Defending yourself is not difficult.
Every adult human being knows exactly how to cause physical pain and injury to another.
They may not have done it, or not like the thought of it, but they know how!
So why do so many people feel they are not capable of defending themselves or, learning how to?
I was teaching a Krav Maga class last year, when I came across Jane – she was on our Trial Class Programme, coming along to find out if Krav Maga was for her.
At one particular point, we were practicing how to block someone trying to swing a punch at your head.
Not a pleasant situation to find yourself in, but it’s one of the most common things people have to deal with, so we teach it.
To defend that type of attack in Krav Maga, you block the attack with your forearm, immediately counter-strike and move to escape.
Jane did the block very well, but when it came to simulate the counter-strike towards her training partner’s head, I saw her hesitate...
She wouldn’t go anywhere near her partner’s face, even slowly and safely, as we do in class.
And it’s not her fault
She’s been raised that violence is bad, that you don’t hit people, that you must be nice to everyone and not be rude (even to the point that when they are not behaving as they should!).
That’s our conditioning from early childhood, and as a kid growing up it’s pretty sound advice.
It’s just that it stays with us and when we get older, even when the risks increase and the types of danger we could face change!
Many people are now roaming the big wild wilderness, unequipped to deal with the bad people, as we no longer have our parents to watch over us.
Physically hurting someone is not hard, but emotionally it is, because we’ve been brought up to feel like we don’t have permission to do it.
Now here’s the interesting thing, when Jane put boxing gloves on, she had no issue with contact at all (the boxing gloves still hurt if you hit hard!).
The gloves were her permission.
When she wore gloves (because she’s seen boxing on tv with lots of people shouting and cheering and giving their permission) it then became ‘okay’ to hit back!
What more “permission” do we need than having someone trying to physically hurt us, or someone we care about?
Trust me, you don’t need permission: defending yourself is both an ethical and legal right!
My first child was born recently. I know I’ll be raising him the Patrick Swayze way, taking advice from his famous film.
Roadhouse! No, not Dirty Dancing! It's vastly inferior)
In Roadhouse, Swayze plays a nightclub bouncer and he goes into a small town to help ‘clean it up’ from all the criminals.
When he arrives at the ‘club’, he tells all of his team:
‘Be nice to everyone, until it’s time not to be nice, then do what’s necessary!’
I’m glad to say that Jane joined the club, and did exceptionally well. She's no longer with the club but I'm sure is now better prepared both physically and emotionally for a difficult situation!
Any bad people roaming the lands are now in for a shock, should they decide to pick on her!
P.S For those who now think I might show Roadhouse to little baby Bullock and call me a bad parent, of course, I won’t.
Until they’re 18 – it is an awesome film! 🙂