Sensei Mae here.
The reason I got into karate was to learn how to defend myself. Are you prepared to defend your life?
Having traveled around the world, I have been in some hairy situations. I learned that having a black belt didn’t save my life. Actually, no belt can stop bullets. Having a black belt doesn’t stop people from attacking you either. Sometimes we get so caught up in belt promotions and learning the next kata to get to the next belt that we forget the central truth in karate: “There is no first strike in karate.” This was written on Funakoshi’s gravestone for a reason. Karate is all about self-defense. We are not to go out and stir up trouble, but we ought to know how to shut it down.
The first and most important rule of self-defense is never to put yourself in a dangerous situation. That’s not to say don’t have fun and never leave your house. Be aware of your surroundings. We don’t have to be experts in reading body language; however, we should be in control of our own self and emotions.
A close second rule is always being prepared. It’s like keeping a spare tire for your car. Some things are inevitable and you simply have to keep the necessary supplies on hand. Just like a tire iron and a car jack, having a powerful front kick and back fist are tools to have for saving your life. Do you feel confident enough in your technique that you can save yourself from an attacker? I know I do because I have had to use my training to save myself and others with me. However, you don’t want to wait for the test to know if you are prepared. Regular practice is paramount for self-defense. Pick a few moves that you particularly like and you really feel comfortable with and practice those. Muscle memory can be created by practicing a few moves a day a few minutes a day. Have a few moves that can get you out of a scuffle quickly. The end goal is to get home safely.
I encourage all of you to practice your self-defense often. It is what karate is all about. By practicing regularly, your self-confidence will soar. I challenge you to do your favorite self-defense move every day for the month of December with me.
I am looking forward to hearing about what your favorite moves are and how you are coming with the challenge. I know Sensei Glen and I will be practicing daily.