By Aisling O’Connor
This is a difficult article to write, but I think it’s important that I write it. I joined Krav Maga back in early January to learn self-defence because I was getting followed home last semester.
Most evenings when I was walking home I saw a guy in the same location, always a few feet away from me. He made me feel uncomfortable, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I was always on that route around the same times, and naively assumed our schedules just happened to interlink. I only realised he was following me when it was too late.
I was walking into campus (a place far from where I would always see this guy) and there he was up ahead. I tried to cross the road but he spotted me and came over. He tried to talk to me, and I couldn’t understand his accent but kept saying I was late and had to go. I think he was asking me how old I was and where I lived. He held out a pen for me to write something on his hand and when I declined, he grabbed me by the wrist and was pulling me towards him.
There was no one around at this time. I had no self-defence skills whatsoever and was completely and utterly helpless. There was a car next to us and I remember looking at it thinking: “Why the f**k isn’t whoever’s in there helping me!?”, but for all I know that could have been his car. All that went through my mind was: “This can’t be it. This cannot happen”.
I did manage to pull away from him and run away – but I was lucky. Had he grabbed me somewhere else I probably wouldn’t have. The situation could have been a whole lot worse but nonetheless, I needed to do something to ensure I’d be better equipped if, god-forbid, I find myself somewhere like that again.
Krav Maga seemed like the best society to join once semester two started. I haven’t been a member very long so I’m no expert but in one of the classes we covered how to get out of that exact grip he had me in. When I got home I had my dad grab my wrist like he did and I got out of it.
So far we’ve covered what to do if someone points a gun at you, a knife, how to get out of a choke hold, and what to do if someone tries to rape you – plus how to kick, punch, and block accurately. It’s fantastic for fitness and a great way to meet new people. A lot of the other clubs and societies are fun to be in, but Krav Maga is the one that can save your life. If you’re looking to join something new, I think this is it.