Self-Defense for Runners with The Black Belt Philosopher

In the four years since starting this blog, this is definitely the first time we’ve talked about grabbing a guy’s family jewels (even if hypothetically). Now, before you go all William J. Broad and accuse OG of being steeped in a sex cult, let me be clear: we’re talking about self-defense, not getting frisky.  The New York Times reporter, now infamous for his piece on the dangers of yoga, recently caused another stir by claiming that yoga began as a tantric cult, which is a sensationalized claim to sell books and newspapers.  Period.  Yes, tantra–one aspect of the yoga tradition–involves the uniting of male and female sexual energy; however, that’s not the whole story of tantra nor the sole origins of yoga.

Moreover, this post is not about come-ons, it’s about fending off, as in runners staying safe in the event of an attack.  With the help of The Black Belt Philosopher, Michael Weaver, I’ll show you a few ways to maintain your safety, including, yes, a “castration technique.”  You’ll also learn the following key steps for protecting yourself:

  1. Know your surroundings: Before you leave the house, know your route.  Stick to well lit and populated areas.
  2. Steady yourself: If someone threatens yours safety, steady your feet, turn your vital organs away from the attacker, and take a breath to remain calm and clear-thinking.
  3. Maintain your safety: The video above shows several techniques, none of which require weapons, keys, or mace, which could easily be used against you.  Instead, we demonstrate an eye gouge, knee stomp, and groin grab.

What kind of safety precautions do you take when you run alone?

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  • Tara

    When I ran alone, I never ran with head phones in. Mostly because, as someone who’s struggled with asthma in the past, I like to be able to hear my breathing when I run. But it’s also a really important factor in the “being aware of your surroundings.” In my view, save the head phones for the treadmill ;-)

  • JK

    Whats that song? Cudos for that one.

  • Christine

    I love this. It’s so important to know your terrain when running alone. I only run in well lit areas and with a running buddy at night. When I was in undergrad at Simmons they offered a self defense class – I took it while training for Boston :) . Find one and do it!! Next Om Gal teaching endeavor??

  • Jess

    Im going to throw out there that assertive use of your voice, as in a good yell, is often highly effective. Many experts say that, because attackers expect women to be quiet and not fight back, an assertive vocal rejection can shock them enough that you have enough time for escape. And, I can tell you from my own experience, they’re right.