Very often when other women find out I do MA they comment that they too have thought about it and we start discussing their thought process as to why they want to study it. Usually it comes down to that they are walking scared through life. They are scared in parking lots, in mall washrooms,elevators, home alone at night, working late in their office building. It comes down to intimidation. I used to be the same way and still am to a large degree. Just because I have studied MA doesn't mean I am any safer, if anything I realise how much of a disadvantage I have against a man because I train with them all of the time. I guess I just wonder if you really want someone to not be afraid, at least a little bit, because I would be concerned about a false sense of security. Learning a Muay Thai kick in your kickboxing isn't going to help you if someone grabs you from behind. Or in my case practicing kata isn't going to stop a knife. So, what do I tell these women? Usually I tell them the most important thing I have learned is to not be there if possible, not to look like a victim and have good cardio so I can run away fast and as long as I can and to be able to recognize a situation turning sour. Today there are actually many more people that intimidate me than before I took MA because I know now what depths people are capable of and that some will stop at nothing to hurt you. Before I was relatively ignorant of the malice in people, they will take what you have if they can't earn it on their own. So, what it boils down to is do you think that most MA's that say they have self-defence components are realistic in stressing the avoidance factor and awareness or are they usually more concerned with techniques and making women feel "empowered"?