How to Get Your Wife Into Self Defense Training – The War at Home

The War at Home

Maybe “War” is the wrong term to use.   Maybe “life long battle of attrition” would be a better term.   What many of us in the self defense community have expressed (sometimes at nauseam) is How to Get Your Wife Into Self Defense Training.  In the more broader sense, how to get out significant others/family/friends to embrace our ….. “lifestyle.” Over the years I have learned how to train through injury, work through incredible exhaustion and repeat complex movement’s hundreds if not thousands of times to improve my overall “game.”  But over the course of my journey, working through all the day-in-day-out difficulties, I have come to the realization that getting your signifiant other to embrace the lifestyle is the most difficult.  It’s an ongoing battle, not a war.

With that being said, I am one of the more fortunate people in this industry.  I have (over the course of many years) managed to persuade my wife to train with me and whoever else is around.   Her capacity for learning is as high as any experienced athlete I have worked with. What sets her apart though, is her acknowledgment that bad things might happen and her first responsibility in this world is to keep our child safe and get herself safely home every day.  Training for her is not something that she has a passion for.  It is not (and probably never will be) her first thought in the morning and last thought before closing her eyes at night.  This is ok.  This is more than ok actually because although her interest in self defense is about as high as my personal excitement for basketball (which hovers around 1% out of a 100) she still takes the time out of her schedule to talk about safety issues and scheduling times to train occasionally.

-bad things might happen and her first

responsibility in this world is keep our

child safe and get herself 

safely home every day-


The Great Compromise

It’s a peace agreement really.  I pledged not to bring up training at the beginning and end of every day and she promises to occasionally roll, spar and practice a core set of defensive drills and knife work.  When approaching this subject with a significant other, it’s really about your tone and explaining your motivations.   YOU CAN’T (and shouldn’t) “Tell” someone what they have to learn.  YOU CAN’T force them to “Get in your guard” (hopefully at least one of you get’s that reference) so you can demonstrate the latest and greatest escape.  YOU SHOULDN’T make them lace up the gloves and drag them into practice with a bunch of people that they have no interest being around. In my experience the most effective way at creating interest is simply talking about a specific incident in the news.  It’s real, it’s literal and it is easily acknowledged as a possible scenario that they might deal with one day.

The turning point for my wife was the New Jersey Nanny Came video (Video above) that took place in June of 2013.  The video showed the real type of violence that can take place.  I believe that is the day we ordered her own personal daily carry knife. She wears it to work, the gym, going out with me and our child.  We also practiced with it and a comparable trainer knife.  She know’s it’s strengths and limitations.   It’s her last resort and her “line in the sand.”  But here’s the critical detail, it only works when she can get her hands on it.

My significant other with her daily carry folding knife.

How to Get Your Wife Into Self Defense Training

My wife showing her daily carry knife. She has already started ruining her jean pockets.


How to Get Your Wife Into Self Defense Training -Beggar’s Can’t be Chooser’s

This conversation of safety training should also include alternative options for ways your significant other can get some training.  Sorry to say to all the “Professional Martial Artists” out there but sometimes learning from a different instructor is the best way to get them trained.  Your loved one knows all the little details of your personality.  Sometimes you can consume an entire box of cereal in front of morning cartoons or you don’t want to battle it out with the eight legged terrorist plotting it’s own personal jihaad from the corner of it’s web on the ceiling.  What I’m saying is, you’re personal relationship might actually hinder someone taking you seriously.

…sometimes learning from a

different instructor is the best

way to get them trained.


If this is the case, find a more experienced training parter or specific coach.  Find a different school all together if that’s what it takes.  The mission here is to get them training someway, somehow.  So swallow your pride Tommy Toughnuts and find out who in your area might be able to “bridge the gap” between what you think they need and what they are willing to do to actually get some training.  If you treat this exorcise like a high speed chase you’re going to crash and burn big time.  You will ruin any further chances of getting that loved one training and most likely will cause anxiety at the first mention of safety training in the future.

Walking into a gym is an emotional test just to begin with for a lot of people.  Pile on top of it some expectation that they are going to learn how to confront, potentially the most dangerous person they will ever come in contact with and it can really cause a lot of stress. Tread lightly but explain your concerns.   If you think you have some specific strategies for getting your significant others to get involved, please feel free to share them in our comments section.

Stay Safe out there.


For more specific information on strategies to getting your significant other self defense and awareness training please click here on our contact page.


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