Giving Myself Over

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.

Yes, You Can.

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.

Finding Fire

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.

Intimidation

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.

Don’t Fear the Boogeyman

Self defense training is that safeguard. As I learn to strike properly and with strength, I can see myself standing up to the Boogeymen of this world. I can learn to throw them down, stop them from hurting me, and get away to safety. The more I learn, practice and grow, the more I can do for myself with a sense of confidence. With this confidence comes a change in perception about the Boogeymen, they are not a specter anymore, I am no longer haunted by fear and ignorance, I will no longer freeze. I will take action on my behalf.

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