Wow, past the half way point - and I don't have have my words down yet lol but I just wanted to let you know that I am stoked that I have made it this far. I could actually finish this book tonight, end it right here and it will be a good ending. But I have 25,551 words to go to be a WINNER and I plan on Winning this year! lol So here is the next installment, I hope you enjoy it.
Brad and Jonathan Smith had been friends for years, ever since Brad had run thru a bout of depression and had reached out for help at the school he had been attending. It was really a school for martial arts students, but was not a dojo, it had a normal teacher, like a phys ed teacher, not a sensei. It was a school to teach the students how to do all the moves, but did not give any of the mental training that martial arts require. Jonathan had been working there pro bono as a favor to the teacher, some of the kids in this school were from broken homes or other circumstances that could cause them to have some issues and Jonathan was there to help them if needed. Brad was one of the ones that needed. After a while the two of them had discovered that they enjoyed each other’s company and seemed to just fit together as friends sometimes do, and that had progressed into a lasting friendship.
“W.H.A.P.?? That’s as good as you could do? Sad” “Ok, ok, I know that the name sucks!” exclaimed Brad “but it was the best we could come up with on such short notice.” “You really need to make it something pretty ear catching, something that people will remember and come back to.” Said Jonathan. “that is true” replied Brad “and we will, but first we need to get some people involved enough to make it start happening.” “Make WHAT start happening?” Jonathan asked.
The two men were sitting at a table in Ronald’s BBQ and Brad had just finished updating Jonathan on the news. The fact that the name didn’t resonate wasn’t much of a surprise to Brad. One of the things that he knew was needed was a brainstorming session to map out the basics of the program and that would include a name that would reach out to people. To the people who really needed it to reach.
Jonathans background in mental health was one of the reasons that Brad was running all of this by his friend. If there was a reason that this could cause more harm to someone who was already hurting, Brad wanted to stop it now. He had not discussed this with Amy or Jennie yet, he wanted to see where things fell first. And so, the two men sat talking quietly about W.H.A.P. (or whatever it was to become).
“Ok Jon, one of the reasons that we started this project was to help this one woman who had been brutally attacked about a year and a half ago. She was not managing too well after that, the healing didn’t seem to be happening for her. Her friend Jennie came in and talked to me about it. At first we were just going to try to help her by making her feel more in control. That is, after all, one of the more important things that people need in life.” Jon nodded at that “that is so true.” He said.
Brad went on “You know my passion for martial arts. After Jennie explained the whole thing to me I thought it would be a great idea, but I warned her that her friend had to make the first move. I could do nothing for her if she wasn’t interested.” Again Jon nodded. Brad continued explaining what he and Jennie had done to get Amy to come in and where it had gone after she did. “Then when we were done we realized that we had basically re-invented a self defense technique that could truly benefit women everywhere.” Jon’s eyebrows rose at that statement.
“yep, a totally new discipline, but we are not going to call it that.” Said Brad “You’re not?” questioned Jon. “Oh no, that would turn too many people away before they even gave it a chance. That’s the reason behind the acronym. To get their attention and make them want to know more.” Jon smiled slightly. “That sounds good, makes perfect sense to me. Tell me more about this and why you want me involved.” He said.
After Brad had finished his explanation he knew he had Jon hooked. The look on his face and the light in his eyes told him in no uncertain terms that they could count on him completely. It felt good, Brad realized. It felt good to know that someone with a background in helping people thought that what they were doing worth the doing.
And then Jon said something interesting. Something that none of them had thought of. “What if you offered this to the public? And only to women?” Brad just looked at his friend, not comprehending. “Well, part of what you want to accomplish is to help empower women. Not just women who have been in a traumatic situation, but all women, right?” Brad nodded assent. “Ok then, if you developed this a little further and marketed it to women as exclusively theirs, something men wouldn’t ever see. Something with some moves in there that would surprise any attacker stupid enough to try to hurt them…” he trailed off, deep in thought. Brad was astonished. He had not taken this experiment to that level. “Jon, I think we need to call a meeting of the board. And Soon.” Brad stated. “Board?” questioned Jon. “Yep the newly formed board of directors for the W.H.A.P. women’s self defense system!”
Early the following evening Brad, Jon, Amy and Jennie met at Jennie’s house to talk over the ideas the four of them were coming up with. Brad introduced his three friends to each other, almost laughing because he had never spoken to any of them about the other. Jon had not know of the women until last night and neither had he mentioned Jon to them. Proves just how focused they had been on this new program.
“Alrighty then, let’s get this meeting started, shall we?” Brad said, a bit self-consciously, never having chaired a meeting before. “What we are going to be doing tonight is ‘brainstorming’.” They all waited expectantly for him to continue. “I know you are all familiar with this term, but I would like to add one caveat to the standard definition…there should be no negativity in our sessions. When we throw out ideas or opinions, they need to be taken as is and worked with, not debated or argued. After we have our ideas all lined up, THEN we can discuss their merits, or not.” The other three nodded in agreement. “That sounds like a great idea” Amy said “it should help us to be more creative with our thoughts and ideas.”
“First, ladies, I want you to know that I spent some time with Jon last night going over our new program and what the three of us had invisioned for it.” Brad began, “He obviously thinks it’s a worthwhile endeavor, or he wouldn’t be here tonight.” They all grinned at that “I am sorry I didn’t talk to you two first, I was a little hesitant about jumping off the deep end with this until I got someone’s opinion other than ours. Someone who had not spent any time in the middle of the experiment, who might be able to give me an objective opinion. Jon has a background in the mental health field and so I thought that if he liked it, then we should be good to go.” Jon piped in then “I think it’s a wonderful idea, and as we will discuss in a few minutes, I think that you are all thinking on too small a scale.” And thus began a marathon meeting between four very determined young minds.
“The first thing that I want to contribute to this meeting” Jon said “is that none of what we are going to discuss in any way, reflects upon any events that have occurred in the past.” He turned to Amy “I know that you were attacked, I do not know the details, but I know that this attack is what precipitated this meeting. The fact that your friend wanted to help you led the three of you to come up with a program that has the potential to help hundreds of others. YOU were in no way to blame for what happened to you.” He paused to reach out his hand and gently take her hand in to it. “Amy, what you DID do was survive! You found a way to not only endure what they did to you, but you made up your mind that you wanted to live, and you MADE THAT HAPPEN!” Brad and Jennie were astonished that he would talk so openly about this, everyone knew that Amy was super sensitive and just didn’t talk about it! “You are the strongest person in this room” Jon continued, looking directly into Amy’s eyes “and you are the only one who has any idea what it feels like to be helpless, at someone else’s mercy, totally out of control of a situation. And THAT knowledge is what is going to make this program a success.” Silent tears were sliding down Amy’s cheeks by this point. “thank you” she whispered “thank you SO much” Amy raised her head and looked defiantly around the room. “He is right! I did NOT do anything wrong! All this time I have felt like I ASKED for this to happen to me, and I DID NOT!” she declared. Jennie jumped up from her chair and rushed around the table to embrace her friend “Oh Amy” she cried “I am so glad that you believe that! I never for even a second thought that you had done Anything to bring this on yourself. You are a victim and an amazing woman!” Brad simply hugged Amy and said a very quiet “I am so proud of you”
One of the things that they all agree on was that the name was not what they wanted. They needed something with punch, something that would get peoples attention and make them want to find out more. Their discussion went something like this:
STOP with the last three letters being "Their Own Power". can't think of an s though.
Standing on their own power
ONTOP again don't know what o or n stands for
I think I like the STOP one
STOP the violence.
STOP being a victim.
Stop Taking Our Power
STOP giving away your power
S.top T.aking O.ur P.ower
Female Adapted Defense F.A.D.
FeDuP Female Defensive Program
W.I.T.C.H. – Women In The ‘drats, that would have been a good one’
M.P.W.E.R. – come on, come on, this one would be great if we could just THINK of something
L.O.V.E. – Ladies Over Violence Everyday
“That one wasn’t too bad” Jennie said, “but I must admit that I like fed up best. What do you guys think?” “Fed up?” asked Brad “Female Defense Program – FeDuP” she replied. They all laughed at that one, they hadn’t read it that way but they all agreed that it was better than WHAP had been.
They also discussed the psychological advantages of confidence, and how it affected others. There were studies out that that indicated that someone who walks with confidence and is aware of what is going on around them, or situational awareness, is much less likely to be attacked. Brad said “You know, in karate there is a verbal component as well as the physical one. The voice is used as a method of reinforcing the moves. It also helps to lend power to the strikes and to intimidate the opponent.” Looking at Jon he asked “Do you think that we should incorporate some form of this?” “I don’t know, let me think about that, loud noises can cause people to flinch away, so maybe it would be a good idea.” Jennie thought that was a promising avenue to explore. “I remember as a child that whenever mom or dad yelled either at me or each other, I would always back away, as if the very action of backing up could keep me safer.” She reminisced. “Ok, we will see how that works with the rest of the program” replied Brad.
“So at this point we have several layers involved here.” Jon recited them
1. There are the physical differences between men and women, and our program will be taking advantage of the woman’s strengths.
2. There is the psychological aspect in which confidence and situational awareness play a part in preventing an attack.
3. Sound, loud sounds. As a starting place? If someone comes at you and you yell at them it might slow them down for a second, long enough for you to prepare to fight or even get away.
4. Breathing. In most martial arts they are taught to breath, and that way they have more stamina. This is not something that comes naturally to most people. Most folks hold their breath and that doesn’t help in the end.
“Is that it?”
Slowly the others nodded their heads, they knew they had just touched the tip of the ice berg, but at least they had touched it! How cool is THAT?
This process was taking up quite a bit of time and they decided that one meeting just wasn’t going to cut it. They made plans to meet the next day, same place, same time.
Jon said he would really like to watch the ladies spar. He wanted to see first hand how this program differed from current self defense programs. “Is that ok with you two? Will you be comfortable with me there?” He asked. “Oh sure” said Amy at the same time that Jennie was saying “No problem”. They arranged for him to meet them at the dojo two days from tonight.
After the guys left for the evening, Amy and Jennie remained at the table talking excitedly. “FEDUP??? Oh My Gosh that is just SSOO COOL!” Yelped Amy with astonishment. “This is just so much more exciting – and scary – then I ever thought possible” stated Jennie. This was really going to work! They hadn’t actually thought it would work out, only hoped, and prayed. .