The ABC’s of Empowerment Self-Defense
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 L: Listen
“Listen with your eyes as well as your ears.” (Graham Speechley)
Throughout your life, you’re going to be put in a variety of situations, both familiar and stranger. In these situations, listening is a key element to get through the situation. That means listening to yourself and listening to the other person.
Listening to yourself is such a big part of handling many situations. We can learn a lot by tuning into what our bodies and brains are trying to tell us. Our intuition tells us when something is off and gives us direction on how to handle it. When listening to yourself, consider what intuitive cues are going off in your body? Are you getting any information on clear actions that you can take to remove yourself from the situation? What are your boundaries? What do you need in this situation? Do I need to engage at all? What choices do you have to achieve your needs? All of these questions are going to help you decide on the steps you are able and willing to take to keep yourself safe.
Oftentimes, we don’t want to listen to a potential assailant because our intuition is telling us something is going on. Most times, we want to just leave and not interact with those people. While you don’t need to engage with every person that tries to interact with you, listening to what they say can tell you a lot of information about the situation. If it’s catcalling, you learn that that person thinks it’s okay to harass people on the street, but they rarely are going to approach because they do it from the safety of a car or from a distance, so you may choose to not respond. If a person is yelling out aggressive and violent thoughts, you’ve learned that this person is a potential threat and you can evaluate an exit strategy that works best for you. If they impede your ability to leave, listening to what they say can help you pick a verbal strategy to diffuse the situation. Can you cause a scene, acknowledge the behavior, lie, etc…?
While listening might not seem like a large part of personal safety, it can help you gather information that can help with decision making at that moment. Listen to yourself. You are an expert on what is best for you.