I went for a walk last week. I noticed the bare trees, the sun on my face, and the way my dog trotted next to me, her tail happily wagging with each step. For some, this sounds like a completely unremarkable activity.
But last week when I got home, I knew something was different. At first, I couldn’t identify it. Then I realized I had just experienced a walk with a calm felt-sense of what was happening around me. Fully aware, and present in the here and now.
I live with PTSD. I’ve learned to manage my triggers and live the best, most engaged life I can. For me, one of the ways I manage my symptoms is that while taking a walk I remind myself that I’m safe. Typically if I’m not mindful, I experience fear, hypervigilance, and a vague sense of unease and anxiety.
I'm a newer member of the Valley Self Defense and Krav Maga community. After observing the first class, I intuitively knew that this was what my body (and mind) needed. Exercise and movement have always been part of my life, but I rarely felt the freedom of spent energy. It didn’t matter how often or how hard I worked out, I felt that there was a rock of anxious energy, frozen deeply in my body. I knew that most probably this was the residuals of all the times I couldn’t fight back or run away. It felt thick, settled, and solidified. This is how I have lived for decades.
Then I joined the women’s self-defense class and my world changed. I began to learn to use my body in different ways. In just a few months, I’ve learned to be visible, use my voice, and embrace my strength. I felt the power of expelling energy through my hands and feet. I’ve felt unfrozen and empowered and part of a supportive, special community.
Something has shifted in me. Remarkably, I took a casual walk last week, and I felt at peace.
In the last week, I’ve had a number of people say to me, “I feel like the first thing I would do is run.” And every time someone tells me this, I can sense shame, the same shame that people have when they say that their natural reaction is to freeze. Co-owner and instructor Danae is here to tell you that running isn't bad, but it's not your only option.
Trauma-informed care is an incredibly important and rapidly growing industry in the United States, especially after the pandemic. With that in mind, what is trauma-informed self-defense?
Krav Maga near me? There is! If you're looking for a Krav Maga class near you, Valley Self-Defense is a proud member of the International Krav Maga Federation with schools located across the United States. To find a school near you, visit the IKMF USA website.