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Fight NOT Flight - Krav Maga Through the Eyes of a Teenager

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Fight NOT Flight - Krav Maga Through the Eyes of a Teenager

Fight Not Flight by Shelley Cichowlas

Over the course of my sophomore year I took part in the Personal Project. This project

was meant for us to investigate and accomplish a goal that is personal to us as individuals. Starting back in September is when we got started. It all began with us finding a topic/goal that we could work on over the course of the year. By the end of that time we should have accomplished our goals.

Over these last months I have been working on the short term goal I have set for myself. I say short term, because the long term takes years to accomplish, and to get really good at. My goal was to learn more about women's self defense against a common threat. Long term is to eventually teach other women all the things I’ve learned over my time training. To me, this was perfect. I have been in my parents training center since I was 4, learning how I can defend myself against the very real threats this world throws at us. As time went on, I realized that it will take more than me just knowing how to defend myself, I also need to know how to get stronger, and healthier. This is when my goal started to shift into something more. I needed to learn how to grow in my physical health, including knowledge on self defense.

I knew this would be a challenging road for me to get on. For the last few years I became less active. All the training I did since I was little slowly started to slip away. I soon realized I wasn’t able to do the things I once was able to do. I stopped taking my self defense classes, and seemed to lose all interest. Summer of 2020, I started to see a big difference in my appearance. I started to get bigger, and I didn’t like that. I wasn’t taking care of my physical, or metal health at all. I was so confused as to why it was happening, but the facts were right in front of me. I’ve stopped training.

I knew this goal was great for me because it was personal. I had reasons to want to be in better shape. Also the time we live in is only getting more unsafe by the day. Women are getting raped, shot, robbed, kidnapped all the time. I was absolutely terrified this would happen to me or someone I loved. Not to mention it's in my blood. My parents own Krav Maga Detroit , an Israeli Self Defense training center. I had all the tools I needed right there waiting, so this was a no brainer for me.

My goal for this time frame was to see a difference in my physical appearance, and my ability to defend myself against certain threats. I would start talking level 1 classes whenever I could to build my knowledge on attacks/defenses. Workout if not everyday then as much as I could. Every Thursday when I was with my dad I would participate in the Self Defense class for my level. What made it more fun was that I had my best friend doing them with me as well. With this same friend we would either be sent a workout by my parents or we would find a program to do.

The outcome for this goal is quite simple. I want to not have the constant fear that I will be hurt or taken while out with my friends. I want to be confident in myself that I can save my life and the people around me if needed. Although my overall end goal stays the same, my goal for this project changed throughout the journey. First it all started with I ONLY wanted to teach other women about self defense. But soon realized that before I teach others, I need to learn everything there is to know first. While going through this process of figuring out what I needed to know, I learned that it's not just about learning a technique. To really be the best you need to work on other physical health aspects as well. All this leading up to where my goal is now. To better myself in self defense but also in physical appearance. Because the better shape and stronger you are, the more effective you will be in a defense or attack.

While looking through the list of Global Contexts I needed to find one that would sum up my project. That's why I chose Identities and Relationships. This Global Context is all about who we are. When thinking of identity, you think of who you identify as. For me that is a young woman. As women we were always defined as weak or easy to take advantage of. Which is why women are always targeted for different things like being attacked or assaulted. I chose relationships as well because having a great relationship with your body is critical to being successful in anything fitness related. Something that really helped with choosing these contexts were my MYP subject groups. In these groups I learned more about the different Global Contexts and from this was able to have a better understanding on what each one meant. Which made the selection process a lot easier.

As mentioned earlier, I have been training since I was 4. I started with the kids classes and moved myself up to the adult class. In these classes I was learning all the things I started relearning again now. The difference is, I have more of a drive to learn and execute. I not only have goals but I have the determination to learn to protect myself, and to feel safe. My parents are the owners of Krav Maga Detroit and have been since a little after I was born. This is where my classes were and are still held. I’ve always been a part of the gym in one way or another, so this project and finding resources for help was really easy. I had my dad who is not only the owner but head instructor. Also my step mom who is an instructor and also a trainer.

When first starting this project my research skills were minimal, and didn’t have much effort put into them. I could find basic information, and fact check it with another site to see if it's reliable, but wasn’t great at this. From this project I gained some really good skills on finding

information. When researching I connect more to other things heard or read, and find new ways to look up or find the answers I'm looking for. I try and minimize the topic to find little pieces that eventually all add up together. For this project a lot of research wasn’t required, it was more of a hands on projects. But I did do some research about different attacks and defenses for them. I used WIS 10 News https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BWA3DAlQNY , andhttps://kravmagasystems.com.au/the-5-most-common-attacks-women-face/ . The first and second source I compared and was able to see they had the same attacks listed. The link in the middle is a lesson on how we are learned to defend this atack. I used these sources because from experience and research online and with instructors that this is factual information. With knowing more things about research I was able to share it with some of my peers. The main thing I would say is to research smaller things that go along with your topic to gather a better understanding of the topic.

My criteria is that I need to do a good amount of research before moving forward. I need to know my facts and have all the plans laid out to make sure everything can go as smoothly as possible to meet our deadlines. I selected this because It is the easiest for me to get a handle on. I did make changes to my criteria throughout the project's research phase. My project is a lot different from most kids are doing, so the research part was very short for me. The goal I set and the things being done to meet that goal didn’t require online research but instead hands on learning. Doing classes and watching my body change from who I was a few months ago, till now. My research was seeing what worked for me to retain the information taught in classes, and what was working well for my body.

Planning my project was very simple for me. In my notes I created a simple checklist of big things needing to be accomplished. But for progress I took pictures of how I looked every month or few months. This way I have a better idea of how much I changed, and also is an easy way to track. I also used an app to track body weight, muscle mass, body fat percentage, etc. I also took some videos and pictures or workout I was doing.

Time management has always been a struggle for me. I always procrastinate, and leave things till the last minute. Over the course of this project, I’ve learned a bit more on how to get things done in a timely manner. I still procrastinate everything I do, but It has been getting progressively better as times gone on. For this project I tried my best to get stuff done early, for the most part that has worked out, but life does throw unexpected obstacles at you very fast. Mini goals that fit into the bigger goal I have been accomplishing were managed very well. These were things that were very important to this project. Without the little improvements in my body or technique, the project wouldn really make sense.

As much as I try to live by my own words, I sometimes don’t. I do eventually regret not doing things earlier because it causes unnecessary stress, and makes me rush. Because of this regret I feel, I make sure to tell my friends who struggle with time management, like me, to set a timer for 30 minutes and just work without interruptions. Hat is the key to getting work done early. While I did manage my time better than I have before, I was still faced with big challenges. Not only was I juggling this project, but I had 6 other classes that I NEEDED to do good in. It is a lot of work to remember everything you have to do. This is where my time management skills started to dwindle. I would get so exhausted after doing homework for the classes one day, and I’d forget about the HUGE project I had going on as well. Not to mention there will always be some sort of family issue that needs to be resolved, or in unfortunate cases healed.

I have not yet reached the outcome of my project because it does take time. But I have done a lot in this time that I had. I have been training and was able to get my 2 close friends to join me. I also was able to get one of them to join me on our self defense journey to restore what we once learned. My main goal is to reach more people, but for now I was able to reach 2 people closest to me and that is a very good outcome for me. And personally I have grown more knowledgeable not only about women's self defense but also, nutrition, figure, and lots more to keep myself and others in shape. It does reflect the goal of my global context. My global context was focused on who we are and how we interact with others. By doing self defense we are growing as a person, especially for women we are breaking stereotypes of us being weak and not able to defend ourselves. Doing these classes also gives us a chance to interact with others and make new relationships. To prove that I have done the work and had a lot of progress towards my outcome, I will be submitting pictures at the end showing workout videos/pictures, and the progress collage I have made of myself from last year to now.

Before starting this project I had the basic creative and critical thinking skills. It would take me a bit of time to create a solution, or just to think of good ideas. Now after doing this project and other school activities my skills have improved a lot. I am a lot more creative in my thinking with school or just life in general. I also am better at critical thinking. If i need to make a decision on the spot or in a certain amount of time, I can do it.

There are a few different ways I was able to collaborate with people during this project. Number one is training. While training you are with people who most likely have similar goals to you, be in better shape, or to learn. During these classes there will be times to find partners, that's a way to meet new people. Another way I collaborated with others was when I would workout with my dad and his friends. I would either go with him during the week to train, or we would do Goruck Tribe workout. The tribe workouts are always fun. You are with people that you know and who love to challenge themselves, and love this country! It's also great because my group of friends would do them with me as well.

As a communicator I’ve always loved to talk, but struggled with getting to the point. I would go in circles and say the same thing over and over again. After doing this project and going through this school year I have been able to gather my thoughts a lot easier and say what needs to be said. I have learned to lessen the amount of filler words I use in my sentences, and speak clear so there is no confusion.

At the end of these months working at my goal, I have reached it. My goal written down was easy, but doing it and STICKING to it was a lot harder. My goal was to improve in physical appearance, and in technique against the main threats women face today. I now know more not only about women's self defence but also how to treat my body. I have the knowledge that I need to continue making a difference in my life, and hopefully the ones around me. Of course there are a few downsides. My original goal was not achievable in the short amount of time I had for the project. But with all I know now and what I can do, will bring me closer to making that goal into my reality very soon. Going head on into these types of things will bring out things you want to change at the end. I wish that I was able to fit in more training time to get even better with defenses.

The global context was difficult for me to understand at first. I couldn't figure out how I was going to relate it to my goal. As the project went on, and after interacting and working with other people I realized what It meant. Identity and Relationships, my whole goal revolves around relationships, not necessarily with people but with your body. Then there is identity. I am a woman. As a woman there are things I need to know, there are also things that I need to prepare


for. I need to be ready, confident, and strong, god forbid a threat comes my way. Especially In the times we are in right now, where women are being assaulted, I need to be ready. And I will be ready. Looking at the deeper meaning of these global contexts I understand what they mean to me and my project. My proof that I have a better understanding of these topics are my friends and family. They have been able to see a difference in me since I became committed to this project and my body goals. I was also able to grow mentally, with better relationships, and now I know who I am and who I strive to be.

As a learner I have grown tremendously. Instead of only taking in information from what I have read or what was taught in class, I am learning and taking in everything around me. I learn from my parents, friends, mistakes, triumphs, church, and life in general. I have learned a lot about myself during this project. I realized I do have a procrastination problem, but I also learned that I can get my work done and do it well. One of the biggest things I have learned is that I create my own determination through self discipline. I learned that we don’t wake up every day, determined or motivated to do everything to the best of our abilities. I learned that if you want something done, you do it. Don’t listen to your head when it says to stay in bed an extra 5 minutes before starting your day, JUST DO IT! I learned that I am the only one that can make a difference for myself.

This project, though it seems small in retrospect, has brought out a new me. I am happier, have the drive to do things, and want to make my life better. I care more about my country, and want to protect my freedom that was given to me by then men and women who have fought for it. My future will be forever changed by this project. I know now to be observant in everything, just in case there is something great to be learned. Learning for me doesn't stop at high school or college. I will be learning for the rest of my life, or until I know enough to start impacting other

people. I believe that this is a very important project, and everyone should do it. At the beginning it might now seem that you will really get anything out of it, but from experience, I know that you will!

People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures.

~ F .M Alexander

#kravmaga #selfdefense #womenselfdefense #teens #train


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