Best Self Defense for Women


When it comes to the subject of self-defense, everyone claims to have the perfect martial art for women. It is true that each martial art offers certain physical benefits and areas of specialty, but how can a woman choose a program that is really going to be functional for HER in a dire situation? In this post we will examine some of the common misconceptions and give women an honest criteria which will help to choose the best option for them.

Misconception #1: Go For the Groin!
How many times have women been told, “go for the groin“ as if it came with a 100% money back guarantee? By the time a young man reaches his teenage years he has been struck in the groin, either intentionally or unintentionally, on one or more occasions. The experience being an extremely unpleasant, one causes a flinch response to be hardwired into the nervous system: defend the groin at all costs! Due to the high degree of motivation to protect the groin, one becomes very adept at defending it, especially after YEARS of practice. No doubt every rapist out there has had MANY of his victims attempt the groin attack. Unfortunately, not only is he expecting it, he well-prepared for it. Simply put, the genitals are not a good primary target though they might be a good follow-up target. While at grappling range they are much easier to access, at longer distances they are simply not a good initial target for a kick or punch.

Misconception #2: Short-Term Self-Defense Courses
As a professional instructor I can say one thing for certain: short-term courses are short on results. Expecting any technique or method to work for you, especially under duress, when you’ve only practiced it a handful of times is ridiculous. In developing any skill, the most important factor is repetition. What makes your skill level higher than the next person, is simply how many more repetitions of a given technique you have done than they have. Therefore, I cringe when I hear of people taking short-term courses and walking away thinking it will really work for them. Lack of consistent practice over an extended period of time coupled with the realities having to deal with the psychological (fear) and physiological (adrenaline dump) aspects of self-defense are a recipe for disaster.

Misconception #3: Self-Defense Requires a High Level of Physical Conditioning
In reality, most self-defense encounters tend to start quickly, escalate quickly, and yet last less than a minute. It is a popular misconception that successful self-defense requires a high level of physical conditioning. Should one increase their strength? Absolutely! Should one engage in cardiovascular exercise? Definitely! But real-life encounters both on the streets and on the battlefield have proven that the right mindset was the most important factor in surviving a life-threatening encounter. Resolving oneself to act decisively and aggressively when the time comes is hands down the most crucial element to effective self-defense. Mindset trumps muscle.

So what features are required for an effective self-defense solution for women?

  • Simplicity – The techniques must be simple, direct and easy to apply.
  • Mobility – It must allow for maximum mobility, staying on one’s feet and on the move during any encounter. Better mobility means better positioning and more options for retreat when the circumstances allow.
  • Equality – The self-defense system must provide a level playing field when dealing with larger, stronger attackers.
  • Specialty – The techniques must be well-suited to a woman’s physique.


Ving Tsun kung fu (also spelled Wing Chun) was originally developed by a woman for use against larger and stronger attackers. It meets the criteria listed above in every aspect. Unlike most other systems of martial arts and self-defense which were founded and developed by men, Ving Tsun is uniquely suited for women because it was founded by a woman.