I’ve already written plenty about what it feels like to be assaulted and fight like hell in a full-force self-defense class. I wish I could show you some of the highlights from my third and final day of training. Like when I failed to protect myself against an attacker knocking my legs out from under me: My back hit the ground hard enough to stun me for several seconds and draw gasps from everyone watching. Or the grueling “extended” fights, which I’ve previously described:
[T]hese fights require you to land five or seven knockout blows. As my instructor describes it, they “are meant to simulate scenarios where the assailant is either on a psychotic break or high, and thus not receptive to a ‘pain knockout’—and requiring a ‘structural knockout'” (as in, he must be kicked or punched in the head in a way that his brain knocks against the skull hard enough for him to lose consciousness).
Much of these brawls took place on the ground. It’s highly unsettling to watch a gal get overtaken on the floor, fight as hard as she can, lose, get pinned again, and then have to say to her assailant, “I’m sorry, I was just scared. I’m sorry I fought you, I’ll be good now,” so he’ll go easier on her and she might find another chance to win. I was given a video of a few of my fights, but watching myself lying still, trying to remember to breathe, looking for a window to kick some dude in the face while he crawls all over me calling me a little bitch kind of makes me want to die, so I’m not ready to put it on the internet.
However! One of my fearless classmates took the next level of the course, which includes simulations of someone coming into your house and attacking you while you’re in your own bed. She has bravely offered this video of one such scenario for public consumption. Voilà: