My inner ninja


I have had a great summer job this year. I’m organizing and leading girl workshops for a local non-profit. And it has been loads of fun.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to try yoga for the first time and get a refresher in self defense.

I am now proud to say that I can make a proper fist and kick like a mule.

As you might have guessed, I am no fitness expert. If there’s a rock in the middle of a field, I will fall over it. If there’s a wall anywhere, the odds are good I will walk into it.  I puff and pant like I have asthma if I so much as jog for 10 seconds.

However, after doing self defense, I feel a little more confident I could surprise an attacker and get away safely.

Living in the country, I feel pretty safe walking at night. I’m more likely to be attacked by a skunk than someone hiding in a dark alley. (In fact, there are no alleys. Just fields. Lots and lots of fields.)

But let’s be honest: the country has harmful people too.  And the reality is, most attackers are people you know, so you can’t be assured of perfect safety 100% of the time no matter where you live and how careful you are.

I encourage every woman to try self-defense, if only to learn that you never call out “Help” but “Fire!” People are more likely to call 911 for a fire than for a fight. After all, that is a situation they wouldn’t “want to get involved in” even though all they have to do is CALL 911. Simple. Easy.

But anyway. We won’t get into passive bystanders.

Some things I learned from finding my inner ninja:

  • how to make a proper fist and punch without breaking my hand
  • how to find a great pressure point in a hollow by the ear
  • how to stay focused and make eye contact
  • how to untangle myself from a perp
  • how to stand so people cannot knock you over
  • that it’s hard to kick a nice stranger who is training you in self-defense
  • that I shrink away when someone puts her hands around my neck
  • that I can knock anyone off my hips—yes, those wide hips are good for something! Huzzah for child-bearing hips!

While I may not become the Million Dollar Baby any time soon, I’m feeling pretty good about my body’s ability to protect itself.

Now if only I could find a victim friend to practice on! Any takers?



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