The 4th And Final Issue of Self-Care Summer: Where Does Self Defense Connect With Self-Care?

By: Isabella Lin, ACMS Intern

This is the 4th and Final Issue of Self Care Summer!

For our last issue, I will be speaking on my personal experiences regarding Self Defense and how that plays a BIG role in Self Care. 

I have been taking judo(it’s a little big like wrestling), at Gaddis Brothers Martial Arts, for around 8 months now. And it has been such a productive experience for me. The way I treat myself and others has completely changed. Here’s the what, where, and why: 



Judo is a jiu-jitsu derived form of martial art that focuses on two things: nage-waza(throwing techniques) and ne-waza(ground techniques). Both of those categories center around manipulating the weight of another person in order to throw their balance off and eventually pin them down. This is definitely risky in practice, so we all take precautions before stepping on the mat. Spitting gum out, taking jewelry off, and putting our hair up is all part of that. We wear uniforms called gis; judo gis are different from those of karate and taekwondo; ours are much thicker and can be either blue or white. The thickness of the gi serves the purpose of being easier to grip. Strong grips are the foundation of judo. Having our hands in the right spot before a throw is imperative to the entire technique. The techniques all use a focal body part, whether it be the hips, shoulders, etc, to effectively throw the other person. It’s a lot less scary than it seems, I promise; we also learn how to defend ourselves against these throws, using breakfalls. Breakfalls are a way to distribute your weight in an injury-preventive way after a throw. We all learn the types of breakfalls and have them down by the time we start throwing. 

Use the video below to  learn more!



The dojo that I attend along with my sister is called Gaddis Brothers Martial Arts. Location-wise, it is right by North Park. My sister has gone to GBMA for 4-5 years now, and I just started in January 2023. Sensei John Gaddis owns and runs this dojo, and prioritizes values of commitment, honesty, and responsibility during his classes. GBMA is friendly for all ages, so if you want to try self-defense, check it out!




  1. REAL LIFE: In the event of physical alteration, I will be able to defend myself using the weight/balance of others to my advantage. If that isn’t self care, I don’t know what is!
  2. MORAL VALUES: Judo, as well as any martial art, demands the respect of its practitioners. I have learned the values of courtesy, patience, and responsibility in these short eight months due to the comfortable, yet formal way that my dojo practices. 
  3. AWARENESS: Working with a sport like this, there is a high risk of injury. One of the focuses of judo is called nage-waza, or throwing techniques. I could seriously hurt someone if I chose to be reckless and abandon the way I was taught. This forces me to be self aware and use the technique in a controlled way. 
  4. PHYSICAL HEALTH: Judo is an especially sweaty, physically taxing sport. We burn hundreds of calories PER CLASS. Therefore, I have no choice but to make healthy choices in order to continue. I make sure to work out regularly, eat correctly, etc.
  5. GOALS ARE IMPORTANT: I am currently working my way up to being better, and am constantly incentivized by another stripe on my belt, and eventually, another belt. My motivation to practice regularly is always high. 

Visit GBMA’s Website and follow them on social!

Martial Arts Classes at Gaddis Brothers Martial Arts

It has been a great summer 2023; thanks for coming on this journey with me to dig up the true meaning and value of Self Care.

Remember: Self Care is NOT Selfish!!

Have a great rest of your summer, everyone!