Tag Archive | protection

Mentally Practicing

My hands were full, and just before the hotel elevator doors closed a young man slipped through. Because I’d flown into town, I had switched purses and wasn’t carrying my usual array of knives. Even if I had been, they wouldn’t have been easily accessible with full hands.

My thoughts: I could front kick him. Probably wouldn’t drop anything. Do I need to close in first? Ah! This is why Kyoshi had us practice standing sidekicks. Take out the knee. Kick the head.

 

The MAT therapist seated behind me cradled my head and moved it in various directions to assess my mobility and strength.

Me to the MAT therapist, “This feels like how they teach us to snap necks!” To which he paused, then asked, “They really teach you that?”

 

I’ve been off the mat for the last year. While I couldn’t run through all my kata without hesitation, and I’d most likely get my self-defense sets mixed up, I’m comforted to know that the important things have stuck with me.

The lessons, drills, and self-defense conversations from my 8 years of training have given me a different mindset than I had before I started training. I’m able to connect the dots – what does the lesson have to do with real life? I didn’t see it in the beginning, but I remember some of my early times when the light bulb would go on.

Now I notice that more and more I think with a self-protection mindset. I’m making an extra effort to pay attention to my surroundings and to the people within my sphere. And I’m running through the appropriate scenarios from the lessons and practicing in my head what I would do if challenged.

Even though I’m not physically practicing martial arts, I’m mentally practicing them so I can be ready if the time comes when I need the skills.

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Betting My Life

Originally posted July 3, 2010 on Colahan’s Martial Arts.  

Woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself. 

~Susan B. Anthony

I know women (and men, too) who won’t try karate because they don’t want to get bruises. Or they don’t want to fight.

When someone tells me they don’t want to fight, my response is, “I don’t either!” I’m not looking for a fight. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t enjoy a fight. But here’s the thing…

It’s not about the fight. It’s about getting away – ALIVE!!

If I find myself in an unfortunate situation and have to defend myself or protect someone, I stand a pretty good chance of doing so. Yes, they might get in the first punch or two. It’s a good bet they’ll surprise me. But after the surprise wears off, then what?

Then the “surprise” is on them!

I think I can honestly say that after that first punch, my training will kick in. I will hear Sensei’s voice in my head saying, “Do something!” And the repetition of practicing techniques again and again and again will take over. I will fight. I will not cower or give in. I will use the tools I’ve been given, and I WILL defend myself – all so I can get away and get to safety.

Yes, I get bruises. But honestly, I get as many bruises from working around the house as I do from karate. And those karate bruises? I’m proud of them – strange as that sounds – because it means I’ve been working hard. I’ve been challenging myself, learning how to defend myself.

 I’m betting my life that I can protect myself. Aren’t you doing the same?