Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Non-violent Self defense: A Real-Life Example

Karrie, one of my Karate students, told me a cool story at practice this evening. Karrie is an art teacher at the high school and one of her students was becoming physically aggressive towards her.

She said, without even thinking, she assumed a defensive posture and the student backed down and walked away. She said it was one of the most empowering experiences she has ever had.
For myself, this story is wonderful, as Karrie has only been a student for two months!
She accomplished a very high level of self-defense. She stopped an attack without striking, kicking or violence of any kind. This is good Budo. Just her presence, backed by a new level of confidence helped her stay healthy in this situation. It was the appropriate response in this situation.
Good job Karrie!
Hands palm to palm,


  1. Well done to Karrie, there are many situations in life where it is difficult to remain calm and in control of ones 'self'; she did well. In the past, which is no more, I have normally managed to stay calm up to the point where I've been cornered and 'snapped'!

    Shinzen, I started boxing when I was five years old, my brother is ten years older than myself, he went to a boxing club and he trained me so I could look after myself at school; the sod used to punch me, but it worked, I did learn! My sister is seven years my senior, she practiced Judo, and guess who she practiced her throws on? I admit to regularly getting into fights at school, but Yoga at the age of thirteen changed my psyche completely . . I calmed down and became controlled on all levels. Suddenly I discovered that I could simply use body language to control tricky situations, even when out numbered.

    I remember once, when I was fourteen, three boys wanted to 'do' me at school (all over a girl as well, who would have thought it ;-) and they were looking for an opportunity to do so all week . . . so I let them know, through body language, and contacts, that I was not in the least bit worried. I then gave them their opportunity, I hung back in the toilets after dinner break, let my friends go to class, and when I came out there they were, all three brave souls standing at the doors that I had to walk through. I walked up to them with a grin, stood still, slowly looking each one of them in the eye, straightened out my jacket with a casual air . . then I walked through them. I never had a problem with them again. But, just because I could, I made it a point to 'nail' each of them in turn on the Rugby field (I went to a Rugby school). Of course I wouldn't do such a thing now, ahem . . .

    If Karate does for others, what Yoga did for me, and I am aware that it does, then I'm all for it . . .

    . . . sorry about the length of this post Shinzen ;-)

  2. Nice... I should remember this.

    @ Doug: And I should learn to use body language more consciously too! :D

  3. It is shocking to the story that Karrie ... I can not believe a student may be so violent!!