It's always around this time of year that I get some calls from worried moms sending their daughters off to college looking for a one day self defense seminar. As a mom of 3 daughters, I feel their pain. But in my own experience I cannot tell them with a clear conscience that after one 2 hour seminar their daughters will know what to do in a threatening situation.
In my college years, before taekwondo, I worked in a small boutique that got robbed. The owner, a black belt of 9 years practicing another martial art, and I were held up at gun point. We were asked to hand over all the money in the register. I waited for the owner to hand over the money but when I looked over, I saw she was frozen.
What is the point of this story? Is it that her martial art was inferior? NO! It just shows that in a life threatening situation you have no idea how you will react. She had been practicing for 9 years. Do I know how I would react today? I hope I would be able to get out of the situation alive, but my circumstances have changed. I am no longer a 20 something year old. I have kids and family to think about.
So what's the answer? Self defense has to be a reflex. You shouldn't have to think about it. Your body should move automatically. How do you get to that point? PRACTICE and REPETITION. (there's a story about the wrong type of repetition-ask Master Hwang about that story).
A practical application would be sparring. Sparring forces you to see how you would react if someone is attacking you. You don't have time to think, you just have to react. Also you have to get used to ki-hap or screaming/yelling. Have you ever been so scared you couldn't speak? I know I have.
I hope none of us will ever have to be in a threatening situation, but I know I'd like to prepare myself just in cas
e of the zombie apocalypse :)