Sunday, August 16, 2015

Arm yourself and never be afraid

I'm not talking about arming yourself with a weapon. I'm talking about arming yourself with the physical skills to protect yourself against assault. Here's why it makes more sense to learn self-defense moves than buy a gun:

  • A gun can be separated from you, but you'll always have your body attached.
  • If you rely on weapons to protect you against rape and assault, you'll forget how powerful your own hands, legs, voice, etc. are and you might not use them.
  • If you learn to protect yourself with your own body, you'll be able to fight back even if you wake up naked in the middle of the night with an assailant on top of you. Yes, that scenario can end safely for you!

In 2013, I took a self-defense course from a nationwide organization called IMPACT. I used IMPACT Chicago, but check the main website for other locations. My experience with their excellent training is here, but here's the short version: I'm not afraid anymore when I come home to my apartment in the big, violent city, where I live alone. IMPACT taught me how to take a man down no matter his size.

My weekend IMPACT training was powerful in part because it taught me the following:

  • Most sexual assault occurs with no weapons involved at all.
  • The reason criminals don't need weapons is that we've been programmed to believe that women are powerless against men.
  • Half the battle is re-programming yourself to know that you CAN win a physical battle with a man, mano a mano.
  • Learning how to use leverage (like in wrestling) and how to use a hard part of your body to smash into a soft part of the attacker's body is the key to walking away from an attack that leaves your assailant on the ground.

I'm five feet, two inches tall (157 cm) and currently weigh 155 pounds (70 kg), but I'm confident that I can defend myself even if man suprises me in my own home. No more fear when I come home at night.

Here's the information about one of their upcoming programs (IMPACT Chicago does several a year, in different locations):

September 25, 26, 27:
Knapp Center
3145 W. Pratt Avenue
Chicago, IL 60645

Friday 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

If these dates don't work for you, you'll find other scheduled training sessions listed on their website. Or call them at 312-971-7119 or email

1 comment:

Jacobo de Vera said...

Just how violent would you say Chicago is? I'm used to living in very peaceful places and in my short visit to Chicago I could not really gauge this, everything seemed okay to me.