It's been a while. I've had atleast 3 blog ideas and content to write but never made the time. Some of us have to earn a living, no matter how much we detest the means to the goal. Then there's all the extra things one needs to do to fit into that horribly expensive dress one bought or the pair of shorts that one is hoping to buy. Many and such excuses later, here I am. Back to my beloved writing. Sneak-peeking at the time and wondering if I really want to do this.
One of my excuses for not learning martial arts even as a kid was that if the rest of the world can survive without it, so could I. That was the excuses behind which hid the real excuses - I was scared of getting hurt. Then my husband brought me to this guy who teaches an Israeli form of martial arts called Krav Maga. Tim is an excellent instructor and before I knew it, I was hooked. Yes, I came home bruised and battered quite often. On Wednesday nights, I barely managed to take the train back home, half-blinded by weariness, sticky and beaten after nearly 3 hours of punching, kicking, choking and hammers. When we did the Zombie exercise in the end, I didn't even have to pretend to be a zombie on some days!
In short, I love Krav Maga. I love my classes, my instructor and all that's in it. When KMTA organized a workshop at the Gold Coast one weekend, I didn't need Tim's excellent salesmen skills to tell me I wanted to do it. The announcement said it was only for graded and grading students. I wasn't graded and wasn't doing so this term but I registered, paid and went for it anyway. It was simply superb. We practised KM in the park, in the bus, on rough ground, in the sand, in the water and on sand mounds, just about everywhere. At the end of the "beach workshop", when we returned to the bus to change (he's an excellent driver too, by the way), there was a crate of chilled beer waiting for us. Did I mention I have the best training instructor ever?
One of the things that stuck in my head from the training was Tim explaining to us the strategic location to be seated while flying or in public transport that would help us in getting the best defend-and-escape position. He said he always took the aisle seat in a flight. When he was done explaining, it was obvious that if we all took a flight out some place, the window seats would be empty in the plane and everyone would be fighting for aisle seats. I'm one of those people that loves a window seat in an air-plane. I love the view while taking off and landing. It's my favourite part of the entire flight. The very part that used to scare me when I first started flying. Due to this, I refused to be influenced to take an aisle seat. It is not like I'm really going to be attacked or anything, I said to myself.
However, it did make me realize what I'd once thought of, as an excuse for not learning self-defence. One of the things you have to learn in a self-defence class is the various kinds of attacks possible. The knowledge is supposed to prepare you for any surprises and help you get away with least damage. It works. Your mind is sure to be alert once you know what to expect. The flip side is that you end up being on an always alert mode. In some ways it is good. Sometimes, it's plain strenuous to have to keep the brain on alert all the time. It's almost like running on adrenalin/battery power all day long (ask me, I know all about how that feels).
Also, it restricts your freedom to do as you please. Imagine never being able to take a window seat in a flight or bus or train. Imagine being worried about people walking down the aisle while you're in a window seat, with a stranger in the aisle seat next to you. Imagine walking down the street, clutching your bag, prepared for any kind of attack, all the time. What are the chances that you will actually get attacked? That said, can you just relax and go lax, given that the chances are probably slim. I suppose not. What is the point of learning to be alert and defending yourself if you won't apply it. It only takes that once to cause irrevocable damage.
Yet, I can't help feeling that sometimes I am better off being ignorant. I'm better off not knowing about the bad things that could happen, so I can enjoy the good things in peace. Or maybe I should just learn to strike a balance. I'm glad I'm not a police officer or a doctor. Imagine living in an I-must-save-and-protect mode all the time! It's a bit much. I love my sleep, I wouldn't sacrifice it to save the world from a war. Maybe not. Who knows? We'll cross the bridge when we come to it. Time to head off to earn my living. Wish I didn't know that. I'm getting that feeling again. I'm better off not knowing. As they say, what you don't know...