Valkyrie: in Norse mythology, one of a host of female figures who chooses who lives and who dies on the battlefield. The word translates into “chooser of the slain”.
When I first learned about Valkyries I was intrigued. What power and authority these mythical creatures must hold. It seemed appropriate that independence and great confidence be added to their character traits. And of course, all the cooler that they are female. That fact was probably what intrigued me the most. It’s not too often that a title like “chooser of the slain” is associated with females. For that matter it may not be often enough that words like power and authority are immediately tied to females.
Enter Valkyrie Initiative. A non profit organization dedicated to teaching women self defense. The other night, for our church’s women’s activity we were given part one of a two part course that Valkyrie Initiative offers.
It was very useful information, poignant and actually quite thought provoking.
One of the topics discussed was how a “bad guy” selects his or her target. Things like your awareness, apparent confidence level, type of dress and physical ability can play a part in determining if you are a worthy target for said bad guy.
When the presenter mentioned confidence I immediately thought of the mythical Valkyries, whom the organization is named for, and how they might deal with a panhandler turned violent or other attackers.
Somehow having this odd juxtaposition of a grandiose Norse female character with a modern day hoodlum made the feeling of womanly self confidence surge. I recalled the words “chooser of the slain” and then my mind translated the concept of “will I allow this soldier to live or die today” into a modern introspection of “will I allow my rights as a woman, as a human being to be violated without a fight or will I vehemently stand up for myself and my family?”
And then, my inner Valkyrie wannabe was crushed by fear; a fear stemming from the sudden realization that I had absolutely no idea what I would do if a panhandler got aggressive. No way to handle an attacker or sexual predator. I’ve been known to almost cry when I think someone *may* have *thought* something negative about me. If I actually came face to face with someone who was truly trying to inflict physical harm on me I had no idea how I would react. I was betting, though, that it was not going to be with Valkyrien confidence.
Thankfully, after the two hour course my mindset was changed a bit. I now did have some tools to handle these kinds of situations. I was taught strategies that can keep me from getting into these situations in many cases. By the end I was ready to sign up for part two of the course which addresses actual fighting techniques. It apparently also has people playing the role of the bad guy confronting you. The idea scares me, a lot actually. But, I’m hoping it will give me more confidence so I can, if necessary, be the chooser of my own fate and not a victim of fear.
If you’d like more info on the Valkyrie Initiative courses you can click here.