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Self Defense This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Thebest self-defense,"he paused, and I perceived a pain in his eyes, "isto know where you're going. Then what can they take from you? Your body? Yourlives?"

Passing these words on to us, my instructor continued thelegacy of his sensei: a secret passed from master to student with each generationof karate practitioners. I thought of all the martial artists who had lived anddied by this doctrine, so strong was their faith. Beads of sweat stung my eyes,yet I had never seen with more clarity. I knew where I was going, where I hadcome from, and all those like me who had endured the pains of life and death withthat one perfect defense.

Listening with labored breaths, my fellowstudents stood like soldiers at attention. The meaning of our instructor's wordshad escaped a few who were no longer consequential. The rest of us gazed at ourown

sweating reflections in the mirrored walls, indomitable. White beltor black, aged or youthful, we students of the martial way had been inundated bythe timeless spirits of the faithful.

Staggering defeats and miraculousvictories had been lost for all those years before. My existence had been anarrow staircase full of assignments, deadlines and advancement. Defenseless, Ihad been afraid for my life and terrified by imaginary consequences.

Iwatched my reflection blink slowly, as if relieved from some paralysis. With mynewfound faith, I could take chances I had never dared take, and I would prevail.But the flood passed, the spirits were unclutched, and only a starry-eyed boy wasleft in their wake. Now frightfully aware of my own vulnerabilities, I have setout to discover where I am going. Today, I learn, train and love, trying to findin myself the flicker of faith I first saw while inside the dojo.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

kellyc said...
Dec. 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm:
I enjoyed this article. I think that learning self defense is an important and necessary task. It is unlikely that you will ever be attacked, but you can never know. This not only prepares you for an attack, it can also teach you hard work, team work, and discipline.
 
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La Shorty said...
Apr. 19, 2011 at 7:39 am:

Thisz ISz Awesome!

Itsz a Really good artical, yuh would make a good writer. :)

 
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