UFC self-defence tips for women
Women's Fitness asks UFC fighter Brad Pickett to explain how you can defend yourself when attacked.
Mixed martial arts has made its mark in the States and Japan, but the Brits are causing a stir, too. London’s very own Brad Pickett is sending shockwaves through the sport’s biggest organisation, the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), where in his next fight he’ll be facing Damacio Page. Women’s Fitness’ Amanda Khouv caught up with the martial artist to find out his top self-defence tips and why he thinks more women need to get into the sport.
Hit and run
‘The most important thing is to stay away from anyone suspicious, and try not to be on your own. It’s important to try not to act irrationally, too – you can’t always be sure that someone is about to attack you. So, be aware of your personal space. If someone starts to come too close to you, then that’s when you’ve got to make that quick decision about whether or not you’re going to do something to protect yourself. And if I were in that situation, I would probably just hit and run. If the attacker isn’t too tall, then punch him in the nose. This will make it hard for him to see and make his eyes water, but don’t continue to hit him – just do it, and run. If he’s too tall, then go for a knee to the goolies. It’ll cause instant pain, which will give you enough time to get away – it’d definitely take me a while to recover from that! But whatever you do, if you feel in danger, just react first and make sure you do it hard enough to cause pain and catch them with the element of surprise. Then just get out of there.’
Train for confidence
‘I think training in martial arts is a great way to learn how to defend yourself. Obviously, your technique will be good so that if you do need to defend yourself, your striking will have more effect. I also think it’s a great way to boost confidence – you’ll be confident enough to actually defend yourself. Look at it this way, if someone suddenly put me in a pair of rollerblades, I’d have a heart attack! But if I’d been rollerblading before, I’d be able to do it with more confidence. So I’d definitely say that participating in some kind of martial art will give you lots of confidence, not to mention self-discipline.’
A woman’s sport?
‘Although mixed martial arts might seem like a very male-dominated sport, women can really enjoy it. When you go to a gym, you might do the same things over and over and find yourself getting bored. But with mixed martial arts, there’s so much you can learn that it keeps you stimulated both mentally and physically. I got into mixed martial arts through boxing – it was great for fitness but I wanted to learn even more, and that’s when a friend suggested I try mixed martial arts. It can seem daunting at first but women really can benefit from it. The first time I tried mixed martial arts, I was completely owned by a 16-year-old boy. I didn’t know what the hell was going on, and thought to myself, if a 16-year-old could do this to a grown man, then I need to understand and learn more, and that’s when I fell in love with it. That was about seven years ago.’
A competitive streak
‘I am competitive in absolutely anything I do. I’ve just been playing the new UFC Undisputed game, and it’s no different to how competitive I am in real life. Even if I were to play a chess game, there’s no way I’d let you win. I’m not a sore loser, but I would never let anyone win. I see it as a sign of weakness!’
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