Closing Ceremonies and True Self Defense Concepts
Guest blog by Alaric Dailey
During the closing ceremony of class, Sensei would often read stories from some of the martial arts books. Tales of the masters of Myamoto Musashi, Mas Oyama, Jigaro Kano, Morihei Ueshiba and Gichin Funakoshi were common. Other times it was simple wisdom such as the following. He gave this recitation many times, varying it each time.
Self-defense, most of you started karate to learn to defend yourself. If you are here at our little hole-in-the-wall dojo, you doubtless looked at other schools. It isn’t like this place is easy to find. What you found here is not sport karate, we do not compete in the popular tournaments with pads and touch-and-stop. By now you know that when we compete, we compete in full-contact tournaments. However, karate-do is much more than simply punching and kicking, it is a way of life.
Self-defense is more than karate though as well. You can learn to punch and kick, but what if the bad guy is in a car? More than that, what if your health is bad? You can’t very well defend yourself, if you are out of shape. What about your eyes, it is much harder to defend yourself if you can’t see.
Truly, self-defense is less about defense, and more about taking care of yourself and others. Making sure you stay fit, means you will be able to fight and endure should the need arise.
Never eating until you are “FULL” means your body will be able to react at any time without sluggishness. You will find that simply slowing your eating, and eating only until you are two-thirds to three-quarters full, you will even out your weight, and be able to respond in any situation. You should eat according to the needs of energy throughout the day, thus breakfast should be your largest meal, lunch medium, and a small dinner. These simple rules will help your body regulate and you will have better energy all day.
Self-defense is even more than simply thinking as a healthy fighter. You should also be aware of your surroundings, and avoid putting yourself in dangerous situations. Don’t go to bars, and you will avoid bar-fights. Avoiding a dangerous situation is far superior to having to fight.
To this wonderful and insightful narrative, I’d like to add a few statements. In our modern world, blood-borne disease is a reality. If you must fight, you aren’t likely to be wearing a hazmat suit, so you may want to look at your techniques, and adjust to avoid making your opponent bleed. Avoid any techniques that may open you both up. This is something to keep in mind especially when thinking about rape defense. Making the bad-guy bleed is always preferable to letting yourself get opened up. Pretty much, the EMS rule applies to every facet of life these days “If it is wet, sticky and not yours, don’t touch it”.
About the author: Alaric Daily began practicing the martial arts in 1992. Martial Art she has studied include Pangainoon, Karate, Kenpo, Wing Chun, Krav Maga, Judo, Jujitsu, Aikido, Bagua Zhang, and Tai Chi Chuan.
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