The Jinenkan in my Life

Chris Strack


It has been almost 2 years now since I was attacked. I went through the first 22 years of my life and had never really been in a situation were I didn’t know what to do.

I was at a St. Patrick’s Day party at a friend’s house when a group of people showed up to join the party. No one at the party felt comfortable with this group of people. No one was even sure how they were allowed in. Finally my friend asked them to leave. I saw one of them approach him and respond by saying that no one would make them leave. I could see the fear in my friend’s eyes and that no one was even thinking of getting involved to help. I quickly approached the man from behind to assist my friend. Suddenly I was attacked from all sides. I was punched, hit from behind, and blacked-out, falling to the floor and then crawling out of the house before being trampled. Later I was in the hospital receiving stitches in my wrist from falling on glass from the bottle that was shattered over my head. I remember the doctor telling me that if my cut wrist had been less then an inch deeper I would have bleed to death before the ambulance could have arrived.

Sadly enough it took an event like this to make me realize several things. I was frightened constantly, paranoid wherever I went, and found it impossible to stop replaying the night’s event in my head and thinking of ways I could’ve reacted differently. "If only I would’ve seen the one guy who punched me." or "Why didn’t I use something as a weapon to attack?" I felt that I was a failure and my mind struggled constantly to find a way to make right what went so very wrong.

Over a year had passed and I had many thoughts of joining a martial arts class. I figured this would ensure I was never again so clueless in such a situation. At the time I was living in Maryland and visited a few different local dojo’s. I briefly looked at an Aikido, Tang Soo do, and Tai Kwan Do school. I went home each night and thought about whether or not that school could teach me how to react in a real-life situation. Every school spoke to me about the competitions, their championships, and had many trophies. They were immediately concerned about money and when they gave me information on the class it was mostly on fees! These schools were teaching as if it was a sport and something was lacking. I wasn’t sure what it was but something was missing. I was discouraged and soon stopped looking for a way to train.

A few months went by and my company transferred me to Dayton, OH. I started looking for schools again. I searched the Internet for a few days and finally found the Jinenkan Dayton Dojo. I emailed Sukh Sandhu and was invited to visit the Dayton Dojo. I immediately realized after speaking with Sukh, his brother Jaye, and cousin Aman that this was not a sport and these people were not only very seriously about their training but showed an extreme sincerity for the lineages. This was what was missing in the other dojo’s I visited. Sukh was not concerned about my money but rather if I was an individual he wanted in his dojo. It was extremely important to him that I possessed a good heart, mind, and character.

I have been with the Dayton Dojo for 4 months now. I have learned many things since I have begun my training here. A couple of important things I have learned are my sense of awareness and confidence in myself. I also realized that I was not a failure the night of my attack. I was willing to help my friend when I felt he was in danger. I knew that the odds were bad but my heart said to help when someone was in need. My heart knew it was the right thing to do and now my mind knows it to. I plan on continuing my training so that next time I am in a situation like that, my body will also know it and will be able to work with my heart and I will be confident and aware of my attackers. I am very thankful for my teacher Sukh as well as everyone in the Dojo.