Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Karate And Self Defense

   I have a funky past; this past has led me to the realization that victimizing women is really easy for some people, and women can make it easier by having low self-esteems and not fighting back. I don't say this to point fingers, or I would be pointing four back at myself; I'm guilty. But when it comes to my daughter, I don't want her to be in this position ever. I want her to have the confidence to stand up for herself.
   So I had been looking into some form of martial arts for a while, but all that was too expensive. I might laugh about my book buying sprees, and talk about buying games, but these things don't happen every payday. They don't even happen every other payday. Hell, they don't even happen every month. My budget can get pretty tight, but what happens is sometimes I work extra hours and get more money that way, or sometimes I manage to get a bill down really low. For example, I have gotten my electric bill down to $50, which I budget $100 to $150 (depending on season) for it usually, so there is an extra fifty bucks (and now you can image me patting myself on the back and giving myself a cookie. Woo-hoo!) Then this extra money becomes my splurge money and that is what I buy books and games with. So a monthly martial arts bill was not something I could afford, at the prices that many places charged.
   Except that the school started offering special karate classes that where unbelievably cheap. They offered karate and cheer classes by this certain group and the classes where really, really affordable. While all the other little girls' moms where eyeballing the cheer classes, I was eyeballing the karate/self-defense class. My daughter wanted to do cheer at first, because some of her friends were doing it, but  I couldn't afford to do both. The classes are cheap, but  I had to go in to work and make myself unavailable to work on those nights, and I didn't find it feasible to do that for both classes. And while usually I do try to listen to her wishes, I am Mom, and I wanted her in those karate classes. My sister also wanted her daughter in the karate classes, so that helped, because she could go to class with her cousin, and would have somebody she knew in the class. After that, my daughter took not doing cheer pretty well; she was still getting to do a class, and there was someone she knew in the class with her.
She is a green belt with a blue stripe.
    I figured that if she hated the class, she could stop after one semester, which aligns with the school semesters, but that she would at least have the basics, because the teacher (Sensei) of the class was teaching them things like how to break out of the hold of a person who was larger than you, and was teaching them this basic self-defense along with horse stance and ready stance and upper punch blocks. So I thought she would at least be able to get away from someone trying to grab her, and that was what  I really wanted, so if she hated it, I would let her quit after she had learned those basics. But she didn't hate karate; she loved it. I even think that now, she doesn't even remember that she ever wanted to do cheer. She works hard on her stances, and she is trying to learn her kata so that she can move on to blue belt. And she has a lot of fun surprising her friends and classmates when they find out she knows some karate. In many respects, my daughter is a total opposite from me, which means that she is a real girly-girl about some things. She is a gamer girly-girl, but still very girly and likes the color pink and likes her shirts to be glittery and colorful, all things that  I avoid like the plague. People don't look at her and think that here's a kid that knows some karate, but she does. And I am happy that she likes karate so well. I feel a tiny bit safer about her well being when  I remember that she is not so helpless. Of course, I don't ever want that tested, but I do have a small (tiny) piece-of-mind when  I remember that she knows how to defend herself.
    And I feel that this knowledge is something that is really important for all kids, not just girls, but boys as well. There are so many people out there, evil-minded people, who don't seem to think twice about hurting a child. I feel that we really have to give them the tools that they need to defend themselves, whether those tools are karate, or boxing, or whatever. Maybe you think that is overboard, but I've seen enough to know that it's not. Hell, all you have to do is turn on the news and pay attention. So my daughter is going to be given every tool that I can give her to survive in this world, and one of those tools is knowing how to get the hell away from an assailant. 


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