Lina is a tour de force! She set up her training studio SheFighter to help women in Jordan defend themselves against physical assault. She trains all ages – even grandmothers.
Lina Khalifeh has more than 17 years’ experience practicing martial arts like Taekwondo, Kick-boxing, Kung Fu & Boxing. She is a 3Dan black belt in Taekwondo and has represented Jordan in many international tournaments. Appalled by violence against women, especially domestic violence, Lina decided to train women in self-defense. She started in her parents’ basement, and in 2012 set up her first SheFighter training studio, the Middle East’s first self-defense studio to empower women both mentally and physically. Lina is also an international businesswoman and is growing the SheFighter brand globally.
In this episode we discussed how training can make women more confident and better able to defend themselves against violence. Reaction time is critical! Lina also mentioned a couple of specific things to do when faced with an attacker: target the throat or groin. If you want people to help you catch a fleeing culprit, shout “He’s a thief!” It was interesting but not surprising to learn that gender discrimination and sexual harassment exist in the word of martial arts – we talked about speaking up “even if your voice is shaking”.
We covered the online abuse that Lina and SheFighter are receiving from the patriarchy due to the powerful social impact of her work, and how to react to that bullying. We also talked about her personal ability to switch off from the daily intensity – as an introvert, she prefers to recharge alone through individual sports like swimming or running.
One must point out that self-defense training is relevant to men as well as women, boys as well as girls.
If you would like to get in touch with Lina or learn more about her work, please visit https://www.shefighter.com/ or find her on Instagram @shefighter.
A huge thank you to Naseba and the WIL Economic Forum for making this interview possible.
Read the Transcript
Rana Nawas: (00:01)
Welcome to today’s show. I’m thrilled to have as my guest, a real fighter. Lina Khalifeh has more than 17 years experience practicing martial arts like taekwondo, kickboxing, Kung Fu, and boxing. She’s a three dan black belt in taekwondo and has represented Jordan in many international tournament’s. Appalled by violence against women, especially domestic violence, Lina decided to train women in self defense. She started in her parent’s basement and in 2012 set up her first She Fighter training studio. The Middle East’s first selfdefence studio designed to empower women both mentally and physically. Lina isn’t just a fighter, she’s also a businesswoman and entrepreneur and is expanding the She Fighter studio globally. In this episode we talked about how training can help women become more confident and better able to defend themselves against violence. Lina talked us through a bunch of practical tips on how to manage your own safety and security and we also discussed speaking up, even if your voice is shaking. Lots to talk about. Let’s get into it. Lina, thank you very much for coming on When Women Win.
Lina Khalifeh: (01:16)
Thank you so much for having me.
Rana Nawas: (01:18)
So excited to meet you in person.
Lina Khalifeh: (01:20)
I’m excited too.
Rana Nawas: (01:20)
So this podcast is about giving professional women everywhere access to awesome role models like yourself so that we can be inspired and also learn practical life tips. So let’s start with practical life tips like self defense, which is obviously your specialty. I mean, if a man starts pushing a woman around, what should they do? And you can talk about different scenarios if it’s in the street or if it’s at home.
Lina Khalifeh: (01:44)
Yeah, of course. It depends on the scenario but she have to be really confident. That’s number one. She has to make sure that it’s okay to be afraid but she has to react if he tries to touch her. But if it’s, it was just only verbal, let’s say harassment, she can actually stop him by using some body language in order to just stand up for herself and just ask him to leave in a very firm way or if she, if there’s like a police cop around, she can actually tell him like, I’m going to go report you. But she has to take an action. She cannot deny the fact that she’s being harassed or being stalked or being attacked. About the, let’s say, physical abuse, like if he’s, you know, touching her, she has to defend herself. I mean, she has to react really fast so the training sometimes can be working with women on how to be really fast in their reactions because usually the attackers, they didn’t expect that a woman would react directly. They will expect that she will just take some time in order to negotiate what’s going on, but in order to end it directly, she can react and attack weak points in the human body.
Rana Nawas: (02:52)
Okay. Like what?
Lina Khalifeh: (02:53)
Like a throat. I would suggest that’s number one attack. Go for the throat. If he’s really close to her, if he’s not she can hit really hard with her leg on the groin or if he’s grabbing her or choking to her, she can actually reach any area, even his hand and try to bite it or clench or scratch his arm and then attack the throat again. But she has to be really fast and trained to do that, to knock the attacker down and she can escape.
Rana Nawas: (03:22)
Yeah. So a lot of your training at the She Fighter studio in Jordan is about speed.
Lina Khalifeh: (03:27)
It’s reaction and building self confidence. So we empower and train girls how to be confident also in their daily lives and taking decisions and becoming leaders, in being involved in society and at the same time in defending themselves and standing up for themselves.
Rana Nawas: (03:43)
Amazing. Now the ladies who come to you, what ages are they?
Lina Khalifeh: (03:47)
We have different age groups. So we start with kids from four to 11. Yeah, they are cute. Usually we have, the kids are mixed between boys and girls. So the boys also learn more about the atmosphere of how the girls are trained by a female trainer and to accept that the girls are being trained in martial arts as well. Above 11 years old, it start becoming all girls. So we have the teenagers. We have above 19 years old, up to 75 years old. So we have grandmas at the training. So the nice thing is also we’re a family atmosphere. So the grandma can trains at the same time, her granddaughter can train, and her daughter can come join the training. So we have different age groups and we have different studios to have the classes separately.
Rana Nawas: (04:34)
And what’s that like training a 75 year old in martial arts?
Lina Khalifeh: (04:38)
Oh really, really awesome. Actually because when women start getting older they realize their worth, I would say, and women’s worth and realize that it is important for women to stand up for themselves. But being a teenager and, let’s say university students, they will didn’t see all of this, but if they have been through life experiences, they realize that this is really important. So that old woman, that grandma we have, she actually believes that she needs to start training self defense. She actually, she has been training with us for two years because she realized that her husband died and her neighbor was being assaulted many times. She saw this during all her journey in life and her daughters are not living with her anymore in Jordan. So she wanted to feel safe. So she found that the best way to do it is to train some techniques. If somebody tried to, you know, to steal her bag, attack her, she lives alone. So she wants to feel safe and secure and she’s also trying to spread the word with older women. We have like couple of older women, but it takes time also to spread the awareness.
Rana Nawas: (05:49)
It’s true. I mean, if I think about my mother, she’s a grandmother and she lives alone.
Lina Khalifeh: (05:52)
Rana Nawas: (05:53)
It’s scary for them and I think it’s 90 percent of women outlive their husbands. So there’s a lot of single older women out there.
Lina Khalifeh: (06:01)
Yeah, it is really important, especially it builds their confidence as well. So if they get really afraid of staying by themselves, they become feeling more, you know, like we know at least some techniques on how to defend ourselves in case of any attack, like if a thief crashes the apartment or in the street trying to. Usually with older women, they try to steal their bags so they get dislocated shoulders from that if they try to resist. So we give them also tips like it’s different training than teenagers. Teenagers are more and university students and adults, it’s more energetic.
Rana Nawas: (06:41)
So most of the ladies that you train, is it more preventative or have they already been assaulted and they’re reacting to that situation?
Lina Khalifeh: (06:48)
Yeah. So depends on the girls, of course. I would say most of the girls have been harassed in Jordan or in other countries. So when they come to an academy like She Fighter, they actually look to have solutions like what to do in that situation. How can I build up my self confidence? But we do not push girls to talk about what they have been experienced. Some of them come and share stories with us, but there rest they like to be involved in the training and this is really important to build up their self confidence.
Rana Nawas: (07:19)
And so do you find that the training you give is, you’re talking about definitely the physical tools but also self confidence across all walks of life. I mean, do you work with corporations?
Lina Khalifeh: (07:30)
Yeah, we work a lot with the NGOs and corporations. We give workshops on leadership sometimes and social innovation, social enterprises, how to do an impact on society, how to stand up for yourself, even for youth. We also care a lot about the youth, so we deliver sometimes workshops for men and women at the same time. We also train Syrian refugees, so we have been training. So far we trained about 2000 Syrian women.
Rana Nawas: (08:00)
Lina Khalifeh: (08:01)
Yeah and we, we’re getting a lot of projects related to Syrians and Palestinian refugees as well. We focus a lot on the social impact. We focus on empowerment in general. Even if they do not want to join the physical training, the self defense, it’s totally fine. They can listen to the lecture and then they choose to stay or leave for the training.
Rana Nawas: (08:25)
I mean for refugees, Syrian or Palestinian, they need it the same reasons we do, right? Refugee camps are just microcosms of our normal society.
Lina Khalifeh: (08:33)
Rana Nawas: (08:33)
So things we experience everyday they would experience.
Lina Khalifeh: (08:36)
Yeah and you actually get surprised that they are even stronger than girls living in the city because they have been through a lot and facing all these experiences, coming from this background, they believe that they should do it, they must do it, but in the city you have to negotiate. Why is it important for the girls because they’re not facing the same situations like in the camps, for example. In the camps, it’s horrible. They have different situations and they have child marriage. They have diseases. They have many things. But to empower the young girls and the girls to do a physical activity first, it actually helps them a lot to overcome what they have been facing every day. We actually create a system the day they start believing that they can be something in the future, even if they are refugees. So we try to empower them a lot. Even if you have somebody who’s negative that they don’t support what you believe in and try to, you know, tell you that this is not going to work for Syrians. You almost find the majority are supporting you.
Rana Nawas: (09:41)
I find your work with the refugee camps, refugee youth incredible and so important.
Lina Khalifeh: (09:48)
Yeah, it is important.
Rana Nawas: (09:49)
I’m gonna to come back to corporates etc. and your work with them, but let’s talk about the ladies who come to you who have been assaulted. I’m just curious, is it mostly domestic violence or is it kind of stranger in an alley?
Lina Khalifeh: (10:03)
Mostly domestic violence or mostly somebody they know. Let’s say.
Rana Nawas: (10:07)
Your circle of trust.
Lina Khalifeh: (10:09)
Yeah, circle of trust. Like let’s say a guy who wanted to propose, but suddenly he raped the girl so she will be really, she will go through depression. He would change his mind about engagement or marriage. So they usually go through, a mental disorder or depression, feeling insecure, feeling that they are worthless, they cannot do anything and it actually affect them that they start believing they want to commit suicide, you know, they want to kill themselves. But with the training, it actually can help them stop thinking about this bad thoughts because it comes from one experience only and it doesn’t mean that they’re gonna face that experience in the future and if they face it, they’re going to be stronger than the first time. So that’s how we work on women. Usually, the girls who I would say get emotionally exhausted or tired, usually they’re in their twenties or early thirties, so we try to tell them that this is just experiences. You’re going to get stronger in the future. So we work a lot on also building their self confidence during the training.
Rana Nawas: (11:26)
Well, okay. Can you share a positive story about She Fighter? I’m sure you have many. You brought many young women from the brink of suicide. Can you share a story or two about success?
Lina Khalifeh: (11:37)
She Fighter has been growing enormously, I would say. I didn’t expect it will have such a demand, especially in the Middle East and the Arab region. I’m getting also a lot of demand outside the region but I was really happy that the arab girls and the mentality in the middle east is changing a lot. So we have a lot of girls who support this, especially the youth. So focusing a lot on youth can help a lot in scaling up the business. But one of, let’s say, successful story is one girl, she was training at She Fighter and she got attacked at the elevator in her own building by a stranger and when she got attacked, it was like 6:00 PM in Jordan and it was still, the sun was, it was day. So she got attacked. He choked her and he wanted to rape her in the elevator, but because she’s well trained, she started pushing him away and she started to defend herself. But, of course, she told me I couldn’t breathe because she was in a shock. She was panicking. So that’s why most situation sometimes doesn’t work with screaming because you’re panicked. You are in a shock. You couldn’t believe it. So she started resisting until he was afraid to be caught and he escaped the elevator. So she chased him to the street because she was really pissed off that he touched her. He tried to tear her clothes off. Then she asked some men, you know, to help her catch him, she said it’s a thieve catch him and everybody was running after him. So they did catch him and the police came and she put charges against him in court for sexual assault. Actually what happened is when they called him, she started punching him in the street. Yeah. It’s really funny that she started attacking him in the street until he was bleeding. So she was really pissed off that he actually touched her. So he put charges against her in court for beating him up in the street but she won the case. He’s in jail for three years now for sexual assault. But it’s funny that he actually tried to use this against her and they do that because he doesn’t want to be in jail. He thought he’s not going to be caught and he, the police told her like he’s wanted. So thank you for bringing him for us. He has other cases. Yeah. If a woman didn’t know that, didn’t feel like she wants to stand up for herself. She has to think about all the other ladies that will be attacked by this guy. She has to do something.
Rana Nawas: (14:14)
And so this guy was wanted for prior sexual assault on women?
Lina Khalifeh: (14:20)
Rana Nawas: (14:20)
Lina Khalifeh: (14:20)
Yeah, prior sexual assault. There has been many reports, but they didn’t find him. Of course, there’s something also I would say because we live in a male dominated society and countries usually when you would report a sexual assault, they do not take it seriously until, you know, you find better evidence. Whereas the guy, what’s his name, give me his phone number and they usually ask about this and sometimes if I file a report, for example, they tell me, do you have his phone number? Like, seriously. I don’t even know his name. He’s like, so how can we get him? Guess what, you know, it’s your job. It’s not my job, so they’re a little bit lazy. They want. So if you actually get, you know, catch him is like you’ve done their job, so.
Rana Nawas: (15:10)
If you do their job for them, they’ll help you.
Lina Khalifeh: (15:12)
Yeah, they’ll help you. They’re like, okay, great. That guys wanted, you know, same descriptions. So yeah, it is funny.
Rana Nawas: (15:18)
But what was interesting in the story you just shared was the lady who tried to get people to help her said that he was a thief?
Lina Khalifeh: (15:24)
Yeah and everybody ran after.
Rana Nawas: (15:26)
So, it’s a really interesting tip for women. If you want to catch someone, say it’s a thief.
Lina Khalifeh: (15:31)
It’s a thief. He stole my bag. Anything.
Rana Nawas: (15:35)
Lina Khalifeh: (15:35)
Harami. Then everybody will start running after him because they feel that, especially if there’s, we still have this and our culture, like men who wants to feel like, yeah, we’re the men, you know, we can catch him. So it’s good. Use that for your own advantage.
Rana Nawas: (15:52)
I love it. Tab Lina, you’ve been a fighter for a long time. 17 years. Did you face any gender discrimination in the world of martial arts? It’s not a world I know very well. I’m from the corporate world. I don’t know is martial arts patriarchal like every other industry?
Lina Khalifeh: (16:06)
Yeah, definitely. I mean, I’ve been raised in training taekwondo since I was five. Every time all the classes were full of boys, like 50 boys and two girls and it’s something I hated a lot because usually when you’re growing up, you get also harassed from some coaches, which is really bad because you’re very passionate about that sport and some coaches use it for their own benefit.
Rana Nawas: (16:31)
You mean sexually harassed by your sensei?
Lina Khalifeh: (16:33)
Yeah. Even if they touch your shoulder, they tried to touch you in a really in, I found it in a really inappropriate way. So if you cannot feel comfortable in that martial art center, you have to change it. So I changed about six martial arts dojos in Jordan just because of this. I did not feel comfortable with the male coaches growing up, just being passionate about the sport until I found a good trainer who believed in me and he had a big respect for me and he trained me for like seven years. But before that it was just changing centers and since was really, really young, I felt that there’s something wrong, but of course I couldn’t explain it to my parents because it was like, it gets complicated because they know the, you know, the coaches and so what I did is I was like, just, let’s change the academy. I don’t like it, I don’t like this dojo anymore. So my parents used to change a lot the martial arts dojos. So it was, yes, male dominated. If you’re not fit, if you’re not good, they will kick you out of the training. If you’re not competing, you know, to go for the olympics, it means that you are just a waste of time. So do not show up in my classes. At She Fighter it’s different. It’s, we accept all kinds of women, all, you know, body sizes, all conditions, even disabilities, even autism, down syndrome. We have all different women, you know, there is no, you know, women who are fit or women. How do you expect, you know, to change the society where you want all the women to be fit. You have to do, you have to work on the awareness first and we accept all kind of, I would say, yeah, females, even if they are, for example, transgender. Even if like a man became a woman, he can actually access the training or she, she will become like she will access the training. So we have this case as well. Like we had a man who was come a woman and he could join the training totally normally. It depends on the administration. Like if you implement this with your team, they will accept it. If you had backward mind, you’re unable to realize differences, then your team will follow what you believe. So I’m glad we have a open minded team and more flexibility.
Rana Nawas: (19:02)
It comes from the top, right? It comes from you, the founder.
Lina Khalifeh: (19:04)
Rana Nawas: (19:04)
So you have, it’s transgender?
Lina Khalifeh: (19:08)
Yeah, yeah. We, do have in Jordan because
Rana Nawas: (19:12)
Lina Khalifeh: (19:12)
Yeah, because they usually, like it was just I would say we had like just two cases, but like one of them was at the army, US army and he became a female because he felt like he’s comfortable with his body as a woman. At the beginning, the girls, you know, because they’re wearing hijab and they felt like, is he a man or a woman? Should we take off hijab? And we had a meeting and I told him, she’s a woman. She feels like totally fit in the culture and then they started to feel that, yeah, she’s totally like, she feels weak sometimes, like I cannot do this. I have a really low self esteem. So she became like part of the family, as well. So it’s just how you, even if you have a people who never realized this or never experienced, it’s just you as a manager, how to have it, build it in your team. Just have meetings and negotiate it, give them examples and then they will accept it, but it will take some time.
Rana Nawas: (20:14)
Sure. Now when did you set up She Fighter?
Lina Khalifeh: (20:19)
It was, so the idea was in 2010 then the launching of the first studio in 2012.
Rana Nawas: (20:26)
And you have more than one studio?
Lina Khalifeh: (20:27)
I have one, I have now a location in Ramallah, Palestine.
Rana Nawas: (20:32)
Lina Khalifeh: (20:32)
It’s recent, in 2017 and we’re now expanding to Hong Kong and I’m checking also UAE for expansion.
Rana Nawas: (20:44)
Well, best of luck.
Lina Khalifeh: (20:45)
Rana Nawas: (20:46)
I can imagine that would go really well in Dubai.
Lina Khalifeh: (20:48)
Rana Nawas: (20:49)
Just cause women are so open.
Lina Khalifeh: (20:50)
Yeah, I know. It will be easier than other countries, of course.
Rana Nawas: (20:54)
Yeah, for sure and so did you have a job before She Fighter or did you go straight into it?
Lina Khalifeh: (20:59)
Yeah, I was first in sales. I was, that was my position. I mean, sales executive, and then I became marketing coordinator, then marketing manager, then I left the company after four years. I gained a lot of experience and then I took a lot of enterpreneurship courses and I decided to start my business, a business plan, all the strategic planning, and everything else. So it helped me a lot having an experience in the also corporate companies.
Rana Nawas: (21:33)
Yeah, what industry was it? What company was it?
Lina Khalifeh: (21:34)
Manufacturing. So it’s like factories and I learned a lot about export, import, engineering, something that I’ve never studied, but I mean, I learned a lot from experience.
Rana Nawas: (21:48)
So what is a leadership lesson that you learned from that experience, from the corporate world that you brought into SheFighter?
Lina Khalifeh: (21:55)
So, leadership. I learned that you have to be involved with your team. I wouldn’t say all the time, but if you cannot do the same task, do not give it to other people to do it. You have first to do it. You have first to feel everything about that task and then train your team and do not hire people for skills. Hire people for passion. Train for skills and I would say fire for attitude because skills you can actually teach them and I’ve been teaching, I have about 250 certified trainers at SheFighter. We have about 20 employees. My team has been training trainers all over many areas. So training can happen, it’s just attitude you cannot control. So if, let’s say somebody wants to destroy everything and they start feeling hate toward all the company, you have to let them leave directly without even thinking about it. So yeah, you have to hire for passion as well.
Rana Nawas: (22:55)
So now I’m going to shift gears, really, and talk about more you as a person. So give me your favorite quote.
Lina Khalifeh: (23:02)
One of them is speak up even if your voice shakes. I’m thinking about some quotes. When life punches you and knock you down on the ground, you stand up and say you punch like a baby.
Rana Nawas: (23:15)
Yeah, I like that one. Punch like a baby. Who said that?
Lina Khalifeh: (23:17)
I have no idea. But this was an anonymous or, yeah.
Rana Nawas: (23:24)
Ah, okay. Well, I love the fact that the quote says when life punches you in the face, say punch like a baby and not punch like a girl.
Lina Khalifeh: (23:34)
Usually, they used to say punch like a girl.
Rana Nawas: (23:35)
Lina Khalifeh: (23:35)
But like, girls can punch really hard.
Rana Nawas: (23:38)
Lina Khalifeh: (23:38)
So punch like a baby.
Rana Nawas: (23:40)
Brilliant. I love that.
Lina Khalifeh: (23:41)
Rana Nawas: (23:42)
Okay. So, Lina, are there, can you name a few women who’ve inspired you and tell us why these ladies have inspired you?
Lina Khalifeh: (23:49)
There are many women who inspire me. One of them, I would say I was always looking at myself in the future. That’s one woman I would look up for. I’m actually having like a vision of who I might in the future. So I’m always proud of what I’m doing and achieving. Another thing, my grandma. She has been running a hair salon for about 30 years. She has been into business, she knows a lot now. She’s, of course, retired. She has been, you know, she built everything from scratch. She inspires me a lot and when you talk to her even though she’s not educated at all. She knows exactly like, some, you know, business terms or like she tells me, you know, to keep it good with the clients. So she inspires me a lot. Other than that, you know, powerful woman like Queen Elizabeth, that I think she was the first, first Queen Elizabeth because she’s also powerful and she has to make decisions by herself. Oprah Winfrey as well because, but Oprah Winfrey, she’s stand ups a lot with the women’s rights but African women’s rights. So it’s really good. She’s standing up for her, you know, people. So that’s really and she has a really strong personality and yeah. Those are the women I guess.
Rana Nawas: (25:15)
Well, I mean, definitely Oprah Winfrey is one of my personal heroes for a lot of reasons. What fills you with energy? What excites you? What drives you forward?
Lina Khalifeh: (25:26)
Many things. First, when I make a big difference and sometimes I’m really involved into work that I forget I’m doing a social impact and the little girls approach you and tell you, you know, thank you or give you a hug. It makes my day. If somebody just, you know, tell you thank you during the day and you’re just being crazy working and you don’t expect it or somebody tells you, you saved my life. I’ve been in a taxi and this happened. I feel like, okay, I’m doing a change and it’s actually, I’m doing it, but there’s slow steps to ending violence on women. Other than that, I always think about the why, you know. I keep reminding myself why did I started it. Sometimes I get tired and then I take a break and then say, why did I started all of this? And then I would get motivated suddenly and just I continue working.
Rana Nawas: (26:22)
You talked about little girls actually, you flagged something I wanted to ask you about earlier. Little boys, you said you trained little boys. Are little boys and little girls, 4-11 years old, are they different? Do you find?
Lina Khalifeh: (26:34)
Depends on the parents a lot like how you educate the kids. So some kids they do not. They feel home at SheFighter, some boys. But it’s all the colors and the atmosphere is very girly, by the way. It’s like pinkish and a black and gray. So some boys if they feel that their mom is talking a lot about separating everything between boys and girls. Like this is for boys and this is for girls. So the boys come and they’re like, oh this is that place is for girls and I don’t want to stay here. I feel like I’m a girl or I’m trained by a female coach so they actually feel that they don’t fit in. But it’s also, it’s depends a lot on how you educate and you raise the kids at home. Yeah. So some of them, they actually even get the t shirt that is written on it SheFighter. They do not mind having even like pink and black gloves, they wouldn’t mind. So this summer we had about around 60 boys coming for the summer camp and they were, I mean, when they’re younger usually they just love the atmosphere because they feel so happy and they do not care about, you know, gender. They wouldn’t even think about it. But if you install it in their head, once they are born like this is for boys and this is for girls, then they would start thinking about it. So it depends on the parents.
Rana Nawas: (28:03)
I’ve seen your branding and I think it’s amazing. I love the colors, I love the logo. It’s really, really fun. So everybody should check it out. SheFighter. Now, this might be a crazy question, but technology, you know, and the rise of technology, does this have any impact on your industry? I mean, or maybe an adjacency like cyber bullying. Do you have, which is a big problem I think for the youth.
Lina Khalifeh: (28:30)
Rana Nawas: (28:31)
Well, do you have any tips on how to handle that or how to manage, help your children manhandle that?
Lina Khalifeh: (28:37)
You mean when they get like videos of also like they get harassed online?
Rana Nawas: (28:42)
Lina Khalifeh: (28:44)
I would say, for example, we get harrased a lot and I know it by a lot of men from our word, like the middle east. When we have an interview or we post the training, they usually make fun of us all the time and they say a lot of dirty words all the time. When it comes to women, they start, you know, saying really bad words. I would say ignore it. Do not respond, do not even read it because it’s negative energy and it’s just a waste of time. So focus a lot on the positive. So for example, if I get a video, I would report it to the police because we have now an online cyberbullying and reporting. You can actually report it to the police. That is in Jordan. I don’t know, I think UAE is the same. You can just.
Rana Nawas: (29:29)
Lina Khalifeh: (29:29)
If you can get the name or the account of the person sending you. We actually had this a lot at SheFighter because some people they do attack us because of what do. So they either attack me in person or attack my team. So either they get like bad images or they get hacked on some of the accounts. But what we did is we reported many times to the, I think they called it electronic online something police. So they actually were really helpful. But I mean they didn’t catch the person again. But reporting is really important and for kids, you have to I would say monitor what they watch. Especially if they’re really young, like especially Youtube and if somebody’s probably trying to talk to them or send them messages, you have to be careful about that a lot because he might be a pedophile or you know, like he might be just he likes kids and he’s just sending messages to kids all the time and they’re responding. So it’s a little bit, you know, scary but you have to just monitor what’s going on and you have to educate your kids as well that this is actually happening. So be careful or tell me or let me know about it and I would say do not give iPhones or mobiles for kids under, I don’t know, 12, 13 years old because all the kids I see them now, they have iPhones and mobiles and I got my first phone was at university. But they do not need it. Do not give it to them because they can easily be influenced by the media.
Rana Nawas: (31:16)
And Youtube especially.
Lina Khalifeh: (31:17)
And Youtube especially, yeah and these, you know, older men who keeps stalking the kids. They are just mentally sick.
Rana Nawas: (31:26)
Okay, well let’s shift gears now. So how do you relax? I mean, what you’re, you’re dealing with intense stuff all the time. I mean, you, these women come in with stories and you’re fighting all day long, you’re training. So how do you relax?
Lina Khalifeh: (31:48)
I realize I’m an introvert. That’s what, I don’t know but. So, usually introverts they have to reenergize by themselves. So I usually, you know, go swimming, I swim three times a week. For me, water is the best for energy and motivation and keeps me happy all the time and I run also. Sports has been always the best therapy for me. I did skiing one time. I tried to do now extreme sports because I just love it and I love to, you know, break all my fears. Anything that I’m afraid of, I’m going to do it. I did paragliding. It’s amazing. Yeah and that’s how I reenergize. You have to know that you cannot be sad all the time about these people because they simply live in a really bad situation, but you’re going to help them solve a really bad problem and you have to be all the time positive or you will be taking drawn with all these feelings. So you learn it by experience, how to take a time off for yourself. Focus on yourself a lot because at the end you’re managing and you’re running everything, so, and you are the leader and influencer and all these things so you have to be, you have to be, I would say present most of the times and yeah. It depends on the person. You can reenergize in many different ways.
Rana Nawas: (33:19)
Yeah. But it is important to recharge your batteries yourself cause as you say you can’t eminate positive energy if you’re not feeling positive.
Lina Khalifeh: (33:28)
Exactly. Exactly. You can actually feel sick at some point.
Rana Nawas: (33:31)
Lina Khalifeh: (33:31)
Like sometimes I was having a lot of, you know, presentations and trainings and lot of just, it was crazy, like in one month I would just speak maybe 20 times, train like 100 times, which was really crazy. So at some point I felt really sick and then I realize I’m not just sick because I just got a virus or something. I’m sick because I’m not having time for myself. Then in 2017, because the business usually in five years, it’s an establishment, it’s like your own baby. So you have been raising that baby for awhile and it’s just started to grow older. At the fifth year you created a team which you can delegate the work to them and you can have time for yourself and focus a lot on reenergizing and becoming healthier because you’re going to be running growing companies maybe.
Rana Nawas: (34:24)
Well while you’re in dubai, I highly recommend iFly if you haven’t been yet.
Lina Khalifeh: (34:29)
Rana Nawas: (34:30)
Yeah. So there’s this indoor skydiving.
Lina Khalifeh: (34:33)
Rana Nawas: (34:34)
It’s incredible. So like you, I do all of these, you know, I try all of these extreme sport, so I’ve done skydiving and the paragliding.
Lina Khalifeh: (34:42)
Is it like with the wind.
Rana Nawas: (34:42)
Yes it’s a wind tunnel and it’s by far the most fun thing I’ve done in the last decade.
Lina Khalifeh: (34:50)
Rana Nawas: (34:50)
I like to break these fears and do something extreme and get that rush. Definitely. Okay. So what’s the question that you wish people would ask you more often?
Lina Khalifeh: (35:01)
How can I convince my girl to join the self defense classes?
Rana Nawas: (35:06)
Oh, wow and how, and what’s the answer to that? How can I convince my niece, for example, to join your self defense classes?
Lina Khalifeh: (35:12)
Let them try a free class, free session. Let them try. I would say just try, you know, try. You’re not gonna lose anything by trying and then they can decide.
Rana Nawas: (35:23)
Fair enough. Fair enough. Great. Thanks. Thank you, Lina. So if our listeners would like to find you, how can they do that?
Lina Khalifeh: (35:30)
SheFighter.com. We have a website and we’re all social media on Instagram @SheFighter, Facebook is SheFighter official and they can find us on everything. SheFighter.
Rana Nawas: (35:44)
Amazing. Well listen, thank you so much again for taking the time to be with us. It’s been such fun.
Lina Khalifeh: (35:48)
Thank you, Rana.
Rana Nawas: (35:50)
I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. You can check out show notes and more episodes at RanaNawas.com or search When Women Win on Itunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. I’d also love to hear your feedback and ideas for who I should bring on the show. You can find me on Instagram @RanaNawas. Thanks and have a great day.