All the nasty news reports about women and children being abducted and killed prompted me to enroll my daughter and I in a self-defense class.
I had supposed that we would be flipping bad guys over our backs and rendering them unconscious. Apparently, our instructor had other, more logical, options to show us when it came to self-defense. The first thing he taught us was how to make ourselves “heavy,” so that the bad guy couldn’t pick us up and walk away with us. I pegged this as the one area in which I could really excel. I can do heavy! My daughter, however, was about four and a half feet of skinny nothingness. How would she make herself heavy without toting two twenty- pound frozen turkeys with her?
She wouldn’t even need to worry about getting picked up if she held those two turkeys, one in each hand, and spun around in circles. But… how to stop?
The class was free, so I wasn’t sure whether I was allowed to ask questions. Eventually, the instructor did ask if there were any questions and I asked the first thing on my mind.
“Suppose my daughter wasn’t shopping for turkeys that day. How would she make herself heavy?” Clearly, he thought I was one brick shy of a full load because he said, “’Heavy’ is a figure of speech.” I’m not as dumb as I look, so I said, “Of course it is. It’s an adjective.”
He started over, rolling his eyes for some reason. “By ‘heavy,’ I mean that you have to make it so that it is easier to let you go, than to move you.
It seemed to me that not wearing deodorant would have the same effect, but it would be just my luck that my attacker wouldn’t have showered that day either. In which case, he’d be immune to my stench. I probably should keep my ears open and my mouth shut.
I was too dense to take my own advice: Our instructor told us that he was going to teach us how to fall… “Um... Excuse me, Mr. Black Belt, sir. I’m pretty good at falling. Can we move on to flipping bad guys?” “Mrs. Snyder, I’m going to teach you the right way to fall, so that you can get back up again.” “You mean there are falling options?” I pictured myself falling in slow motion and twisting like my cat until I was on all fours. That would be a better way to fall! Chances are, I’ve been doing it wrong all along, because it usually hurts when I fall.
He demonstrated a controlled backward fall. We tried to mimic him and I cracked my head on the mat. My teeth bounced off one another and my eyes crossed in pain. Yep, I remember, now. Falling hurts a lot like that. My instructor wasn’t even watching me. He was praising my daughter for doing it correctly. Well, of course, she did it right! The ground isn’t as far from her head as it is mine!
Pain aside, the lessons had taught us to be more conscious about our surroundings and how to protect ourselves in a dangerous situation. The main lesson that was stressed was to try to stay out of dangerous situations. Every woman and child should take a course like this one.
When we got back home, I was sore, but enlightened. My daughter was both more confident and more cautious. She wanted to go to a friend’s house to show her what she had learned.
Maybe I was a little too cautious, but I told her she couldn’t go because we didn’t have any turkeys for her to take with her.