Thursday, 8 March 2012

A Special Post - International Women's Day

Master Lily Lau of Eagle Claw Kung Fu

     I teach martial arts to a lot of young girls aged anywhere between 3 to 15. The first set of instructions I give a girl when she joins my class is: “Back always straight please…hold your chin up…and always look people straight in the eyes. That’s what I’d like you to do for your whole life long.”

     Next, I say this to the girl: “It’s important to have strong girls in this world. It’s important for all of us, for you, and especially for the boys.”

     Then I remind the boys in the class: “Really strong boys aren’t afraid of girls…so they never put girls down. Weak boys – and weak men – are the ones who put girls down. That’s how they fool themselves into thinking that they’re strong!”

     I’ll usually go on to ask one of the boys: “Are girls smart and strong?”
   
     If the boy answers “YES!”, I reply: “You are a strong boy. You’re not afraid to let girls be the best they can be. You’re also kind to them. You make the world a better place.”

     I follow up with one more question, this time directed at the girls: “Are boys smart and strong…and also kind?”

     Usually, most of the girls will reply with a “YES!”

     Invariably, one of the girls or boys will summon things up by saying: “Both girls and boys are smart and strong!”

     I like to develop ATTITUDE girls in my classes. I want them to push back when confronted by male ignorance. I’d like them to stand up against men who want to shame them. When they’re older, I’d like them to be able to remove from their lives male bullies who want to control every second of their existence.

     To girls in their early teens, I pose the following question: “Let’s say that you’re 19 years old and you go out with a guy and he starts beating you up…what will you do?”

     I might ask 4 or 5 girls at a time. In a flash, you’ll see their backs straighten and their chins rise to a height that tells the world that they’ll never give up. Then I’ll notice 4 or 5 pairs of eyes glaring straight at me.

     “I’ll hurt him…badly!”

     “I’ll break his legs!”

     “I’ll make him wish he was never born!”

     I was given the gift of the martial arts by my teachers. And I’m going to make sure that the girls – and the boys – in my class receive the best character education through the martial arts that I can give them. What a fantastic planet it would be if every girl and every woman had a voice that mattered, where they could be given the chance to live their lives to the fullest!

    

6 comments:

  1. Sensei

    This is a wonderful post, I thank you for this as both my children have benifited from your teaching.

    Dave

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    1. Hey Dave,

      Thank you for your kind comment. Considering what is happening to women in most of the world, I thought I should post on the topic.

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  2. Great post! Happy International Women's Day!

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    1. Hi Mieux,

      Thanks. I'll make sure to keep posting on this topic!

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  3. I read this post and immediately pictured in my mind 14 years ago when I began training and you said those exact things to me, in the class I was in... I pictured the exact same situation!And as an intructor with you at that same class I began at, I'm happy to say I see the difference you make to those girls (and boys) with even the lessons mentioned above.

    I'm happy to say, 14 years later... Your lessons, your words, your advice (martial arts related and of life) affect me everyday and have helped to keep my chin up, back straight and give me the discipline I've needed thus far.

    -Shontell

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    1. Hi Shontell,

      Many thanks for your kind words! I've seen you do the same for young girls - and boys. You've changed a lot of lives for the better!

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