WHY LEARN THE VALKYRIE
The Valkyrie is a powerful tool that every woman should learn. Essentially, you are turning your body into a "stick in the sand," so if someone ran into it, they would impale themselves against your elbow and the blade of your forearm! Being 4’11, it has strengthened my confidence in defending myself. Now my husband who is taller than me can charge at me and my body can make him bounce back. I have given him bruises in the past to prove it - during practice, by the way, no spousal abuse here!
I have compiled a list of tips that helped me learn the technique that perhaps you foxy ladies can find of use. Though it seems very technical and perhaps overwhelming, just remember to take one step at a time and practice! When you accomplish this, it will be as easy as walking a dog!
SURF RIDING STANCE - TURN YOUR BODY INTO A PIKE
One of the most important aspects of the Valkyrie (if you wish to maintain a solid position and not be off-balanced) is the surf-riding stance. This stance provides a firm base, balance, and uses your natural body to leverage and maximize your strength. The makes the Valkyrie not only efficient but very effective as well.
To turn your body into a weapon:
- HAVE FEET FORM AN "L": The placing of feet is similar to a fencer's stance. Your feet need to be more spread out to create a firm base. This will allow you to keep balance and is the first step to deriving strength from the ground.
- KEEP LEGS BENT: Do not keep your legs so bent that you are doing a squat. However, remember that with locked out knees, you will make the Valkyrie powerless. Bent knees allow you to absorb his strength and redirect it to the ground - as well as provide you the opportunity to maneuver quicker should force the attacker to move to the side.
- ANGLE TORSO FORWARD: Remember to not lean on your opponent. If you do and he moves away from you, you will lose balance and fall forward. You are only angling your torso forward to equalize his power and create distance between his body and yours. Therefore, only do enough to turn your body into a pike. Staying upright will allow him to scoop you up easily and we do not want that!
HOCKEY STICK IMPACT - STAGGER HIM BACKWARDS WITH YOUR "SWORD"
Next techniques to concentrate on are your shield and a sword. One arm will act as your shield and the other as a sword. These two tools will not only assist in equalizing the power of the attacker's impact but also move him back in pain, and possibly, dysfunction.
"If the attack is real, pain means very little," teaches Michael Joyce. "Men will fight through pain quite easily. We want dysfunction."
When using your sword and shield:
- KEEP ARMS 45 DEGREES: As if you were standing on a clock, your right hand should be pointing to the corner (approx. 45 deg.). As you can see from the picture, the shield hand has its own angle of 45 degrees. The key element is that the lead arm doesn't fold. If you hold your arm at a complete right angle, it will eventually fold - under the right pressure. If you extend out another (magical) 45 degrees, splay your fingers and extend with your back and shoulders, your arm shall never bend (unless you allow it).
- REMEMBER THE PLACEMENT OF WEAPONS: Use your shield arm (less dominant arm) to block and adhere to punches. Because 90% of people are right-handed, your attacker is most likely right-handed as well. Therefore, it is often recommended you use your right hand as the sword to "hockey-stick/cross-check" his body back and the left arm to block his right-hand punch.
- BLOCK WITH FOREARM: When blocking or "hockey-sticking," you are using your forearms. Therefore, do not try to catch his punch with your hands. You are not playing baseball and more than likely, trying to catch his punch will fail. You increase your chance of blocking his punch by using your forearm because of there is more surface to catch the block. Plus, your forearm can be sharp which will hurt him more than you. Score!
- SCOOP HIS STERNUM: This technique is not necessary but helpful if you are small and need an extra push. Though this is more useful when doing the Praying Mantis (will cover later), it can still be used to push your attacker back. What you do is, after making an impact with your sword arm, you use your elbow to dig into his sternum. I push upward creating what I call a "scooping" effect. This is useful for ground defense as well and can be a great way to gain leverage should you feel you are losing an advantage.
STRETCH WITH INTENTION
When you stretch and recruit more muscles (i.e., splaying your fingers), the tool (your arm) you're fighting with becomes stronger; much stronger.
To increase strength through intention:
- SPREAD FINGERS OUT: Spreading your fingers may seem a bit unnecessary but believe me when I say it is just as useful for us smaller foxes as the scooping his sternum. However, simply having your fingers outstretched is not enough. What you need to remember is to stretch your fingers out with intention as if you are going past your opponent's body. Just by this simple movement, your sword and shield will automatically be stronger. To test the difference, try pushing someone back without the hands splayed. Then stretch with intention and keep the arm from folding back on you. Evaluate the difference. We guarantee there is a big one.
- SLIDE UP THE NECK: After hockey-sticking your attacker and perhaps after scooping his sternum, you can also slide your arm up to his neck. Therefore, you are not only pushing him back, but you are weakening his stance. When you apply pressure on the neck, you are affecting his head, and thus, his balance and orientation. This movement can push him off balance and will more than likely affect his concentration and cause him to hesitate. This will set you up for another attack!
There you have it! Our three detailed tips on how to successfully master the Valkyrie. Remember, not only are you foxy in smarts, but you are also as strong as a Viking goddess. Therefore, you CAN achieve the Valkyrie through dedication and practice no matter how old, big, small you are! We had a foxy lady who was 75 years old and a 10-year-old pushing Michael across the room.
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