Girls Should Train So Boys Abstain…From Hitting
June 29th 2012 · 0 Comments
There have been so many examples of the horrors of Domestic Violence recently. It wasn’t that long ago that national media reported a spike in the incidence of Domestic Violence cases. I don’t think I heard the connection made between this increase to the state of the economy, but there is one.
When tensions rise in the general population, and they have risen due to the rate of unemployment and lack of income in the home, men tend to take it out on their women. It’s not always men pounding on women, of course but that does tend to be the general rule.
I was once a victim of Domestic Violence, but ended up overcoming the abuse by learning to defend myself with the martial arts. Men are generally bigger, stronger, and grow up wrestling or rough housing a lot more than girls.
Martial arts training equalizes the equation by injecting technique and skilled information. All of the good intentions go down the drain if a guy outweighs, outreaches, and bests you physically.
I was a love-struck twenty-something-year old, fresh out of college, living in the East Village and happened to meet, what I thought was, ‘the love of my life.’
He was very handsome, very smart, and very attractive. He was so smart, in fact that he went from his Junior year at Wayne State University to being accepted into the second year of NYU Film School’s Masters program.
I was captivated. It was a rapid romance. We were living together within a short time. I had a big apartment with little furniture. He had nice furniture and his apartment was uptown and cost a lot more. His brooding, eccentric screenwriting methods became the theme for our apartment and his mood was always suspicious and controlling when it came to visitors or friends calling on the phone.
Very charming when in company, he became angry and hostile when they would leave often accusing me of inappropriate ‘whatevers’ toward men. Being head-over heels in love with the guy didn’t seem to impress him.
The first time he beat me up it was unbelievable. It’s not that I didn’t fight back, because I did, with all I had. It didn’t matter. He was bigger, stronger, and was crazed when he did it. Additionally, he had studied the martial arts; which is what I decided to do after the third time he beat me up.
After the first time, I was dumbfounded. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before. When he cried, begged forgiveness and said he was so sorry, that he was such a jerk, I believed him. I explained my bruises and lumps to friends as a terrible mistake, that would never happen again. We all believed it.
Until it happened again. I had fought back like a badger. As he pummeled me, I was backing up with my hand stuck in the toaster bashing him in the head. Yes, I did some damage, but my attempts to protect myself were no match for his greater strength, reach and training. I remember being so embarrassed I could barely breathe. My friends and I were all horrified. None of us had ever been around a situation like that.
I had learned that his father had battered his mother. There was unrelenting drama in the family. His father would get drunk and beat up his mother and drive off with him in the truck. She would go running after him down the dirt road after them crying and begging him to stop.
His Native American heritage was great for my learning solid basics for herbal healing but was a disaster when it came to him being able to have a few drinks and not go into a tail spin.
The third time was the charm. Not only did he beat me up but he tore up the apartment after I fled and wrote all over the walls in red magic marker that I had, ‘f**ed those Puerto Rican boys upstairs,’ which was a ridiculous lie. He also left town and ran back home to Detroit.
I vowed, if a man ever put his hands on me again it would never be the same. If there was an ambulance called for me, there would be one called for him, too. Soon after I marched across 2nd Avenue and signed up to study the martial arts.
I studied several different forms of martial arts, beginning with Nesei Go Ju, Tang Su Do, Tai Kwan Do and Tai Chi Chuan. I got pretty good. Good enough, say, that when he returned from Detroit and looked me up I agreed to get together with him. I wanted to end the relationship on my terms.
He had returned with a successful pilot which he had written. He had ‘partners’ who were supposed to back him while he wrote the scripts for thirteen segments for a daytime television talk show series. There we were again with the brooding devilish writing sequences.
There I was still working out and practicing the martial arts. So, when it happened, and you know it had to happen, that it came time to mix it up, I hit him so hard and it was so well placed that it literally knocked him cross-eyed.
It stopped him in his tracks. He couldn’t see straight and had found out that indeed, training and technique had trumped anger, strength, and his male sense of power. The relationship did finally end shortly thereafter, on my terms.
For me the moral of the story is that women should study the martial arts, from a young age. Girls should have physical education segments every year while in grade school teaching them hold breaks, blocking, take downs and throws. Every year of school that body of work should be added onto. Especially into high school years when too many girls find themselves victims of violence in relationships.
Girls should learn not only how to block a punch but they can take one if they have to and still get away from their attacker.
Girls should learn that their legs are longer and stronger than men’s arms and that kicks and sweeps are powerful tools for protection. There are some amazingly simple hand techniques that will compel an attacker or a grabber, (women are often grabbed) to let go in an instant. These techniques are so painful that the subdued aggressor immediately becomes willing to do anything for relief.
I wouldn’t pretend to suggest that every case of domestic violence will end because women learn to defend themselves at an early age, but I would suggest that if boys learn at an early age that hitting that girl or shoving that girl might result in their own tears instead of the girl’s, the message would be launched.
If a man thought that by throwing a punch, he might well land flat on his back having been swept and countered, fewer punches might be thrown.
I know that I walk with a greater sense of personal safety having been trained many years ago. I pray that more women can live safer lives as well. Martial arts training is one way that can happen.