We successfully held our grand opening seminar on April 3rd with one of Japan’s top bodyguards as our self-defense instructor. I could sense that many participants felt that “I want to protect myself in an emergency!" and that they wanted to truly learn. In this event we talked about the teacher's experience and he helped all of us to learn how to deal with various possible dangerous situations. Elementary school-aged children also practiced how to prepare themselves and how to protect themselves if they are attacked.
According to our instructor, many Japanese people have a false impression about their safety. Since many people have the image that "Japan is a safe country," that have come to think that everyday incidents that happen around them are other people's issues and that they really don’t apply to them. Unfortunately, every day I see news about missing children, children who were suddenly attacked, people who are victims of sex crimes, robberies and violence reported in the newspaper and on TV. I'm sure that the victims never thought that something like that would ever happen to them. But unfortunately, reality is different, and those who accepted this reality participated in our seminar.
My sensei often taught me that "the best thing to do when you are attacked is to run away. But if you can't run away, knowing self-defense techniques will change your chances of survival." During our regular practices, I explain to students that if the wooden knife that we are using for practice was actually a real one it would be much scarier. Even so, there is definitely a difference between how someone will respond if they have never practiced at all versus someone who has had some self-defense training.
One of the participants told me that they felt, "a little more relieved" to have practiced these self-defense techniques with us during this event. For everyone who joined us, I hope that they never find themselves in an emergency situation in the first place.
But just in case that they do, I hope that what they learned during our grand opening event will help them to better prepare themselves.