My friend Joanne Factor of Strategic Living in Seattle is looking for successâ€¦ in her news letter, she writes, â€œMore specifically, I’m looking for success stories.Â Real-life accounts of people using their skills and knowledge and gut feelings to keep them out of harm’s way.Â While still living, loving, and overall engaging in life.â€
So, stop me if youâ€™ve heard thisâ€¦ but this is just one of the many stories I could tell about how my training helps keep me safe and well.
I am reminded of this story mostly because there is a young man at the O right now, who dances Karate Kid style around me. Every time he sees me, he hoots and hollers like Bruce Lee, takes kung fu stances, and he waves his arms around like wax on and wax off, enticing me to engage.
Usually, I just stand there, watching and waiting for him to get bored. Then, I encourage him to take some lessons, and gain some skill with his enthusiasm.
This type of behaviour is common when someone hears I am a martial artist. Either this reaction or the, â€œI better be nice to youâ€ comment. Both are condensing and silly, and require no comment from me in return.
I have been a student of martial arts almost as long as Iâ€™ve been a teacher! I know that sounds backwards, but itâ€™s what I mean to say. I think I was meant to teach and I am grateful I am able to train. So, when Iâ€™m asked what I doâ€¦ I say, â€œI am fortunate to teach martial arts.â€
Years ago, Ken and I were at a party at a friends house. There were a lot of people there, loud music, and big energy.Â Folks were drinking, and small talk was loud and the topic of most conversations. So, it didnâ€™t surprise me when 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. â€œSo, youâ€™re a martial artist?â€ I nodded, noticing the drink in his hand. He continued, â€œSooooooâ€¦.What would you do if I just hauled off and hit you in the face?â€
â€œSeriously?â€ I thought.
I know he was expecting a display of some skill, or he wanted to show me his skill. It didnâ€™t matter. I found my feet, stood strong, and answered without pause.
â€œI would charge you with assault. What do you think I would do?â€ â€œFor crying out loud,” I said, â€œweâ€™re at a party, why in the world would you hit me in the face?â€
Surprised, at my answer, he walked away.
Iâ€™m going to call that a success story!