The Awakening


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Good afternoon, my fellow Americans and those listeners throughout the world and welcome to another edition of

This was an interesting article, I was going back through some old publication that I had done. This one was in International Martial Arts Journal that was found in February at 1989, a long time ago… twenty years. This was an article that was written by one of my black belt women, her name is Sheryl Lekan, and it is called ‘The Awakening’. You ever wonder how many women in the martial arts exactly know what they are training for? The answer may seem obvious to you, after all, you are there for exercise and conditioning, for discipline and confidence and of course, for awareness and self-defense but do you really know what you are defending yourself against?

After years in the martial arts, I finally found out. Reason that I had the opportunity to visit a maximum security jail with my instructor. He trained Trains within Teaches, a local county swat team at this facility. During this class I was given a tour by one of the team members who was unavailable to participate that night. After many lengthy halls and lock doors, we finally came to the cell blocks. Up until now, I’ve seen a laundry room, the employee’s cafeteria, the finger printing and processing room, etcetera. It was just like the old trips I’ve taken in grade school but what came next was not. Each cell block contained a different type of offender. One consisted of non-violent offenders. Another held violent crime offenders and so on. The team leader’s voice drifted through my numb consciousness, ‘And these are the sex offenders’, he said. I looked down through the dense glass and the men below slowly raised their heads and met my gaze, drawn to me, knowing I was there, instinctively. Fear coursed through my body as I realized that I was at last, face to face with the imaginary opponents I have been taught to manually fight all these years in class. Some of these men bared their teeth in a sadistic grin as if reading my respond and I felt that moment that that I was the captive instead of them. My instructor tried to portray these people for me but I have never really understood. Maybe I had never believed I would have to. Looking back it seems that it was all a game and only now do I grasp the significance of what he was trying to tell me. Black and white, transforms the full color when faced through reality of corruption. There is no reasoning with an animal. No compassion, there is only the fight. You must meet violence with violence if you were to survive. Some martial artists may not agree with me, but I truly believe that anger is a woman’s best defense in their safety. Let us be honest, most of us don’t have the physical size and the strength to fight an average man’s level. We must use the techniques of the training and the speed, agility and violence of our human nature to overcome a crisis. Self-control belongs in the classroom, not on the street. Feel no guilt, no hesitation and I guarantee that they will not. I left the jail that night with the feelings about my martial arts, totally different feelings. Those men are the purpose of my training and yours. Just remember that one out of every four people that you have met have been in jail. One out of every ten have been in prison.

It is worth thinking about. That was an article written by Sheryl Lekan. Who at that time was a black belt student of mine and kind of does tell you what you, as a martial arts practitioner, especially a woman, are out there training for. This is Dr. Rick Black, signing off.


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