When it comes right down to it, nobody in this world matters as much as you!
No one has a right to steal your possessions, your future, or your potential – bottom line. In that sense, you need to see yourself as the most important person in the world. You only live once, and you should try to be here as long as possible. I can’t stand the stories about some pathetic thug who took the life of a mother of three. This is an absolute atrocity. She was a very important person; he was not. Some of you might think this sounds selfish. I know you probably care a lot about your family, your friends, and so on. But think of it this way: what good are you to them if you’re gone or hurt?
When you keep yourself safe, secure, and healthy, you’re making the people in your life who care about you happier, too. My mission is to empower and educate as many individuals as possible to realize that they are each the most important person in this world, and to give them the skills with which to secure their lives for years to come. I truly believe that if you realize how important you really are, you will take steps to protect your life.
Let’s look at the priorities in our society.
When you’re at a shopping center and you make a major purchase – let’s say an appliance, or even a new iPod – the individual across the counter asks, “Would you like to put insurance on this? It’s only x-amount of Rands a year.” And a lot of us will say, “Yes, absolutely.” When you purchase a new car, you can’t even leave the lot without purchasing a comprehensive insurance policy, which may cost thousands of Rands per year. Why? If you took out a loan to purchase the car, the bank or finance company wants to be sure they’re protected. And you’ll sleep better, too, knowing that if anything happens to your new toy, it will be replaced, or at least repaired properly. It’s all about peace of mind. Do you buy auto insurance because you plan to jump into this new vehicle and ram it into a wall or another car? Of course not. You buy it because you know you’re going to be on the road with a lot of other drivers, and you never know which of those other drivers might be under the influence, or just not paying attention, and run into you.
It’s the same when you buy a home. The bank won’t complete the loan process until you purchase the proper insurance policy, because they want to make sure their investment is protected. And even though you hope nothing catastrophic is ever going to happen to your home, it’s worth it to you to know you’re covered – just in case.
In short, we go to great lengths to protect all the material objects in our lives. So why is our personal safety up for grabs? Why don’t we have self-defense training in the school system? From an early age you send your children to school, where they are taught many things. You name it, and there’s a class on it – art, home economics, math, English, and so on. And while all these classes are certainly important, why is there no requirement to take a class on situational awareness and real self-defense? It should be mandatory that your child will sit down and crack open a book and learn about who the bad guy is, what he thinks, and what can he do to you. That he’s not the guy in the dark alley with the long trench coat, he’s not the boogieman, and he’s not the guy you see on TV. That the bad guy looks just like you and me. And what about you? Since you weren’t required to take a selfdefense class in school, how about now? Surely as intelligent, mature adults we realize that we need to be able to protect ourselves. Right?
Did you know that the average woman will spend more on her hair and nails in one year than she will spend on personal safety in her entire lifetime? That many families spend more on rental movies in one year that they would ever spend on ten years of self-defense classes? Tactical training and martial arts fall at the very bottom of most people’s priority list. We want to insure our material items – our cars, our houses, and everything around us – but when it comes to our own safety, we do nothing. Why is that? How do we rationalize what is and isn’t important? We live in a society where we see crime in the news every day, we read about it in the newspapers, and we hear about it from others – and yet somehow we don’t wake up each morning and spend the whole day looking over our shoulders.
Please understand, I’m not saying that you have to be paranoid to be heads-up about self-defense, personal safety, and situational awareness. Paranoia isn’t a part of the mindset of self-defense. The point is, instead of learning from the experience of others, we tend to disassociate ourselves from the people we see or read about in the news, because we don’t know them. We haven’t attached ourselves to them emotionally, so they’re not real to us. We think, “That couldn’t happen to me.” We hope and believe that we can always put ourselves in the right place, and that someone will always be there for us. We gloss over the fact that maybe the victim on the news was in a good neighborhood, drove a nice car, made a lot of money, and didn’t know their attacker, and yet still became the victim of this brutal individual. Instead we go on fixing dinner, or whatever else we’re doing, and we don’t give it a second thought.
Think about this: On a daily basis, who do you interact with? Other people. You come into contact with hundreds if not thousands of people every year, and you don’t know ninety-five percent of them. From the time you get up until the time you go to bed, you interact with other human beings. And what is the source of the threat when it comes to self-defense? Other human beings. Yet when it comes to crime, most people prefer to look the other way and hope for the best. How does that make sense? Once you’ve been in a situation, hindsight is 20/20. That’s when you begin to say stuff like, “I wish I would have taken a class. Well, this is never going to happen to me again. I’m going to get a concealed weapons permit. I’m going to take martial arts. I’m going to take a self-defense class.”
If you knew ahead of time that you were going to become a victim, you would probably act to prevent it. That’s why we’re going to go one more step. I want you to just stay with me, please, while I take you on a little journey. Imagine you have the ability to time travel. You’re going to go ahead two years (or six months, or one year — it doesn’t really matter). When you get there you’re going to open up a newspaper or search the Internet, and you’re going to find that either you or someone very close to you became the victim of a brutal crime. Maybe they were robbed, maybe they were murdered, maybe they were raped, maybe they were brutalized to the point where they were handicapped or it caused some kind of emotional distress that they’re going to live with for the rest of their life. Then, because you have the ability to time travel, you come back to today. Knowing what’s going to happen, how much will you spend to seek out self-defense training? What will you be willing to do to tip the scales in your favor, and change the outcome that you witnessed in the future?
Obviously none of us can time travel (that I know of). But by doing this exercise, you can imagine what it would be like if you went into the future, and you found out that your mom was robbed and beaten. They took her car and left her for dead, and she didn’t make it. And you can ask yourself what you could have done to change that. Now say you couldn’t just stop her before she went out to the car – that you can’t change time like that. But you could empower her with knowledge. Maybe she didn’t park in a well-lit parking area. Maybe she was jingling her keys. Maybe she left her car unlocked when she got in because she began to adjust the mirror. Or she was looking for something in the console. Or she made a phone call. Whatever it was, she stayed in the parking lot twentyfive seconds too long, which gave an individual who scouted her out because she was the last one leaving the opportunity to walk across the parking lot, open the car door, and carry out the plan that he wanted to carry out. The education that she could have gotten over the last six months, year, or two years could have saved her life. She didn’t have to become a prize fighter, and step out of the car and whoop this individual. That’s not what we’re looking for. Because remember, self-defense isn’t about whooping somebody –it’s about surviving. You can beat someone to a bloody pulp, and you don’t get a title belt. You don’t get a trophy. You don’t get ten seconds on the news half the time. On the other hand, if you lose – if they take your life, if they victimize you – you might get a ten-second spot on the news. But who’s destroyed? Everyone in your family. Everyone close to you. And everything you ever worked for is gone at the hands of some thug, some criminal who made his plan just because he thought you were a weak target. You have to realize and understand that it can happen to anyone. So let’s just go ahead and time travel, all right? Do this exercise for me and it will definitely open up your mind and expand what you think about as far as the potential hazards in this world.
It can be absolutely anything, from the lowest priority of self-defense to the highest priority, from a bullying situation to a weapon involved, from a domestic situation to a multiple attacker situation. It really doesn’t matter. Education is of the utmost importance.
Self-defense knowledge is lifesaving. I wish the kids had it. I wish the young females had it. I wish the young males had it – especially the guys who walk around thinking, “You know what? I’m a pretty in-shape guy. I took a couple of boxing classes. There’s no way anyone’s going to victimize me.” Hey guys, guess what – you might have a very nice car and two guys with a long rap sheet are across the street staring at you. Maybe they’re on probation. Maybe they broke out of jail. Maybe they just don’t care. They’ve put the bull’s-eye on you, and they’re planning to take your very nice car. They’ll do whatever they have to do to get it, and then drive it all over the country, or all over the province, and just joy ride. And if you’re in their way, guess what –you’re the victim.
It really doesn’t matter whether you’re in shape, or you’re not in shape. You can insure your life to the hilt with just general education and knowledge. You don’t have to be hitting a bag all the time. Does this mean that if you take a self-defense class, you’ll never become a victim? Absolutely not. And if there’s an instructor or an organization or a program out there that preaches, “If you do this, you will always be safe” or “If you do this move you will always win” – that’s nonsense. We’re talking about a ninety percent effectiveness rate. That’s a reasonable goal when it comes to protecting ourselves, our loved ones, and our families.
Let’s not be reactive; let’s be proactive. This is empowering. Instead of only insuring our cars, refrigerators, and iPods, let’s start thinking about ourselves. Yes, we need car insurance and home insurance and even nice hair and nails – but don’t forget how important self-defense and personal safety education are in today’s society. Even one class or seminar can be empowering and life saving. Overall, it’s a very small investment to protect your biggest asset – YOU!
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