It’s Been A Very Long While

Here I go again. Another May and another resurrection of my blog. I’m ashamed of myself for letting it languish without attention, yet, I’ve been so incredibly busy which is why I haven’t posted. That’s part of the story, anyway.

I let it slide after I made Shodan, because, well, I’d reached my goal. I think that’s like a lot of martial artists that I know. You get to where you were going and you’re done. Luckily for me, it was only the blog that stopped. I’ve still been training. More importantly, I’ve been learning a lot as well. And isn’t that what matters?

As I thought about what my first blog post would say I also contemplated changing the name. You see, I’m not a Shodan any more. I’ve climbed one more rung on the ladder and learned a little bit more so I’m a Nidan. Why do I make it sound like I haven’t learned too much? Simple. There’s so much still left to learn. Just like reaching Shodan is the real beginning, Nidan is a baby step in the scheme of things. I have a lot more to learn. About martial arts. About training. About teaching. About spirit. About body connection. And those are just the things that I can think of off the top of my head.

Being a martial artist is a lifelong journey. I’ve been training a very long while…and I’ll be learning for the rest of my life.

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Real Life

Obviously we practice self defense moves every day when we train. That’s a good part of what karate is about. Groin kicks. Knees. A firm heel-palm to the nose, breaking it and driving it back into their head. We do ground fighting. Elbow attacks…hammer fist….we do it all.

How often do we need to use this in a real-life situation? Hopefully never but we always have to be prepared. I’ve been training quite a while now and feel confidence in my everyday life. Walking on the street somewhere, the grocery parking lot – pretty much anywhere I go I’m not concerned.

That was until last night. I had a marketing meeting at a local shop. All of the other girls parked in the alley next to the shop. Everyone but me, that is. I parked across the street in a busy parking lot. It was well-lit and lots of traffic there, nothing to worry about at all. Well, that was until I left the meeting. Then traffic had definitely thinned out in the parking lot and it was much darker. I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach, an uneasiness that I couldn’t shake.

I’ve heard my instructor tell women for years to trust that feeling – I knew this was the moment that I needed to listen to that inner voice and his training and be smart. I had my purse slung cross-body over me, keeping it pulled in tight and my keys in my hand. I looked ahead at my car as well as side-to-side. I knew what was behind me – all of my friends who had parked together. I glanced carefully under the car and made sure that no one was parked right next to me. (Did you know that some men park a van next to a woman’s car and then position themselves in the passenger seat so that they can easily grab her and throw her quickly into the back of the van? ) The second I was within easy range of my car I unlocked the doors with my remote and slid into the seat, started it up and locked the doors.

No, I didn’t have to use my self defense skills. I didn’t drop a man to his knees with a groin attack. I used the other training that I had – the self defense, self-preservation training and kept myself out of a problem…maybe not as well as I could have though. Perhaps I should have parked in the alley with everyone else. It really was a safer choice.

Its all about real life. And staying safe.