Dear Madame L,
My boyfriend is taking some kind of martial arts class at our local community college. He says it's just to help him get stronger and feel more self confident. Maybe I've seen too many action hero movies, but I'm worried he might become violent. What do you think?
Thanks for your opinion,
Madame L, like you, has seen way too many action hero movies, so she appreciates your concern.
However, she doesn't share it because she has friends who practice various martial arts, and her experience is that they are in it for exactly those reasons your boyfriend gives: to become stronger and more self confident.
Additionally, the martial arts instructors Madame L has talked to reassure her that they spot very easily and quickly those people in their classes who are taking them for the wrong reasons, i.e., to be able to bully their friends or intimidate people in general; and the instructors take pains to ensure that those students do not advance as long as they have those attitudes.
Madame L hopes YOU will consider taking a self-defense class if an opportunity presents itself. She hopes all women of all ages, including young girls, will find ways to gain physical and mental strength and confidence that will help them in every situation in life.
In a future column, Madame L will invite a martial arts instructor to discuss how you and your boyfriend can find a class where you'll learn the skills that will best serve you, without spending too much money.