Off The Cuff: Self-Defense for the Real World

Self Defense

Political, Emotional, and Physical Safety

By Emma Gabriel

In Krav Maga, we can be really straight to the point and brutal in our self-defense. Maybe even in our mindset. That’s why we need to talk about de-escalation in this installment of Off the Cuff. Staying out of violent situations is just as important as knowing how to handle them.

Unfortunately, for many of us who are minorities, we find ourselves in a hostile political climate or culture. We face unavoidable targeting for violence and harassment. This kind of social and emotional violence is widespread. It even happens in more politically tolerant areas. It’s also deeply damaging to the victim’s emotional and behavioral health. But we have to face it.

Facing the Facts… and the Threats

There are many examples of social and emotional violence. They include: catcalling, name-calling, derision, defamatory slurs, and threats of violence.  Exclusion, selective bias, concealing bias and acts of violence, and unwelcome touching are also damaging. For too many of us, this hostility is common and unchecked. It can even make good people feel on the cusp of desperation. That’s because they often experience threats of being attacked or humiliated.

These are real, impolite issues that all people face. However, federal crime statistics have shown a dramatic increase in hate crimes in the San Francisco Bay area. When so much of our everyday lives come under attack, we need solutions.

We Know What to Do!

The solution is strength, and a certain kind of it. As Krav Maga students, each and every one of us commits to keeping ourselves and others safe when necessary. That’s why we talk about avoidance and de-escalation, offer seminars on self-defense, and build bonds and achievement with each other at KMSF.

We train constantly to adapt to extremely stressful situations. And that’s exactly what we need to continue to do, together. Thank you to everyone who is part of this spirited defense of human dignity and safety. Thank you to everyone who is contributing to their own safety and the safety of everyone who walks in our door at KMSF.

In short, thank you.