• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

Being Responsible for the Safety of my Students


I’ve been talking (and thinking) a lot lately about how as an Empowerment Self Defense instructor, it is not my job to tell my students what to do.


That said, I am responsible for the safety of my students.


Somehow, I have to balance those two things.


So what do I do if I see a student throwing a martial arts style punch, and not doing a palm strike as instructed?


I’m going to fix that. Not by saying “don’t punch.” Instead, I’ll explain that if they want to punch, they are welcome to do so in a different, more appropriate course. I’ll probably also explain that what they are doing isn’t safe for their wrist.


And if a student is unintentionally doing something that could cause them harm? I’ve learned to fix that by asking questions.


“Is that comfortable for you? I’d like you to try it the way I showed it. What’s the difference in comfort? Is one way more comfortable?”

“Is that comfortable for you? I’d like you to try it the way I showed it. What’s the difference in comfort? Is one way more comfortable?”


I might even go on to teach some anatomy that might help explain the danger.


Then again, I’m not moving around in my students’ bodies. If a student tells me that the “correct” way isn’t comfortable, I’m happy to have a conversation about that.


But if I can show you the difference between “why this way” and “why that way,” and then let the student choose, I’m allowing them to explore and become more aware of how their body moves.


It all comes down to bodily autonomy and, again, “the freedom to choose.”

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All