A note on fight scenes involving women: women, particularly small women, (along with smaller men) are not usually going to fight the same way as men, because women generally have less muscle and less upper body strength than men. Fighting like grappling is generally not going to go well for women. As a former Army woman told me, once you’re on the ground/pined down by a man, you’ve already lost. Instead, things like joint locks are much more effective, as are kicks (because legs are stronger than arms). If you can take out a knee or knee a (cis) man in the groin, you’re going to do a lot more damage than trying to punch someone in the face. Being a cis woman (or presumably trans man) being kicked in the groin hurts, but not nearly as much.

I was an EMT for two years and I need to tell you about my second partner, a five foot two woman named Scully. Scully was a mother of two, a volunteer fire-woman and the most bad ass person I’ve ever met.

I was way more of a hot head back then than I am now. When someone got violent, my reaction was never to retreat. It was always to make myself bigger, plant my feet and show them that I wasn’t going to move no matter what they decided to do. When I worked some less desirable parts of LA, that mentality earned me a lot of bruises, scrapes, and one scar that’s still pink and puffy a full two years later.

She told me that, in those circumstances, it was much better to be small.

“Put your hands up, get small, and step aside” she told me. “They’ll either lose interest and you can handle it from a different direction or they won’t expect it when you hit  them and run. You keep getting between them and a door. That’s not your job. Your job is to get out of the room alive first, with them on the gurney second.”

“But,” I said, being an idiot, “you’re not supposed to turn your back on a patient, especially combative patients. They see a weakness–”

I’m surprised her eyes didn’t fall out of her head, she rolled them so hard. “I never said turn your back on them. I said get out of the way. Most of the time, combative patients don’t know what they want. Do they want to run? Do they want to fight? They don’t know. Don’t give them an easy answer.”

That’s has been my motto since then. In a fight, don’t face them head on. Run and come back. Tell them you quit and put them down. Confuse them. Show them that you’ll take those groin shots, show them that you’ve got a mean streak that you’re not afraid to use, show them that you could just walk away.

Don’t give them an easy answer.

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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