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1930s Self-defense Lesson for Ladies…In Heels

Beginning in the 1980s self-defense classes were offered at community centers and karate studios as a response to the rise in crimes against women, especially alone at night. Women learned a variety of very basic tactics, like kneeing a male assailant in the groin and holding one’s keys between the fingers like a claw. But, rarely had many of the known martial arts of the world been marketed as effective self-defense for women. This is a bit unusual to think about because in disciplines like judo and jujitsu the shorter person nearly always has the advantage.

But, we certainly wouldn’t have expected that all the way in the 1930s women were training in jujitsu and it wad being shown in film reels so that other women might also learn! In 1933 May Whitley showed off her jujitsu prowess for the camera and her opponent (the “tramp” she refers to in the lesson) has to endure her throwing him about on what sounds like a very hard floor. Have a look at this interesting film clip (with an of-the-era title: “The Weaker Sex!”) in the video below. And to think she does it all in heels!

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How Liqueur Chocolates Used to Be Made By Hand: Click “Next Page” below!

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