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Fall 2016 Term
Summer 2016 has been an amazing summer for Johanne, but I always look forward to the fall term. This is the term were kids return from the summer break excited, and ready to go. I love watching our returning students to see how tall everyone has gotten during the break. I often wonder who is more excited the kids or me?
The fall also, is one of the three times a year we take new students and I love to see the excited but nervous kids (and adults). They often are worried about the instructors and how hard or tough it might be. I am very proud of the instructor groups, we are not militant nor are we a push over, we have a lot of fun with the kids and we ask the adults to push themselves but not to the point of being hurt. It doesn’t take long before the new students settle in and start their journey on the martial arts path.
✅Up at 6:15 am
✅Resistance 1 Complete
✅Packed up all prepped meals and left them at work so I wouldn’t forget them daily – no excuses
✅ Great day at work
✅ walked with my boys at lunch
✅ delicious supper
I always try to do sword class a couple of times a term. My students for the most part seem to enjoy swinging a bokken or wooden sword whether an adult or child there is just something fun about it. Bokken class offers a different kind of focus from regular training. Distances are different and things change when have a weapon in your hands. I love the moving meditation aspect especially when it comes to partner practice.
At the beginning of bokken class I usually play some Kodo drum music and students lay on their back on matts while I give them an imagery story about being a samurai hundreds of years ago. I have several stories I cycle through all designed to see yourself in a warrior state. The kids love this practice, I have actually had a few adults fall asleep lol.
Sword and children can be a challenge, especially if they are excited as they usually are. Safety is priority but they have a good time.
Intuition - A Women's Mental Self Defence
People constantly think that physical self defence is the most important part of a personal protection strategy. Just look at the States, “Guns keep people safe” mentality. The reality is, mental self self defence is actually more important than physical. If you can’t detect it coming than nothing you have will help you. Intuition is the self defence mechanism of human beings…… period. It is our early warning and detection system. Intuition should be trained and studied just as diligently as the physical side.
Intuition is that state of knowing without thinking, a gut feeling, it draws your attention to the situation. Anytime you say in your head, “what the hell are those guys doing?”. That’s your intuition telling you to put your attention over there, that something isn’t right. Ever meet a guy that creeped you out for no reason? That’s intuition trying to protect you….. are you listening?
Intuition has several levels of urgency. The most important one is the feeling of true fear. True fear (not manufactured fear) is always in the presence of danger. The levels of intuition in order are: a nagging feeling, anxiety, doubt, hesitation, suspicion and at the top of the list is true fear. When you hit true fear…. HIT BACK…. literally.
Intuition is an amazing survival tool bred into each of us. Unfortunately as humans we have the burden of judgment which gives us the ability to squash our natural danger signals and dismiss them as paranoid feelings or deny them completely. There is no other animal in the wild kingdom other than man that when confronted with fear would spend any amount of energy trying to dismiss the feeling as “I’m probably just paranoid”. My cat knows better than most people to listen to fear and react accordingly. Rather than denying it, invest in exploring it. Spend that energy on information gathering and decision making. When a woman is “creeped” out by a man she will deny her fear and say “my fear is unjustified, he seems like such a nice man.” Do not get caught in this psychological trap.
At WASP we train both physically and mentally so our women are better prepared to detect and avoid conflict but have the skills and intensity to end it.
When it comes to personal protection people are always concerned about the initial attack. The moment the tackle starts or the fist is thrown. We do train and prepare for that exact moment, like how to survive the deadly sucker punch, or the tackle from nowhere.
The thing to remember is that a personal protection plan must include all of the moments, ten seconds prior, what are both of you doing? 30 seconds prior why did the assailant see you as an easy target? Hours prior, what decisions did you make that led you to that exact moment? How about the after math? What should my reaction and response be when the police show up? What should I do days later to ensure my mental state doesn’t turn upside down?
In the end a great self defence strategy includes one that not only deals with the moment of the attack but looks at all aspects and doesn’t just deal with the strike or impact. Looking and analyzing all aspects of an attack gives you awareness and awareness gives you the ability to choose and choice could be the difference between a nice Saturday stroll through downtown or a stroll that could leave you injured or worse.
Many people have a hard time getting their heads around the idea of non-competitive karate and assume that if you practice karate you must enter tournaments. After all, isn’t karate a sport? Karate was originally developed as a method of unarmed self-defence, not a sport. In addition, over time many teachers realized that there were other benefits to be realized from the practice of martial arts beyond the ability to defend oneself. People who trained in karate for a number of years could learn to be more relaxed, calmer and more focused—not to mention more fit. While it is true that most of us have a certain amount of competitiveness in us, that doesn’t mean that every activity has to be turned into a tournament. We can be competitive without participating in a tournament. One can train or practice an activity without the need for trophies —whether it be karate, playing a musical instrument, running, or what-have-you. Skills can be developed and the activity enjoyed and loved without egotistical symbols. There is nothing inherently wrong with martial arts competitions, but it becomes a problem when too much emphasis is placed on tournaments and commercialism so that winning becomes the primary goal. This also frequently goes hand-in-hand with the glorification of violence. Karate practice without the tournament element can be a rewarding and fulfilling activity. There is time to fully study the techniques, allowing yourself to practice and learn with your training partners, rather than fighting, a joy in developing ones skills and improving. Older or less-talented students don’t get pushed aside in order to focus on the most skilled students who can win trophies for the club. And as we get older we can continue to train and develop our skills, not merely being relegated to coaching. In the KDS we believe that karate is not a competitive sport but rather a life-long activity with an ultimate goal of self-improvement.
Self Defence Workshop Decreases Sexual Assaults
Young females attending university are known to be at significant risk for sexual assault, but a prevention program jointly tested on three Canadian campuses suggests the incidence of such violence can be dramatically reduced with a simple 10 hour women’s self-defence program.
The self-defence program was introduced at the universities and there was a 46 per cent decrease in complete rape across 12 months of all universities, compared with women in the control group. There was also a 63 per cent decrease in the number of attempted sexual assaults, as well as drops in other kinds of non-consensual sexual contact and attempted coercion.
It simply proves that when women have knowledge and skills and confidence, they can stand up for their sexual rights and fight back when necessary.
Build your confidence and invest in your personal protection and security through our ten-week workshop at WASP.
At some point in a martial artists career whether they are youth or adult, something just clicks. It’s magic really and when “it” clicks, the learning and progress goes through the roof.
The “it” is more mental than physical and anything physical is more effort than talent. “It” is a point when the martial artist pushes through frustration, exhaustion and muscle fatigue. They discover great joy in pushing beyond what was once thought their limit.
I love seeing my students find “it”. As an instructor it’s so rewarding but in the end I can only guide them, it’s up to the student’s self discovery to make things click and find “it”.
Jujitsu is hard enough, add to that years of abuse and an aging body things just don’t work so well or things pain a lot more and injuries seem to take a lot longer to heal.
I suffer from osteo arthritis and its seems even worse with these Nova Scotia winters. You can’t stop a sunrise and there’s only one way to stop aging…. And I don’t see death as an option lol. So I play with the best of my abilities, have fun, stay fit and enjoy the martial arts but even more so enjoy the students especially the kids. My body may be aging but my mind is still young that’s for sure.
Sometimes your body just needs a day to recover. After my first few free weight workouts, and then first class of Ju-Jitsu were I worked out in both kids classes and the adult class I knew this morning when I woke that my body needed a recovery day. I don’t have any guilt about it. I would rather a recovery day than a cold or back spazems that force the issue. Tonight is first karate class of 2016 so I just skipped the morning work out.
Up early again and I have to tell you I am loving it…well after i drag my butt out of bed. Not easy but today I was looking forward to it even though Uke (my furbaby) had me up twice through the night which is unusual.
First night back to Ju-Jitsu. Three hours being in the dojo makes for a long night so it may be tough to get up tomorrow. Nighty Night