In light of recent tragedy in our community nerves are raw and the feeling of safety in our quaint North Country and Northeast Kingdom has been shattered. An intelligent beautiful young teacher had her life taken prematurely by a couple living not far from my house. The reason given for this senseless crime was that the male wanted to “get a girl” so they chose their victim and lured her from her home.
Living in a quiet rural area it is easy to forget that crimes such as this can and do happen. The “Kingdom” is grieving and figuring out how to live in this new reality. My friend and training partner Bridget and I have been processing this crime as we run together and have been discussing our own safety. The scary part about this story is the common statement I keep hearing from female friends that,”this could have been me.”
Instead of living in a state of fear, now is the time to empower ourselves. Last night I attended my first ever self-defense class USA Karate in Littleton, NH. The class was set up in wake of the tragedy to give women an opportunity to learn how to defend themselves. The instructor was awesome! He made us feel very comfortable learning how to fight back in a situation where your life might be on the line. He was able to keep the mood light while respecting the deeper reason for why we were all there.
The instructor made me feel powerful as he showed us how to get away or how to react when someone of greater strength attempts to overtake. Even though we spent a lot of time giggling while trying techniques on our partners I felt stronger for knowing that I could fight back. The instructor showed us how to go for the weak points, the “squishy” parts, to make the attacker vulnerable. I definitely feel like I will need to practice what I learned so am hoping to attend the second class.
Some key take away points:
•No one ever has the right to hurt you!
•Be aware of your surroundings and your situation.
•You are strong!
•Go for the “squishy”parts
•Hit the weak points-ears, collarbone, sternum, knees, stomp on feet