You know…  I have a very sweet, loving and innocent 10 year old daughter.  She runs up to me all the time and gives me a big hug with a warm smile that would melt your heart – many of you have probably seen her do it in the studio.  I love it.  After coming across this article this morning, it made me think of her.

I am glad that she is getting ready to go for her Black Belt soon and will have to the tools necessary to slap around any of these misguided young men who think they can take advantage of her!  She has been trained to say no to things that make her feel uncomfortable (peer pressure)…  and she knows that if anyone puts a hand on her that makes her feel uncomfortable, she has free rein to haul off and teach them a lesson – even if its an adult. 

I have played almost every sport available.  I was an avid soccer player when I was young, playing on travel teams and competing in tournaments.  I was also a talented tennis player spending most of my summers on hartue courts chancing a little yellow ball.  In highschool, I played varsity baseball and basketball.  In college I was varsity volleyball.  I have competed at the top levels of badminton and even won a state championship.  And of course, I have competed in martial arts tournaments as well. 

When I was 17, I had a gun held to my head.  It was an experience that changed my life.  NONE of my althetic endeavors helped me in that situation.  At 19 I started martial arts.  Had I started martial arts sooner and learned the importance of making good decisions, I would never have been in the position I was in where holding a gun to my head would have been possible. 

While I appreciate sports like soccer and baseball, to me, martial arts is something more.  Baseball will not provide my daughter with the tools to defend herself from a harmful situation…  nor soccer or any other “sport”.  What martial arts will do (an in my opinion, the only activity that will do this) is allow her to first think and then to ACT BEFORE anything would happen and therefore avoid all the physical and more importantly the psychological impacts of such an attack.  Because as we know…  once certain things are done, they cannot be undone.  I want my daughter to be PROACTIVE…  not reactive. 

If you know of anyone who might benefit from martial arts – even if they live in another state…  feel free to forward them this link…  Stryker Martial Arts  and let them see the true facts of what our daughters face when heading to college… 

Sexual Assault

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, young women (ages 16-24) are the most at risk of being raped. In fact, more than 52 % of all rape/sexual assault victims were females younger than 25 people who know each other. A survey conducted on 32 colleges and universities found that 84% of women raped knew their attacker and 57% of the those rapes happened on dates psychologically coerced into sex, not just physically. Due to fears of not being believed, being blamed for the rape, or concerns about privacy, almost 81% of on-campus and 84% of off-campus sexual assaults are not reported to the police This is mostly due to the fact that we live in a society that often blames women for the violence that is perpetuated against them. For instance, they are often told they wore, drank, or said the “wrong thing”. We also know that 42% of rape victims told no one about the assault, and only 5% reported it to the police survivors do talk to someone about their experience. Most often it is a friend or family member . For this reason, college students need to be educated on ways to be a supportive to survivors of sexual assault and the dynamics of victim blaming attitudes.

1 U.S. Department of JusticeRobin Warshaw. 1994. 2 I Never Called it Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting, and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape  3 U.S. Department of Justice “Final Report: Understanding Crime Victimization Among College Students: Implications for Crime Prevention   4Robin Warshaw. 1994. I Never Called it Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting, and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape    5 Bureau of Justice Statistics