Susan Schorn – Author of Smile at Strangers: And Other Lessons in the Art of Living Fearlessly, writer, teacher, martial arts instructor, and dual black belt.
“If you’re going for a groin strike, you want to attack from the bottom up, rather than from the front, to inflict maximum damage.” This may be my favorite piece of advice I have received to date here on Smart People Podcast, and it’s just one of the many gems that is presented in our episode this week. But, we cover so much more than brute force and inflicting pain. As a matter of fact, that is a rather small portion of our show – which is odd, considering our guest this week holds a black belt in Kyokushin and Seido karate and is a member of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation and former chair of the board of directors for Sun Dragon Martial Arts and Self Defense. Instead we focus on how to be more comfortable in your skin, to accept your reality and to be more aware daily; all things that are just as important in the dojo as they are elsewhere. For example, you know when you’re walking down the street and you get that creepy feeling? Perhaps you don’t like the guy that’s following you, the alley looks a little shady, or a strange car seems to be following too close. Well, that’s called your intuition, it has been honed over thousands of years and you shouldn’t be afraid to pay attention to it. I won’t spoil any more, just press play!
Susan Schorn is a writer, martial artist, and self defense advocate. She writes Bitchslap: A Column About Women and Fighting for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Her book, Smile at Strangers: Lessons in the Art of Living Fearlessly, was just be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in May 2013. Susan has taught writing and literature at the University of Texas, St. Edward’s University, and the University of Hawaii-Hilo. She holds black belts in Kyokushin and Seido karate and is a member of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation and former chair of the board of directors for Sun Dragon Martial Arts and Self Defense, NFP, in Austin, Texas (where she still trains and teaches). She is currently working toward self-defense instructor certification through the NWMAF, and earned her nidan (second degree) black belt in Seido karate in 2011.