*Trigger Warning – Abuse, Rape, Victim*
“Tonight we are going to do some grappling.”
(Yes, I certainly will be grappling)
The high energy from the children’s class was slowly diffusing from the air as all us adults sat down on the red mats of the Taekwondo studio. We sat in a rough circle around the Master of the class, and he had one of the older male students sitting next to him for demonstration.
It was self-defence night, and instead of the martial arts style of self defence, we were going to learn some practical self defence. The Master asked his volunteer to lay on the ground and he then swung his leg over him so that he was straddling his “victim.”
“This is the position most people like to be in when they have you on the ground. This way they have dominance over you, and then have access to punch or hit you, among other things.”
The Master slid off of his volunteer and asked him to open his legs – He then slid into the space made between his “victim’s” legs. He stopped to look around. The class was about 50% women. He stopped himself as he selected his words.
“This is what we call being in your guard.” He stopped again. He looked at some of the newer, younger girls who have recently joined the class – those he didn’t know very well.
“… Let me know if this makes you uncomfortable, at any time… we can stop”
“This is the position that guys like to be in… if they… if they want to rape you.”
(It hit me in the chest. Rape. That word. That thing.)
The Master proceeded to explain how to protect yourself against your aggressor regardless of whether he was on top of you, or in your guard.
Buck your hips.
Grab one arm.
Pin one leg.
Go fast – use your momentum.
If it doesn’t work the first time, keep trying. Don’t ever give up.
And for the rest of the class I grappled:
Physically, I grappled with my female partner on the soft mats of the taekwondo studio.
Emotionally, I grappled with Rape.