The Art of Self-Defense

by Caitlin Race

Photo from WABI story done by Caitlin Race


For only twenty dollars, you could get the chance to learn how to defend yourself, when, not if, something happens to you. This past weekend, a group of women got that experience. Self-Defense Innovations Inc. held a Women’s Empowering Workshop from ten in the morning until a little after noon. The workshop consisted of mental and physical ways to defend yourself if you ever get into a bad situation. While the physical side is important, the psychological and mental sides are as well. That’s why the turnout always varies.

According to the owner, Travis Allen, he says “it depends, sometimes we have three, sometimes we have twenty. You know, it depends on the weather, and whether or not people value themselves enough to come or not.” Sometimes admitting that you need help can be the hardest step, and the women who showed up this weekend showed a level of bravery.

The instructors believe there is more to self-defense than just watching someone do it in front of you. You can see something a million times, but until you do it yourself, you won’t fully understand. When in a scary situation, it’s important to have the self-defense skills down to muscle memory. You won’t be able to think of a complicated defense move during that time, but a simple one can be more likely. This is where the mental part comes into play. When being attacked, the mind is racing miles a minute. It’s hard to get your mind straight on what you need to do.

For example, if an attacker has his hands around your neck, they’re not in as much control as you think they are. You may be thinking you’re going to die, but in actuality, you have so much control in that situation. The attacker’s hands are busy, but the rest of their body is open. That gives you a chance to decide what your next move is. The easiest is to swing your arms up in the direction you are spinning, and disconnecting the attacker’s hands from your body. It sounds difficult, but according to the instructors, is a very reliable method. For those who have been through trauma, it can be daunting to attend the events and even participate. One woman who was sensitive about her neck participated in this demonstration. She completed it three times and eventually had to take a moment to herself. Despite the level of anxiety she was feeling, she pushed through it. That’s what it takes to be able to defend yourself, and that’s what the self-defense company is trying to convey.

Self-Defense Innovations Inc. is the only self-defense company in Maine that has a licensed counselor on their staff. She is able to talk about what trauma is and how she can help people identify and cope with it. So much of being attacked is psychological, and if you can get past your mindset in such a situation, the odds of making it out are so much higher.

The next event for the company is set for next month.


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