I think self defense classes are great for just about anybody. Not only can they help teach you how to protect yourself in the event of an attack but they can also help build confidence, lose weight, and increase your overall mental and physical well-being. Seniors can absolutely benefit from self defense classes in the same way that people of any age can but I think it best that any course on self defense for seniors also include training seniors on the proper use of pepper spray. I don’t think pepper spray training is unique to senior citizens either and any law abiding citizen of any age could benefit from carrying and knowing how to use pepper spray. I just believe that seniors, more than any age group, could perhaps benefit the most from this training.
Seniors can certainly learn to defend themselves using only what they were born with, meaning their hands and feet, but a defensive spray like pepper spray can really be of great help especially if they are attacked by someone much bigger, stronger and faster than they are. Also, pepper spray training is something that can be taught in one class, as opposed to the weeks, months and years it can take to become proficient in any martial arts discipline. Some seniors may also be lacking the strength, speed and agility it takes to effectively execute many of the moves involved in martial arts. A 95 pound, 80-year old female is going to have problems fighting off a 200 pound, 25 year old attacker no matter how long she has been studying martial arts but the size and age difference can be immediately made up for if that 80-year old lady sprays her attacker in the face with pepper spray.
Like I stated earlier, the proper use of pepper spray is something that can be taught in just one class but I think the actual motion of drawing the pepper spray from a pocket or purse, aiming and spraying is something that can be (and should be) practiced in much the same way that one constantly practices a punch, kick or choke hold. When someone actually finds themself in a physical altercation with an attacker the person’s nerves can be rattled greatly and with the adrenaline flowing it is always best if the motions have been practiced to the point where it is second nature even under the most stressful moments.
So if you are a senior citizen, especially one living alone and unassisted, please consider a self defense course but also remember that training with a defensive spray should be part of the curriculum of that course.
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