Self-defense is more than just how hard you can hit. It is the full spectrum of tools that you can use to protect yourself every single day. We utilize skills from self-defense in our decision-making processes, such as when we communicate with people, when we drive or do activities, and more! Self-defense is really so expansive that we thought we would give you a better idea of what to expect when you take a self-defense class with IMPACT by breaking it down for you ABC-style.
The Letter E: Empowerment
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” (Audre Lorde)
Empowerment is at the heart of everything that we do at IMPACT. We believe that everyone is born with an intuitive alarm system that is designed to keep them safe and that through socialization we are taught to ignore it. It is not enough for us to simply teach you skills and techniques, nor is it our purview to tell you what and what not to do in any given scenario. We don’t know every situation that our students have been in or may be in in the future. What we can do though is grow a sense of empowerment in our students so that they can walk away from our class feeling more confident. We can reconnect them with their intuition, and they can choose which techniques and strategies will help them most in their situations.
Empowerment in our work means that we see violence and self-defense on a spectrum. We know that not all violence happens at the hands of strangers at night, and that not all self-defense comes in the form of physical strategies. We honor our student’s inherent knowledge of self-defense and celebrate in all the ways that they have protected themselves in the past. In our classes, we build upon this spectrum through teaching verbal, physical, and emotional strategies that will help protect someone before, during, and after conflict and enable our students to make the decision of when to use each strategy.
At IMPACT, we focus on empowerment so heavily because we know that is really the aspect that changes lives. Teaching people skills for responding to conflict is important, but our goal is to teach people life skills that will impact how they live everyday. When we empower students to be confident and trust in their decisions, they are less ruled by fear and can start living the life they choose.