A Strange Thing…

I had a book signing at Jashanmal’s in Seef Mall this weekend. It was for my new book, The Ultimate Self-Defence Handbook. As I was sitting there waiting to autograph some books a guy approached me. Very nice guy. He shook my hand and congratulated me on the book and on my success, and he thanked me for all my efforts.

I thanked him and was waiting for him to hand me a copy of the book so I could autograph it, then I realised he didn’t have one. So I asked him if he was going to buy one, and he said something like “Oh I want to lose some weight first and then inshallah I’ll buy the book and learn the techniques in it.” I said no problem, shook hands and off he went.

I then turned to my wife and told her that I thought that that was strange. The guy came all the way to Seef to shake hands but didn’t buy the book. It occurred to me then that he probably thought that the book was about martial arts. You see, many people use the words martial arts and self-defence interchangeably, but they shouldn’t. Let me explain, martial arts (martial means ‘war’, or ‘of warfare’) generally refers to a fighting system like karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Zen-Do etc. There’s usually an artistic element like forms or katas, a code of some sort, uniforms, belts etc. And not all martial arts are good for self-defence, as some, I’m sorry to say, teach things that do not work in real life.

Self-Defence on the other hand, refers to anything you do (physical or non-physical) to defend yourself. The moves don’t need to be flashy or complex. In fact, as I teach in my book, 90% of self-defence is non-physical. But I’m pretty sure that the guy in the book store felt he needed to lose weight and be fitter before he can learn what’s in the book. So, just to reiterate, self-defence and martial arts are not the same, even though of course there can be some convergence.

Anyway, back to the book launch. It was supposed to be between 11 am and 1 pm. But around 12:30 pm it got really quiet, and there weren’t many people in the store, so I decided to leave early. I went to pray and then my family and I walked around the Seef for a bit. As we were walking a another person approached me saying that he and his family came to the bookstore to have my book autographed, but they were disappointed they missed me. He handed me a copy of the book and I autographed it. I apologised for leaving early, but the man was okay with it and he told me he was just happy to have caught up with me later.

This morning I got an email from another person saying she went to the book launch at 12:45 pm and was really disappointed that she missed me. She wanted me to write something motivational in her book. Oops, sorry 🙂

It’s funny, because when I decided to leave it really was quiet and didn’t think anymore people would come. Anyway, if anyone else came that I missed I’m really sorry. I guess next time I need to stay the full two hours.

Talk to you soon.

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