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The ABC's of Empowerment Self-Defense- The Letter F

Self-defense is more than just how hard you can hit. It is the full spectrum of tools that you can use to protect yourself every single day. We utilize skills from self-defense in our decision-making processes, such as when we communicate with people, when we drive or do activities, and more! Self-defense is really so expansive that we thought we would give you a better idea of what to expect when you take a self-defense class with IMPACT by breaking it down for you ABC-style.

The Letter F: Fear

(From the Safety Godmothers, written by Lisa Gaeta and Ellen Snortland)

“Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear and finding a way through it.” (Bear Gryllis)

Most of us are raised to avoid fear. As children, our parents protected us from all kinds of things. We got to sleep in our parents’ bed when we were afraid at night. We weren’t allowed to watch scary movies until we were older. We probably were sheltered from specific information when family members died, like grandparents, etc., because most modern Americans fear death and dying. And most of us are afraid of fear itself. But without fear, we would not recognize danger.

Fear is one of the most important instruments of our safety. If we didn’t feel fear, we would take risks that are unwarranted or needlessly dangerous; without fear, we would not use caution. Fear alerts us, and if we listen to the signal the moment it alerts us, we can avoid the danger altogether.

In Gavin de Becker’s book, The Gift of Fear, he talks about fear being a survival signal. He says that without fear, we would do some really stupid things. Fear is the chain that yanks us back and says “Whoa, hold on a second...” before we jump off a cliff or do something equally foolhardy.

We believe that all of us give assailants too much credit; that society has learned some fear to its detriment. What most of us don’t think about is this: what do the criminals fear? What are they afraid of?! For the most part, CAPTURE... and that’s how we can use their fear against them.

Criminals, and by extension predators in general, flourish when their “prey” stay silent, isolate themselves, or comply. If you are willing to transcend your own fear of making a scene, you will shift the balance of power. When you yell, when you put up a fight, all of a sudden the fear has shifted over to the criminal who is afraid of the ruckus YOU are making getting him in trouble! Fear is not only a gift, as a signal that something is wrong, but fear is your friend because you can turn the tables and make someone afraid of you!

What we are trying to get across here is that fear is an important mechanism designed to keep us safe. Healthy fear is good to have; to let fear control our lives is bad.

If you want to read more from The Safety Godmothers, click the link below!

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