Self-Defending Your Answers

, , , , , , | Learning | November 8, 2019

While at university, I was a member of the Science Fiction Association. We shared a lot of membership with both the D&D club and, importantly, with the University Regiment. This meant that a lot of us learned a great deal about self-defense by osmosis.

Dial forward twenty years. I’m a teacher at a girls’ school, and our principal decided to have a guest lecturer to talk about assertiveness and self-defense. As part of it, we were asked to describe how we might react to someone trying to steal our money while making a withdrawal from an ATM. I’m sure that they were expecting “run” or perhaps punch with keys interlaced with fingers and other similar responses.

However, by coincidence, one of the staff at the school was also a female friend from uni who’d been a member of the Science Fiction Association. Our natural reaction was to start describing all the ways that one could disable or kill an attacker. I mentioned punching in the throat to crush the larynx, she talked about a palm strike to the nose to drive the bones up into the brain, I followed up with… well, you get the idea.

As we did so, we gradually noticed that the other staff were backing away from us.  

We got a lot of odd reactions for years afterward, and the principal never brought up self-defense again.

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