are Personal, Passionate, and Present.

Excuse#5 - I DON'T HAVE TIME!
Everyone leads busy lives these days and finding time can sometimes be a challenge. Some people might want to learn self defense, but can't commit to ongoing classes or even to committing to one night a week for six weeks.  This is why SAFE International offers a four hour course delivered all at one time.  With four hours we can't make anyone an expert, but we can teach them some basic, effective skills that can be learned in a short period of time. SAFE International can teach your company, family, privately in your environment to save you the time of travelling somewhere to learn.

Chris Robert's SAFE International has taught more than 120,000 clients personal protection skills throughout Canada since 1994.  For more info you can visit and  Chris can be contacted directly at


  1. While I agree with these points, I wonder if there aren't any more excuses that you could explore in further detail?

    For instance, there is a group of ladies at my workplace who have not learned self defence, not because they are not interested, but because they are worried about feeling threatened by their instructor or other male classmates. Having seen some of the grappling techniques in jiujitsu specifically, I can understand why they might feel the possibility of a sexual threat. (This was one of the reasons they gave, in particular to unfamiliar male classmates.)

    Can you offer some advice on how to get around this issue? Or are female-only classes available in self defence? I hate to think that so many of the women I know are not taking care of their safety.

  2. Hi there (sorry, not sure of your name!)

    Thanks for your comment. I agree there are many more issues that prevent or delay women from attending self defence classes. I was actually discussing this with my partner, who is also an assistant instructor, recently. While this blog was written by Chris Roberts, I will be writing a follow up in the coming week on issues women commonly face when starting a self defence program and how they can be overcome. Hopefully that can answer some of your questions!

    Thanks for reading,