By Shelcy Joseph, Contributor
A participant in the SMASH! Free Women’s Self-defense Class practices fighting Bob.
I have been a student at the Chinese Hawaiian Kenpo Academy for almost two years, taking self-defense classes and now training for belts. I randomly stumbled upon their free women’s self-defense program while Googling one day and told myself I’d give it a try. Went there once and next thing I knew, I was coming regularly. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Here’s why you need to join the program:
It’s a physical workout
Say hello to your new gym workout. If you aren’t a big fan of going to the gym (like me), the self-defense classes are a pretty good substitute. They’re an all-inclusive stretch + cardio + kickboxing package. The truth is, whenever I go to the gym, I feel overwhelmed by the number of machines and never end up being productive. The self-defense workout makes it very simple for me by teaching me a sequence of techniques that leave me feeling energized at the end of each class.
It’s also a work-in
What do I mean by that? Practicing the technique invites you to really dig deep and find your inner strength. I never thought I’d get to tap into it and I now know that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to (for example, fighting Bob). It’s scary at first to throw a punch and imagine having to confront someone in the streets, but once you decide to look within, trust and push yourself to learn the techniques, you will overcome the initial fear. The instructor also encourages you to give yourself some credit and by the end of the workout, you feel so much more confident in your abilities.
It helps you protect yourself
Last but not least, learning self-defense empowers you in your everyday life and helps you better protect yourself in dangerous settings. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to learn how to defend ourselves, but the reality is, you’re safer once you know what to do in the face of danger. Learning things like how to disarm a weapon or how to protect yourself against a knife will always be useful. Whether you have to use what you learn or not, it’s good to know and you never know when you or someone else might need your help.
This class is not just a workout, but also a work-in; it’s an exercise in strengthening both your mind and body. It’s worth giving it a try and I promise you’ll want to come back!
Shelcy Joseph is a freelance writer based in New York City, covering finance, health and business. On her free time, she loves to travel, try new restaurants and read.