Monday, March 26, 2012

The Nose Knows: Why Does a Palm Heel Work?

If you have taken an IMPACT Chicago program, you have learned a palm heel strike to the nose, specifically to the area just beneath the nostrils. If you haven’t taken IMPACT yet, try taking the heel of your palm and lightly touch it to the area just beneath your nostrils. Why does this strike work?

The palm heel works because it is a strike to a vulnerable part of the body. The area underneath the nose and above the upper lip has many sensitive nerve endings.  When struck just below the nostrils with a palm heel, a person feels a burning sensation and their eyes tear up. Because nerve endings have been struck, it affects the entire nervous system. There is no credence to the idea that a palm heel strike can drive the septum into the brain, because two bones in the skull protect the brain.

To see a step-by-step approach to doing a palm heel to the nose by Molly (IMPACT Chicago lead instructor-in-training) and Ben (IMPACT Chicago suited instructor) go to

Martha Thompson
IMPACT Chicago
Director and Instructor

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sigh, for the tangible fight in the IMPACT classroom

I took the IMPACT Core class in 1995. So that was…. seven years ago? No, wait. Seventeen years ago. Ugh. (What happened to the last decade?)

My intent was to be able to travel throughout the US, on the Greyhound Bus and the Green Tortoise, with a greater sense of safety, without resorting to carrying a weapon.

I got so much more out of IMPACT than that, in subtle ways. I learned to de-fuse and deescalate situations. On the el, walking home, in the office, in art and dance studios, riding my bike in traffic, arguing with my mother—all are opportunities to apply the lessons in setting boundaries, saying no, and bringing awareness.
When I first got my new job, I was torn between being nice, and fulfilling my responsibility of delivering products on time and within budget. I could understand my coworkers’ insistence on design perfection and quality content. However, this was gumming up the works. We were outputting only rarely a tangible result. I exercised the IMPACT “NO!”  I learned to insist on what I felt was best, even if I wasn’t making friends in the workplace. I assumed the consequences of my decisions, and though I took some snubs, I feel more confident professionally.

Have you noticed how, when you’re happy and light-hearted, people of all ilk, the joyous hopeful ones but also the miserable ones, are drawn to you? After several strangers and quite a few acquaintances pressed me into saving them and improving their morale, I realized what was going on. I had to draw a line. I firmly told them that I would not be manipulated, made to feel guilty, or embarrassed into taking care of them or healing their emotional wounds. I can’t be responsible for someone else’s happiness. Just as in the IMPACT classroom fights, it’s OK to stand up for myself, and to live for me first. 

What I have now is a choice—to engage, to walk away, to resist, to surrender, to coil then spring forth. It’s my choice, and no one can take it away from me.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to use any of the kicks and strikes in all these years, because no one has mugged me quite as well as the classroom muggers used to!

Ann-Christine Racette
Evanston, Illinois
January 2012

Word of mouth is the most effective tool we have because it is a message born of experience, conveyed with firm belief, out of concern and respect for the recipient.
IMPACT--pass it on!

Monday, March 12, 2012

More Powerful

                                                                        (than I ever knew)
    ImpacT  Chicago

Terry McDonough, IMPACT Chicago Core Program, February 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Felt Like a Boundary Setting Badass

Julie Aubry
2010 Core Program Graduate and IMPACT volunteer

A couple of years ago, I was walking back home alone from the grocery store and I felt someone's eyes on me. When I looked out of the corner of my eye, I could see a man on a bicycle was slowing down and following me. It was light outside and there were people around but this guy wouldn't stop tailing me. I have absolutely no patience for creeps, and I wanted this guy to know he needed to just move along. So, I set down my grocery bags, turned to face him, and prepared to bark orders for him to back away from me. That's when the man on the bike stopped and says, "Julie? Geez, that's the meanest look you've ever given me!" The man turned out to be friend and IMPACT instructor, Rob Babcock! Rob started complimenting me and listed off everything I did right: being aware of my surroundings, facing the "attacker," using body language for him to move away, preparing to yell, and setting up stance to defend myself.

When I first enrolled in the Core Program back in May 2010, I pictured that the course would teach me how to use defensive skills if an altercation were to take place, but I didn't realize how important it would be to use my voice and be loud, stand my ground, and use my stance to show my attacker that I will not be easy pickings. These boundary setting skills are so important and using them could possibly help in avoiding an altercation altogether.

Sure, I lucked out with Rob being the man on the bike that one time, but I've used boundary setting successfully before and since then. Having these skills makes me feel confident and helps me feel prepared to protect myself should I need to do so. Do you want to be a Boundary Setting Badass, too?