Helping someone overcome fear so they can perform the task before them is huge. It takes small, incremental steps of desensitization to help someone over that hump sometimes. Sometimes it requires pushing them in the deep end of the pool and let them figure it out. In the case of my sister, she needed the slower method and a lot of convincing. We started out with just figuring out how to get up and down off the floor. Then we moved to sitting on her knees and backside repeating the falling motion over and over. She needed to overcome that fear next. This went part went on for some months.
I’m not who I was. But truly I’ve not been her for about a year-and-a-half now. I started warrior training when I was forced to fight for my family (especially my children) when a woman I trusted turned on me and undermined my standing with my kids. I was determined to defend and draw my family back together, and found a warrior rising from deep down, becoming equipped to do whatever it took to restore us.
When you live in fear (and sometimes terror) daily for a long time, the idea of being intimidating seems a very distant one. Even now I’m generally not someone who likes confrontation; I only confront people when I deem it necessary. Even then I’m usually shaking and very nervous because it’s so far out of my comfort zone. But I do not want to be unjustifiably disrespected either. I also do not want to see others who can’t defend themselves harmed or disrespected. So when it’s necessary I do speak up against injustice.
In self-defense circles, the words “situational awareness” and “zanshin” are frequently used. Both of these terms mean basically the same thing, although the transliteration of this word in Japanese, zanshin (残心), is “remaining mind.” Situational awareness means what it sounds like: being aware of your situation. This can apply to many things in life but when it comes to self-defense, situational awareness begins once you are outside of the relative safety of your home, work, or vehicle.
It’s about standing on my own two feet and roaring in the face of anyone who seeks to violate me, whether emotionally, spiritually, or physically. You don’t have the right to violate me. I won’t be a victim. I will stand for what’s right. Protecting myself — all of me — is worth it.
Self-defense training is very tough. But I believe it’s also very necessary. We tend to think nothing bad will never happen to us — until it does. Doing the necessary things to train is part of protecting oneself. For me, seeing my friend as my opponent or foe, is part of the discomfort of protecting myself. If I’m ever in a dangerous situation with someone trying to hurt me, I need to know what to do. That person would not be my friend. Their motivation would be to hurt me or worse.