Your Mother Isn’t Stupid
You’re standing in the kitchen munching on your favorite sandwich, unaware you’re slumping to the left again.
Your mother says, “Stand up straight!” You comply, but internally you scoff at this old-fashioned idea. Who cares about my posture? Why does my mother keep harping on this?
What if I told you your mother is right, posture matters, but maybe not for the reasons she thinks?
What if I told you that your posture might mean the difference between safety and harm in your self-protection? Or the protection of others?
Stop rolling your eyes. Looking confident is a good first step, but you’ll need more than that.
Creeptastic Signals Came My Way
Many people care about your posture. Aside from your mother, your boss, your personal trainer, your martial arts instructor, random strangers, and your chiropractor are all picking up on your unintentional signals. These signals tell the truth about your feelings, thoughts, and struggles.
I was leaving a local farmer’s market the other day, and I noticed a guy standing under the “No Smoking” sign, smoking. I got a grossed-out, creepy vibe from him.
He only said something to me about the weather. I wasn’t really paying attention to his words. But my well-honed instincts told me he was after more than my thoughts on the temperature. He was leaning against the wall, face down, but his eyes were looking up at me.
Shivers ran through me as I turned to look at my husband, who was waiting at our car. He saw the guy, too; he was ready to spring into action. I pulled my shoulders back and down, head back, and narrowed my eyes. I was ready for this jerk.
His intention was clear, I could tell he wanted more than a conversation about nice weather, though he said little. My training helped me to be aware and get away. My posture said, “BACK OFF!” I wasn’t going to let him hurt me, no matter how innocuous his words were; his body
Confident, Not Cocky
At that moment I could be confident, because I’ve trained and trained to be aware of unintentional signals. Here’s the thing: walking as if you know what you’re doing but have nothing to back that up in a real scenario will bring you a world of hurt.
Many a kidnap, rape, mugging, and robbery could’ve been avoided if the victim had just trained to stay safe. As an instructor, it’s so frustrating for me to hear the statistics, knowing what I know.
But if you train your posture, as I do, you can fight back with skill and survive the attack. Or avoid it altogether.
Stand Tall, Walk Tall
I can hear you now, “So, really, how does this posture thing work in self-defense? Excuse me while I put on my academic cap.
Okay, but what does that mean in real life?
Most people think their mother is full of it and ignore the “good posture” advice. Unless we have a reason to think about it, we generally just don’t care about our body language.
In self-defense and martial arts contexts, we say the best self-defense is avoiding a fight.
Criminals want easy targets, they don’t want a fight on their hands. When scanning an environment for a target, they’re looking for people who don’t look like they will fight back. If you appear to be weak in mind, spirit or body, they will pick you. And you don’t want that.
So, why listen to your Mom? Or me, for that matter?
If you look at the image above of good and bad posture, notice the “bad posture” side. Her slumped, and forward shoulders look like inherent weakness in her body. If you spent hours in the gym but held your body like this, you’d be a walking contradiction.
Head forward and eyes down, she wants to hide or just disappear. She doesn’t look confident to me. In a fight, I’d expect her to crumble in a heap.
In the “good posture” side of the image, her head is back, and her face is up. Her shoulders are back and down. This woman looks strong, confident, and willing to protect herself.
But here’s the kicker: a good posture will only get you so far. You need actual skill to back up your signals. They need to tell the truth. Otherwise, you might be the one crumbled in a heap.
Don’t Be Stupid
You don’t want that. You want to walk away alive and in one piece. Your loved ones want you back home safely. Yes, listen to your mom but do more than that.
Come in and train. Learn how to back up that good posture with actual skill.
Listen, people are stupid. We think we know what we don’t know. False confidence is for the weak.
I want to make you strong, smart, and ready for action.
If I have any say in the matter, you will not be a statistic. I’ve shown you the “why” in this blog piece. It’s time for the “how.”
Now, get your butt in here!