You don’t have to be a victim. Whether you’re a child looking to overcome a bullying situation or an adult hoping to heal after a violent crime, the Martial Arts can give you the self-defense and life skills you’ll need to take back control of your life.
Learning to be aware and take control
Most students are surprised to find out that most self-defense isn’t just about punches and kicks. Our students learn the mental awareness they need to know how to handle just about any situation that comes our way. Sometimes self-defense does mean hitting back. But sometimes, it means knowing when to take a step back. What matters most is that you go home safe.
One of our students, a Pharmacist, tells the story of being held up one night at gunpoint. It was near closing, and a guy walked in with a gun. He demanded a large number of prescription painkillers with a high resale value. “I’ll admit I was scared,” she said. “But all I remember is what my teacher kept saying when we learned gun defense. ‘Nothing in your purse is worth your life,’ he said. I knew I just had to stay calm. I handed over the drugs, let him walk away, then hit the alarm. Because I didn’t panic, I gave the police a really good description of the guy, too.” It was probably one of the most terrifying events she had ever experienced, but she knew what to do and how to go home safe. There was a happy epilogue by the way – the police apprehended the guy a few hours later.
Sometimes bullies won’t be stopped
Unfortunately, sometimes bullies won’t be stopped. Once one of our students became the target of a school bully. He reported this bully to the adults on duty and made every effort to avoid the other child. Nevertheless, the bully came over and took a swing at him. A duck and a strike later, the situation was over. We do not advocate violence in any way, but that student acted quickly to defend himself.
Now here is the important part. Our student REPORTED IMMEDIATELY TO THE ADULT INVOLVED. He had the Self-Control to walk away and the Honesty to report his actions. (Two of our Life Skills, by the way.) Our student walked away without disciplinary consequences. Nobody was injured, and best of all, the bullying stopped and the situation was resolved.
For kids, it’s about self-confidence.
From the very first lesson, our students learn the life skills of Self-Discipline, Self-Control, Honesty, Patience, and Respect. These are integral parts of our program, and they have a lasting positive effect on kids. They learn to take risks, raise their hand in class, try new things, and work hard. They learn that wrong answers are just learning opportunities and that they can do anything if they persevere.
For adults, it’s about re-taking control.
Even after traumatic events, it’s possible to find the strength and awareness to take control of our lives. “As adults, we make what I call “conscious mistakes,” or practice passive-aggressive behavior that gets us in hot water. In other words, we create most of our own problems,” writes Grandmaster DeMasco in The Shaolin Way. “But there is always an opportunity to take control of the situation, thereby taking responsibility for our actions and/or reactions to what happened.” Awful things happen. But they don’t have to stay that way, and neither do we.
Thankfully, most adults won’t face armed robbery or violence in the workplace. But how confident do you feel about how you might perform when life gets incredibly real? You may not be able to control the situation – but will you be able to control yourself?
Grandmaster DeMasco’s Advice
Grandmaster DeMasco describes his process, and he’s talking about life-and-death situations. “When I’m faced with an extremely stressful situation, I get very quiet and assess the situation. Next, I decide what the best possible outcome would be if I had control – whether or not I actually do. I decide what my plan of action will be, and figure out an alternative plan just in case. No matter what, by making these decisions I am actively taking responsibility for the situation, and refusing to allow myself to become a victim.”
Kung Fu will teach you to control both your body and your mind. You’ll develop the skills to defend yourself and make hard choices in life’s most difficult circumstances. Whether it’s the bully on the schoolyard or the boss in the office or the crazy person in the back alley, we don’t want you to be a victim ever again.