The Power of Your Voice
By: Elisabeth Green, Krav Maga Instructor
In Krav Maga training, students usually place the importance on their physical ability to defend themselves. In a previous blog, I explained that I would rather place my trust in my punches and kicks than in an external tool, such as pepper spray or a sharp keychain. My strikes are a part of me, just like my limbs are a part of me, and I trust them more than I trust a set of keys.
While physical training is vital, it is not complete by itself. When we train, something else happens in addition to learning how to physically fight back – we find our voice again. As women we grow up learning that loudness is not acceptable, attractive, or desirable. After a lifetime of understanding this as the cultural expectation, women default to going inward (both physically and verbally). Essentially, we need to re-learn how to use our voice.
For me, one of my favorite parts of teaching women’s seminars is seeing the faces of the women after full permission and space is given to be as loud as they want. I usually go first – I yell as loud as I can, I scream, I’ll sometimes even curse (bonus points for the F-word, because it really breaks the ice). They see that it’s okay – if this person is going to do it, then I can probably try it too. Sometimes we need to hear ourselves be loud and aggressive before our body can follow suit. If I can hear my own voice telling someone to back off, then it’s easier for my brain to tell my body to take action.
And it works. After that first round of loud AF boundary setting, change is visible. Nerves give way to confident and loud ownership. Giggles and uncertainty change into a loud “NO” that is full of conviction and realization.
A woman yelling “Back the F*&% UP!” for the first time in her entire life is music to my ears. And what’s even better – it’s music to hers.