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.
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.
In the simplest terms, self-defense training is learning techniques that keep you safe all of the time. This includes scanning your environment for danger, hiding, when to do (or not to do) something, proper punching and kicking techniques, how to fall correctly, grappling, and other movements that reduce harm and allow escape from an attacker. But this kind of training does so much more than teach physical skills. There are emotional turning points and cross roads we reach in the midst of the physical aspects, like learning one’s worth and value.