If we’re lucky, the day will never come where we have to engage in a really serious physical confrontation. Statistically, the odds of that happening are slim. Also, if we can use some common sense, tolerance and even empathy, we can usually steer clear of letting situations escalate into a life and death struggle.
More than likely, the kind of situations we end-up using our training for have little to do with actually fighting other people. Rather than defend a mugging or assault we learn to use our training to stay calm in traffic. Instead of losing our temper with our kids, we get focused and solve a problem. We push back harder when we feel fatigue and are tempted to give up in our day-to-day tasks. Often times, we end up using the skills we’ve learned in ways we never expected.
With the COVID-19 outbreak, we can see that there’s another kind of self-defense that martial arts prepares us for. As you probably are aware, the people who are most vulnerable to the affects of the Coronavirus are folks with compromised immune systems and previous health issues like:
· Immunodeficiency diseases
· Chronic respiratory or heart diseases
· Cancer and corresponding treatments
· Obesity and corresponding health complications
· Smoking or vaping
· Advanced age
· Immune system weakening medications
Conversely, a high level of overall health and fitness will likely help us fight an infection like the Coronavirus. Being physically strong with a healthy cardio-pulmonary system will help minimize the effects of an infection and increase our chances of survival. If we’ve been training on a regular basis with some intensity, the fitness and health we get from that will protect us to some degree.
Also important when dealing with an infection is mental focus and emotional stability. Being strong-willed and having the ‘will to live’ is crucial in fighting serious illness. Staying calm and allowing your body to do what it needs in a situation like this is invaluable for a quick and strong recovery.
Lastly, having the clarity, wisdom, and self-discipline to follow the advice of medical experts can not only minimize our own risks, but also the risks of our loved ones and friends. The ability to adapt to new realities like self-quarantining without falling apart at the seams is invaluable. Adjusting to ’social distancing’ and limiting our activities is challenging, but do-able with the right attitude. Some of us will also have the strength to support others in these measures and provide leadership.
At this point it’s clear that the COVID-19 epidemic is real and poses some risks for all of us. Let’s be smart and stay safe during this challenging time. Have the strength to follow the advice of the medical experts. Stay at home as much as possible and minimize your exposure, for you sake and the sake of those close to you. Avoid large gatherings for now. Practice ‘social distancing’ when out and wear a protective mask or face covering, if possible. Be strong enough to defend yourself intelligently in this unprecedented situation in modern times.