Prevention & Self Defense

As an expert in Krav Maga and self defense, I can tell you that there is no prevention in self-defense. There is only risk reduction. However, research has shown that we can sense danger before it occurs. In the body. Through our heart, our nervous system and our senses before our brain interprets these senses. This means that if we label the senses as "danger" or "fear", in life-threatening situations it is often too late to avoid the danger. It also means that intuition is indeed preventive. So if we go through the world consciously and attentively, without becoming hypervigilant and fear-based, we can sense danger before it happens and hopefully avoid it.

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Of course, intuitive training needs as much time and practice as any other skill, and in the transitional period it is helpful to have self-defense tools available to defend yourself if you are ever attacked. And of course, for those who work in professions that put themselves in danger to help others, self-defense is an essential tool to have in your toolbox... as well as self-healing.

 

From my time as a rape crisis counselor and self defense instructor, I know that many survivors rely on self defense to heal their trauma and with the hope of preventing future incidents; however, Krav Maga and self-defense training often leaves them open to further trauma, and instructors are often poorly equipped to deal with flashbacks and other PTSD symptoms that may occur during training as a result of their trauma.

 

There are ways to make self defense accessible to those who have experienced a trauma without compromising the technique and without creating re-traumatization. This requires a different approach, an understanding of the psycho-somatic connection and a focused effort by experienced practitioners to serve these populations.

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Krav Maga and self defense techniques are helpful to reduce the risk of an attack and to survive an attack (not necessarily to remain unharmed), if we are ever be confronted with it. However, no matter how much you learn about self defense, there is nothing you can do to "prevent" a crime. However, self defense training can also be utilized to be able to heal from trauma, if it is professionally offered and taught in such a way (which is currently rarely the case). I feel it is the responsibility of instructors in self defense and Krav Maga to offer this way of training to their students. If we teach violence (because that is what self defense training is), then we also have to teach students how to heal from trauma, and we also have to offer our students the opportunity to realize that certain tools offered in the training may morally and ethically not be a realistic option for them personally, and then we have to give them tools on how to still be able to potentially avoid the act of violence or a violent assault.

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When I founded Luminous Warrior (my self-defense and healing center in Washington DC), my training included an integration of energy medicine, shamanic healing and self defense methods because I feel it is a duty and responsibility of everyone who teaches self defense to be able to teach trauma healing. Not just for the trauma I have experienced, but also for the harm I may have done to other living beings. If I defend myself (in case I survive at all), I must also be able to deal with the fact that I may have killed someone else, or that I may have injured or disabled someone else. And it is exactly this facet that is so important to emphasize in self defense training. Especially when training civilians. We are not soldiers who are trained to regard other people and living beings as "targets" so that they can be killed with a clear conscience. We are people with souls that are emphatic and connected in their natural state. No act of violence makes us feel better in the long run. All deeds and words that come from fear, hate, entitlement etc. only ever cause more of the same. This has been my experience as an expert Krav Maga instructor, as a rape crisis counselor, as an honor guardian of the Mindful Memorial Foundation, and as someone who has worked with veterans and people who have served in war zones.

 

Please note: My approach is not a psychological or clinical approach. It is an approach based on crisis management, sensory perception, self empowerment and self healing.

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