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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Friday, April 26, 2013


             I first became interested in self-defense after watching two girls scuffle like a pair of roosters but instead of feathers flying randomly, pieces of silky, brown hair soared in the air.  Given that I was in middle school when the incident occurred, any mistake or defeat was mocked by the student body.  I knew I did not want to be humiliated, let alone defeated, so I “practiced” my defenses and attacks attempting to gain experience just in case I would ever have to brawl.  Fortunately, I was never involved in a fight until I began to practice the art of Ninjutsu.
            From the first time I walked into the dojo I knew it meant business.  The first thing I saw was students grappling on the Zebra Tatami mats.  Their faces were flushed, the mats soaked with their anxiety and their eyes glowed with determination.  Five minutes of intense full-contact pass and the captive student in submission gasps for air and taps the mat to surrender.  It was as though I was looking into my future.
After weeks of bruises and agony, Sensei decided it was time for me to grapple.  My challenge was to overpower Marcia, a yellow belt, twice my rank.  We each got on one knee and joined palms.  “One, two, three,” we count down and begin to grapple.  In seconds I’m sweating, furiously attempting to bring her down.  Within a minute she manages to drop me plus put me in a head-lock.  Struggling for breath I had to tap out. 
            Although I was discouraged I had to preserve and adapt to any difficulty.  I persisted to train for three months, six days a week, and two hours a day until my body shivered from the friction of the mats.  As a result of my strength of will, my friends dubbed me D.D., Determined Diana.
            Finally, it was time to grapple with Marcia again.  I reminded myself that confrontation was more than responding physically but mentally as well.  “Dong”, Sensei strikes the gong and we begin to grapple.  Again she manages to put me down.  I pause for a moment, take a deep breath and quickly break her balance by locking her ankle and heave her boiling body off of mine.  In a flash I pin her down with my knee on her stomach. Suddenly I begin to wrap my arms around her neck and hold her in a head-lock. At last I had heard the abrasive sounds of submission, tap, tap, tap.



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