Why am I telling you this story? Not to say “poor me,” but to dispel the myth that a black belt magically gives you super powers or that training alone makes you tough or teaches you to defend yourself. Don't get me wrong, I encourage everyone to train, but you must train for the right reasons and work with the right people. That finally happened for me when I got to college and I met a Kung Fu instructor who changed my life. I trained with him, helped build his school, and met a host of incredible people along the way. I truly believe it was in that period that I transformed from a wimpy kid with a black belt to a woman who could stand up for herself. I trained harder during that time than I ever have, before or after, and that training still serves me to this day. Since then, I have tried other styles on and off mostly because of a knee injury. My motto is "you can take the girl out of the martial arts but you can't take the martial arts out of the girl," and that is the attitude that has kept me going even when injuries prevented me from training. I tell my students that not being able to train was the hardest training I ever did. It forced me to find other ways to grow and look critically at my body to see what I really can do and adapt my self defense strategy around my own strengths and weaknesses. And that is why I believe that self defense is for everyone, regardless of your physical capabilities. Self defense is mostly in the mind, and you can build a strategy for any body type.
So where does that leave me now? I am currently training in Krav Maga with another excellent instructor and planning a trip in August to take an escape and evasion class, which I am greatly looking forward to. In the meantime, I will keep posting about relevant topics in self defense and general preparedness. I hope it helps you in your own journey.