Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fight Like a Girl

Fight Like a Girl: Be Scared with a Plan by Kym Rock

I won a paperback copy at a FLAG seminar.

My review:

Kym Rock is the founder of the Fight Like a Girl fitness and self-defense program. She began training in martial arts to learn to protect herself in her abusive marriage, but ended up developing the courage and self-esteem to leave the relationship altogether. She brings her expertise in martial arts (she's a 7-time World Karate Champion, among other distinctions) and her experience as an abuse and cancer survivor to her leadership of the program.

This book is written to help women in various phases and stages of life-- parents of babies through teens, college women, single ladies, female executives, and the victims of stalking or abusive relationships, as well as Every Woman going about her usual routine. The advice that she gives is concrete, clear, and practical.

As a college librarian, I was uncomfortable with the way statistics were presented throughout the book. While the sources of the data were reliable and credited appropriately, the figures themselves were presented in ways that ranged from unclear to downright misleading. I understand that Sensei is trying to drive home her point that abductions, etc. are very real problems, but to say that a teen has a "68% chance" of being abducted is simply incorrect. (I am going from memory on this exact statistic, as the book is not at hand for this writing.) A close reading by someone who has paid attention throughout the chapter will make it clear that she means that of minors who are abducted, 68% of them are teens, but this is one example of how the book could use information in a more responsible manner.

I also found a few pieces of her advice questionable. For instance, I would advise women walking alone in the dark to NOT call a friend or family member while heading to their car; women on phones are more likely to be chosen as targets, and while you gain the benefit of having someone on the line and ready to call 911 on your behalf, you lose some situational awareness on-site. But these are trade-offs that each woman will have to weigh in her own situation.

Still, despite these flaws, this book should be required reading for teenage girls and college-aged women. Any woman, in fact, will benefit from reading this book, and I highly recommend that you do so.

Stars: 4

I have been participating in the local FLAG program since about January and I absolutely love it. I believe strongly that women need to develop safe habits and learn to defend themselves should they ever need to do so. A police officer or significant other will not always be there, and ultimately your safety depends on you.

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