Ah, yes, that moment of crisis that leads to decision making. The one where you have to just lay down and let that rock roll right over you, or get back up and keep pushing. If a 5-ton rock rolls over you, that can’t be good, right? Or maybe it’s good to get life over with and move on? Perhaps less dramatic, like throwing my hands in the air and saying “I give up, God — You do it” will stop this crazy cycle of pushing and pushing and pushing. After all, He’s big enough and strong enough to pick that rock right up and take it where it belongs. But why would He do that when making me do the work is much better and good? At least according to Him.
I’m a firm believer that in most cases anybody can learn to do anything given enough time, space, and creativity in both learning and teaching. When I encounter women who say “Oh, I could never do THAT,” what they are really saying is “I don’t have enough belief or confidence in myself to even try.” Getting people over that hump is my greatest task as teacher. I’ve seen the fear in the eyes of my partners as I’ve taken them through learning to grapple, hit each other (in sparring), taking throws, experiencing pain in techniques, and the falling techniques. I had to inspire belief in their own minds and hearts. I had to gain their trust and show them the way.
As I thought about that moment, I began to understand what it meant to feel the aggression about injustice. As the emotions started to flow, I could feel the intensity escalating. There was definitely a good vs. evil, God vs. Satan battle going on in the spiritual realm. The enemy had several footholds in my life that I wasn’t even aware of until I began the process. My sister gave me things to say out loud. This at first was very uncomfortable and a felt a bit silly to me. But then I felt God say, Make it your own.
Using self-defense as a therapeutic tool is a surprising thing. You don’t expect emotional issues to come up while you’re learning to kick, punch, and do life saving techniques. But they do. It really seems inevitable. It’s hard to deny what’s happening. But if you’ve been harmed in some way, felt powerless, or been exposed to ongoing abuse, there is a very good chance you will find yourself confronted with the resulting pain and emotions.
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.
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.