“Eat, pray . . . kick ass. Delivered with self-deprecating candor, Schorn's life lessons learned at the dojo will resonate with anyone who's ever tried to remodel a house, raise kids, cope with a health crisis, navigate office politics or hyperventilated—essentially anyone who's ever been slammed on the mat while testing for the black belt of life. Like the fighter herself, you can't put this one down.”—Mary Moore, author of The Unexpected When You're Expecting
Susan Schorn led an anxious life. For no clear reason, she had become progressively paralyzed by fear. Fed up with feeling powerless, she took up karate.
She learned how to say no and how to fight when you have to (even in the dark). Karate taught her how to persuade her husband to wear a helmet, best one bossy Girl Scout troop leader, and set boundaries with an over-sharing boss. Here this double black belt recounts a fighting, biting, laughing woman's journey on the road to living fearlessly—where enlightenment is as much about embracing absurdity and landing a punch as about finding that perfect method of meditation.
Full of hilarious hijinks and tactical wisdom, Schorn's quest for a more satisfying life features practical—and often counterintuitive—lessons about safety and self defense. Smile at strangers, she says. Question your habits, your fears, your self-criticism: Self-criticism is easy. Self-improvement is hard. And don’t forget this essential gem: Everybody wants to have adventures. Whether they know it or not. Join the adventure in these pages, and come through it poised to have more of your own.
Schorn lived a life of anxiety and fear until age 30, when she began training at the Austin, Tex., Sun Dragon dojo in Kyokushin, a full-contact form of karate. While detailing her journey from white belt to double black belt, she candidly examines the fear of harassment that many women deal with on a daily basis, and she dismisses frequently proffered advice that regards women as feeble-minded children and blames victims for supposedly failing to exercise caution. In its place, Schorn provides a slew of strategies for managing tense situations she encourages women to make purposeful eye contact and get comfortable with saying no, and she runs through de-escalation and intervention tactics (as well as actual Kyokushin combat techniques). Schorn credits the philosophy and discipline of her martial art with helping her cope with everything from her sister s cancer diagnosis, a particularly taxing home renovation, and parenting unruly children. Considering the gravity of the topics at hand, Schorn manages a lot of levity she describes the melee in which she earned her first black belt as like getting married, except you have to fight all the bridesmaids. The tale of her journey to empowerment is an engrossing and inspirational read.