Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Halloween

I just ordered my daughter's Halloween costume. She kept telling me I needed one. Yeah-do I want to be a sexy policewoman, kitten, or maybe a sexy nurse? I felt like I was looking at an adult "spice up your sex life" porn site more than a Halloween costume shop. I know I love Wonder Woman but I'm not walking around in the equivalent of a blue and red bathing suit unless I'm at a pool.

I'd love to join with a crafty friend to produce really fun yet cool adult costumes. Something where I won't need fishnet stockings, a push-up bra and 20 years off of my age....although I wouldn't have been a sexy ninja at 22 either.

I'm really not a prude-ask anyone. But when did Halloween for women become more about looking like you should be swinging around a pole than going to a neighborhood costume party?

Two years ago I was Facebook. I took two large pieces of cardboard and put them together like an advertiser walking the streets of New York. On the front piece I created a Facebook page complete with the status' of friends at the party (made up of course). The back I had a pen for people to write on my wall.

You can steal that idea if you want-you're welcome.

I heard on the radio about a guy who wrapped himself up in wrapping paper and wore a necklace that said "To Women. From God."

Last year at a party a guy wore a t-shirt with candy sewn on it saying "Hey kids-want some candy?" The back said "and help me find my puppy, give me directions, get in my van, be my best friend." Okay-it may not be exactly word for word but I thought it was amusing-especially as a self defense instructor.
These are thinking outside the box costumes. Minimal cost and a little creativity is all it takes.

I rarely turn the television on during the day but the one morning I love the Today Show is Halloween. All of New York and beyond get crafty. You see how amazing and unique people can be.

I'm not sure what this has to do with anything beyond the fact that I don't want "sexy" in the name of any costume I wear unless it's in private (nudge nudge wink wink). So maybe more of a complaint than a blog. Unless I can coach someone on creativity.....

Happy Halloween everyone!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On

Keep Calm and Carry On

This was a propaganda poster in the United Kingdom during the beginning of the Second World War. It was  little known until rediscovered in the year 2000, becoming popular for many different companies or products either in it's true form or through a distortion of it.

It's message is simple, in the case of an emergency or a stressful situation keep calm and react accordingly. Easier said than done. Many believe that an adrenaline rush will see them through such an event. That rush is quick to pass, leaving what is known as an adrenaline crash. Avoiding that severe rush is the ideal reaction: Keep calm and carry on.

Think on a personal level, would you be able to react rationally in a violent encounter, in a severe accident, or if someone you love is in great physical danger? At Direct Action Tactical we try to emphasize proper mindset. Calmly navigating through a highly emotional or physically dangerous experience can be what saves a person's life.

The news is never lacking in the horror stories. Two young girls have gone missing and their bodies found in the last two weeks (that I've heard about). Young women are attacked at an astounding rate. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey roughly 600 women were sexually assaulted a day in 2006. The Sandusky trial proves our boys can also be victims.

Three years ago I was introduced to Kris Hurley. He was starting his business of DAT and came into the martial arts program I worked for to do a safety seminar. As adult black belts, some in multiple disciplines, we thought we knew a thing or two. We were quickly proven wrong. A two day course opened our eyes to how woefully unprepared we really were to reality.

A year later I went to work for Mr. Hurley training and teaching Fit to Fight classes (think cross-fit combative that will rock your world) and self defense that uses real world tactics. We have no belt ranking or fancy flourish. The methods are simple, direct and prove effective when used in a realistic combative drill.

I've had students come through with scars. Not the physical kind, the kind you can't see, who never want to feel that pain again. I have my own scars. Then there are those who have never faced a conflict but want the knowledge if it were to ever occur. Put it on the same level as knowing CPR or where the fire extinguishers are in your home. You may never have to use that knowledge but you know it. The alternative is not having it and needing it, a recipe for panic.

I hope no one I ever instruct has to use what I give them, but if they do, I want them to come out alive. Because really that's all we have to fight for. Your wallet, phone, or car can all be replaced. Your life is worth the fight. Are you ready for a fight?

Monday, October 1, 2012


I've never been a fan of Fall. I know most of you are. I get it-the weather turns cooler, the leaves change, pumpkins and apple cider...

The one benefit I see? I don't have to shave my legs daily.

What I see is my flowers dying, my trees turning bare, my wardrobe changing and the future bitter Pennsylvania winter that I hate breathing down my neck. I will readily admit that I could be an old person in Florida. Who am I kidding, I'll be a middle aged person in Florida.

And really-the word Fall doesn't send a great message of hope. We fall on our face, we fall of of the horse, we fall out of love, we fall off of the wagon, we fall into depression, fall from grace....none of it sounds like a party.

On a rare occasion can it be positive: we fall in love or we fall asleep.
Both are pleasant distractions in my opinion to the season.

So as the weather turns I dream of warmer climates. I even threatened on Facebook to pack up and go somewhere, anywhere else. The response was an outpouring of friends telling me they need me, love me and would be horrified if I left.

Somehow I fell into such great friends. Even though I hate parts of the area I live I have to love the fact that if I fall, I have a huge support system to pick me back up. I've seen them do it time and again for different members of our small but amazing group.

So if I fall into a winter depression, fall apart physically or simply fall on my face (has happened) they'll help me up, warm me up (wine is preferred) and cheer me up so that I'm able to handle the next fall.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

I've fallen quite a bit in my life and usually I've relied on myself to get back up. It's fabulous to now have backup.