• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

You ARE Worth Defending

Updated: Oct 19


I’m going to tell you a secret:


As important as physical skills are, and we teach a lot of them, they are not the be-all-end-all of an Empowerment Self Defense curriculum.


You certainly can become a wonderful, mighty, highly trained fighter. It can feel fun and powerful. But the reality is that our fighting skills are not generally what we use when we face scenarios that are part of our daily lives.


I don't mean to make it sound like palm strikes to the head and knee strikes to the groin aren't important. Or like they're easy moves to learn.


I do love that unlike many traditional martial arts skills, they don’t take years to master. But they are definitely not easy.


And I’m not talking only about the physical and technical aspects of those moves. I’m talking about breaking through a lifetime of messages that have told us that we’re not supposed to hit and kick.


So often, the hardest part of learning to fight back is believing that it is our right to physically defend ourselves.

So often, the hardest part of learning to fight back is believing that it is our right to physically defend ourselves.


Our goal isn’t to promote fighting. Our goal is for the students we work with to believe, without question, that they are worth defending, and that they are capable of doing so. We want our students to believe that their emotional and physical well-being matter. We want them to believe that they deserve to live the safest and healthiest lives possible.


In the words of my colleague Clara Porter, "I fight when I have to, not because I want to, knowing that I have a right to."


"I fight when I have to, not because I want to, knowing that I have a right to."

I am so grateful that I will be able to carry these convictions with me to VPEC 2021 and discuss them with a global network of dedicated professionals.


To the instructors out there: Tell me about how you support your students as they work through their hesitation to physically fight.


To the students out there: Tell me about your experience learning physical techniques and learning to believe that you are worth defending.


To everyone: Tell me about a belief or message you wish you could bring to a global discussion on violence prevention education. And then turn your wish into reality.

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