Claim Your Power

I believe that one of the greatest gifts we can give the world is to embrace our own power. When we learn that we can take care of ourselves physically, it frees us from fear and limitations and allows us to realize our potential in every aspect of our lives.

I’m in the process of developing a full self-defense curriculum based on Rory Miller’s principles-based instruction. The idea is that you don’t need to be an expert or study for years to be able to take care of yourselves and those you love. I will be creating courses and videos for people who want the basics without having to learn a lot of complex, hard-to-use techniques.

In the meantime, here are a few basics I want you to know:

You have the right to defend yourself. A caveat: self-defense law varies from state to state and this does not constitute legal advice. I’m talking about a moral and ethical right to defend yourself.  Good people don’t want to hurt other people. But if someone is trying to physically harm you, they have given up their moral right to not be hurt by you. You get to take care of yourself.

You have the ability to defend yourself. We’re trained to think that we have to have a lot of skill to defend ourselves. Not true. As Rory is fond of saying “You are a good animal.” We are all animals, and we have the instincts we need to fight when needed. Know this about yourself.

But if someone wants your stuff, give it to them: I have 20+ years martial arts training and 8 years of self-defense training. And if someone pulls a weapon and asks for my stuff, they can have it. Stuff is replaceable. Your life and health are not.

But if someone wants to hurt you, fight like hell. Especially if someone is trying to get you into a car or an isolated location. Make noise and fight.

Trust Your Instincts: If you think a situation might be dangerous, trust yourself. Don’t be worried about being polite, don’t be afraid of seeming like a wimp. If I’m walking down a street in broad daylight and my Spidey-sense tells me something might be wrong, I don’t go down that street. Ever.

You will most likely freeze up, but you can break the freeze Fight-Flight-Freeze. In a violent encounter, almost everyone freezes. Even trained professionals. But you can break the freeze.  The first thing is to know you’re frozen. Then do two things that change the environment around you. That means don’t think “I’m frozen.” That doesn’t count.  You can yell. You can hit your own leg or stamp your feet. Anything physical. Twice. That can break the freeze.

When all else fails, go batshit and stay that way until you are safe. If you happen to be a super-skilled fighter, that’s awesome. Most of us are not. If you haven’t had time to learn skills or if you forget the skills you know, just go batshit. Fight like hell, yell, scream, and keep doing so until you are safe.