Male Survivors

Once a person is labeled “not like us,” the rules for civilized behavior no longer apply – Mary Pipher

BuzzFeed: 26 Male Survivors of Sexual Assault Quoting the People Who Attacked Them

Self defense is at the core of the martial arts that I do. It’s not that I feel generally unsafe or a specific need to be able to defend myself. There’s just something primal and grounding about basing training around protecting yourself.¬†As a result I spend time pondering and reading about a variety of self defense scenarios, but none are as important to me as sexual assault. I know survivors (most of us do, even if we don’t realize it), and I have seen first hand the impact sexual assault can have on people.
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Back to Basics

I had a callous on the ball of my foot that I had been building for months, and I loved it. It protected me, and with it I felt I could play on and conquer any surface. Recently a blister formed underneath that callous. The callous was still there, tough and strong, but it was now on a shaky foundation. I remained grateful for the callous, it continued to shield me from the external pain of a rough surface, but it could not protect me from the pain that developed underneath it. All the while I began to wonder if I might be better off removing the callous and rebuilding.

That callous is now gone, ripped off after playing on its unstable foundation. The skin underneath is still raw and sensitive to touch, but that’s okay. Now I have an opportunity to build a new foundation.

Sometimes it’s important in capoeira to remember that you need to go back to the basics. What you’ve got might be serving you well in the moment, and you may even see visible progress in the roda if you pile on training in new techniques, but it’s not sustainable. It’s always important to reinvest in your foundation, even if it means taking a few steps back to pave the way forward.