Tapping Out

Last night my taekwondo instructor announced that his school would be closing in two weeks for financial reasons. After training for three and a half years and being within months of testing for my black belt, I felt crushed. The school wasn’t the best. The instructor wasn’t coming off the Olympic circuit. But it was small and friendly enough that I had the courage to try learning a martial art at the tender age of 43. I have worked hard over the last few years. I’ve taken some pretty good hits, pushed… Read More

Claiming Public Space: The Power of Posture

This is the 2nd in a series of essays on the importance of self-defense and physical power. I am not an expert on self-defense, nor a physical fitness guru. I do not condone violence, but advocate taking whatever action or inaction is needed to survive potentially dangerous situations. Not every situation is defensible through physical force. Introductory Post:   A Blogger for Self-Defense The most common piece of introductory advice given for self-defense is to “be aware of your surroundings”. I’d step back from that and say first and foremost be aware of… Read More

A Blogger for Self-Defense

This is the introduction to a series of essays on the importance of self-defense and physical power. I am not an expert on self-defense, nor a physical fitness guru. I do not condone violence, but advocate taking whatever action or inaction is needed to survive potentially dangerous situations. Not every situation is defensible through physical force. Last month, I stopped participating in Bloggers for Peace. It is a great concept, but I felt like a hypocrite. I’ve not been feeling peaceful for a long time. The unfortunate side affect of reading blog… Read More

Kicking Your Mom

I woke up a walking bruise this morning after a taekwondo sparring session last night. Since I started taekwondo at age 42, I’m the only adult color (lower) belt at my dojang/school, so I train with the black belts. I’ve always regarded this as a blessing and a curse.  The blessing is that I am forced to get better faster or suffer, as I did last night, the very real consequences of having the shit kicked out of me. The curse being, of course, the actual shit kicking. I’m not necessarily afraid… Read More

The Art of Defensiveness

For weeks, I’ve been excited and anxious to start a writers’ workshop. I need critiquing and to learn how to revise and edit better. The workshop has started and I’ve gotten my first critique. My gut response, my very first thoughts out of the gate were: “Screw you! Your comments don’t even make sense. What are your credentials again?” Even as I’m thinking that, I start laughing at myself. I’m skilled at defensiveness. My husband said, “You’ll process the comments in about a year or so.” Having been the recipient and instigator… Read More

The Softening Technique

Tae Kwon Do means the way of the hand and the foot, but on some days not MY hands or feet.  I am preparing to test for my red belt in June and my expectations about what I should be able to do at this level are a mite different than the reality. Like many people, I assumed that the closer I got to black belt status, the higher I could kick, the faster I could spar, the more boards I could break with crazy flying kicks. My kicks are a smidge… Read More