Can Women Find Their Warrior Spirit?
Keys to Projecting a Survivor's Attitude!
Will you become the victim of a violent crime?
Your predator will decide your fate in a matter of seconds.
Your attacker will be able to tell if you command the spirit
of a warrior. He will be able to tell if you have the attitude
of a survivor or the attitude of a victim. He will study your
posture, how you carry yourself, your mannerisms and speech.
He will look at your physical condition and your emotional
nature. He will observe your level of awareness to your surroundings.
He will study how you project the character of your spirit.
He will look into your eyes and sense the very essence of
your inner strength. He will decide in a mater of moments
whether he should choose you as a potential victim or seek
another to prey upon.
I know how predators think based on my 18 years of experience
as a police officer, my experience as a martial artist and
my interaction with thousands of women who have been attacked.
In virtually every victim interview I conducted as a police
officer it was clear that the women who became victims were
sized up by their attackers. Most of those women were chosen
because they failed to display the inner strength of a survivor.
Instead, these women projected their status as victims an
they were totally unaware of their surroundings and the danger
signals that were clearly present at the time. For most of
these women their inner warrior spirit was hidden and their
status as victims was laid bare for their predators to take
full advantage. For most, the idea of finding the strength
of a warrior was elusive, mysterious and foreign.
For many women, finding the warrior spirit within themselves
seems to be an impossible task. When most people think of
warriors, they think of chest thumping, testosterone filled
men on a path to blood and glory. Most women do not want to
embrace this violent aspect of life. Fighting and killing,
in general terms, are left to the men. However, as our culture
progresses we are starting to see an erosion of the differences
between men and women in this regard. More women are joining
the armed services, taking martial arts and playing "men's
sports". Although things are changing, the vast majority of
women still do not want to embrace violence. Simply put, it
does not seem to be a part of their nature. Men are still
seen as the dominate force in this regard, and this is exactly
what your attacker is counting on. Your attacker hopes that
you will never believe that you have a hidden strength within.
Yet, there are countless examples of this "hidden" strength
within all of us.
We have all heard stories about women who have, under extraordinary
circumstances, risen to do what most of us would consider
"the impossible." How does a small woman lift a burning car
off of their baby with one arm to save the child? Absent this
critical event this person could never pick up a car, let
alone open a jar of pickles! Yet, somehow the circumstances
of a life-threatening event triggered something residing within.
A hidden treasure of strength and focus, an intensity that
is indomitable. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could call
upon this strength whenever we needed it? I believe it is
possible to cultivate this strength and to be able to project
it as an innate part of your personality.
The secret lies in not only training our bodies, but in also
training our minds to cultivate this warrior spirit. It lies
in the acceptance that in a sudden and violent attack, you
will only be able to count on yourself for help. We must begin
to rely exclusively on ourselves for survival. Women especially
must begin by accepting that it is their responsibility to
survive because the truth is the police, friends, family and
good Samaritans will typically not be there when we are in
need. We must empower ourselves and as a society move toward
taking steps to develop our spirit.
The difference between whether you become a survivor or a
victim boils down to your physical and mental conditioning,
your level of awareness and most importantly your ability
to project your warrior spirit. Let's take a look at these
important aspects of finding your warrior spirit.
Physical conditioning is a simple formula. Fitness plays such
an important role in our lives. It is one of the keys to a
happy, healthy and vibrant life. However, there is another
often overlooked benefit to exercise. If you are a conditioned
athlete, it is highly likely you will have the physical strength
put up a good fight. You can take a very positive step toward
portraying the strength of a survivor by staying physically
fit. Your potential attacker will take notice of your physical
strength and this in and of itself may keep you from being
targeted for assault. Remember, all predators are looking
for a victim who will cause them the least potential for trouble.
So, looking fit is a simple step toward setting yourself up
to be a survivor. The more difficult challenge is developing
your mind to survive.
Mental conditioning can be more challenging to develop because
it is not something we are frequently, if ever, taught. When
we were children many of us played sports or got exercise
playing with our friends. As we moved into adulthood, many
of us continue to exercise in one form or another. Our physical
exercise experiences help us to understand and develop our
bodies, but we seldom experience any kind of training in the
vital aspect of mental conditioning. Mental conditioning,
like positive affirmations and visualizations, is at least
half the battle in preparing ourselves to face an aggressive
and focused attacker. We must literally "see ourselves" defeating
any threat and we must believe in our ability to do so with
our very soul. We can not afford to let doubt creep into our
When I teach self-defense courses to women they often attend
thinking that for the next few hours I will be showing them
all kinds of police based martial arts. Most of my students
are initially surprised that the majority of my classes focus
on awareness and developing the warrior spirit. I do this
because my experience has shown that if you project the spirit
of a warrior and you are vibrantly aware of the potential
for danger in your surroundings, you can keep yourself from
being attacked in the first place. It does not make sense
to teach someone a perishable physical skill like blocking
and striking when they will not practice it beyond the limited
time we spend in class. It makes a lot more sense to improve
a person's ability to survive by developing their ability
to detect danger and project the attitude of a survivor.
I have developed a simple way to get started on developing
your mental skills. It involves using the ancient technique
of invoking the spirit through the use of a mantra. Let's
take a look at how we can do this in less than five minutes
To begin, sit or lie back comfortably. Do not cross your arms
or legs. Begin by taking three deep breaths, pausing after
you inhale, and then exhaling fully and completely. After
these first three breaths, just breathe normally, and with
each exhale let any tension you may be holding just melt away.
Picture yourself facing an attacker. Try to see this person
in as much detail as possible. Then visualize defending yourself.
Everything you do flows with perfection as you easily defeat
this enemy. Now, repeat to your self with the inner conviction
of your soul for the next 60 seconds; "I will survive! I will
survive! I will survive". You must do more than just simply
parrot these words, you must deeply engrain their power into
your being and above all you must believe. Do this upon waking
in the morning, and again before sleep. Do this every day
and know that on a subconscious level you will be building
your inner strength and warrior spirit.
Rodger Ruge is a retired police officer, martial
artist and author of The Warrior's Mantra, Barricade Books
Inc., June 2005. Rodger can be contacted for questions and
seminars through his website at http://www.readyforce.net.
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