As I fly over the southern state of Amarillo in America, it’s pitch black outside with twinkles of light below, 10365 metres above ground, flying 956klm. The last two weeks in New York have caught up with me and I become emotional and even more introspective.
I attended the Empowerment Self Defence training for women to support the lead instructors and the second week was spent as a student to soon become a Whistle for IMPACT (Adrenaline Based assimilated violence resistance training) and it struck me that despite it being empowering, fun, educational, inspiring meeting good men and women from around the world the reason why we were there training really sucked!! Good humans from all over the world converged in one place because of one amazing woman who puts her money where her mouth is Yudit Sidikman and her team from ESD Global make positive shifts happen.
Their vision is to train individuals so they can go back to their communities and teach others how to live their life without fear for their safety using effective self defence techniques that can be easily learnt and applied as long as you want to learn to defend yourself.
We have within us the tools and the strength to protect us from monsters that perpetuate violence. We just need to be reminded that we can allow ourselves to learn these skills and use them. Manners, being polite and/or kind should never overide our right to feeling safe.
Most of the verbal, emotional and physical violence happen in public places and by people that we know. And right now I’m not referring to worst case situations. I’m talking about at the workplace, at school, amongst family members, neighbours, when on a date, in relationships. It can happen anytime and anywhere and it is insidious.
As an ESD instructor it is my mission to remind you that no one has the right to ever make you feel scared, doubtful, small, uncomfortable or in pain. You have your voice to communicate and de- escalate, you can think and be contextually aware, you don’t need to stay, you can run, you were born with many weapons that can protect you.
Wake your intuition up relearn to listen and trust it. This is your first line of defence.