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Monday, July 15, 2013

From survivor to fighter

Once the feeling of safety is lost to trauma and violence, it can be a life-long journey to regain it. My safety is not dependent on another person. I walked the journey of victim to survivor, with the help of coaching, counseling and supportive family and friends. Martial arts helped me become strong physically, mentally and in spirit. Yet, I had a heightened level of empowerment to discover; I embraced this with IMPACT Chicago in September 2012.

I heard about IMPACT Chicago at the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation Summer Camp. I learned that IMPACT Chicago taught self-defense that was supportive of, yet different from, traditional martial arts. The IMPACT focus is on “application”. Techniques are simple, focused and effective. I learned language to discuss and let go of the paralyzing, horrifying experience of adrenaline when under assault. Training in the IMPACT Chicago Core Program taught me how I can use this human response to save my life. I learned to use my voice and energy to work through the freeze response. I have awoken options and choices I did not have before. I am more aware and I am present in the moment more often – self-defense is about being present. Amidst all these affirmations, a magical realization was happening unconsciously throughout the Core Program and that I realized upon graduation in our final circle. My great gift is I realized that not only I moved from victim to survivor, I moved from victim to survivor to fighter. I can and will fight for my better good now and for the better good of others.

I believe in IMPACT Chicago and tell friends about my experience. This past winter, my dear friend and neighbor Cathy joined me as we traveled from Canada to IMPACT Chicago. Cathy experienced the Core Program and I had the opportunity to volunteer as a Class Assistant. Even though it had been several months since my Core Program, I fought. My body remembered everything I had learned. I was stronger. It was a privilege to share this trip with my dear friend and we grew closer. I am very proud of Cathy and she, too, experienced new levels of empowerment! We have unique memories to share. I was very curious and open to learn from Martha, Rob and Bruce – I learned so much from this sensitive and professional instructing circle. I look forward to coming to IMPACT Chicago with my friend as we take the Multiple Assailants Class together.

Through my journey with IMPACT Chicago, I found a community of inspiring, knowledgeable and supportive people. I have strengthened an already strong friendship with my dear friend Cathy. I have options and choices that keep me safe. I live with a stronger sense of daily safety. I have skills and knowledge to share with my daughters and with others. I no longer internalize the feeling of powerlessness -- I internalize safety; I internalize My Power!

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