Friday, 15 April 2011

The Economics of Self-Defence for Women

My reasons for learning Krav Maga (and a brief description of it) are on this page.

I think that all women should learn some kind of self-defence.  Now, I'm not an economics student (just maths), but I'm going to use a simple economic model to explain how some of us learning to fight helps other women who don't.

Say you're a mugger.  Just a mugger, nothing else - we're not concerned with hopes and dreams in this model.  Like everyone, you want an easy life.  You're not going to pick on a target you don't have a good chance of taking down.  Say you're male and strong, and you've got 50-50 odds of winning in a straight fight against the average, young, fit, male.

Those are not good odds, not if it's something you plan on doing more than once.

You'd probably want to go for the easier targets.  Elderly people, who tend, on average, to be less fit and strong, or women, who tend, on average, to be smaller and have much less upper body strength.  Let's say you've got an 80-20 chance of defeating the average woman in close combat.

Now, those are nice odds.

Now let's imagine that 1 in 20 women decide to take up a martial art.  That's 5 out of a hundred.  Let's say one of them was in the 20% you couldn't take down before, which still means that there are now odds of 76-24.  Still pretty good odds.

Now let's say that 38 women or so out of the 100 study a martial art.  That takes the odds up to 50-50, assuming those 38 are evenly spread across the 20 we previously said could kick your ass, and the 80 who probably couldn't.

Suddenly, the odds aren't as good.  You don't know which women are in which 50%.  It's not obvious.  Sure, my deltoids and biceps have become more pronounced since I started Krav Maga, but they're still rounded and feminine, they're not obviously strong.  And sure, my ass looks great, but that could be from a basic cardio workout, not from repeatedly kneeing people in the groin guard and running three times a week.

So, not knowing which women can kick your ass, and which women can't, but knowing that about half of them can (presumably, discovered from a series of beatings), which one do you pick?

It's probably easier to go do something else instead.

My point is that learning martial arts helps other women, because, from the outside, it's not obvious that it's you who does it.  One woman out there is a little powerhouse of a firecracker, just waiting to get medieval on a mugger, and there is no way of telling from the outside which one it is.  So, everyone gets a little bit of the safety that comes from one woman learning the most efficient way to make grown men cry.


1 comment:

  1. Okay that's kinda twisted...but I'm gonna say I like it...


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