Dojo: Long Island Aikikai (Bay Shore)
Location: New York
Join Date: Apr 2012
Re: Dangerous Situations
Was never really picked on at school--but a friend of mine was for being overweight. I recall saying some really nasty and damaging things to the leader of the girl clique until she cried. This was middle school. I learned words can be equally damaging as any punch I'd throw. Years later, my friend who I protected became a bully, and the girl who I made cry became a friend. I also learned that the universe has an interesting sense of humor.
High school was interesting. Two boys were playfighting in the hallway, one was a friend and classmate, the other was a kid I used to tutor. Playfight got serious, classmate began choking the other kid out. Red as a raspberry. I stepped between them (full head shorter than both), they're throwing punches over my head. Within a few more seconds, more male friends came and pulled them apart because they were worried I was going to get hit. I learned that if you sufficiently put yourself at risk, have enough friends, people might come to your rescue. Especially if you're a chick.
High school again. My high school was connected to a college. Was walking out of the gym one day texting on my cell phone when some college student came up to me and took my phone right out of my hands. He started going through my numbers right in front of me as I was bewildered and tried to figure out if I knew the guy. Bunch of male friends saw what happened, surrounded him and forced him to give me back my phone, walked me to class, and wouldn't let me out of their sights for the day. Lesson I learned was: if you love and protect others, they will love and protect you back. Oh, and speak up next time, don't stand there gawking stupidly while someone does something weird to you.
High school again, go to a friends birthday party where two opposing gangs were invited. Fight breaks out, noses broken, heads butted, punches almost thrown. At first guys from both sides made us girls stay in, but when one guy floored a friend, I stepped out, yelled at all my friends to get in their and my 'effing car--now! Are you idiots going to make me repeat myself?' Everyone pauses, I must have looked ready to murder someone, but my friends finally listen, we leave. Right before I get an apology from one of the other crew's sober members. Everyone gets home alive. Lesson learned: it's good to be sober sometimes, even at a party. Also, alcohol makes stupid people even stupider. And winning does not mean you allow your friends to get into fights and possibly hurt or incarcerated. Yelling like you're their mother helps. Lots.
College, started aikido, dating my now husband, waiting for him at the dojo because I don't have a key. Jeep drives by, stops, reverses, parks right next to me. Did I mention it's raining? Guy comes out, asks for directions, starts chatting me up, don't think anything of it until he started to try and get me into his car. It was probably a bad idea to have told him my boyfriemd was late and stuck in traffic five minutes before. Guy still won't leave, keeps trying to get me to go into his car. Creep meter going way off, I text the boyfriend--who turned out to be a few minutes away--he comes careening down the road, gets out of the van and starts walking towards us, creep takes one look at him and breaks into a run. Manages to get into his van and leaves. Then boyfriend is very upset with me. Lesson learned: "Come into my car, I'll take you somewhere to wait out the rain" is probably a metaphor for something else, and don't take them up on the offer, especially if the words "I'm probably too old for you" and "my last girlfriend was chinese" had appeared in the conversation not two sentences before.
Also, take down the license plate.
Also, don't talk to strangers.
Also, crazy people don't care if you do martial arts, if your boyfriend does martial arts, or if you are standing in front of a martial arts school. Don't rely on that for safety.
Also, husband's face can turn an interesting shade of red, the likes of which you have only seen on the rear end of a baboon on NatGeo when he thinks you've put yourself in an exceedingly stupid or dangerous position.
Also, make sure you remember faces because you don't want to be the idiot who runs into the same guy who is waiting for you outside of the dojo two weeks later, and only by the saving grace of the universe were there a large amount of members that he doesn't say much and only after he leaves do you remember why he looks familiar. Yeah. Been there, done that.
Police on speed-dial might be handy.
Biggest lesson learned: POLITENESS AND SYMPATHY WILL SOMETIMES KILL YOU.
(which I will probably promptly forget the moment another strange man comes up to me and ask me to help his hurt puppy.)