Qi – Life Force

Chinese character for chiThere is a power within each of us, but few are aware of how powerful we really are.  This is our life force, and it is known simply as Qi.

The word for “life force” is written three ways:  chi, ki, or Qi (pronounced “chee” or “kee”).  In this article, it is spelled “Qi”.

Ki is the Japanese spelling, and chi or Qi are used interchangeably or when designating a specific Chinese art, such as qigong or chi-kung (pronounced “ki-gong”) or tai chi (pronounced “tie chee”).  However, the meaning of “chi” in tai chi comes from the concept of yin and yang, and is not the same concept we are discussing here. Continue reading “Qi – Life Force”

Why Learn Self-Defense

woman knees man in groin
Check out those heels. A perfect weapon.

Why learn self-defense? 

What is the value of knowing how to defend yourself?  Women are at a greater daily risk for assault than men.  How many precautions do you take during the day to assure your safety?

Do you carry your keys ready to strike, check your backseat before getting into the car, park in a lighted area, never go out alone after dark?  Here are four things most women do every day as second nature.  Do men take these kinds of precautions?

It is a brave woman who will come forth and talk about a rape to a room full of men who have no clue what she is feeling. A room full of men who have had their own sexual exploits have taken advantage of their fair share of women.

A man has his fun, his fling, and forgets about the woman he’s hurt. She is the one that carries the memory.

Rape violates our very essence, the core of our existence. Continue reading “Why Learn Self-Defense”

Empowering Self Defense



There are new terms cropping up to define woman’s self-defense; empowerment defense; feminist defense.  Whatever the style is called, the driving idea behind these schools is this:

Why spend years studying the martial arts when you can learn to defend yourself in a short amount of time without all the philosophy and practice?

In an attempt to quiet that claim, here is my experience with that question.  My karate adventure started in June of 1985.  The first day I walked into the dojo, I was hooked in the first five minutes.  I loved the discipline and the exercise.  My body quickly became strong and fit.  But the main reason for taking this class, besides wanting to learn to ward off attackers, was that Continue reading “Empowering Self Defense”

The Best Self-Defense Programs Empower Women




In this post, we will examine the concepts of different programs that teach purely self-defense; not martial arts schools, but self-defense schools. There are many sites, when scouring the web, that expound on the glories of self-defense. But all have the same advice:

Prevention first, defense second

The purpose of this article is not to single out particular schools or styles, but to give the reader a general overview of what to consider when looking for a self-defense class. Continue reading “The Best Self-Defense Programs Empower Women”

What is the Best Martial Art for Self-Defense?

If you live in the city, you will find a martial arts school on nearly every street corner.  If you live in the country, you might be lucky to find one school in your area.  There are as many different styles and schools as there are instructors.  Each instructor takes the best of what he knows and teaches that.  You can go to three different schools that teach the same style of martial arts and see three different ways of teaching.

A Brief History of the Martial Arts

Buddist Monk

The martial arts began with the Shaolin monks in about 5th Century A.D.  A Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma traveled across the Himalayas and the Gobi desert from India and came to a Shaolin Temple.  There he found the monks in poor physical condition, spending all their time in meditation and none in physical activity.

Bodhidharma established a routine of exercise and nutrition for the monks, and taught them a simple form of defense.  Through his rigid discipline and training, the monks became strong and healthy.  A group of monks perfected these techniques, and when the temples were destroyed by the Chinese government, the monks scattered throughout China and taught their art.  This is why there are many art forms of what we know as kung fu.  This is a general term that encompasses all the Chinese martial arts. Continue reading “What is the Best Martial Art for Self-Defense?”