Perhaps I have a lot of street experience after all.
As a martial arts teacher and self defense instructor, I have often joked about my lack of real world self defense experience. Outside of a few minor scuffles in my early twenties, I don’t have much to report. As a matter of fact, due to this lack, I sometimes feel like an impostor, even though I have devoted my life to studying as much as I could about personal protection. However, this perspective has changed.
I was recently at a weekend martial arts camp asking an experienced law enforcement agent to share his best war stories, as I do with all of my law enforcement and military friends. He had some good ones and I learned a lot. In an effort to stay involved in the conversation, I shared a bunch of “I almost got in a fight but was able to avoid it” stories. Then I joked with him on my lack of street experience. His response startled me. He told me that he thought I had the best kind of street experience. It seemed to him as though I had had several situations when a physical response could have been justified, but instead I was able to find a peaceful resolution. Honestly? I had honestly never though about it that way before.
My conclusion was that perhaps I don’t have to have had 100 street fights to feel qualified to teach self defence after all. As a master of fact, in many ways, I might have as much to teach about personal protection as the guy with 100 street fights.
Now that I have that off my chest, did I ever tell you about the time when……?