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The ABC’s of Empowerment Self-Defense: The Letter Q

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 Q: Questions

“The master key of knowledge is, indeed, a persistent and frequent questioning.”

– Peter Abelard.


Asking questions can help you figure out what’s going on in a situation. These questions can be about yourself, the person/people who you’re interacting with, or the situation as a whole. In a familiar situation (where you know the person), asking questions can help you navigate your thoughts and feelings. Questions about yourself can help you figure out your ability to do something: Are you healthy or are you sick or injured? Do you have a clear mind or are you overwhelmed? Are you able to make an informed decision at this moment (i.e. are you intoxicated, experiencing grief, overwhelmed, etc…)? How is the situation making you feel? Do you know what the specific action or behavior is that is causing that feeling? What do you want to do with the information? Notice how the questions are neutral. Not every situation is going to give you a negative response or reaction.

In stranger situations (you don’t know the person you’re interacting with), asking internal questions can help you figure out if your intuition is signaling, if you’re uncomfortable, if you’re intrigued or interested in the person or the conversation. Asking questions about the person you’re interacting with can help you figure out what’s going on with them: What do they want or need? Is this something I can help with or do or are they asking for something you don’t want to do or can’t do? How do they respond to your questions or responses? What’s their tone of voice? Their volume? How are they behaving? Asking these questions can help you figure out whether you’re having an intuitive cue or recognizing a bias due to a trauma/trigger response, modern socialization, or other socialization.

Questions can also be a way of moving out of the freeze response and into problem solving mode. Sometimes people will get stuck in panic mode or the freeze response. It could be because they are getting an intuitive cue that something is wrong and they don’t know what to do. It could be because the person with whom they’re interacting said or did something shocking. It could be because you were already overwhelmed and something happened that pushed you past your limit. Regardless of the reason behind the response, asking questions can help you move out of the freeze response/panic mode and put you into problem solving mode. And you’re asking simple questions with potentially simple answers: what happened? What do I want? What options do I have? What is the option that works best for me?


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