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  • Writer's picturedavidgillman


Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Part 2 - When a Bully Attacks…

"It is true that a victim who fights back may suffer for it, but one who does not almost certainly will suffer for it" - Jeff Cooper

Before I continue this article, I wish to mention the many thousands of schools around our country and the world, who provide excellent training and knowledge of self-defence. No matter the discipline, we are all on the same mission, traveling the same journey towards personal empowerment, enriching the lives of the people we teach.

I want to pose this question to you. Imagine that the majority of our country’s population was well trained in the disciplines of self-defence? I’m talking 80%! It would be like living in a country of self-regulating soldiers in civilian clothing, wouldn’t it?

Can you imagine, with this knowledge, what the average mugger or bully would think? Do you think they would be worried about taking on a grown man with many years of experience in Tae Kwan Do? My guess would be yes.

Do you think they might consider what could happen to them if they targeted a seemingly defenceless seventy year old lady, only to learn that she had been training in Tai Chi for most of her life? I smile to myself as I think of this situation, picturing the damage one little old lady with the right training can cause!

What about a kid in the schoolyard, being sized up by a bully. The bully sees a skinny, vulnerable victim with a pocketful of lunch money, so he comes up to him and attempts to shove his victim’s face into the dirt, only to be suddenly countered with an arm lock and a trip. The bully ends up flat on his back, being ridiculed by his mates! How’s that for an ace up your sleeve?!

Let me introduce you to an institution called Wellbeing Martial Arts. This is the Dojo where my wife Vivienne and I currently train and have been for over 4 years. We, along with our long term fellow students, each have our own personal reasons why we train and they are as many and varied as the individuals who train here. Speaking for myself, my primary concern is to make myself as hard a target for mugging or bullying as possible.

The Dojo I attend has many students, ranging in age from five-year-olds to Senior Citizens over 70. On open days, it’s magnificent to see so many students, at different levels of aptitude, performing what they have learned as if it were a choreographed dance.

Our very down to earth, patient instructors, Sensei Geoff and Sensei Bree work tirelessly, helping us all during group and private classes, to improve our abilities in self-defence. They teach us exercises and applications, called kata and bunkai respectively. The camaraderie, especially in the adult classes, is respectful and helpful. There are no egos demonstrated here, no jealousy of rank, just the need to improve ourselves.

We all train to achieve readiness, in case that one devastating event could happen to us any day, when we are attacked on the street or even in our homes. That one day we hope never comes, but if it does and someone tries to grab us from behind, or choke us, or put us in a headlock or even attack us with a weapon, we can help ourselves. We are not defenceless.

We may not have our fellow students with us physically, but they are there with us spiritually as we move into defence mode. Maybe it is a swinging roundhouse kick, a counter-block and counter-strike with one hand as our opposite foot, seemingly out of nowhere, flings them in the groin. Or we’re brushing off our attacker with a simple swipe to their hand, breaking their thumb in the process then pulling them in by the scruff and counter punching them between the ribs. Or it may be countering an aggressive shove with a counter step, counter push.

Those of us who stick with the classes, adopt our teachings as a way of life. They are woven into the fabric of our everyday existence. We learn, practice and train the basics over and over again, just like training at any sport. Any well-balanced individual attending our classes is not looking for a fight, or for trouble. We are training to prevent or reduce the trauma that may be inflicted upon us. When we train, we train to condition our bodies and our minds. We are not trained to kill, nor would any of us want to be. We are trained to apply a balanced and measured legal response to our attackers.

The quicker and more simply we counter an attack, the better! Initiating a stunning split-second counter attack and then quickly getting out of there is ideal. Sometimes, that may not be the case, and you may be up against 2 or more attackers. This is why we recommend staying on to increase your aptitude.

In my day job as a master life coach, I have wanted to share my thoughts on self-defence as another positive aspect for living a good life, but I must confess, it has taken me a long time to start practicing it in a consistent manner. At the time of writing this article, I am within a grade of earning my Brown Belt in Goju Ryu Karate. The much coveted Black belt, for me, is far away, but I’m not in it to claim my black belt like a trophy. Instead, for me it is simply a milestone in my life-long journey towards self-improvement.

I end with these vital questions for you:

1. Are you worth defending?

2. Is a random life trauma something you wish to avoid?

3. Do you want to take action today and put yourself on a path for greater wisdom and self-protection?

Make the decision today. Take action. Call a self-defence school. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

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