Real World Defense

on July 18, 2011 in Misc

This is the kind of news story you don’t get to read often enough:

A woman used her martial arts training to fight off a would-be rapist who broke into her home in the middle of the night.

It happened a few nights ago in a suburb of Denver, and I wish I could tell you more, like exactly HOW did she fight him off?  What moves did she use?  Did she injure the guy?  But to protect the anonymous woman and concentrate on catching her attacker, who got away, the police won’t go into details.  I can respect that.

Meanwhile, three cheers for this wonder woman.  She seems to have survived a situation unscathed that’s pretty much the worst nightmare for any woman I know:  being attacked by a stranger in the dark in her own bedroom.

The story also got me thinking about what martial arts training I’ve had.  Do I know enough to truly defend myself?  If an attacker comes at me this way or that, what move do I use?  Layla is deadly at defending herself and often carries a knife.  For kinda obvious reasons, I don’t carry any weapons (real world vs. fiction world going on here).  Still, I should be doing more.

As you know, the few classes I had in Aikido flamed out when I was severely injured by an idiot fourth degree black belt (who then chickened out and lied about injuring me, may he rot in coward’s hell).  In all honesty, I’ve been prejudiced against Aikido ever since, which may not sit well with my blog friend and fellow writer Robert who has studied Aikido.   But years ago I also had six intensive months of Tae Kwan Do, and not only do I remember most of that training, there’s a fair amount of it stored away in my muscle memory.  Put me in a dicey situation and it instinctively moves through my body like gangbusters.

Then again, training myself in action hero skills means that, sooner or later, I gotta get back into the game of  self-defense.  Maybe I should be taking classes, but two impediments stand in my way:

1)      LACK OF MONEY! Okay, so that’s the same old story with me.  But this last week my already shaky financial security went to hell in a handbasket by a MASSIVE, and I mean MASSIVE car repair bill.  It’s put me on a tight budget for months to come.  Then there’s the problem with…

2)      My growing doubts about the value of concentrating on any one martial art.  Yes, most of them gives a person solid self-defense skills (see news story above).  But each has limitations.  That’s a fact most of the teachers seem unwilling to admit, yet a lot of advanced students who’ve studied two or more martial arts readily attest to.  For real all-around self-defense skills, they maintain, a person has got to mix up the different schools and philosophies.

The thing is, when these same students and even teachers talk about their arts’ “philosophy” I throw up my hands in frustration and figure I’d be better off studying a down-and-dirty non-martial arts self-defense skill like Krav Maga.  Which could happen.  Or a short, hands-on practical self-defense course, preferably one taught by some ex-military dude whose hand-to-hand fighting philosophy is, “Kill the enemy before he kills you.”

And on that cheerful note, I’ll sign off for today.  In my next posting I’ll talk about what fighting skills intrigue me and what I might be able to work out for myself.

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