Self Defense Article by Brooke Crockett

One of our best students wrote this terrific article on self defense. To download the original article with pics click here.

Original Article by: Brooke Crockett

Reasons Why Everyone Should Take Self-Defense Classes 

As the world becomes an increasingly dangerous place, people are beginning to feel more vulnerable if they are alone and it doesn’t help that the news shares stories of kidnappings or assault on a daily basis. 

Self-defense classes are the best things anyone could take to protect themselves. Whether it is to become physically fit, become disciplined or work on mental health, everyone can find some benefit in practicing at this formal Maumee dojo. 

Practicing at The Ohio Martial Arts Center in Maumee, Ohio for two and a half years under Sensei Hurtsellers’ guidance helped me realize the benefits of self-defense classes. This Maumee dojo teaches numerous disciplines which allows students to expand their knowledge of certain styles. 

This includes Karate, Kung Fu, Judo and many other martial arts styles. Under Sensei’s watch, I learned to better myself as a person. 

These are my reasons why I believe everyone should consistently attend self-defense classes. 


1. A Safe State of Mind 

I attend school at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Being in a big city can be overwhelming, and there are horror stories of attacked or assaulted people not only in Columbus, but on campus. 

With the skills that I learned at The Ohio Martial Arts Center, I became more confident in walking by myself at night in the city. Though I don’t recommend anyone does that unless completely necessary, knowing how to get someone off of you that is strangling you or how to get out of a grab from behind while under pressure are comforting skills to learn. 

Since taking these self-defense classes, I found myself scoping out my surroundings more and coming up with an escape plan if anything were to happen. It makes me feel safer and it helps put my family’s mind at ease. 

2. Mental and Physical Stamina 

Mental: At the beginning of each self-defense class, before we even stretch, we sit and meditate. Clearing the mind helps you focus on the practice that you are about to complete and helps you align your body to feel how it is all connected. 

Sitting down and breathing seems very mundane until you realize how the body unites with the mind. It is through meditation that my mental health began improving. 

The saying at this Maumee dojo is “Be Here Now” and going into the practice with that mentality helps your body get through the physicality of the class and also makes the time fly. By the time class is over, you don’t even feel like a full hour passed. 



Classes at The Ohio Martial Arts Center last between 45 minutes and one hour for adults (17 and older.) Classes start out with a 15 minute warm-up and then move to pad work with partners where students will take turns working combinations on each other in a safe and controlled environment. 

At the end of the lesson in this Maumee dojo, students practice Brazilian and Japanese Jiu Jitsu. This is where we learn how to do a proper choke, manipulate the body and use general self-defense strategies. 

Instructors at The Ohio Martial Arts Center such as Sensei Hurtsellers, his son Joseph Hurtsellers, or instructor Steven Collins will walk around and help people adjust their positions for optimal effect. 


3. The Five Ways to Become a Great Martial Artist 

This is The Ohio Martial Arts Center’s major selling point. Walking through those doors as a new person, you will hear the Five Ways to Become a Great Martial Artist for the first time and you will continue to hear them almost every time you finish a class. 

What makes these so impactful is not only do they help you succeed in this Maumee dojo, but it will help you succeed in life. 

The Five Ways are: 

Patience- You can’t expect to walk in and become Bruce Lee in one lesson. Learning self-defense takes time. Sometimes you need to wait to take that rank test or maybe miss a lesson due to life circumstances. With patience, you will hit your goals. 

Perseverance- “Patience without perseverance is laziness.” This is the quote that is always said when explaining this way to become a Great Martial Artist. You can’t walk into this Maumee dojo, do the bare minimum and expect to be a ninja. Just waiting around will not make you a great martial artist. 

Practice Hard- You need to practice the combinations over and over again. You need to run drills with people so you can use what you’ve learned in a real-life situation. You will never fully succeed if you don’t put in the work and leave sweat on the mats. 

Practice Exactly the Way You Want to Perform- If you drill something long enough and hard enough then it will become second nature. This is why you need to take numerous self-defense classes and not just one. That way if someone comes up from behind, your first instinct isn’t to struggle or run but rather it is to throw an elbow in their face. 

Meditation- Connecting the mind and the body is the most vital step to succeeding in training and in life. You need to listen to your body to fulfill your practice. If you don’t take the time to unwind before your practice, you’ve essentially done nothing to improve your martial arts. 

Martial arts is the best thing that happened to me in my life and I feel like it is an experience everyone needs to go through. I feel safer and more secure in my ability to defend myself. I plan on continuing my practice for as long as I can to help keep myself in shape and to improve my mental health. I owe it all to The Ohio Martial Arts Center of Maumee, Ohio. 


Brooke is a third year student at the Ohio State University with an anticipated graduation of May 2020 and a student at the Ohio Martial Arts Center. She is majoring in Strategic Communication and double-minoring in Professional Writing and Nonprofit Studies. She plans on doing marketing, advertising, or event planning for a nonprofit after graduation. 

Meta-description Reasons to practice self-defense. The Ohio Martial Arts Center is an excellent dojo in Maumee to practice physical and mental health. Learning the Five Ways to Become a Great Martial Artist help you succeed both in this Maumee dojo and in life. 

SNEAK PEAK: Excerpt from "Break The Chain 2"

Here’s an unedited excerpt from Chapter 8 of the completely rewritten “Beak The Chain Volume 2” The book is to be released in the first half of 2019.

Chapter 8. Meditation: The Beginning of Positive Momentum

Meditation is not an exercise to lower your blood pressure  — but it will.

Meditation is not designed to lower your stress levels  — but it will.

Meditation is not designed to strengthen your will  — but it will do that too.

Instead of any of the side benefits; the purpose of meditation is to put yourself in a position where you can reach all of your hopes and dreams.

Look again at the chart below. Notice that the point at the top of the triangle is when the mind is still. It’s this point that you achieve when you learn to meditate.


The Law of Attraction is about momentum. It operates just like gravity. Whichever side of the triangle you are on you will automatically pull you toward the bottom.

So if you are anywhere on the “Dissatisfaction” side of the triangle, you will tend to think and act in ways that create even more dissatisfaction.

If there is an area in your life that you are currently not pleased with, how do you fix it?

Depending on how far down you’ve slid on the triangle your problem might be hard (if not impossible) to change. Think of the triangle as mountain. From the dark side of the mountain you have a lot of climbing up to do. You also can’t even see the sunny side.

Almost all self development work and goal setting is done from the dark side of the mountain. It’s for this reason that most of these methods have little success. When you work from the dark side you are fighting gravity. You are literally fighting a universal law.

If you are in a place you don’t want to be, before you can see improvement you must put yourself in a position where gravity is no longer working against you. You need to be in a spot where you you are perfectly balanced.

From a place of balance you can make an easy choice. The choice is simply taking an easy step toward what you want. If you move in the direction of what you want from the top of the mountain the force of momentum will be working with you.

Moving toward your goals when your mind is balanced makes all the difference. Everything gets easy when you start at the top of the mountain. Things are hard when you start at the bottom of the wrong side.

Meditation is like a ski lift that will take you to the peak of the mountain. Meditation brings you to a place where you can choose to put  momentum on your side.

So Many Books

There have been so many books and lectures on meditation. But so few understand this basic idea of momentum. Without an understanding of momentum meditation is reduced to just another exercise to reduce stress.

Meditation lays the foundation for all success.

Meditation is not a tool to develop will power. Instead it is the tool that will render “will power” inconsequential.

You need massive amounts of will power to climb UP the hill. You need practically none when you are moving downward.

The simple choice you make after you have used meditation to still your mind enough that you rise to the top of the mountain makes all the difference.


Imagine you are going to a dinner party. At that party there are different with strong opinions. There are religious people, there are political people, there are people heavily involved in social justice.

What is your goal when you go to the party?

Is your goal to win one of them over to your religion, politics, or cause? Or instead is your goal to enjoy the party and have a great time?

If your goal is the latter of the two; then what subjects would you talk about?

You would only bring things up that everyone could agree on. You would only bring up things that everyone has in common. You might choose to be silent for a while until you figure out where everyone is coming from.

In this example; the strong opinions at the party represent your negative beliefs. Instead of trying to change your negative belief you learn to be silent; and then focus on something you can find harmony with.

When you meditate you are learning to still your mind; and as you do you are gradually learning to deactivate your own negative thoughts and beliefs. When your meditation is finished you will put yourself in a position where it’s much easier to find thoughts of satisfaction.

It’s so frustrating to me as teacher to watch students meditate and then go right back to choosing the same thoughts and actions they chose before the session! The only reason I can imagine anyone would do this is they don’t understand what meditation really is. They don’t understand this concept of raising your level of vibration until taking a step toward your goal is now possible.

It is said: “Meditation is the foundation of all true Martial Arts.” (We say this at the beginning of every class). But seldom do students question what a foundation is. Simply put; a foundation is something you build on!

You meditate to raise your level of consciousness so you become aware you are sitting on the peak of the mountain. You are in a place where ANYTHING is possible. You can then easily take steps in the direction of what you want.

But it would be even more correct to say. “Mediation is the foundation of all success”.

Dodging Skunks!

We almost got sprayed!

He was the size of a large cat. In fact I thought he was a cat; but the way he was lumbering around it didn't look right.

Then I saw the white stripe.

Then I smelled him!

Had we been one minute earlier we would have been sprayed for sure.

He lumbered across the driveway and under the cover of the branches of the pine tree by the garage door.

No way to get to the car except by passing right by his hiding place.


Garage and Tree.jpg

We had to come up with a strategy. We waited a few minutes; then I told Sempai we would go on a count of three.



............... "You go first!" I blurted out.

Then we both started to laugh. 

"OK" I said - "we're not sissies. Let's do this!"

We held hands and this time on "three" we raced as quickly and quietly as we could, hugging the opposite side of the drive, past the tree and into the garage!

Whew! We made it safe, sound, still smelling fine.


I got to thinking about the little beady eyed guy with the stripe. How much fun he had given us. What an adventure. What a memory.

Dealing with him was the best part of my day.

Funny thing was he WAS a threat. But we never hated him. We never wanted revenge. We never felt the need to turn others against him.

I started thinking about all the other "skunks" in my life. The people who are hard to get along with, those who have hidden agendas, those who are unfair.

They do have a couple things in common with the furry guy. Just like him they might be doing something that gives us trouble - even damages us - but just like him - they just don't care.

Get mad at a person who bothers you and the only one you hurt is you. Heck; most of the times people are so self absorbed they don't even notice you. Don't realize the harm they are doing.

But it's easy to forgive an animal. Harder with people.


But what if we looked at everyone the way we look at animals? Some animals are dangerous and need to be dealt with. The same with people. (That's why a lot of people learn martial arts).

But most of the troublesome people in our lives are not attackers. They are more like skunks. They are unaware of us. Unaware of how they might damage us.

Animals are easy to laugh at.

It would be nice if we could laugh at people the same way too.

What is it that makes us look at people so differently than animals? I'm not sure. Maybe it's something inside of each of us. Something we need to work on.

But wouldn't it be great if we didn't see our "enemies" villains?

Wouldn't it be great if we could see them as they really are.

Lumbering skunks with beady eyes. Hiding under a tree. Keeping us out of the garage.

Then even some our problems would stop being problems; the would be an ADVENTURE!

Some of our problems might even be the best part of our day.

Three Lies That Will Ruin Your Life

Our society allows for certain lies.

You can break any promise you make to others or yourself by using one of societies lies. These lies are used so often they are considered "norms".

As long as you are willing to use a "socially acceptable lie" you will never hold yourself accountable. You will fail. You will also hurt a lot of people in the process.

Keep your promises. No matter what.

No excuses.