Sunday, October 28, 2012

sUn-edited: Lucky

Sooooo lucky.

I interrupt this regularly scheduled post about a great experience Friday night at a Women's Self Defense Course run by an organization called Equal Fights Movement here in Philly with a thought. 

Now with the storm impending, and just being in tune with some other troubles friends are having, I'm reminded to feel lucky. 

Lucky I've never been assaulted. 

Lucky my family is healthy and safe. 

Lucky my preemies are no longer preemies. 


Back to the class. 

I've always wanted to get into a fight. You know - see what I'm made of!

Now I know: I'm made of short legs and a winning smile. Not so much bad-ass included.

Seriously, though, I've always been very naive and luckily, I made it through my teens in D.C. and twenties in NYC unscathed. LUCKILY.

So when my friend suggested we do a mommy's night out at Equity Fights, I thought:
But I'm no longer young and cute. My risk of being assaulted is getting lower by the year, no?

I learned some very valuable lessons at this 3 hour course, and it made me leave there thinking, 
How early can I enroll my daughter?

We are ALL at risk. In many situations. In some ways, I'm more distracted now as a mommy than ever. The attackers are not looking for young and cute, they are looking for one thing:

This was probably the best mental challenge of the night for me - to understand how I would mentally respond to an attack. It wasn't pretty! The confidence I exude on a daily basis does not translate to beast-mode. We do not want to engage an attacker. We want to be smart; to escape when we can; but if we can't: as women, our best defense is in using OUR LEGS. 

Without simplifying the complexities of the three-hour course, which frankly, could easily fill a six-week course, women are best to fight back using the strongest parts of the body: thighs and legs. This means: KICKING. And because of the angle, this means you are mostly best suited on the ground, on your back, kicking your assailant directly down the center line of his body. Heel-kick to the chin, the solar plexus, and the family jewels. We all nod and say, "yeah, totally", but when faced with the faux-attacker in the padded jumpsuit - you may surprise yourself. 

It's a really good exercise.

I think it took me the first two hours to really understand that this could really happen and that I could be really bad at this. My instincts may be WAY off, especially if I'm distracted with the kids, in a crowded place, or in an unpopulated corner of a mall parking garage.

It was really well structured:  starting with questions - and - answer ; real-life scenarios; practice with each other, and then practice with full - force (on our part) against an instructor in a padded suit.

And actually, with friends, it was a good time as well. We laughed about how much we surprised ourselves and each other, and then laughed some more over drinks afterwards. 

Did someone say cocktails after? I'm in!
Again, I'm reminded to feel lucky : about the relative safety of our society, the relative safety of my daily environment, and the new knowledge I now carry with me about my own mental ticks that may get in my way in a crisis situation. 

Bad ass?? Not me! But now I know that I'm not such a bad ass - and my fight-or-flight response has some new inner voices steering it the correct way.

Think about organizing a mommy's night out or friends' night out - or getting your college / employer / organization to hold one of these events. It's really a great bonding experience, as well as great learning experience. 

And please, my friends - TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES! 



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