4 Reasons I Want My Daughter to Know How to Wrestle, Use Wrist Locks and Know How to Dodge a Punch

My daughter has a one-in-three chance of being a victim of sexual assault at some point in her life. As a father, I can look at this number in one of two ways; I can sit and wonder what my daughter will do when she goes off by herself without me to protect her. Or, I can prepare her to surprise any would-be attacker with a swift kick to the junk, shattering their elbow with an arm bar, and then applying a rear-naked choke that renders them unconscious. I’ll take option number two, please.

It’s All About That Base, That Wrestling Base
I have a wrestling background, first and foremost; I’ve been involved for 30 years, both a competitor and a coach. My father is a Hall of Fame coach in Minnesota, and a former NCAA Division I wrestler and active in the sport for nearly 50 years. To say I am biased about the benefits of wrestling would be an understatement. It would also be an understatement to say that my daughter will be involved in wrestling in her life.

Wrestling provides the basics of self-defense: You learn how to fight one-on-one, gain body awareness (for yourself and your opponent), and you develop an ability to explosively react that remains ingrained into you long after you are done wrestling competitively. I still get my legs back and sprawl if someone ducks down suddenly when they are near me. That’s the kind of muscle memory I want my daughter to have—an instantaneous reaction. After all, few would-be attackers are expecting a woman to adopt a wrestling stance and hit a double-leg takedown on him straight onto the sidewalk and knowing how to maintain control of the situation after the initial takedown.

Finish Him!
Knowing how to wrestle isn’t enough, however, as it doesn’t really teach you how to hurt someone. That’s why chokes and holds that can break bones are necessary. That’s why I recommend doubling down on that self-defense training and getting your daughter involved in jiu-jitsu, because it’s not enough to have your little girl be able to take down a grown man, you want her to be able to give that jack-wagon who tried to assault her have a permanent limp. For that, nothing’s better than jiu-jitsu.

Have you ever seen a jiu-jitsu competition? If not go watch one now and you will see why every single woman in the United States should be taking classes on this martial arts discipline. Every match is a controlled brawl. Each person is trying to gain a better position, looking for ankle, knee, wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck, or chokehold to gain the submission. It’s a beautiful thing to watch because of how much skill and control and explosiveness are needed.

Jiu-jitsu takes the fight-with-rules area that wrestling occupies, and throws the rules out. You are working on how to avoid chokes and submission holds, gaining a dominant position while preventing your opponent from getting the same advantage, and working to put in your own chokes and locks. In this respect, jiu-jitsu is more akin to what a fight fo

I’m a Feminist, and I Love The Bachelor

(Warning: Mild “The Bachelor” spoilers lie ahead)

Hi, my name is Ally and I’m a feminist who loves “The Bachelor.” Please send help!

Let me put this out there before you think I’m a snob. I love reality television. In fact, I work in reality TV. I will watch models walking the runway, cooking competitions with child prodigies or Michelin-starred chefs, or whatever other warped wall shenanigans you want to throw at me. And I’ve dabbled in “RHONY,” “Teen Mom,” and “90 Day Fiancé.” My entire maternity leave was spent begging my infant to sleep and watching “Say Yes to the Dress.”

I recently (it only took me 20 seasons!) discovered the unfettered joy that is “The Bachelor” franchise and its spinoffs. This is guilty-pleasure television by very definition. I spent the summer glued to my devices inhaling episodes of “The Bachelorette,” and coveting JoJo’s perfect hair.

The Bachelorette was my entry point into The Rose-lifestyle. (Side note: The Bachelorette also gave me The Chad, and for that, I am forever grateful. If you’re unfamiliar, The Chad is an all-protein-consuming, hard-drinking, alpha-male sociopath who competed on “The Bachelorette,” and later made a brief cringe-worthy splash on “Bachelor in Paradise.”)

I’m married and I don’t plan on dating anyone ever again . . . knock on wood, pray to the “Marriage Gods” aka Barack and Michelle, etc. But I got sucked into “The Bachelorette’s” Forever Love, Fantasy Suites, and contestants who are there for The Right Reasons. “Bachelor in Paradise” was a fun diversion that really only served to introduce me to “Nice Guy” Nick Vial.

Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon Think Islam Is Dead-Set on World Domination, But They Repeat the Arguments Once Used Against Catholics, and the Irish

During the campaign, President Trump made no secrets of his distrust, and even outright hatred, of immigrants, especially Muslims. Many of his closest supporters share similar views. General Michael Flynn, now a National Security Advisor to the President has called Islam a “vicious cancer in the body of all Muslims” and said that it needs to be “excised.”

Steve Bannon, Trump’s primary confidante, and who seems more and more like the real force behind the presidency, has repeatedly described Islam itself as an ideological enemy in almost apocalyptic terms, implying that adherents plan to “colonize” the country, and if left unabated, the world. In short, both seem to agree that Islam is dead-set upon world domination and an existential threat to the United States.

To be sure, I’m guessing they’d agree with a statement like the following:

We believe in the preservation of liberty, the promotion of progress and the advancement of civilization…we believe that the Islamic political machine is the deadliest menace to American liberty and civilization. Muslims openly vow that it is their intention to make America follow Sharia Law, and that on the soil of this republic, made sacred by the blood of our fathers, is to be built an enduring fortress for the most damnable and diabolical religion of which history speaks.

Their aims and purposes are the same the world over—to capture America—and what would happen then is better told in any reliable history of the Crusades than we could possibly tell here.

There’s one catch—the above text isn’t recent, and it’s not even about Muslims. It’s just a summarized version of The Menace, a virulently anti-Catholic newspaper from the 1920s, but with “Catholic” replaced with “Muslim.” Like Bannon and Flynn, the editors of The Menace and its million-plus readers feared a religion of a billion followers whom they described as violent and blindly obedient. (In a way, The Menace was the Breitbart of its day.)

A Few Predictions for the Age of Trump

(1) President Trump has promised to make America Great Again, but his actual plan—closing our borders, limiting immigration, implementing trade protectionism and limiting our role in the U.N. are far more likely to cause us to lose our place as the world’s primary superpower, a role we’ve played since the fall of the Soviet Union.

This is what Vladimir Putin is after, of course, and it’s also what many of the most strident critics of our foreign policy—including the likes of many fans of Wikileaks—have wanted for years. They see our country as irretrievably compromised and our influence as profoundly negative, so they want to see our country crestfallen. Of course, these critiques of the U.S. focus largely (though not exclusively) on our country’s foreign policy failures, especially those involving the CIA or the military, and ignore the very real benefits of American power abroad.

For proof, consider the state of affairs when the Soviet Union collapsed; its influence was quickly replaced by American influence. Generally speaking, the former Eastern Bloc countries, including East Germany, became more democratic and markets opened up; some even joined NATO. This stability ensured widespread, albeit not total, peace on the Continent for the last 40 years. We have reaped incredible benefits from this—each year trade between the U.S. and the European Union accounts for more than a trillion dollars.

The same is true for China. A stable, decades-long relationship with China is now in serious jeopardy thanks to Trump’s sudden disavowal of the “One China” policy and his careless threats to impose tariffs or label the country a currency manipulator. Of course, Trump ignores or is unaware of what we get from the relationship (as flawed as it is); according to the U.S. government’s own statistics, in 2015, we exported $161.6 billion to China, importing $497.8 billion from them.

The question is, what happens if the status quo shifts?