Freedom has a price.

freedom-isnt-freeOn Independence Day especially, I contemplate the countless freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America.  Our freedom was paid for with the blood of patriots, and our unalienable rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence include “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Your own freedom also has a price.

In order to maintain and enjoy your personal freedom, you must not infringe upon the rights of others; obey local, state, and national laws; pay your bills; and make good choices with regard to mental and physical health and safety.

If you break the law, you may lose your freedom through incarceration.  If you fail to be financially responsible, you could lose the comfort and security of your home, your means of transportation, or even face incarceration.  If you aren’t a good steward of your physical body and mind, you may lose your freedom of movement, forfeit your sight, or even face an early demise due to your own poor decisions.

Making safe choices for yourself can help ensure your own freedom from harm, threat, or grievous injury.   Be aware, stay alert, and be present and thoughtful in your choices and decisions, so you can enjoy the countless freedoms we as Americans – and you as an individual – have.

God bless America.  Stay safe!

 

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No is a complete sentence.

Verbal self defense“No” is a complete sentence.  Anything else either clarifies or amplifies your message.  In terms of self defense, anyone who won’t take “no” for an answer likely doesn’t have your best interest in mind.

It’s okay to say No:

  • No, thank you.
  • No, I don’t want your help.
  • No, I won’t give you my phone number.
  • No, I can’t help you.
  • No, you can’t sit with me.
  • No, I’m not interested.
  • No, I’ll take the next elevator.
  • No, I’ll take the next cab.
  • No, I don’t want to sit with you.
  • No, I won’t go up to your room.
  • No, you can’t join us.
  • No, I’m not okay with that.
  • No, you can’t come in.
  • No, I don’t want to share a cab with you.
  • No, you can’t use my phone.
  • No, you can’t call me.
  • No, I won’t be your Facebook friend.
  • No, you can’t sit with us.
  • No, I won’t loan you $20.
  • No, I won’t let you give me a ride.
  • No, I’m not going anywhere with you.
  • No.

Any of these sentences has the potential to save you from a compromising or dangerous situation, if you’ll simply say the words and mean them.  And if the person doesn’t respond appropriately, know in advance what you’ll do next…and do it with conviction.

Visit www.redrivertkd.com or contact the author directly at redrivertkd@gmail.com.

Stay safe!

How to Fight: Two Simple Steps

 

  1. Don’t do it. You could wind up in the hospital, the court system, or the morgue.  Use every available means NOT to fight.   Apologize.  Make it right.  Draw attention to yourself and the situation.  Clearly state that you don’t want any trouble.  Call the police.
  2. If you must fight, fight like your life depends on it. Commit fully, don’t hold back, and stop as soon as the threat is neutralized.  No one who picks a fight plans on losing, and you never know what advantages they may have.

Every situation is different, so trust your intuition and react quickly.

Stay safe!

How to Choose the Right Martial Arts School for Kids

choose-the-right-martial-arts-school-for-kidsIf you haven’t read my previous post on selecting the right school for adult students, please take a moment to do that, as it will provide context for this information.  

As a martial arts instructor, I evaluate potential students by asking myself:  Will this child be able to learn successfully in my class, without hampering the learning of my other students?

Very young children should not be in a standard martial arts class with all ranks and all ages.  We all believe our children to be prodigies…far more coordinated, talented and brilliant than other kids.   It’s very important, however, that your child is old enough/sufficiently mature to communicate effectively (I need to go to the bathroom/my foot hurts/I don’t understand) and participate fully (listen, understand, and follow instructions) so he or she has a safe, positive experience. Continue reading

How to Choose the Right Martial Arts School: Adult Students

how-to-choose-the-right-martial-arts-school

Finding the right martial arts school doesn’t have to be hard, if you ask the right questions.

A lot goes into choosing the right martial arts school, so start by asking the right questions.  Those questions differ somewhat by age.  Younger students do not have their own funds or transportation, and must depend on parents or guardians for guidance.  This post will deal with choosing the best martial arts school for adult students, with a follow-up post for finding the right studio for kids, or helping young students participate in selecting a good martial arts school for themselves.

Location

How far are you willing to travel to take a martial arts class?  Be honest and practical; if you’re time-crunched and will be hurrying across town after work to train, that may not be a viable long-term solution.  Convenience is a plus, and certainly increases your ability to participate in special events, arrive early, or stay late if need be.

Cost/contract

How much can you afford to spend on a class?  Note that “more expensive” doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be receiving more value.  Continue reading

Susan’s Stalker

Stalker-following-woman

Stalking is never okay. No matter what the situation, you cannot control the behavior of another person, nor are you responsible for it.

My friend Susan* has a stalker.  They met through a mutual acquaintance, he asked her out, and she said no.  That should have been the end of the story.  Instead, after she politely declined his dinner invitation, he continued to call and text her.  He acted overly familiar, prying into Susan’s personal life, demanding details and giving the indication that he had been watching her.  She quickly asked him to stop contacting her altogether.

Instead, he began calling at all hours, texting repeatedly and driving by her house.  As he became increasingly aggressive in his pursuit, Susan grew worried for her safety and that of her young son.  She varied her routine, taking different routes to work and coming and going at different times, but still he lurked in parking lots and on nearby streets.  Susan blocked his phone number to eliminate his calls and text messages, but then felt as though she were missing a valuable indicator of his mental state. Continue reading

What’s Worth Fighting For?

whats-worth-fighting-for

What’s worth fighting for? Each person’s answer may be different, but that decision should be made before a confrontation ever occurs.

Know yourself and what you’re willing to fight for.  This can’t be a game-time decision…it must involve some soul-searching and personal inventory well before you’re faced with an attacker, an intruder, a mugger or any potentially life-threatening situation.

If you’re suddenly accosted by someone who is trying to take your wallet or purse, you need to know whether to toss it away (YES, in almost every case), or potentially risk your life and personal safety by trying to keep it.  If someone you don’t know knocks at your door, will you open it? What determines your answer?  And if an intruder tries to force his way into your car or home, how will you react?

Continue reading