Friend and fellow martial artist Jan Parker has been teaching a long time; she was already a master teacher when I was a mere novice two decades ago. She’s seen and heard more than a few wacky reactions when strangers and acquaintances find out what she does. And she just blogged about one such instance at a friend’s party years ago. The perennial question that most martial artists invariably encounter. Here’s an excerpt:
. . . [A] young man heard from someone else that I was a martial artist. Boldly, he came up to me to make sure what he heard was true. “So, you’re a martial artist?” I nodded, noticing the drink in his hand. He continued, “Soooooo . . . What would you do if I just hauled off and hit you in the face?”
Before you read on, what do you think her reply was?
Might she have said, “Yeah sure, I’d like to see you try”? Or how about “I’d hit you back harder”? Would she call him an ignorant jerk of an a$$hole? Perhaps she would have jumped straight up in the air and, Bruce Lee-style, executed a perfect flying side kick right into his nose!
“I would charge you with assault. What do you think I would do?” “For crying out loud,” I said, “we’re at a party, why in the world would you hit me in the face?”
Surprised, at my answer, he walked away.
She called that a success story. And so do I. She assessed his intent, decided this silliness was not a situation to escalate, and gave a response he was so totally not expecting. Perfectly disarming self-defense.
Of course you can read Jan’s re-telling on her blog JanJimJam.org. Jan Parker, you rock!