Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Perseverance Quote of the Month

“If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

— Michael Jordan, legendary basketball player

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Pleasure and Pain of Self-Defense Instruction

Today I understand a little more about the meaning of the word bittersweet.

I’m mainly a youth Taekwondo instructor, but I also teach simple yet effective women’s self-defense strategies and techniques. And times as these make me feel both proud and sad about passing on this important knowledge to others. I’m honored to teach women to use their five weapons (two hands, two feet, and their voice) to protect themselves. But I shouldn’t have to teach women to enforce boundaries or to fight back when accosted. Their boundaries should never be invaded and they never should be touched unless invited.

Early New Year’s Day in Austin, three women were attacked—one of them murdered. Police officials believe one man is responsible for all the assaults.

Our community has been shaken, and as a result, Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu Academy decided to offer two months of free self-defense classes to any woman who wants to learn to protect herself. I’ve been hanging out at the school on Tuesday nights, so I decided to help. All of a sudden, a whirlwind ensued:

• A FOX News reporter and cameraman came by the school on Monday to film a piece on our free classes offer. (www.myfoxaustin.com/dpp/video/Free-Self-Defense-Class-Offered-In-Wake-Of-Attacks20120109-ktbcw-#axzz1j4i7dDEH)

• The next day, Sifu Aaron Vyvial and I were invited to do a live demonstration during the news station’s morning show.

• And last night, we had a full house—women from all ages, sizes, races, and financial statuses eager to feel safe and strong again.

These are all wonderful things—except that a woman’s dead. Her friends and family are grieving. It will take a lot of time for the two women who survived the New Year’s Day attacks to heal from the trauma. And the perpetrator is still out there.

Tragic events like this boost enrollment in self-defense classes (and the sale of pepper spray and guns) and draws attention to from television and print media eager for stories on prevention techniques. Someone has to do it--be the expert, offer experience, strength, and hope to a scared community--but there's nothing enjoyable about it.

I did the interviews to reach women who wouldn't normally consider coming into a martial arts school. If they saw the TV news spot, the morning show, or the uncut YouTube video of a private class with a TV reporter, they might be able to gather up enough courage to cross our threshhold (or the doorway of any self-defense classroom), and learn life-saving strategies and techniques.

I’m in a serious business. My job is to try to help build confidence, strength, and an explosive and relentless fighting spirit in women so that (God forbid) if they’re ever attacked, they’ll have options. They’ll have a choice. Maybe they’ll even sense an attack coming and thwart it completely.

I’m proud of what I do, and so grateful and honored to do it. But today, it doesn’t feel very good.

Today, it’s bittersweet.
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Know a woman who needs and wants to learn effective
self-defense strategies and techniques? Visit http://www.txkungfu.com/ or call 512.680.4535.
Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu Academy is located at
2105 Justin Lane, Suite 111, Austin, TX 78757.