Tag Archives: changing a tire

Take Chances! Make Mistakes! Get MESSY!

Has your boss ever dashed into the office with a big, bright orange dart gun and started shooting Styrofoam darts all over? Well, that happens sometimes when you work at a martial arts center. It’s important to know what to do about guns. Even dart guns.

Especially if someone is pointing one at your head and demanding you get into your car.

I don’t think I have ever been so dirty in my life. I have black grease spots all over my jeans, t-shirt, hands (though I’ve since washed them several times with soap) and under my fingernails. I feel like a true student of Ms. Frizzle’s – “Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!” I was eager to get messy, which made the workshop I took today on personal safety with cars all the more fun.

Never been so dirty

Never been so dirty

Just over a week ago, I found myself stuck in a parking lot unable to start my mom’s car. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, but it wouldn’t start. I called around, but no one seemed able to help me, until finally a friend’s dad guessed that maybe the steering wheel was locked, and talked me through unlocking it. Like magic, the car started and everything was fine. I drove home wondering how on earth I managed to acquire a driver’s license without knowing the first thing about my car. It was this thought which prompted me to sign up for the class on car safety – I figured I’d learn a few things about cars, and some good self defense techniques never hurt.

Learning new things

At 5:00pm we met in a garage in Talpiyot, Jerusalem, a small group of women plus the instructor, ages ranging from 20 (I assumed I was the youngest) to about 60 (guessing). People pulled up in their cars and a guy from the garage showed us how to check oil and water, insisting that we each practice it physically so that we would remember. He emphasized the fact that with this knowledge, it is much harder to rip us off at the gas station, where they have a tendency to pretend to check your oil and tell you you need more anyway. It’s empowering to know you can’t be ripped off.

It’s empowering!

Next we drove to a parking lot near El HaLev and had a car-related self defense class. Yudit, the instructor, brought along her dart guns and a few rubber guns which felt like a real gun in your hand, but were bright yellow so as to not be mistaken for real by an outsider. We practiced various techniques on dodging the gunshot and getting away from the attacker. I won’t go into details, they’re not that interesting (hint: you should take this class!) But I will say the two most important things we learned: One, where you are right now is better than where he wants to take you. So you have a better chance to survive by pushing the gun out of the way and making a run for it, than by following his orders and driving somewhere unknown and hoping for a loophole. Two, why do you have to listen to him, just because he’s trying to scare you?

Remember that you have a car. Cars are not to be underestimated. In fact, if someone unwanted gets in the passenger’s seat and starts barking orders at you, buckle your seatbelt and go ahead and crash that baby. Now who’s got a better chance of surviving?

Written by @liorasophie. First published on her blog, In Purple Ink.

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Filed under Liora Sophie, Violence Prevention, Women Empowerment