Pretty bold statement, I know. The truth is that a good women’s self-defense training class provides the tools to build self-esteem.

Before we talk about how to do that, let’s talk about what self-esteem is. From the dictionary definition, It is self-confidence and contentment, that is, self-esteem. From the clinical definition, It is about valuing what you believe to be true about yourself and how you feel about yourself. People with high self-esteem see themselves as worthy and equal to others. The common denominator in both definitions is “oneself”.

We determine our self-esteem level based on the feedback we get from our environment. Applying logic, therefore, continuous negative feedback lowers self-esteem, while positive feedback raises self-esteem. So what does all of this have to do with women’s self-defense?

A good women’s self-defense program is based on the adage that “success breeds success.” More positive results mean more willingness to try again to achieve the same, if not better, results. What you see is an inner sense of ’empowerment’ at work because you are doing what you thought you couldn’t do. The training environment also provides ongoing encouragement through instructors and students.

Overall, students found that the Healthy Women’s Self-Defense Program can boost self-esteem. Here’s why.

  • Her self-concept becomes more positive – she thinks she deserves to protect herself
  • She is motivated to set new goals and tackle new problems.
  • Start using available resources more effectively
  • she is adept at identifying and solving problems
  • her sense of personal competence grows
  • She is willing to redo processes and try new things

    Why does self-esteem start with self-defense? Because for many women, it’s the first time they’re in an environment that encourages them to stand up for themselves, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.

    What if all girls were taught these skills in primary school? Wouldn’t you believe that by reducing the number of potential victims, we could reduce situations of domestic violence and date rape?

    Individuals with positive self-esteem are:

  • to be confident – Does not require approval from others
  • person in charge – They are responsible for their actions and decisions
  • goal oriented – They are always striving to be better and better
  • love and acceptance – They love themselves first and foremost and accept themselves for who they are. Their own image is not dependent on their boyfriend/husband.
  • pride – They take care of themselves emotionally and physically
  • smile – They can laugh at themselves and see the humor in the world
  • happy – Most of the time they are really happy

    By teaching women self-defense, we are providing them with a whole new toolbox of options to boost their self-esteem and regain control of their own destinies.

    **Angie M. Tarighi is CEO and Founder of Women’s Self-Defense Institute, which provides self-defense training, educational awareness and personal protection products that empower women to fight crime.

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