Several things have come to mind today to prompt me to write on this topic.
First let me say that, I now strongly believe that all parents should enroll their daughters in a martial arts class and REQUIRE them to attain their Black Belt before allowing them to leave home (as in college or marriage, or whatever, not going to spend the night at a friend's house).
Now, back to the prompting of this. First, years ago a man followed me out of Kroger late in the evening when my son was a baby. He really scared me and I had no idea what to do. Years later, just for fitness and fun, I signed up for martial arts and decided it was a good thing to do for me. Then, I saw video footage of a girl who worked for Wal-Mart get kidnapped in the parking lot after work. She was later killed by her attacker. My thought at the time was 'Man, a side kick right there would have saved her life.' She had already gotten to her truck but the attacker was right behind her and pushed her in and drove away. That makes me very sad, mostly because if she knew even a little about self defense, she would be alive today. If she knew anything, she wouldn't have parked way in the back of the parking lot in the first place. I don't care if that's the required parking for employees. It's unsafe. especially for women.
Shame on Wal-Mart.
Years after that, college student, Ms. Holloway (I can't remember her first name. I think its Nancy) was declared missing. Her friends said they had last seen her with a hunky local. OK. If this girl, her friends, or her parents knew anything about self defense, she wouldn't have ever been in that position in the first place. I personally would never leave one of my friends alone with a stranger or in a strange place for that matter. I don't leave mere acquaintances alone in their cars until the car starts before I drive away. That, my friends is good self defense.
So, now we're at the present. Yesterday I was at the grocery store. You know all the tabloids are right there inviting you to pick them up and read them. My personal belief is that if its printed on newsprint its quackery. But, on the other hand, if it's written on glossy paper, well, then buddy, that's GOT to be the truth! :)
Hey, don't judge! I don't go around trashing your beliefs and it helps get me through my day, ok? so back off! :)
Anyway, on one of them, the front page was dedicated to stars who have been cheated on or beaten. It's very sad what passes for entertainment. However, I saw it bigger than that. It made me realize that no matter how famous, rich, or pretty a woman is, she still has to face the same problems of men cheating on them or beating them like anyone else. Only its worse, because its now public. Just awful!!
My initial thought was, 'Man, those women should have taken a self defense class.'
Just this morning I was listening to my favorite daytime radio show host, Mark Davis, on WBAP. He was talking about a female blogger who was offended at a police chief who said that women should be self aware as a prevention to date rape. Basically, he said, "Don't get drunk. Take a friend with you when you go out", and yada, yada. I was nodding my head as I heard this. She got offended.
THAT'S where I am today.
I'm a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I don't say that to toot my own horn (although, I must say that I'm very proud of that!!). I say that because it's a mind set. Martial Arts is not just an extracurricular activity like dance to keep a person in shape. Nor is it just an activity to keep a kid busy after school so they can't get into trouble. Martial Arts teaches a person discipline, self confidence, and AWARENESS, along with other life enhancing principles. So, more than teaching someone to throw a side kick at an opportune time (which really is a handy thing to know!), it teaches someone not to be in a dangerous position to begin with!! Isn't that what we really want for our children???
We teach our children to make responsible decisions about planning homework and who they hang out with, but we don't give them any direction at all when it comes to basic self defense.
Why? Maybe we're naive and lulled into a false sense of security. Maybe we think those things won't happen to us. Maybe they won't. Statistics show that it doesn't happen to a lot of people.......
But, it DOES happen to some people.......
What I've learned also is that while a day long or week long self defense class is better than no self defense class at all, what's really needed is 4 years of martial arts training. I see girls come into class all the time being silly, goofy, wimpy, cutesy, and very girl-like (I was one of them, too). THAT will not save them if they are attacked. By the time a person earns their Black Belt, they are transformed into someone that most likely will never have to use their physical skills at all, which in and of themselves will be impressive. They will have enough sense to not be in a dangerous situation in the first place. That's a skill I would wish for my daughter if I had one and it's a skill my son DOES have as a Black Belt.
I wish it also for your children with all my heart.......