I’m on a flight home. It’s a red-eye. I’m exhausted and want to sleep. The woman beside me starts talking as we are taxi-ing. She starts telling me about her job and how she almost missed the flight and so on. I’m being polite, trying to listen. But all I’m thinking is ‘I want to sleep’. I say nothing thinking that’ll end the conversation but nope, she says, “So what do you do?”
Without hesitation I reply, “I’m a life insurance salesman”. Thinking to myself ‘how clever was that? That’ll shut down the discussion’ Who wants to talk about life insurance while taxing on a runway? But no luck. She eyes me up and down and says, “you’re no insurance salesman.”
I hesitate briefly and reply, “Ok, you’re right, I’m a life-extension insurance salesman”.
“A what ?”she says.
“life-extension insurance salesman – I teach self-defense”.
“OMG, I always wanted to learn self-defense!” She exclaims, animated like we were going to do her first lesson in-flight.
I looked at her and said, “No you didn’t. People who really want to do things, do them. If you really wanted to learn self-defense you’d have learned already…” I paused. She looked a little irritated. “So excuse me for putting words in your mouth, but I think what you meant to say was that you always wanted to know how never be near a situation where you might have to defend yourself.”
She took that in. I could see her decoding it in her mind. Then her eyes got big and she said “OMG Yes! That is what I meant!”
And there you have it my friends, the truth and the paradox of personal safety. Most of the world doesn’t want to learn self-defense because that means they need to accept and then take responsibility for their physical safety and that’s scary. What most of the world wants is to never be near a situation where they might have to defend themselves. I get that.
But here’s the problem. The bad-guy, the predator doesn’t care. Not only does he not care, but he smells fear and mostly looks for complacency. In other words, not learning anything about self-defense compounds the problem should you accidentally walk into a problem.
What to do? Well I’m biased. I think you should learn to defend yourself, your family and even your property if you choose. Most people think learning self-defense takes a long time, but they’re confusing learning martial arts with self-defense. That’s like confusing lifting something off the ground with Olympic lifting. One is a sport the other is a movement. self-defense is about moving functionally not technically.
Mull that over. In the mean time read or re-read the blog I wrote on enhancing your safety (and your family’s) that doesn’t require any training. So whether you decide to train a little or a lot, at least learn how to avoid a situation – it’s the smartest choice you can make. Learn how to “Get off the “X” here.