Monday, April 22, 2013

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

I am stepping way, way, way out of my comfort zone for the first weekend in May and taking this incredibly intense self-defense workshop that one of my besties, Molly, recently became certified to teach. I know they need help publicizing, so I'm taking it to the EffBEee. Listen up, Chicago area ladies:

So, IMPACT is different from lots of self-defense programs, because they have male instructors in full body gear in attendance. This means that the women in the class are able to punch, kick and hit at full-force, in order to see what it feels like to actually fight off an assailant. They don't pull any punches and neither do the male instructors. IMPACT believes that you need to be able to employ these skills, while under emotional duress, and not just in a homogenized classroom environment.  The trial altercations they engage in are realistic and upsetting. There isn't a guy in padded armor walking towards you, like carefully and slowly, so you can fake-kick his balls. There is a guy wearing a full suit of padding over every inch of his body, calling you names and pinning you to the floor until you kick him with enough force to knock him unconscious.

I have been to two of the graduation ceremonies for IMPACT [ed note: What is IMPACT?], in support of Molly, and it really shocked me how powerful they are. It's taken me a long time to work up the nerve to do the class, myself, because I was such a wreck just watching that I knew I was going to be an emotional basket case doing the class. The adrenaline of the scenarios, the rush of watching these women fight for themselves- despite being so afraid... it really is one of the most incredible things I've ever seen. And for me, when I'm scared or angry, it falls infuriatingly out of my eyeballs.

Today on the bus there was a loud, crazy man. He was talking loudly, narrating things that others were doing (including a little girl with her mom which was uber-creepy), commenting on those around him and being a jackass. Not strictly insane, but maybe on drugs? I don't know. He got off at the same stop as me and a bunch of others at the Irving Park Brown Line, then called me an idiot when I didn't push the crosswalk button fast enough for his liking. I ignored him. I thought about Molly, and how she isn't just able to kick people’s asses if she had to, but how she also knows how to stand up for herself. I've seen her do it plenty of times just by using her words and taking up some space and standing her ground and saying, "Hey. Stop it."…to a persistent guy at a bar, or a mean drunk girl at a party or a pimp who was smacking some woman around while Molly was driving by one day.  And I know that is something IMPACT taught her. I thought about how I wanted to be able to do that and not be scared, because when someone is being a menace, someone else should be able to say "Cut that shit out". So, I decided it was time.

SO. I'm doing it! Finally!  And they are a small non-profit and they need participants or else the class gets canceled for this term, so I'm telling everyone I can think of to consider signing up. Find the info at The price is $395 and there are scholarships and payment plans available. They will work with you to do everything in their power to get you in attendance, if you want to be there.

Think it over. I'd love to have partners in crime for this crazy little journey and, if Molly is any example, I think the benefits will be well worth the cost.

Share, Repost, Tweet, etc. [ed note: Sign up for the May Core Program!]


1 comment:

  1. I was one of Allison's classmates and Allison was totally confident and awesome during her encounters with the muggers!! Allison kicked butt!!! YES!!! :)