Category Archives: Self Defense

The Hobby Hoarder Becomes a Jedi: Jedi Training

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“Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.”
Yoda

I’m afraid that we often forget how important it is that we play–how important it is that we escape from the daily rush and harsh moments are routine days. We forget that the world ran well enough long before our coffee addiction began. We forget that we are allowed to really act out on all our childhood fantasies.

And most of all: We forget to have fun.

Jedi training was the perfect escape from the routine day. From the work worries. From the stressful inconsistencies of life.

In fact, the moment I turned on the saber, I was in the zone–I mean, I was really in the zone.

The Force was with me.

And of course:

“May the Force be with you.”

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 A look at the New York Jedi:

New York Jedi

DANY Studios 

The Hobby Hoarder Aims, Shoots, Fires: Shooting Range

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Inhale. Exhale. Aim. Shoot. Fire. Inhale. Exhale. Do again.

The last time, and only time I shot a gun, I was on a camping trip with my sixth grade boyfriend at the time. His father, his brother, he and several other men were excited to head out to middle of the woods at a deserted camp site and shoot guns. As a guest, I went along for the ride, believing I wouldn’t have to touch a gun.

Half-way through their target practice, the older–very good looking–brother handed me a gun–a pistol–and said here–aim at the target and shoot. Nervously, I took the gun. I shot, and I fired. Shaking, I handed the gun back to the older brother of my then boyfriend and said, “Not for me–not again–this is scary.”

I believed that my first time pulling a trigger would be my last time. But as the hobby project came into play, I decided that learning how to shoot a gun–for real–and safely–would be interesting and useful–in case of an absolute emergency. You see as an avid Law and Order SVU watcher–as well as action movie fan, I have always predicted that I’d be the girl to try to shoot the gun and discover very quickly that the safety was still on. In real life–this could be the difference between my living and my dying (in worse scenario–of course). The lesson at the West Side Rifle & Pistol Range served as the perfect educational model for learning to use a gun.

Two of my friends joined me, and we anxiously awaited our instructor on the day of our lesson. As our teacher described the parts of the gun, my palms began to sweat more and more. “I was really going to pick up a gun again.” As he told us that we needed to find out which eye was our dominant eye, I stared at him, and attempted to mimmick him…He laughed. “You are doing it wrong.”

I began to shake a bit more. “If I can’t get the parts right where we don’t hold a gun…How will this guy ever trust me pulling a trigger?”

But he did…and I shot-I aimed-I fired–safely–fifty times. Looking a bit nerdy too:

Thank goodness, I didn’t shoot my eye out.

West Side Rifle & Pistol Range
20 West 20th Street
Manhattan, NY


The Hobby Hoarder is a Ninja: Samurai Sword Fighting

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For a free intro samurai sword fighting class contact swordclassnyc@gmail.com and tell them you found them through                           The Hobby Hoarder.
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Five ways to be  a stealthy Ninja:

1. Know which  side of the sword is the blade–and which side of the sword is not the blade.
2. Patience
3.  Be fearless.
4. Make sure the sword is the correct size for you
5. Master self-control

Watch my instructor:

Watch cutting practice:

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For a free intro samurai sword fighting class contact swordclassnyc@gmail.com and tell them you found them through The Hobby Hoarder.

Sword Class NYC

The Hobby Hoarder is the 10 Billion Dollar Libby: Boxing

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I didn’t set out, schedule, or predict that I would end up at a boxing lesson for the hobby of the week, this week, but I did. In fact, I should have been at a West-African dance class at the Alvin Ailey Center that I had put on my calendar two weeks earlier. I am not sure how I got to the boxing gym. I had called my mother hours earlier to say it was a beautiful day outside and that I wanted to change my hobby from West-African dance to something outdoorsy. She suggested being a “naturalist.” Apparently, I decided to act naturally on my current feelings because four hours later, I was sitting in a boxing gym, texting my best friend to say, “What the hell am I doing–do you think they’ll make me jump rope–and will I get hit in the face…I am a crier.”

I realized that frustrations that had built up from the evening prior, and the day of, had sent me to the boxing gym to release tension–in a safe way. I didn’t want to hit a person–I just wanted to punch my problems away.  I mean it… I wear yellow sunglasses, damnitt–I am NOT a violent person.

Besides, for self-defense–it’s not so bad to know how to throw a punch–or block your face.


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While on my back-to-back quest to discover how to defend myself, I realized that I was really just disguising another quest…to become Hilary Swank movie characters–I’ll be flying a plane on May 20–to take care of her role in Amelia.

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Church Street Boxing Gym
25 Park Place
Manhattan, NY

The Hobby Hoarder is the Karate Kid: Karate

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“Osu”

Patience.Respect.Appreciation

This is the first thing you’ll learn as you walk through the doors of the SFMAI Karate Center on 27th Street–not how to break a board. You never enter their studio–leave their studio–or walk on to the mat without bowing and saying Osu.

And even though patience is part of the mantra, they didn’t slap my hand for asking if I would break a board right away. In fact, they welcomed it. And after going through the basics of kneeing, kicking, and punching, my instructor brought out a board and said “I heard you were interested in this.” The smile on my face spread from one ear to the other, and as she explained the best way to go about breaking the board–I paid strict attention to detail. And even though it may look so effortless in the video…I didn’t fail to say ow after breaking my first board.

And yes that wood  is real.

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Check out my instructor Shihan Michelle Gay in action:

SFMAI
4 West 18th Street
New York, NY

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