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on March 15, 2010
After reading THE GIFT OF FEAR by Gavin Becker, I ran accoss this book. I could not put it down, reading it untill the wee hours of the morning. First, this is a no frills tell it like it is book. After reading this, I am enrolling my 11 year old in a self defence class. I am motivated to join myself. As a victem of a deranged male myself, I wish I knew these tips before I was in postion to need them. The unconcious process of shutting down is explained and stress why you should practice what you would do in certain situations to avoid this from happening, giving your brain another choice to go to. I found this an especially helpfull tip. I will getting this for my girls and have already given my 11 year old all the tips I read in the book. It is too bad women need to read a book such as this but the reality is we do!
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on February 13, 2008
Fight Like a Girl and Win is a superb gift to all women in the art of self-defense. Not only does Hartman Gervasi give physical tips to guard against an attack, she gives women the greatest tip of all: the psychological way of preparing for the "bad guy". You, the reader, will ask yourself the difficult question of how far you are capable of going when an attack happens and learn defense do's and don'ts so you don't get caught off-guard. Her victim stories, both of success and failure, are a bittersweet tribute to those whose decisions inspired this book and encourage us to fight like a girl and win!
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on February 25, 2008
This book is the most insightful and helpful book for women on the market today. Rather than just dealing with physical self-defense strategies, it has actionable ideas that can be employed immediately. Plus it is great for any female - young/old, strong/not-so-strong, urban/rural - important information and suggestions for all. Furthermore, it is well-written in an intriguing and conversational manner.
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on February 4, 2012
I am a 2nd Dan Black Belt Taekwondo Instructor. I give 2-3 women's self-defense workshops per year and this is THE book I use to discuss issues. Although it contains very little (only a few pages) in the way of actually physically defending oneself with kicks and punches, etc., it is loaded with preparedness. You do not have to be a martial artist to defend yourself. That's what it is all about--making decisions in advance and then... acting on them. Lori's book is indeed a page-turner. Like other reviewers have said, I could not put it down and could not read it fast enough. With so many books I read, I glance at the outside and think "oh no, I'm not even half-way through", but with Lori's book, I thought "oh no! I'm almost finished!"
The book gives numerous first-hand accounts of real episodes in women's lives and some of them just make your jaw drop in disbelief that such things could really happen to people. Lori describes 4 levels of force that someone could attack you with. You need to quickly recognize which level you are in if an encounter begins because you must then either meet or exceed that level of attack. She discusses some of the moral and legal issues inherent in confrontational encounters. Lori urges women to make decisions now "on an uneventful day" so that you can be mentally and physically prepared for what we all pray will never happen. A waste of time then you may ask? I think not, especially if your life may depend on it. I believe that this book is a must-read for every woman out there, martial artist or not --- even moreso if you are not.
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on June 30, 2011
I learned so much from this book. I think the principles in this book should be taught to girls starting in Jr. High or maybe elementary. If I would have know and been given permission, like this book does, to speak up . . . lets just say I would have avoided a lot of abuse and been an example to others not to be a victim. Don't worry about being rude or waiting until you are one hundred percent sure someone is a creep before you speak up. By then you have already been violated. Trust your gut and instincts and pick up this book. I will definitely teach my daughters (and any woman I can) about what I have learned in this book.
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on December 29, 2011
Many of the techniques will not work UNLESS you have trained hard for years (many ineffective techniques for the average women). REALITY BASED techniques would be much better. HOWEVER...


I have trained for over 40 years and also train Self-defense for women, and the overall information (not most of the techniques) in this book is invaluable!!!
By far the best overall safety and awareness information on this subject matter I have ever read.
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on August 27, 2007
Ms. Gervasi presents her material in an easy to read, down to earth format, making for a very enjoyable read.
More than just "punches and kicks", her book provides concepts and ideas about self-defense that will immediately help the reader stay safe in an increasingly violent world.
Aimed at girls and women, there is information that will aid male readers as well.
This book is a must read for all women, but especially for our high-school and college-age daughters.
A great read - well though out and well presented.
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When I was in my thirties I had occasion to need all my physical and mental power. I won't go into detail. Suffice it to say that in three seconds I had slung a very big, very strong, very drunk man across the room with one very powerful right leg. He hit his head on my exercise bike and was out like a light. I don't take crap. No woman should.

The time to make decisions about what you would do and how you would do it is before you have to make that decision. That's the main point behind this book.

While it's true it helps to be young and strong, it's also true that every woman has weapons built on her body. Unfortunately, as we age, we slow down. We get physical issues. We may not be able to inflict the same pain as when we were younger. At that point, older women have to use other weapons and make other choices. They have to be even harder and, if necessary, meaner.

The weakness in this book is that it assumes all women will know what a hammer fist is and that all women can hit and kick the same. Each woman must know her own limitations and her own strengths and then develop her own defense system based on that. The truth is, most fights last a mere twenty seconds. Just about any women can summon the energy to put a scum bag down within that length of time.

Having said that, this is a very valuable book and all women should read it.

-- Susanna K. Hutcheson
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on May 4, 2014
A MUST READ for every woman and teenaged girl in your life. (This is my first book review, ever.) If you love them, respect them, and wish to empower them give them this book, so they have a fighting chance when faced with the unthinkable. Odds are they WILL have a sexual battery or assault some time in their life. Most women and girls are taught to be polite, we are never taught fighting skills as most boys learn as they grow up. We need to ALLOW ourselves to go there, to accept the moment for what it really is, and unleash our inner survival instincts. THINK about it before it happens, prepare yourself mentally, evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and give your self permission to say, "No" and mean it with every ounce of your being. I'm so very thankful for this book. As an only child, who also grew up without a father figure, I lacked the skills and self preservation that Lori instructs in the book. This book spoke to me on so many levels, I started out marking pages, gave up and went to highlighting her powerful words. They were like flashes of light for me, they startled and jolted me out of my passive way of thinking and living. I did not realize how deeply ingrained my passivity, politeness, and fear of anger had taken me. Although I have taken steps not to be the sheep, as Lori is the black belt in martial arts, I chose to get my CHL, it has given me a confidence and security I never had before. I train, study, and learn all I can about potential scenarios for using my gun. But the permission to protect myself was secretly in doubt. Could I use it to protect my kids? Heck yes. Could I use it to defend myself alone without trying to rationalize the situation? No. You don't have time, you have to accept the situation for what it is, don't freeze, don't rationalize, react and MOVE! Thank you Lori for writing this book for me. I have loaned it out to a friend who unfortunately, learned too late that bad things can and do happen to good women. I plan to give this book to every teenager and young woman heading off to high school or college I know. It's going to be part of my graduation gift. Lori, I'm so glad your father taught you to fight back!
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on March 2, 2011
This book is a must have for any family that have women no matter where you live. You can sleep better knowing your wives and daughters can defend themselves no matter where they go. I have four granddaughters and I'm getting a copy for all of them.
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