Monday, October 12, 2020
In empowerment self-defense training, participants:
- Develop confidence, calmness, and assertiveness; not aggression or submissiveness.
- Practice setting boundaries and honoring the boundaries of others.
- Discover the power of their bodies and the power of integrating body, mind, voice, and spirit.
- Explode the myth that only extraordinary people and actions can prevent, redirect, or stop someone bigger or stronger.
- Recognize the effectiveness of everyday skills, such as paying attention, making decisions, speaking up, and acting decisively.
- Learn that physical self-defense tools are as close as their elbows, hands, knees, and feet.
- Experience being responsible for themselves while also supporting, cheering on, and learning from others.
The potential impact of empowerment self-defense training goes beyond individual participants. Imagine the consequences if thousands of people in a community were not only able to defend themselves from violence, but had experienced an empowerment self-defense program where they practiced challenging norms of aggression and compliance, demystified images of who is powerful and deserving, and collectively imagined a world where all people live safely and with dignity. Those thousands could set thousands more in motion.Martha Thompson
Based on “Kicking down the barriers: Self-defense and social change,” originally published in KIAI!, the newsletter of Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Center, September 2001.