I had the pleasure of meeting the badass students and UNIQUE members at Sacramento State last week for Students Fight Back. The event was hosted by UNIQUE, a super passionate group of student volunteers led by advisor Ajamu Lamumba that brings innovative entertainment to campus. These folks organized the event down to the last detail including “Students Fight Back” credentials for all the volunteers… it was incredibly awesome!
The students in this audience were super energetic and totally engaged in the program! We talked about intuition and how being aware of your surroundings is not only simple, but really important from a personal safety and not-being-hit-by-a-door standpoint too. We practiced using our voices to set boundaries, which always seems to be the most uncomfortable thing for folks to get the hang of. We all struggle with this, and that is why we spend so much time practicing this super important skill in our seminars!
When it came time to practice the Badass Ballet, you could feel the power in the room. These men and women were standing up for themselves against their invisible creeper and the more we practiced with our voice, the more confident they became. The Badass Ballet is an intro to physical self-defense skills and thanks to Jessica Heskin everyone learned that Sac State actually offers a full contact self-defense class on campus at The Well. How great is that?!
The biggest take away for this group was the knowledge that it’s ok to make a scene and use your voice if you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or if your boundaries are being crossed. Using your voice is a great way to deter someone and also catches the attention of passers-by who can then step in as an active bystander. So often in our life we are told not to make trouble, don’t be mean and just go with the flow. Well, that doesn’t apply when it comes to your personal safety! Use your voice…it’s the first tool of self-defense you have and it may be all you need to avoid a physical confrontation. The best fight is the one never fought!
There were great questions asked during Q&A like, what to do if the attacker has a weapon and what if there are multiple attackers. My favorite question was, “If someone says ‘hi’ to me, do I ignore them or do I say something? What if I offend them?” Well, it’s absolutely your choice and depends on the situation and how that ‘hi’ makes you feel. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened, then you have the right to enforce your boundary and use your voice if you choose. The fear of offending someone should never be more important than the desire to be safe. It’s ok if someone thinks you’re mean, or rude or a terrible person if the end result is that you are safe and alive. Who cares what creepy people who are trying to cross your boundaries think! I’d rather err on the side of being safe any day! And remember, you aren’t obligated to engage in conversation with anyone and you can say NO at any time. If someone disrespects your no or disregards your personal boundaries, you now have the skills to create a double boundary and know you’re worth fighting for if that person doesn’t back off.
Thank you Sacramento State and UNIQUE for letting me rock out with all of you and share some knowledge that we are really passionate about. I hope you are all feeling like the empowered badasses that you are! Go forward peacefully!