One thing to know about me is I spend a lot of time thinking. Sometimes just thinking about something I want to do instead of just accomplishing it is still difficult for me because I wonder if it is even worth my time. However, in this particular scenario that is no longer the case. After much time and research on the numerous benefits of self-defense, I can honestly say I am no longer divided on my feelings about enrolling in classes.
When I was a child, I would see signs for karate places and tell my mom I wanted to take lessons. I do not remember what particularly drew me to it, because I didn’t even see the original Karate Kid movie until a few years ago. My mom never followed up on it because as a child everything I was involved in I would complain about. I did not want to go whether it was swimming lessons or Girl Scouts, even if I had fun after complaining. I forgot about wanting to take self-defense lessons for a while and accepted that it was just something I was never going to have the opportunity to try. Around the beginning of summer, I started talking to my mom again about how I really wanted to learn self-defense and needed help finding a good place to go. I explained that I wanted to improve a skill or learn another one so I felt l was doing more than just homework all day, everyday once school started.
Most of my research about self-defense has been looking up what benefits taking karate will have aside from learning how to defend myself. All of the benefits that a self-defense class can give you I found are things I need in my life. Potential benefits most popularly acknowledged include safety, increased self-confidence, toned muscles, overall fitness, balance, and self-discipline.
Recently, I remembering hearing about a woman who was jogging on the I&M Canal Bike Path near Joliet on September 8, 2015 and was sexually assaulted by a man who jumped out of the bushes. This affected me strongly because Joliet is close to where I live at school. It has always seemed to me that more women are victims of crime than men, or at least maybe crimes against women are more publicized. In fact, from 1995-2010, only 9% of rape and sexual assault victims were male. The fact that I am a woman, rather short, and am always told I look young for my age (anywhere from 13-18), I began thinking more about how learning self-defense is very important. It has dawned on me before and again when I heard this story that those who commit sexual assault or rob others might see me as a target because I look as threatening as a baby bunny. I would like to be able to go out and do things, such as take a walk, alone without having to wonder if something was to happen if I would be able to protect myself.
I will be taking a group beginner class at Academy of Self-Defense and Fitness in Evergreen Park. I found this particular place in a neighborhood close to my house in Alsip. My original intention was to take a private class so I would not feel behind everyone and could get more attention in hopes of learning more. However, the class I am in will be rather small and despite my awkwardness I always look forward to the chance of meeting new people. Here is to hoping that after my first class I realize it was ridiculous of me to be nervous.
Here are my sources if you’re interested in finding out more:
I&M Canal Incident
Sexual Assault Statistics