The Best Defense

As a practicing ninja, I know a thing or two about defense. Most of the time, the best defense against an attack is usually the simplest and the most obvious. Just don’t make yourself vulnerable.

It’s cold and flu season, and I’m a germaphobe. Not an over the top crazy kind of germaphobe, but a sensible kind. After all, I spent forty years working in health care, so I also know a little bit about infections, especially how to prevent them.

And it’s so simple….wash your hands. Wash them often and wash them well. You don’t need any special equipment or antibacterial soap. All you just need is mild soap and warm water.

Wash your hands before and after you eat, use the bathroom, blow your nose, sneeze, cough, touch your face, touch commonly used public surfaces, etc., or anytime you feel like you need to wash them.

And please….I am begging you on bending knee, don’t sneeze or cough into your hands. Turn your head and sneeze or cough into your elbow. I actually saw a dancer in ballet class meticulously wipe down the ballet barre with an antibacterial cloth, then promptly sneeze into her hands before touching every surface around her. Yikes!

And you might want to be careful around uncovered food in public. I know, I’m being paranoid. But I once brought freshly baked bread to a networking event and set it on the food table. A young man approached the table, sneezed into his hands, and began slicing the bread. I almost fainted.

Common sense is the best defense, and it really is so simple. Let’s all share the love but not the germs, and let’s make it through cold and season with our health and wellness intact. Here’s to your health!

Be Aware, or Beware!

Last week I was honored to deliver my information packed, educational, motivational and interactive signature speech “Be Aware, or Beware” to the members of Rising Tide Business Network. I have decided to share a brief synopsis of the presentation as well as one key life lesson or take home point which was emphasized under each topic that was covered. Keep in mind, this is simply a sneak preview.

 BE AWARE…..OR BEWARE
I. Introduction:

My personal story, as well as first martial arts class and how my journey into the strange new world of men and martial arts began.

Life lesson and key point: I was stronger than I thought I was, and so are you. I firmly believe that there is an incredible amount of strength and power in each and every one of us, just waiting to be discovered.

II. Evade, Deflect, and Redirect

The first thing a brand new martial arts student learns is how to get out of the way of an  attack….evade. It’s the secret of the ninja disappearing act. All of the negative angst and energy goes right past you and back into your attacker. It’s beautiful to witness.

Life lesson and key point: Life is full of hits, and in a variety of different forms including physical, verbal, emotional,   and psychological. How we respond to them is imperative to our ability to survive, and thrive.

Evasion is just the first part of the secret. The entire secret is to evade, deflect, and redirect. This ninja secret is a valuable life skill and tool to keep you from getting drawn into pointless conflicts with family, colleagues, strangers, spouses, “friends,” etc.

*However, the second and third part of the secret does NOT apply to physical threats! Your number one goal is to get out of the way and run to safety.

III. Awareness and Attention

A distracted person is an easy target. And an easy target is exactly what perpetrators are looking for. The good news is that we can train our awareness and attention by making simple changes to our routine.

Life lesson and key point: It’s easy to develop new neural pathways which will develop a keen sense of awareness by making simple changes in our routine. When you continue to practice awareness, all of your senses will become more sensitive, which leads us to the next topic.

IV. Intention and Intuition.

Intention is a course of action that a person intends to complete. Perpetrators have an agenda, and they are committed to completing their chosen course of action. It’s actually possible to be able to read someone’s intention, which is another reason why practicing your awareness is so important. Conversely, it is possible for someone to read your intention as well. If you are committed to keeping yourself safe and do not present yourself as an easy target, a perpetrator can sense that as well, making you less attractive as a target.

Intuition is an immediate understanding of a situation without conscious thought. It is a sense of “knowing.” Intuition is rarely (if ever), wrong.

Life lesson and key point: The ability to read someone’s intention is not that difficult when you practice it, and you can train your intuition just as you train your awareness.

V. Body Language

Our body language speaks volumes, and communicates to the world what kind of day we’re having, what kind of person we are, how we feel about ourselves, and  even whether or not we are an easy target. It’s important to present ourselves with strength, confidence, and composure while we remain grounded, balanced, and flexible.

Life lesson and key point: When you learn how to stand, walk, and move like a ninja you will be grounded, balanced, confident and less attractive as a potential target.

VI. Self-Defense Tools, aka Weapons

Self-defense products can give you a false sense of security. They can also malfunction, or be totally ineffective if you are not thoroughly trained in how to use them. More important, any weapon you carry can be taken from you and used against you.

Life lesson and key point: A high-powered military or police grade flashlight is the best self-defense tool to have, along with taking frequent self-defense classes is the best way to keep yourself safe.

As I said, this is just a brief synopsis and example of my presentation. For more information or to book my services, please feel free to contact me. Stay safe, stay strong, and stay aware!

Be Aware or BEWARE: Simple Self-Defense for Everyone

If you have ever been concerned about your personal safety, or worried about how you would protect yourself in an unsafe or threatening situation, this event is for you!

Rising Tide Business Networking Group is hosting group member Cheryl Ilov, aka The FemiNinja, on Thursday, October 10th from 11:30-1:00.  Cheryl will share valuable ninja secrets, tips, and tricks to help keep you safe, strong, and confident in a variety of different situations.

In this fun, informative, and interactive event, you will learn simple skills that can be applied to every aspect of your life, not just your physical safety. This will include how to:

  • Avoid being a target.
  • Train your awareness.
  • Get out of the way of an attack.
  • Stand your ground and find you voice.
  • What to do if you can’t get away.
  • Apply your new-found skills to your business, relationships, health, fitness, finances, etc. The possibilities are endless!

This will NOT include any martial arts or self-defense techniques involving physical contact with another individual. However, a few simple movement patterns will be introduced which you can play with at the event and practice at home. Or you can simply observe, learn, and take it all in. Knowledge is power, and together we can make the world a safer place!

 

BIO: Cheryl Ilov is a second-degree black belt in an ancient Japanese martial art called Ninpo Tai Jutsu, the Art of the Ninja. She began her training at the tender young age of forty-seven, and ten years later became her teacher’s first female black belt. In twenty years of teaching, no female had ever achieved such a high rank. Cheryl is also an award-winning author, speaker, and host of The FemiNinja Project podcast.

 

 

 

 

Episode #13: Everything’s A Weapon

Here’s a fun-filled ninja secret which I learned even before I began my martial arts training. It was my teacher’s favorite subject, which was, “Everything’s a weapon.” I thought he was insane. Until I finally began training with him and realized he was right.

The reality is that we do need tools to protect ourselves. Unfortunately, another reality is that a weapon can easily be taken away from us by an attacker and used against us. So, what’s a person to do?

The answer is in this episode. Download this episode to discover the one secret weapon that every woman needs in her arsenal. It’s safe, practical, and extremely effective. It rocked my world, and it can rock yours, too!

Episode 7: Strength Is Sexy

Strength is another important aspect and characteristic of the ninja spirit. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Well, duh! Of course you need a lot of strength to take down an attacker, especially if they are bigger than you.”

No, not really. It doesn’t take strength to take down an opponent. It takes technique, which explains how I was able to take down guys that were half my age and twice my size. And then go get my nails done. However, I will save that discussion for another day.

The truth is that strong is sexy, and we ninjas are all about looking good. Because there is nothing more attractive than sleek, toned muscles in EVERY stage of life. But, as I mentioned in my previous episode, there are a lot of people (like me), who hate the thought of going to the gym. So, what’s a person to do?

In this episode you will discover surprisingly simple and effective ways to keep your muscles strong, fit, and toned all in the privacy of your own home. You will not only love the way you look, you’ll love the way you feel. Because, strength is not only sexy, it’s powerful.

Episode 3: Simple Ninja Safety Tip

In my previous episode, Super Special Ninja Secret, I shared the nifty little trick of how to avoid an attack. However, you can’t get out of the way if you can’t see it coming. Which is how I ended up getting a glass of wine thrown in my face. It was a waste of good wine, but also a powerful reminder of what can happen when we let our guard down.

I am not talking about being paranoid. I am talking about paying attention to yourself, to your environment, and to other people around you. Looking back, there were very subtle signs that the situation was escalating. But, I simply thought I was having an animated conversation with someone I knew well and cared deeply about. I was wrong.

The truth is that we can’t always see when a hit is coming. But, we can certainly increase our chances of avoiding an attack by training our attention and awareness. Because a distracted person is an easy target, and a perpetrators dream come true. And it all starts with putting down your cell phone.

Your phone should NEVER be in your hand when you are in a public place. It belongs in your purse, pocket, or briefcase. Trust me. Not only is your cell phone the epitome of distraction, you will never know what hit you until it’s over. And you do not want that to happen. Putting your cell phone away is the first part of this simple ninja safety tip. The rest is in this episode.

Be aware, or beware!

Episode 2: Super Special Ninja Secret

One of the first things I learned as a brand new martial arts student was how to get out of the way of an attack. It’s actually a super sneaky and nifty little ninja secret that can help you in a multiple of different situations.

It’s the secret to the infamous “ninja disappearing act.” I’ll just bet you’re rolling your eyes right now, thinking that it’s just not possible for someone to disappear. Think again. It’s a surprisingly simple, easy, and effective technique which can keep you safe in a multitude of different situations.

As I said, it was one of the first things I learned as a brand new martial arts student, and I was really, really good at it. Because anytime one of the guys tried to attack me, I would run off of the mat, screaming like a banshee with my gi top over my head. Not exactly the Ninja stealth my Sensei was trying to teach me, but it worked.

However, once I stopped running, I learned a powerful lesson and a valuable skill that changed my life forever (in a good way), and it can change yours as well.

It might even keep you from getting wine thrown in your face. After all, life is full of hits, and it comes in a variety of different forms. Attacks can be physical, emotional, verbal, and even spiritual. If you simple get out of the way, you can’t get hurt. Or get wine in your face. I guarantee that this is a secret you’ll be happy to have under your belt.

However, if you can’t see it coming, you can’t get out of the way. But, I will save that little secret for the next episode. Stay tuned!

Episode 1: Welcome to The FemiNinja Project!

Exactly one year ago I entered a podcasting contest. At the time, I had no idea what a podcast was, or why I would possibly want one. I entered the contest anyway.

Eight anxiety-filled weeks later and overcoming multiple steep learning curves, the contest was over. I didn’t win, but I was invited to join the platform anyway. I am now flying solo, re-branding the show, and creating a community of like-minded women and men who are dedicated to restoring human dignity and helping people of all ages and walks of life unleash their personal power.

In this first episode, you’ll hear about how (and why) I began training in an ancient Japanese martial art called Ninpo Tai Jutsu, the Art of the Ninja. As a matter of fact, you’ll learn more about me than I ever wanted anyone to know. But, it’s time for me to share my story and stop hiding in the shadows.

I also will share many of the ninja secrets, tips, and tricks I learned in my training that you can apply in every single aspect of your life to keep you safe, strong, establish clear boundaries, and be healthy in body, mind, and spirit. And all without spending 14 years in a smelly dojo getting smacked around by a bunch of sweaty men. I took the hits so you wouldn’t have to. You’re welcome.

Never underestimate the strength and power you have deep inside of you. My mission is to help you unleash that power, Discover that it IS possible to look like a woman, act like a lady, move like a ninja and think like a warrior. And remember, men are always welcome on The FemiNinja Project. After all, I would not be here today if it were not for the many magnificent men in my life.

I am grateful to each and every one of them, and I am grateful to you for listening to the podcast, and starting your own journey into the Art of the Ninja. Sayonara!

Ancient Ninja Secret for Your New Year

Here we are, in the last week of January. Maybe you started the new month (and the new year), with high expectations of working out, going to the gym, or eating healthy. How’s that working out so far?

A lot of us make those New Year’s Resolutions and end up falling flat on our face. Fantastic. One more thing we can feel guilty about. But, I have a better idea. Instead of feeling guilty or giving up completely, I am going to share an ancient ninja secret with you. But, please don’t report me to the Society of Ninja Secrets. They might not like it, and might take away my hard-earned official secret ninja card.

So, here it is–keep moving! Literally, just move. Move your body in every single direction, including forward, backward, side to side, and diagonally. There are many reasons why this is important.

1). First of all, if you can move in any directions or any moment in time, it will keep you safe in an oftentimes unsafe world. When you can adapt to any unexpected change in your environment, it can even save your life.

2). Next, the simple act of moving your body improves your circulation, lymphatic flow, cognition, awareness, balance, flexibility, and cognition.  Moving your body keeps you from getting stuck, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, if you are stuck in any way, movement stimulates brain function, gets the creative juices flowing, and helps improve your problem-solving abilities. You can find solutions to problems that you’ve never thought of when you were sitting on the couch waiting for the spring thaw.

3). Finally, ditch the judgment and the self-doubt. Just find new and creative ways to move and explore your environment, just like you did when you were a kid. There is no right or wrong, just opportunities to learn. and that is a nifty little ninja secret that is my late January gift to you. Besides, it’s so good for your health!

Karma Cooties Can Really Bug You

Karma cooties can be a real threat to our health and well-being. We all get exposed to them every now and then, and they can be very infectious. And contagious. However, just like we can protect ourselves during cold and flu season, there are precautions we can take from being susceptible to the little buggers. And the first step is knowing that they exist so you can avoid them.

The first time I heard about karma cooties was about 20 years ago from a friend who was a massage therapist. She told me she had a client that she had to cut loose (in other words, she fired her) because her karma cooties were so bad. “Karma Cooties,” I responded in confusion, “What are those?”  

She explained that we all experience hurts and transgressions in life. You got that right. After all, life is full of hits, and none of us get through this roller coaster of life without our fair share of them. But, some people let those tough times define them, even embrace them, which breaks down their karmic immune system. Okay, she kind of lost me there, but at least I had something to think about.

So I began paying attention. I noticed that some people could suck the joy out of a room by simply walking into it. Or suck the life out of me just with a phone call. I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. You might even have a friend like that, which can be a real problem for you.

I had a friend who was so infected that she was beyond hope, and I finally had to cut her loose. It was awkward, especially since we had been friends for 30 years. But, being exposed to all of that negativity isn’t healthy. Eventually, it breaks down your resistance and draws you in. So, just like you do during cold and flu season, take some precautions to keep yourself safe.

Because staying safe and being healthy is much better than being bugged.