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5 Self-Defense Books for Women (Who Want to Lose a Fight)

Looking Forward to Being Attacked

by Lt. Jim Bullard, 1977

The Cover

The eight photos on the cover show that no matter where you dames go, author Lt. Jim Bullard is there, watching. Coconut shoppers, lawn mowers, even lady scientists... they'll all be attacked. The cover and title obviously hint at something insane going on inside this book, but you have no fucking idea.

The Philosophy
Policeman Jim Bullard teaches that the key to lady self-defense is to expect and appreciate getting attacked. In fact, the title of his first chapter is, "YOU'LL NEVER ENJOY BEING ATTACKED IF YOU DON'T CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE!" He's very lighthearted about the idea of you being assaulted. In fact, the title of his second chapter is, "THE PRINCIPLE OF THE WEAKEST POINT ADDS ZEST TO BEING ATTACKED!" Not that you need me to point it out, but Lt. Bullard is something of a lunatic.

Ladies, the benefit of having an actual crazy person writing your self-defense book is that he knows how they think. For example, a very normal-brained person will teach you how to kick a man in the dong when he mugs you in a parking lot. I know, ladies, did he just get back from robbing a cliche store? The only thing you'll bother to bring to that attack is an alarm clock. But what about if your dentist starts choking you? Fucking Bullard has a whole chapter on that! He shows you how to defend against anonymous hands darting out of men's room doors, how to escape from a homicidal tennis partner, and even what to do when a man with a bag on his head grabs your boobs at the bus stop. If you asked Lt. Bullard to give you advice that wasn't crazy, he'd write on a piece of paper, "CAN'T RIGHT NOW. MOUTH FULL OF HUMAN TOES."

Lt. Jim spends so much time fighting imaginary madmen in his brain that his wife thinks her pet names are Apache and Prison Rapist. Or at least she did before she mysteriously suffocated. Bullard probably goes through wives faster than Lou Ferigno goes through rabbits. I cannot stress enough how insane this man is. Take a look at an excerpt from the chapter, "APPLYING PRESSURE AGAINST JOINTS TO SURPRISE, BEWILDER AND GAIN THE ADMIRATION OF YOUR ATTACKER!"

So there you are seated in church (temple, synagogue, mosque) and the dirty old man seated beside you places his hand on your thigh. If you happen to have a ball point pen handy, you can drive it through the top of his hand; but be careful not to stake his hand to your leg!

As much as I'm fascinated by what goes on at Lt. Bullard's mosque, I'm more fascinated with the idea of driving a pen through a man's hand carefully. How do you do that? Practice on a steak? A cadaver? Let's think about this: How is that Lt. Bullard is capable of foreseeing all the potential danger of riveting a pervert's hand to your leg, but he never notices that the act itself is insane? He's thinking, "Okay, we're stabbing that hand-- that is god damn happening, so don't bother with a plan B. But we can't walk around all day with sex offender stuck to our artery... wait, I've got it! Be careful!"

One of my favorite safety precautions comes early in the book when Lt. Jim warns us that all of his awesome karate moves won't work if your family turns on you.

These movements will not work against loved ones, but seem more easily applied against strangers. The simple reason for this is that while husband, boyfriend, uncles, and even neighbors may know your defenses, strangers do not. So most importantly, do not tell your attacker what you are going to do.

The reason these savage moves won't work on your husband and uncle isn't because of an emotional attachment-- it's because your husband already knows you're going to open the fight with a ballpoint pen stab and he's trained in the counter for that. What the fucking what? Lt. Bullard is crazy in such a completely unique direction. It's as if he learned how the world worked by watching kung fu movies and then Gary Busey drove him into the wall of an abandoned motorcycle helmet factory.

The Karate
This book has forgotten more about karate than you will ever forget about karate. Lt. Bullard's martial arts are clumsily reverse engineered from freak accidents. He'll suggest that you jab your car keys into someone's eye or push a pencil into their throat. There are some judo-like throws, but to be honest, Lt. Jim often gets so lost in his own fantasy attack that his instructions stop making sense. For example, if someone puts his arm around you while you're window shopping you "Bend your knee against the back of his knee to break his balance while throwing your arm into his chest. He will go down with a bang and probably remain there in a crumpled heap. Off you go into the store screaming at the top of your voice."

Lt. Jim, are you sure you didn't leave anything out? My attacker has barely hit the ground from a zero foot fall and you've already got me running my victory lap through a department store. Shouldn't I carefully tackle him through the untempered glass window? I'm sure there's a careful way for me to pull us in front of a bus. Plus, I'm new to being insane, shouldn't I check to make sure he's not fifty snakes in a hollowed out man?

Fear Into Anger: A Manual of Self-Defense for Women

by Py Bateman, 1978

The Cover
Holy shit! In the top right... is that t-the coveted Fight Back! Fight Back! Seal of Approval!? No, don't look directly at it!

The Philosophy

Literally every other book in this article advises against untrained girls throwing punches. Self-defense authors figure you're okay to fight off multiple knife-wielding attackers, however; you'll probably hurt yourself if you swing your fist into something. Not Py Bateman. Py Bateman's philosophy on female punching begins at your face and ends two wet feet behind your head. She throws kicks into your dong like they would hurt if they hit you somewhere else. One might criticize the effectiveness of traditional karate, but this is an actual martial arts book written as if the reader's vagina was not a disability.

The Karate

Oh, the karate is good. Py Bateman, while I was looking through picture after picture of you turning penises into hot foot baths, I fell in love. Py Bateman, please accept this gift of comic:

Read Sean's rundown of "5 Fight Moves That Only Work in the Movies," which can only be found in the new Cracked.com book.

Seanbaby invented being funny on the internet. Check out more from him at Seanbaby.com and follow him on Twitter.

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