Female Self Defense - Find Your Hidden Force

On this page we catch up with female self defense expert Lori Hoeck.

Lori gives us some straight 'no nonsense' advice.

And tells you the best way to find your self defense teacher.



Hi Lori. Say I am a woman and I decide that I want to learn to defend myself. Where do I start?

female self defense, Lori Hoeck, taekwondo

Realize these three things...


  • You are not as fragile as you think.
  • Self defense and the martial arts are not like in the machismo you see in movies.
  • You owe it to yourself to be more powerful, confident, and secure.

Do I look for womens self defense classes and if so what sort of classes?

The best thing for female self defense is to take formal martial arts classes.

Here's why...

  • Group or family spirit It's motivational to train with a group of like-minded people. Plus, when you see a 12-year-old with a learning disorder memorize a 45-move kata, you know you can do it, too.
  • Reinforcing, supportive learning Most woman have never thrown a punch. A lot of social conditioning, media stereotypes, and myths say women cannot defend themselves. When you start to consistently access your physical "source for force" -- your body's own power -- you realize how strong you really are.
  • Personal growth The path to black belt isn't just learning kicks, punches, and blocks. It includes facing self doubts and overcoming them. Formal martial arts training is a time-tested, ancient self-improvement program that, over time, builds confidence from the inside out. When you confidently face someone or a situation that used to intimidate you, you know training is working.

That said you can learn some self defense online (thinklikeablackbelt.com, for example), in seminars and in female self defense classes. Anything that increases your awareness and helps you think more defensively in a relaxed and empowering way is helpful.

You can also take a combat self defense course, which focuses more purely on self defense moves. This does not have the other benefits martial arts training gives you.

How do I choose a school?

A school is as good as its senior instructor or owner.

Martial arts style matters little in comparison to finding a competent, caring, and qualified instructor.

Compare and contrast different schools and use your gut instinct to pick one for yourself

These tips might help

  • After watching a class, do students seem happy to train hard or drained by all the discipline?
  • Do the instructors seem focused solely on student improvement or do they always showboat their own skills?
  • Do students seem to work well each other or fall into elitist cliques?
  • Does the person selling the classes seem genuinely caring in a way that challenges you to reach your potential. Or is the person a powerful, 'hard-sell' type who pushes your emotional buttons?
  • Even if it seems a bit intimidating, do you feel good about training at this school?

Note: Class discipline is very important. Trusting an instructor and the training process is supremely important. You should not, however, feel like you are entering a mindless dictatorship.

What is the best female self defense tip I can use in my day-to-day life to help me stay safe?

Stay in Code Yellow.

This means always be alert and aware of your surroundings. But at the same time relaxed.

To learn more about code yellow and self defense head to Lori's site.

If you sign up to Lori's site you will get an excellent free self defense book. This free ebook contains 116 pages of expert advice. It's for you if you want to take responsibility for your safety or if you want to talk to your kids about their safety.

Can you tell us more about yourself. What is your training background?

self defense, childrens self defense, taekwondo

My training began with taekwondo in 1981 when I was still in college in Boulder, Colorado. Although I trained for just two semesters, it sparked a lifetime love affair with the depth and richness of the martial arts.

In 1982, I moved to the ski resort town of Aspen, Colorado where I found a tang soo do instructor through the local community college. Starting as a white belt again, I worked my way up to second degree black belt over the next seven years.

Overcoming a phobia I had to teaching, I ended up instructing for almost 1,000 karate class hours, mainly through Colorado Mountain College. After moving away from Aspen, I stopped formal training and teaching for several years, but kept up the basic skills.

In 2001, I went back to training, this time in taekwondo and small circle jujitsu, earning my third degree black belt a couple of years later.

Two years ago, I retired (as much as any martial artist can retire) from formal training and teaching to focus on writing and being the full-time care-giver for my mom who has Alzheimer's and dementia. My teaching has moved online where I help people discover physical, mental, and emotional self defense.

How has your training affected your life?

The martial arts helps students face their own emotional baggage and insecurities. The resulting increase in confidence propelled me into many leadership positions I never would have taken before.

Thanks Lori for some fantastic insights into female self defense we really appreciate you taking the time. Deb.

Some self defense techniques.

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