If we can look past the absurdity of what we’re doing and understand its importance,we can begin retraining our minds in ways we may not have believed possible. Retraining our minds for something better and more productive is difficult, but not impossible. Eventually it no longer feels so absurd. It begins to feel the like the right thing. It begins to feel like second nature. Honestly, it seems more absurd to do nothing and make ourselves vulnerable to a potential attack. Training to defend and protect ourselves is far more valuable as it keeps us safe from potential harm.
Almost every time I walk into Women’s Self-Defense class, I’m dealing emotionally with whatever the day served me — usually a cocktail of fear, disappointment, maybe some grief or mental or physical pain, often a racing mind that just doesn’t want to calm down. Sometimes I don’t want to face whatever will be served up in class — but what can I say? I kind of have to be there. So unless I’m contagious or injured I show up and start preparing. I decide to set aside everything that doesn’t have to do with class for the next hour or so.
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.