November 9, 2009 by 8junebugs
When I told the internet, via facebook, that I was going to do the Rape Aggression Defense course through AU, an old friend from high school noted that the most significant lesson she learned in self-defense classes was The Voice.
The Voice, from the self-defense perspective, is Not Screaming.
It’s yelling. Knowing how to yell, what to yell, when to yell…and why it works. (Why it works is too related to another post in my head to go into here.)
This weekend, I started learning how to defend myself against a standing attack from the front or from behind. Next weekend, I’ll learn how to defend myself from a horizontal position (slightly more important for the under-30 crowd with unlocked dorm doors, but still useful) and, unless I chicken out, I’ll defend myself in a simulation against officers in padded suits.
And masks, I hope.
I wouldn’t blame anyone for chickening out. The simulation is optional and will be realistic, but for the pads. We have not been asked to share whether we have been assaulted, although the statistics make it likely enough in a class of 10 or so. Trying to fight off an attack now could trigger someone pretty easily…she might not be able to fight off even a pretend attacker, not yet.
But she’ll know what to do if it happens again.
“Chickening out” applies only to me, from my perspective. If I don’t make myself practice it as much as I can, how can I know I’ll make myself do it if I really need to? Even when I danced I didn’t practice much at home (if at all) but I made use of every minute of class. So it is with this, then — it’s just how I work. If I can do it when it doesn’t matter, I’ll feel better about being able to when it does.
For right now, though, my body’s a little twingey in the joints. I’m feeling every one of the years between me and the round-cheeked freshman who’s louder than one would expect, and between me and the recent alum who works in Rosslyn, the one who roars “NO!” with every strike.
We’re all louder than one would expect.