Frequently Encountered Obstacles

Many of us confront obstacles or negative thoughts when we contemplate taking a self-defense class. If you have some of these concerns - and other worries or obstacles - you are not alone.

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Literally thousands of Impact graduates shared these same fears and doubts before they took their first class. You're in good company and we welcome you into our community! 

I am not in shape

A:

People with all levels of physical ability can take Impact classes and do benefit from our curriculum. Our classes are small, so instructors tailor the basic physical, emotional and verbal techniques to fit each student.

We teach people with different levels of regular physical activity - couch potatoes to black-belts and everyone in-between will find our training useful and accessible. Most of the people who take our classes don't consider themselves "athletic," but some of our students bring martial arts, sports or other physical experiences to the class. Each student is unique, and our program is tailored for the students in each class.

If you have any questions or specific accommodations you need in order to take an Impact class, please contact Lisa Scheff at Lisa@ImpactBayArea.org or (510) 208-0474. We would be happy to talk with you about your needs and concerns, because we believe everyone who wants to take an Impact class CAN. We'll help you make it happen in a way that works for you.


I can't afford it

A:

Safety is a right, not a privilege. If you want to take an Impact class, we will help you make it happen.

The first step is to fill out the scholarship application. Then we'll work out a plan together, which can involve full or partial scholarships, no-interest payment plans, and volunteering in exchange for attending a class. Money (or lack of money) should not keep you from taking an Impact class. We are happy to work with you to figure out a plan that works for you.

Please contact Lisa Scheff at Lisa@ImpactBayArea.org or (510) 208-0474 if you have questions. We would be happy to talk with you about your needs and concerns, because we believe everyone who wants to take an Impact class CAN. We'll help you make it happen in a way that works for you.


I am afraid

A:

All of our students are at least a little bit afraid when they show up for class the first day. Many of us are terrfied. That's OK. We are dealing with scary stuff, and it's normal to be scared. You'll be in good company, and we'll teach you how to fight through your fears to find your strength.


I have a disability

A:

People with all levels of physical ability can take Impact classes and do benefit from our curriculum. Our classes are small, so instructors tailor the basic physical, emotional and verbal techniques to fit each student.

We teach people with all levels of physical ability and disability to defend themselves. People with disabilities have a much higher rate of being physically, sexually, and emotionally abused then the general population - we are actively working to empower people with different physical and cognitive abilities to protect and advocate for themselves. Here's a great video about Impact: ABILITY - a specific Impact self-defense and empowerment program designed for people with physical or intellectual disabilities.

We teach people with different levels of regular physical activity and ability will find our training useful and accessible. Most of the people who take our classes don't consider themselves "athletic," but some of our students do bring martial arts, sports or other physical experiences to the class. Each student is unique, and our program is tailored for the students in each class.

If you have a long-standing injury, we can teach you how to fight in ways that protect your existing injury. During the class, we use duct tape to indicate injured area(s), and the instructors review before each practice fight which body parts are injured and whether the student is "using" or "not using" the injured part, so the padded assailant will not grab your injured area. You will learn strategies to protect yourself despite having a long-term injury.

If you have any questions or specific accommodations you need in order to take an Impact class, please contact Lisa Scheff at Lisa@ImpactBayArea.org or (510) 208-0474. We would be happy to talk with you about your needs and concerns, because we believe everyone who wants to take an Impact class CAN. We'll help you make it happen in a way that works for you.


I am a martial artist

A:

Martial Artists of all levels of experience will benefit from taking an Impact class. Impact‘s self-defense training is very different from ordinary self-defense classes/seminars:

  •  We train students to fight full-force against a padded mock assailant. This padded suit makes it possible to practice without the need control our techniques, "pull punches" or to protect the mock assailant in any way.
  • Impact self-defense is for the mind, body and voice. Impact strengthens a student’s natural abilities by teaching them how to use their intuition, body and voice to defend themselves. This training improves the student's ability to defend against verbal, physical and sexual assault.
  • Impact courses include opportunities to explore societal expectations, personal fears and boundary setting through exercises and discussions. Our focus on the emotional aspects of assault has allowed many rape, assault, child abuse and domestic violence victims to use our courses as part of their healing process.
  • Our instructors are trained to use real-life scenarios of violence and potential violence by playing the role of perpetrators so that you are prepared to counter an actual assault.

I've never been attacked

A:

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that violence or abuse will never impact you. Physical, emotional, psychological, financial and sexual violence are prevalent in our society, so it's important to prepare ourselves just in case we encounter a violent or abusive situation.

Physical self-defense is a life-skill that only comes in handy in a bad situation, like any other kind of emergency preparedness. You hope you will never need it, but if you ever do encounter an emergency, you will be prepared to respond. For example, you probably know to "stop, drop and roll" even if you've never caught on fire, because you learned how to do it just in case you ever do. While you hope it never happens (and indeed it's rare), you would be grateful to know what to do if you ever did catch on fire.

Impact teaches more than just physical self-defense. We teach you how to effectively set boundaries with important people in your life, and how to value your own boundaries regarding what you want and don't want. Graduates report to us that they never used the physical techniques, but they use the verbal and boundary-setting techniques every day. Others have told us that they were able to diffuse dangerous situations using just verbal techniques - because they had the confidence of knowing that they could physically defend themselves if necessary. Knowing they could physically fight back made their voices bold.

Some graduates have used the physical techniques they learned at Impact to defend themselves against physical attacks, rape attempts, muggings and other assults. They tell us that when they were attacked, their bodies just reacted with the Impact moves, their voices boomed with power, they stopped the attack, and they got to safety.

We hope that graduates of our programs never have to use the physical skills (and most graduates never do), but we're glad to know that if you were ever attacked, you would be trained to effectively fight back.


I am a violence or abuse survivor

A:

Many of our students are survivors of violence and abuse. We provide a supportive environment to learn new skills and coping mechanisms for boundary-setting and personal safety that many survivors find very useful in their day-to-day lives. Landing full-force blows and realizing that you CAN defend yourself (and that you are worth defending) can be cathartic. During Basics, you have the opportunity to design a "custom fight" with the padded assailant-instructor, who will play the role of anyone you choose, and say or do what ever you choose. Some survivors choose to reenact a scene from their past - and end it differently.

Impact training is not therapy, but many survivors tell us that they feel a sense of healing or progress toward resolving painful past experiences as a result of taking Basics. Our trainings are intense, and the content itself or the simulated fights may trigger memories of previous abuse. We encourage you to seek the support of a therapist and we provide a list of recommended therapists to all students.

We welcome you to share as much or as little with our instructors about your history; if you share what happened, they can help you tailor your experience in the class to best meet your needs. For example, you can tell the instructors, "my abuser said this to me, so use that during the fights" or "my abuser said this to me, so DON'T say anything like that during the fights." Our instructor team is here to make your class positive, healing and empowering for you.

We have a lot of experience teaching self-defense to survivors of abuse and violence. Because many of our students are survivors who choose to share candidly about their experiences, you may connect with other survivors in your class. During the class, you can share anything (or nothing) about your past experiences with your classmates.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Lisa Scheff at Lisa@ImpactBayArea.org or (510) 208-0474. We would be happy to talk with you about your needs, because we believe everyone who wants to take an Impact class CAN. We'll help you make it happen in a way that works for you.


I am too small or weak

A:

We teach people of all sizes and physical builds. We will teach you how to maximize your body's natural strengths to fight off an attacker who is larger (or smaller) than yourself and how to leverage your size to your advantage. You are stronger than you think you are.

If you have any questions or specific accommodations you need in order to take an Impact class, please contact Lisa Scheff at Lisa@ImpactBayArea.org or (510) 208-0474. We would be happy to talk with you about your needs and concerns, because we believe everyone who wants to take an Impact class CAN. We'll help you make it happen in a way that works for you.


I am too big or fat

A:

We teach people of all sizes and physical builds. We will teach you how to maximize your body's natural strengths to fight off an attacker who is larger (or smaller) than yourself and how to leverage your size to your advantage. Big people are powerful and we welcome you!

If you have any questions or specific accommodations you need in order to take an Impact class, please contact Lisa Scheff at Lisa@ImpactBayArea.org or (510) 208-0474. We would be happy to talk with you about your needs and concerns, because we believe everyone who wants to take an Impact class CAN. We'll help you make it happen in a way that works for you.


I am too busy

A:

We are all busy - there probably won't ever be a "convenient" time to set aside 20 hours of your life to take a Basics class. But your personal safety is a top priority.

Feeling safe in the world is worth sacrificing a weekend or a series of evenings. You are worth it!!

Learning to defend and empower yourself will help you be more confident, assertive and productive with everything that keeps you busy. Impact training isn't just about physical self-defense against a scary attacker, you will learn techniques for boundary-setting that are extremely useful for busy people managing vairous projects and commitments. Plus you'll be ready to defend yourself in case you are attacked while you're busy living your life and doing all of the important things that you do.


I have no martial arts or fighting experience

Sometimes people wonder if prior martial arts experience is necessary to participate in an Impact self-defense class.

A:

Impact classes are not martial arts classes and do not require any martial arts experience.  We teach people of all different levels of regular activity. Everyone from couch potatoes to black belts will find our training useful and accessible. Most of the people who take our classes don’t consider themselves “athletic”, but some of our students bring sports, martial arts, or other physical experiences to the class.  Each student is unique, and our program is tailored for the students in each class.


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published this page in Impact Self-Defense 2012-03-29 02:56:05 -0700