June 16, 2019
Is it true that taking a self defense class or learning what to do if I get assaulted/attacked means I'll attract violence to me?
This question comes up a lot from people who are firm believers in the law of attraction. They believe that what they think about and what they focus on is what is going to manifest, and from that perspective it makes sense that you would not want to think about or focus on how to keep yourself safe when danger is nearby.
I don't believe this concern is valid. Think about the hundreds, the thousands, the millions of people on the planet who have been victims of assaults and attacks and other kinds of violence who absolutely did not call it into their lives. They were chosen by a “bad guy” (predators or opportunistic criminals) to be the target, to be their next victim. Most of us would be pretty horrified if somebody who had been a victim of violence was told “well, you must've been thinking about it or focusing on it and called it into you”.
Think about situations of mass violence where there's just a bunch of concert-goers going to a concert, or children in a school, or people shopping in a mall. Those people may or may not have taken a self-defense class. They may or may not have ever studied martial arts. We would never say, “Well, they were victims of this horrible attack because of the law of attraction” – that they brought it in or brought it on themselves. We would never say that.
There’s danger in holding the view that if you study violence, if you study the behavior of predators, if you learn how to use your mind, your brain, your body to keep yourself safe, then you're going to be calling in violence. The danger is that it keeps you from being prepared in the event that you have to deal with something.
There's an old saying that preparation is worth an ounce of cure. In the world of self defense, in the world of violent attacks and assaults, rape, and other kinds of horrible encounters, an ounce of prevention can actually help you avoid being in danger in the first place and it can give you a much better chance of surviving if you do encounter something.
I taught my children how to use firearms when they were quite young and it wasn't because I wanted them to get shot, it was because I wanted them to know how to safely handle a gun, if they ever came across one. I wanted them to know how to use one if they ever needed to (and hopefully they will never have a need to protect themselves with one). It was really important to me that they have the necessary knowledge and the skill, that they be prepared in the event that they ever had to deal with a firearm, so that they would be safe.
The truth is that learning how to be safe makes it less likely that you’ll have to deal with violence and more likely that you’ll deal with it successfully if you encounter it. Not only that, but taking a class means you join a community of other people who value life, respect life, and are passionate about and committed to supporting and protecting each other from harm. It means you connect more to things like courage and compassion, that you increase awareness and willingness to act on your own behalf or to help someone else.
Doesn’t that sound good?