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Topics - anonymousfanimefan

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, so feel free to delete or move elsewhere.

I took the Fanime Women's Self-Defense Class at the Dojo. Let me start by saying that this is a really good class with lots of practical tips on how to escape an attacker. I would still recommend taking it despite my personal experience which I will describe below.

During the course of the 2.5 hour class, you learn tactics on how to escape an assailant. You're also imparted with the confidence that you can do this. The "final" involves going one-by-one through the group of instructors while one randomly grabs you, chokes you, or places you in a choke hold. You then have 10 seconds to escape using the skills you learned.

I volunteered early and failed, which in itself was okay. What really destroyed me was sitting back down and watching as everyone else in the class passed. In the end, I was the only person left on the "non-pass" side of the room, and had to take the final a second time with everyone pity cheering for me.

After class, I immediately went to the bathroom and broke down. I went home and broke down again. When I woke up the next day I broke down a third time. Growing up, I was always the weak one, then eventually the incompetent one. Being singled out in front of 40+ people as the only fail while people half my size/weight passed with flying colors felt awful, and I truly felt helpless.

Sob story aside, I am thankful for the experience.

Yes, I still feel awful and it will likely take days to be emotionally okay after what happened. Yes, my back and neck still hurt from the choke hold. However, this was a wake-up call to get better, because right now, I probably won't be able to defend myself when needed.

Given what was circled around social media prior to Fanime about females being targeted, now is the time to learn. And no, it won't be easy and may trigger a bunch of emotions that will leave you a wreck for days. However, it's better to address those feelings now so you can be equipped for the unexpected.

I'll probably take another self-defense class in the future, likely in an environment where I won't humiliate myself in a room full of 40+ people. However, I wouldn't trade away my Fanime experience, otherwise I never would have known how vulnerable I really am.