If you were attacked, do you have skills to defend yourself? Have you rehearsed strategies that might save your life in a tense situation or an attack. If not, why not? We teach children to look both ways before crossing the street as a protection against traffic and take them to swimming lessons in defense of drowning. But often we rely on others or luck for our own self-defense. Why is that? Do we feel that our own lives aren’t worth defending?
Self-defense has been on my mind a lot lately. Not because I live in fear but because I am aware of the world we live in. A dear friend just survived a scary situation in a public place that should have been safe but wasn’t for her. Fortunately she survived unharmed physically because she kept her cool and due to the police being called in time. (I’m not sharing the details of her story–it is only hers to tell.) But her story made me want to brush off the self-defense and awareness skills I learned in 2002 at IMPACT Personal Safety. (More on them below.) Most of my path is a very spiritual non-violent one. But I do think that once someone has come into my world with a bad intention, I have every right to defend myself. I’m worth it!
One of my dear friends, Ellen Snortland, author of Beauty Bites Beast says that the female human is the only animal that is taught that it isn’t inherently dangerous. No one looks at a snarling female dog and says, “Oh it is a girl dog, I don’t have to worry.” I think that if more women started getting in touch with their power and right to defend themselves, the world would be a safer place for all. I’m not limiting this to females though. There are many men who also don’t have the skills to defend themselves. These skills include awareness, conflict de-escalation, boundary setting and, yes, fighting skills. I walk through the world less scared because I now have these skills.
If you haven’t ever taken some sort of self-defense training, ask yourself why? Is it because it is too scary to contemplate those horrific events happening to you? Do you walk around hoping it won’t happen? Do you hope someone will be there to take care of you? Do you believe that your own life is worthy of having some skills to protect it?
Saturday night I had the opportunity to go to a great event sponsored by my great gal pal-Susan Kay Wyatt–Karate & Kocktails. Susan Kay and her Karate Dojo have had several of these events and this is the first one I’ve been able to attend. The evening was about an hour of the wonderful Senseis at Kaizen Martial Arts Academy in Pasadena where they shared some self defense tips with us gals and then we were off for some gal bonding time. It was a fun evening and reminded me that these skills–just like defensive driving, swimming and being aware of traffic when I cross the street are essential. If you want to see the very cool video that Susan Kay made about our evening, pop over to her blog here. As you can see we had fun. I learned some new skills and reminded myself of what I learned in my IMPACT class.
If you are in the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend the classes by IMPACT Personal Safety. They teach full force fighting skills but also important awareness and boundary setting skills that everyone should practice. IMPACT was one of the best self-improvement courses I have ever taken for myself and I’ve taken a lot of classes. They are doing a kids class in the Pasadena area in June which I would recommend for anyone with children 6-12 and their women’s class would make a great graduation gift for a young woman heading to college.
But the question isn’t which class you take but whether you are in the mindset that your life is worth fighting for. Taking some time to learn or brush up on self-defense skills sends a message deep to your subconscious that you are indeed worth fighting for. Your life is precious. I think you are worth fighting for–I hope you do too!