What Is Trauma-Informed Self-Defense?

Communication, recognizing trauma triggers, and working through reactions.
Valley Self-Defense
June 15, 2023
What Is Trauma-Informed Self-Defense?

Trauma-informed care is an incredibly important and rapidly growing industry in the United States, especially after the pandemic. Industries are finding ways to help those who are hurting not just talk about their pain, but help them move through it.

With that in mind, what is trauma-informed self-defense?

At Valley Self-Defense, all of our instructors have been trained in trauma-informed care by a local trauma-informed educator. We understand that certain moves and techniques can sometimes be empowering and sometimes be traumatic, depending on where you are in your journey of healing. We want to give you confidence, but we don’t want to re-traumatize you - and that can be a fine line to walk.

Communication is key

When it comes to trauma, there can be no surprises. We will offer options that feel safe for you and eventually work up to getting you out of your comfort zone. But when we start, we want you to know that you have control in this situation.

We’ve been trained to recognize trauma triggers…

Sometimes it’s a look in a person’s eye or it can be a tremor in someone’s hand. Sometimes it’s the way someone responds to a question or the way we can see them moving away from a group or pulling inwards. But we can see when you are beginning to feel overwhelmed.

...and how to help you move through them

Using breathing techniques, 5-4-3-2-1, tapping, and talk, we can help bring you back to the present moment. We can help you bring yourself back to your body if you’re dissociating. We can discuss what works best to bring you back to calm.

We work to show you not what’s wrong with you, but what’s strong with you

More than anything, we want every person who steps on our mat to understand that there is no embarrassment in traumatic reactions. There is no shame. We understand the strength it took you to come to our gym.

You already have all the tools you need to defend yourself and to keep yourself safe - it’s our job to help you discover them.

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.

All Valley Self-Defense instructors have been trained in trauma-informed care and how to help those handling trauma in a Krav Maga class. For anyone with anxiety about trying Krav Maga, we are happy to meet with you in person or speak with you over the phone. To connect with us, email us at valleyselfdefense@gmail.com.

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.

Continue Reading

pushpress gym management software for boutique gyms and fitness studios