How many times, Oh! How many times have you said to yourself, if only I had listened to my mother! I know I say it to myself a few times everyday!
My family tries to live by one rule - Mom's! One thing I have learned is that if my mother told me, without any explanation whatsoever, to jump off a cliff, I should do so without as much as questioning her.
So in this vein I finally enrolled for the 'Women's self defence' classes at uni, which mind you, my mother has been telling me to do ever since I moved to Canberra.
My sister and I rocked up to the first lesson on a Monday evening at 7. It had been a long day and I really wasn't in the mood to listen to some butch woman telling me 100 ways to kick a guy in the ****, when I could be home eating food and watching Tele.
I was jolted out of this disinterest by one look at the instructor. Out with the butch woman and in with a preppy, young and, I must add, very very fit kung-fu- martial arts type. The first lesson passed much too fast. We learned the basics, which was that kicking a guy in the groin was not the first option in a life threatening situation and there were much better ways of rendering an assailant inert - sure fire ways too!
I left feeling refreshed, energised and almost believing that 'my body is a dangerous weapon - nobody better mess with me!'. This is what good teaching is all about, turning cynics into believers and turning sarcasm into admiration.
The instructor really believed in what she was teaching and she never failed to impress upon us the importance of doing something in a threatening situation - be it screaming at the top of your lungs or gouging the guys' eyes out! Anything at all because, contrary to common hearsay, reacting does not fuel the situation it can save one's life. We had the last class this week and I was not glad to go, as I had thought I would be. This only reinforced my belief that my mother is always right, even from across the Tasman!
Some thoughts on self-defence in Canberra:
1. Screaming is useless because no one will hear you - there is no one to hear you!
2. If you run into the closest house for help you will most likely be chased and bitten by a dog, so take your pick - man or beast.
3. You could possibly out-walk the drunk, racist, homeless guy who is yelling at you so don't beat him to pulp, just walk away!
4. If you live anywhere other than mid-city you are more likely to be attacked by a kangaroo (as my sister said so wisely) than any man, hence keep those boxing gloves handy!