I taught my first private self defense lesson this week.
I say it’s my first, even though I have taught self defense before. I’ve helped some of the instructors teach martial arts private lessons, and of course, I teach during for my school. But this was the first time I had the opportunity to teach it myself. In fact, I was requested to teach. Me, a lowly brand new 2nd degree black belt, when this family in particular could have asked any of the higher ranking black belts for lessons.
They asked me for two reasons: first, because I know my stuff. And second, because I’m a woman and this was a lesson for the daughter before she heads off to school. That fact itself is important to me, but you can read more about that here and here.
For my first lesson, I think it went well. We had two sessions, which was great because I was able to break down the basics into a couple of separate hours and we were able to have time to process and review. This was a young woman who knew nothing about martial arts really, but not naive by any means. Her father is military so she has a plethora of knowledge in her head.
Many things went well – she was able to retain a lot, which was helpful in teaching. She wanted to learn, so that was also a bonus. I learned a lot about myself and what’s important to teach and how to teach it. I need to slow down, give information on a MUCH MORE “need-to-know” basis. And I need to reinforce that elbows and groin kicks are a girl’s only best friend. Forget diamonds. So she and I both learned a lot.
Are there things I should’ve taught her but I didn’t get the opportunity or it slipped my mind? Absolutely.
Is she going to retain everything I taught her? Absolutely not.
She is an expert in self defense now? Absolutely not.
For that matter though, neither am I.
The greatest feeling though, was the gratitude I received from her parents. For me, that was better than any payment – or giant garden zucchini – I could’ve received. Because I have afforded them a gift that money can’t buy.
Peace of mind over sending their little girl to college.
That’s what keeps me going, folks. Because in the end, all it comes down to is that for those few hours, I made the smallest of differences in someone’s life. I made the smallest but purest contribution of kindness I could offer to this world. I afforded a young woman some confidence and empowerment – with a splash of badassery – and I gave some parents a little more sleep at night. And maybe I made the world just a tiny bit kinder and a tiny bit safer.
And that’s all it’s about.
I’m out to make a difference. What about you?