If you spar, even in no-contact sparring, you have probably been “clipped” by punch or kick, and maybe even with relatively hard contact. You know that it was painful, and in the case of hard contact, maybe it even stunned you for a moment. Think how the contact would have felt had the opponent been a hardened, powerful guy that was very angry and intent on seriously injuring or even killing you. That one punch or kick would probably have injured you, maybe stunned you, or even knocked you unconscious. During that moment, you would have been helpless and the attacker would finish the job by beating you senseless or even to death.
When you are facing someone who is taller, bigger, stronger, or meaner than you are, you will not be able to defend yourself effectively unless you have:
- a strong, hardened body;
- effective defenses;
- powerful punches and kicks that hit hard;
- the ability to absorb blows, shake off pain, and fight while injured; and
- the mental hardness it takes for you to inflect pain.
So be you a child, teenager, woman, or a man, if you are not tougher than your opponent is, you will probably not be able to defend yourself effectively. The best you can hope for is that you can do something that will allow you to escape before you are incapacitated.