8th March 2017: Day 48 - The Law of Attraction?
I grew up in Clapham in the sixties/early seventies. A time where life was relatively safe for a child. Parents left their children in their prams outside shops, we could walk to the library or Brownies by ourselves. If we needed to cross a busy road we simply asked an adult to take us. They did and then they went about their business.
One day when I was about 10, I was leaning out of the window in my Uncle’s room at the top of the house when I saw two men fighting. I have brothers, so it wasn’t the first time I saw a fight but there was something different about this one. My brothers didn’t fight as if they wanted to kill each other (they reserved that for their fights with me) but these men were really going at it. Fists flew, blood flowed and one man having floored his opponent grabbed him by the hair and smashed his head into the pavement. But rather than look away I was mesmerised and it took my mother, having poked her head out to see what I was watching, to drag me away. I think she told me off.
I didn’t think about that incident again until one day, a few weeks later, I was outside the house and one of the men walked towards me. And I wasn’t scared. I think it was because it was the man whose head got smashed into the pavement. Instead I felt sorry for him.
I don’t know why this story came to mind today. Maybe because I’ve been pondering my relationship to violence. I have none. I don’t like it.
That doesn’t make me special, I don’t think I know anyone that would tell me that they enjoy violence. But I know that I can’t watch a violent programme or film without covering my eyes. Game of Thrones for instance is a favourite, but that episode in the last series where Jon Snow was in battle with Sansa’s sadistic husband – well I heard more than saw most of that. Even scenes in the Rocky films are watched with hands over eyes.
It seems strange that these are what come to mind as a result of today’s activity, which was to attend a Krav Maga self-defence class.
I don’t know what I was thinking.
I should have known I wouldn’t like it. It took me a while (a couple of weeks) to purchase the Groupon. And it’s not an accident that I saved it till one of the last activities. Today I kept asking myself if it was wise to take a self-defence course. There has never been the need and a part of me, the part that believes we manifest what we focus on was concerned that by taking the course I may be attracting the kind of trouble that would make me need it.
Does that sound daft?
Needless to say I didn’t like the class.
The first exercise was us walking around the centre of the room protecting our faces and trying to avoid being bumped by another.
That was okay.
Then we had to crawl along the floor, avoiding contact with others.
I didn’t like that
The next exercise was again walking around the room and this time trying to hit the top of as many people’s heads and blocking anyone who tried to hit your head.
I liked that even less.
Eventually, we got into pairs and had to hit and block and hit and block. My partner, in parrying my slap hit my wrist bone.
That hurt a lot.
We then did a move where you block a hit and then kick aiming at the groin.
And it was then I had to ask myself why I was there.
And it was then I knew I wouldn’t last the whole class.
I left 10 minutes later, 20 minutes before the class ended.
Sometimes you just have to accept who you are and what you are (un)willing to do.
So I did, and I left.
2 days to go.