I am in a thread of a bunch of moms discussing personal defense for their daughters. I think almost all of them are offering horrible advice.
The reason why it is a good idea to teach guys self-defense isn’t about winning fights. It is to instill confidence and make sure to not be an easy target. The reason men get attacked is largely for a display of power and dominance. Ergo, putting up a fight makes the risks higher than the reward. Additionally, if you put up a fight and lose, a certain amount of respect is earned within the aggressive male ecosystem.
The problem is, this whole dynamic doesn’t translate to women or children well.
Women and children aren’t attacked to display dominance. They are attacked in order to rob, rape, and personal reasons. For this reason, I don’t believe teaching self-defense to be all that valuable. Skills won’t often compensate for the large power differential, and being a more difficult target isn’t going to be as relevant. Additionally, you don’t know what weapons might exist. For these reason, I think the only time I would suggest self-defense to much weaker people (young people and women) is if they are trained and prepared to use deadly force, a gun.
If you aren’t willing to use a gun, I would suggest preventative measures, a phone, an alarm, screaming, and running. Get noticed, escape, or stay out of bad situations. Don’t think you will be able to out plan and fight someone willing to use violence who has likely planned and thought out this moment and likely has the jump on you. You will likely lose, even if you have superior training in physical confrontation.
I get that people want to have power and they want to empower their loved ones in a shitty situation. However, I think this is delusional, and most people aren’t really accepting how much of a disadvantage they are really in. The best idea is to accept that you are in a much less powerful situation and either pull a gun, or mitigate the damage and escape.