We can’t even protect ourselves, let alone anyone else, if the situation creates a fear we can’t overcome. So we choose to do the hard work. We choose to walk into self-defense class again and again, and again.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ~Benjamin Franklin
Learning how to use your eyes as a self-defense tool takes solid instruction and feedback to get it right. Sure you could “try this at home” but how will you know if you’re going to just get laughed at and attacked anyway?
Here’s the kicker: a good posture will only get you so far. You need actual skill to back up your signals. They need to tell the truth. Otherwise, you might be the one crumbled in a heap. You don’t want that. You want to walk away alive and in one piece. Your loved ones want you back home safely. Yes, listen to your mom but do more than that.
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.
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.
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.