I apologize quite sincerely to you all. Time has gotten away from me. Some of you know that I’m going through a difficult time in my personal life, and that has had me quite distracted. I really haven’t felt like writing when I didn’t actually have to.
I did recently get together with some wonderful folks for a Range Day, courtesy of John at FPF Training. I needed pictures for an upcoming book on Advanced Defensive Techniques, and John was kind enough to let us use his beautiful range. The day was gorgeous! Great friends, lots of green, fresh air, awesome photographers and LOTS OF GUNS! What could be more fun than that?
I’ll be sharing photos from that day over the next weeks. I got to try some new techniques, some of which I can tell you work, but encourage you not to try them unless you have to use them to defend your life.
One of the most profound things that day was a discussion of aftermath. Everyone was a credentialed instructor in their own right. All experienced shooters. We all learned from each other but the one thing that touched one of the women deeply was a discussion of aftermath. To illustrate, I told a story from my own life. Back in the mid 80’s (I know, some of you weren’t born yet!) I was stationed in Korea. It was common for me to go hiking in the hills beyond the town outside of the base where I was stationed. I was young, fit, invincible, and the Korean people were wonderful, polite and generous, so I never had a moment of fear. Besides, I had taken lots of self defense classes.
Well, one day, my world turned upside down. I came up on a man who managed to convey that he would like to pay me for sex. My Korean was pretty bad, as was his English, but I got the message. He offered me everything he had which translated to about $7.00. To this day, I’m not sure which offended me more, the proposition or the amount. LOL I declined and kept walking, he grabbed me. Everything I had ever learned went right out of my head. I slammed both hands into his chest, palms flat, knocking him down, and I ran. I didn’t stop running until I was almost back to the base. I never even looked back. I went straight to my room, and then to a hot shower. I felt violated, scared, and couldn’t stop shaking. Then, it dawned on me. I knew all these things I could have done and I didn’t do any of them! What was wrong with me? It took a lot of nudging by some very caring friends to get me out of the dorm and at least out in public the next day but I continued to question and second guess myself for several days. I finally went to talk to a counselor. She turned out to be wonderful. She listened to me beat myself up for what I could have done and then gave me the magic answer. I was safe. I had not made the situation worse, I did exactly what I had to do to get away. No more, no less. I did the right thing.
That was a turning point for me. I now share that story when I teach basic unarmed defensive tactics. I teach simple things, easy to remember, easy to do and encourage the students to do the minimum it takes to get away.
This message resonated with one of the women who had found herself in a situation where she reacted and got to safety but went through the same second guessing that I had, except she had not found a caring counselor. She didn’t realize that what she experienced was normal and it was ok, until that moment. Talking privately later, we both got a little emotional. It touched my heart to know that someone else had been touched by my story.
I hope you never have to experience it for yourself, but remember, what you feel after is normal and if you are safe, you did what you had to do, including not making the situation worse.