You never know when martial arts training can help

  • Wednesday, November 27, 2013

So, while walking to the Emergency room entrance of a downtown hospital for a sleep study, I got approached by two burly men offering varied drugs (Did I look the type?).

I immediately went into alert mode, ready to use my rolling bag as a weapon - they tried to maneuver quickly to get me in the middle of them. (Never ever do that. And keep your circle of safety where no one can grab or kick you). I made a sharp evasive move to the left and sprinted to the rather dark ER entrance (which ironically said “heart attack and stroke ER”). I immediately reported it to security, but the men ran away when I ran.

Fortunately, having trained in martial arts for more than 30 years, I’ve developed some natural instincts, awareness and responses.

You all know I’m a huge proponent of well-taught martial arts for all ages. And the second part of that is the mental awareness, and emotional self defense we need to be able to stay calm and make good choices.

Dear Liz,

My daughter is getting bullied in second grade. It is a top school with a great reputation.

She is getting a bit chunky and even starting to develop some. The girls are telling her she needs a bra and then not playing with her.

She is very sensitive, especially since going through a divorce. She did not want to tell her teacher for fear of retaliation or it getting worse. It breaks my heart that kids this young have to turn on their own. Life is challenging enough.

How can I support her better?

Dear “support,”

Important topic. Support at home is a key to truly counter the ever-changing friendship scene throughout the school years.

Kids who know they are loved for who they are inside have greater resilience to the ups and downs of school life.

Teaching and practicing healthy communication skills, expressing faith and finding a meaningful bullying book or DVD that appeals to your daughter’s age and maturity can help. Go through it with her - practicing appropriate responses is very helpful.

Teach the value of a good sense of humor. Avoiding an over-teasing culture at home helps too. Home needs to be a safe haven.

Make sure the teacher is aware if this continues. Bullying is against the rules and against the law. But it a matter of degree.

Most people who bully really don’t feel good about themselves. It is a parent’s responsibility to develop proper citizens who can be caring and compassionate.

Please seek additional help for your daughter, who I am sure is very self conscious. Help her with a healthy body image, and to love herself. Do healthy things together. Remove unhealthy junk food But don’t over focus on her weight. Give her the tools to be healthy and strong.

And - here I go again - join martial arts as a family. For more information about sensible self defense seminars for your church, workplace, schools,and “karate for success” in the after-school programs, contact Glenn Arnold at 843-388-2200 or www.Mtpleasantkarate.com.

Contact Liz via asksharpliz@gmail.com. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master degree level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.

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