MARTIAL ARTS CAN PROTECTYOURSELF AND OTHERS
I’ve heard a number of stories over the years about how martial arts training saved not only someone’s life but also the lives of others. One of the many reasons I appreciate my own training in martial arts so much is the ability and knowledge I have to teach people what I know so their lives can change for the better. One such story I’ve heard is of a woman — I’ll call her Jane — who was running through a park. Jane had been taking a few courses in self-defense, and it was through this training that she recognized a woman in trouble. Jane immediately jumped in and knew enough to get the woman and herself away and to safety. Although she hadn’t been in the class for very long, what Jane had learned gave her the “tools” she needed to react accordingly and get a total stranger to safety. This is just one of the many examples that shows how any amount of training in self-defense or martial arts can be significant to a person’s life. You don’t need to spend years learning how to read a bad situation and take measures to help or defuse it. Self-defense courses focus on training a person to be aware of their surroundings and of the correct way to respond. It only takes a couple of weeks to learn a lot in that area. Now, as far as training things to become an automatic reflex or instinct, that takes years of practice. If you want to seriously and confidently defend yourself against someone choking you or if you want to knock someone to the ground, you’ll need a lot of consistent training. What we do in our self-defense classes at Olson’s Martial Arts Academy is focus on a nonmartial arts technique that people can implement right away. We teach our students a very simple wrist release and choking defense. Our main goal is to ensure anyone can escape an attacker and get to safety; we’re not trying to teach anyone to “Chuck Norris” an opponent. Our secondary goal is to teach people the correct way to respond in certain situations. For instance, if someone tells you to get into their car or they’ll harm you, it’s essential that you don’t get in the car. When we pose this question to our classes, a lot of people give the wrong answer due to the
assumption that if they comply, they won’t get hurt. But the opposite is true. A person should always fight or run with the intent of getting to safety as quickly as possible. This is also what we teach our younger students. Another crucial lesson we teach them is that adults do not ask children for help. Strangers may try several methods to lure children because most are going to say yes. It’s the goal of every teacher at our academy to teach kids that’s not the proper
behavior of an adult and that if someone should approach them, they should get somewhere safe as soon as possible. I often think that I could write a book on how martial arts impacted my life and those of others. With every story I hear, I’m reminded that every chance we get to share these stories is an essential part of being teachers.
– Amanda Olson
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