Today I went to my first Self-Defense course – or like the instructor preferred to call it “Self-Preservation and Protection.” I’ve long wanted to do such a thing knowing full well if I were in an attack situation I would likely not make it out without sheer luck.
The course was held by Ruth and Mechelle from Global Alms Inc and an associate of theirs, Karl Thornton, from Modern Defensive Tactics Australia. These individuals were visiting for the purpose of fundraising for Global Alms and the work they do along the Thai/Burma border. While they are involved in many different aspects of service providing free courses on things like employable skills (Sewing, Admin, etc) and other things that assist families that are at risk/in need, they also have a focus of providing Self-Protection courses to the populations at risk of human trafficking with a priority for women and children. They also work with rescue missions to save trafficking victims. (I highly recommend checking out the website and supporting them if you have the means.)
The course I went to today was the level one course that dealt with attacks from strangers, Karl discussed the psychology behind attacks and, basically, not to just comply in hopes of diffusing the situation – because if the person’s preferred outcome is to kill then you’d have no chance. Makes sense, no?
I discovered something about myself today. I’ve always felt like I have no real upper arm strength (well, in fact I don’t) and never thought I would even be able to hit with any significant force. Apparently I can. Not only could I feel the force in my own hands and arms, but even my partner that held the focus mitt said she could feel the force. It makes me wonder if past situations may have turned out differently had I even thought I’d have the strength (and therefore the chance) to effectively fight them off if I tried. Would I have been more assertive at the very least rather than just comply or try to diffuse situations? Man, I wish I had done something like this a loooong time ago.
I had various past incidents run through my mind as Karl talked about different scenarios, I started to think would I have even been able to do anything different before? Perhaps the multiple incidents with Wyatt may not have happened. Perhaps David would not have thought he could lay his hands on me. But then, both of them were personal relationships and completely different scenarios. I’ve always kind of thought of myself as assertive when it comes to public areas, but I know… after everything; I had always felt that intimidation – especially in certain types of relationships… In closer relationships with men. The two dudes that pinned me to a wall and attempted to rape me however… Perhaps I could have rescued myself instead of screaming and being lucky that a friend realized what was happening (and at the same time having the wherewithal to surprise them before grabbing me and running.) Also, with the teaching of being more aware and not putting oneself in a situation that has the potential of going bad – walking into Timmy’s apartment with Patrik where I was alone with three 20 something year old males that I did not know may not have happened. I would not have had the consequences after the fact. Luckily for me, I seem to have had luck. Luck enough to get out of things relatively unscathed – I know it could all have been much worse. Of course, if none of this happened as it was, I might not have anything to write about for you all.
All that being said; I’m feeling pumped. I hope I get the opportunity to do further courses someday… and until then… I’m gonna be googling to see if there are any kick boxing like classes somewhere near me…