I saw it on a daily basis, women and teenage girls who walked in the door with physical bruises or weighed down by emotional scars from the hands or words of an abuser. Some were able to heal, some were not. I was working at a resource center for domestic violence and sexual assault. Despite knowing a lot about these subjects it was both an eye opening and saddening job. Thankfully many women went through counseling and were able to escape abuse, but what I realized was women need to learn how to fight not just so they can defend themselves, before they are in a situation of abuse. I learned the importance of prevention. We desperately need services like the resource center, but also need to focus as much on teaching women not to be victims. So in the summer of 2012 I became a certified self defense instructor.
I used to be a victim until I learned self defense. I used to be afraid until I had to fight a man off of me when I was walking across my college campus. Now and forever after I am a fighter. Victim is no longer a possibility because I know how strong I am.
Over one hundred women and girls have been brave enough to sign up for a lesson from me. In the beginning of each class most participants hang back because they have never been taught to fight and are unsure. By the end of the class almost everyone is ready to pummel me and I love it! We females aren’t usually taught how to fight and too many of us are discouraged from even trying.
My ask for the holiday is that you give a gift of empowerment to the women and girls in your life. You can find a local self defense class or a membership in martial arts, I recommend Akido. Learning that we deserve to fight back against physical assault encourages us to also fight against emotional and verbal attacks.
You can give my book, “You Can Fight Back: Emotional and Physical Self Defense“. If you can’t afford the book share the link with them because it can be read entirely free on Bookemon.com. The ebook is only 99 cents on Amazon.com.
To become proficient with any skill we must practice it often and remember what actions we need to take. Self Defense is no different and that is why I created a poster with a basic combo move that can be used in most situations. Hang it up at work, in the bedroom, or in the locker room to remind women that they are capable of defending themselves. You can order that poster on Zazzle.com/OviedoStyle .
This year you can give a gift that will really be worthwhile.