First You Have To Want To | Rosalie Morales Kearns

Catherine Beck held her hands palm-out, swathed in thick foam gloves that looked like baseball mitts.

“Hit me,” she said. “A nice solid punch to my hand. Go on.”

“I can’t,” the girl said. She couldn’t have been more than sixteen. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

“You won’t. The gloves absorb the impact.”

Learning to hit someone else. The hardest part in a beginner’s self-defense class.

Evasive maneuvers were easier to teach: stepping out of the way, ducking, breaking a chokehold. Even blocking a knife thrust was easier for students than the next phase. “Pro-active moves” was how Catherine had to describe it. Privately she thought of it as How To Fight. How to beat the crap out of some motherfucker before he does even worse to you.

“Start with a light punch,” she prompted, smiling.

Still no good. The other young women, gathered round, were looking more and more anxious.

Punching bags would have been good. Tackle dummies. But this strange little cash-strapped country couldn’t afford equipment. Continue reading “First You Have To Want To | Rosalie Morales Kearns”