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Bowley Kenpo Karate » Personal Stories » Teaching is Protecting

Teaching is Protecting

In the Kenpo blue belt pledge, we recite “. . . And will defend with all the skill I possess the weak, the helpless, and the oppressed.” Most may believe the literal definition would mean

Mr. Wilson teaching Hammering Inward Block

Mr. Wilson teaching Hammering Inward Block

to fight someone on behalf of a victim. And it certainly could. But if you possess the skill to teach, then you can help defend those in need by teaching them defend themselves. Teaching someone is much harder than doing it for them, but the effect is longer lasting and much more rewarding.

Recently a couple of students and I had the honor of helping Mr. Damian Wilson and his Disciple Martial Arts students do a hands on demonstration for single mothers. The

Alternating Maces in demonstration

Alternating Maces in demonstration

event was part of the Survive N Thrive conference put on by Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City. The entire conference was about empowering single mothers is mental, spiritual, and physical aspects of their lives.

At a conference of several hundred women, 35 to 40 showed for the Empowerment through Self Defense breakout session. If they were expecting a lecture, they received quite a shock. Mr. Wilson and his crew of eleven cleared out all the tables and chairs from the room. It was a practical application session. We covered basic creating distance maneuvers with blocks and strikes mixed in. For fellow Kenpoists, it was

Demo team working with the class

Demo team working with the class

Delayed Sword, Sword of Destruction, and Alternating Maces. All the single mothers paired up and practiced these technique drills and also had an “expert pair” somewhere nearby to act as an example and answer questions. The hour long class flew by with much interest and many great questions. Though the biggest hit (no pun intended) was watching the techniques performed with speed and power.

The women all seemed to have a fun learning experience and soaked up as much information as we could give them. An hour session isn’t enough to master even the most basic of Kenpo. But this wasn’t about mastery. It was about teaching just enough to buy someone a few seconds time to get away or build a little confidence.

As teachers with a passion for martial arts, we hope all of our students aspire to become black belts. But the reality is most won’t complete the journey. Their life will take them in a different direction. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it also means we have to teach them enough and hope they’ve learned enough with us in our time together to be confident and able to defend themselves (or others) should the situation ever arise.

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Sam Bowley
McKinney, TX

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