Self-defense training is very tough. But I believe it’s also very necessary. We tend to think nothing bad will never happen to us — until it does. Doing the necessary things to train is part of protecting oneself. For me, seeing my friend as my opponent or foe, is part of the discomfort of protecting myself. If I’m ever in a dangerous situation with someone trying to hurt me, I need to know what to do. That person would not be my friend. Their motivation would be to hurt me or worse.
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.
I’m Worth Protecting
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.
When I Fell
But isn’t that mindset the very essence of fear? And fear attracts attackers like little else. The strong prey on the weak, that’s just the way it goes. News reports are filled with victims crushed by cruel oppressors. And really, none of us was made to be a perpetual victim, in mind or body (or, in most cases, both). We were made to grow strong and to push the forces of evil back, not to get crushed by them.
Life is Tough, Darling, But So Are You
We are tougher. The fierceness of a warrior with the tenderness of a woman’s heart is an unstoppable force. Choosing to fight is what creates resilence. Choosing to not give up is what creates the fighting warrior spirit. Life will knock the wind out of you. But choosing to get up and not letting it keep you down is how you overcome. It’s how you heal.
When You Don’t Notice the Peanut Butter on Your Shirt
Training in self-defense automatically brings you into a state of self-awareness. Learning to move your body in specific ways, feeling the desire for self-protection, being acutely aware of your current environment, learning how to react calmly to danger and other such training phenomena hone your sense of self. You may find feelings you didn’t know you had, or ideas that are self-destructive as you become aware of your thoughts and emotions. This benefits your personal life because becoming aware of yourself and your inner workings helps you start to turn the tide on the aforementioned self-destructive cycles.