Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Lesson from Tragedy

As of this writing the complete story is still unclear. A young man, troubled, took his twisted view of the world out on innocent children in a place most of us would have regarded as a safe haven, a school.

I have no answers for why a person would do such a thing.

I’m a father, a grandfather, and a martial arts Instructor. I have dozens of children in my life upon which I want to impart the capability to live through an attack. As trite as this will sound, my number one rule is; Survive.

Survive; whatever it takes, survive.

Of all the elements of self defense a person may possess the most powerful weapon in their arsenal is their mind. The ability to think, to reason, and act with purpose is a child’s key (any person’s key) to survival.

Here is what I tell my kids, grandkids, and students. Fighting is a last resort - but if you have to, it’s better if you know how.

But first talk your way out of trouble, walk away, scream, run, hide, kick, punch, and even play dead. Whatever the situation calls for, do it. Survive.

One beautiful little girl in Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School survived the incomprehensible by pretending to be dead. Just lying still.

Martial Arts training will provide your child with the physical skills to run away, jump a fence, break through a door. It will improve their ability to yell with conviction, which could be all that is necessary to summon help.

“My child already knows how to scream!” Really, after running 40 yards scared out of their mind? Could they scream after running up two flights of stairs? Not likely.

Don’t take up Karate because you think you can take out a mad gunman; do it because your training will give you or your child presence of mind, options, ideas, and the physical capability to perform. Something as simple as lying still and controlling your breathing could save your life.

Survive.

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