100 years & 100 pounds ago

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I had a life. In that life, I took… and taught… martial arts, and self defense for women and children. I was not a bad-ass. I was, and still am, a woman living in a dangerous world. it’s being made even more dangerous everyday by those who wish to take away other people’s right of gun ownership.

Martial arts were developed (as I have had it explained to me) by those who were being oppressed, including being forbidden to own weapons, as a means by which they could protect themselves,their homes, and their families.

Yesterday’s post about QiGong and martial arts, plus the response of a reader (thank you) who married a woman who is a black belt, brought back some memories.

No, I am not a black belt. I’m not really all that flexible. I don’t know if I could go back to martial arts once I have finally dropped the last pound in my current wellness plan goal set. That’s not the point. The point is this; martial arts does not teach you, or your child, how to be a maniac. Martial arts can greatly enhance your life in ways you never could have imagined prior to taking your first class. Practicing martial arts is good for you mentally as well as physically. While some martial arts disciplines can be religious, not all are, and if that bothers you, look for one that is all about discipline, and learning ‘the ropes’ instead.

Martial art teaches you; discipline, self control, how to listen and follow directions (sorely needed these days), how to respect one another (also desperately needed these days), and among many other positive things, how to have situational awareness. While the moves in martial arts can inflict harm, even death, ultimately martial arts give the practitioner of the sport the best gift of self defense, choice.

The average rape can last up to- and over- six hours. Many people encourage women to ‘just go along’ and maybe you will not be hurt.This is an unacceptable way for a woman to deal with rape unless it is her choice, and as long as it is not what she felt she had to do because she felt she had no other option. More and more these days we see victims of attacks being killed so that they cannot identify their attackers. There are more victims of sexual assault at colleges and universities than of mass shootings. Students are not allowed to take guns onto campus to defend themselves from attackers yet many must walk across a dark and dangerous campus to get home. However, your son or daughter can be well ‘armed’ even when they are taking a shower if you put them through a self defense or martial arts class. I would never send my child out into this crazy world without it, even if my son was a giant.

I would much rather have my child know how to take down an attacker than not. By not teaching yourself, or your child, how to defend themselves, you automatically create a victim. Martial arts can also help alleviate the ‘victim mentality’ in a person by showing them just how empowered they really are, and that they need not be resigned to whatever comes their way. They can stand up for themselves in a controlled, reasonable, and logical way. Martial arts can teach a hot head how to remain calm in a tough situation. It can teach the wall flower how to find their voice.

If you decide to sign up for classes yourself, or to put your child into classes, carefully vet the owner, and all of the instructors. Never drop your child off at lessons to use them for baby sitting services. Your child will want you to stay not only to help them feel safe, but to show off as kids do so that you can encourage them later on the car ride home by telling them how well they did. Also, should your child sustain an injury you will need to be there to manage the situation.

Look for a dojo (a dojo is where people practice marital arts) that encourages good sporting attitudes such as team work and helping others achieve their goals while you train for yours. Watch a few classes to be sure the instructors are good with kids. Check to be sure all of the instructors have had background checks and are not working there to gain access to children. Make sure the instructors and owner are themselves well trained and have not just watched come Jackie Chan movies and decided a dojo would be a great way to make a few bucks.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure you are making an informed decision and not just going off of hearsay or gossip.This is your decision to make and no one else’s.

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