What happens when you revisit the site of a violent event 23 years later?
I’ve been in Los Angeles this week to close a kind of a loop. This is the city where my life was set on a completely different path than the reason I came here for, and changed the nature of who I am.
I arrived in Los Angeles in 1997 with my sights set on becoming a screenwriter. I did the normal new-in-town screenwriter things — I went to networking events, wrangled tickets to movie premieres, joined writer’s groups, and got suckered into my fair share of speed pitch fests.
By 2000 I felt I kind of had an idea of my career path, was working on some short films I had shot to see if my screen writing actually played on the screen, and was starting to think seriously about finding a life partners, starting a family… the typical stuff of future plans.
But in July 2000 my life took a completely different turn. All it took was 15 minutes for all of my dreams, all of my hopes, and all of my plans for my future to be completely wiped out, thanks to the stranger who broke into my apartment in Hollywood at the time and try to kill me. (I’ve written about this before so I won’t go into details here.)
However, that event changed the course of my life not only in destroying my dreams, but also in accelerating my entry into martial arts. I say “accelerating” because I had slowly been heading in that direction anyway. The attack spurred me on.
I enrolled in a school in the San Fernando Valley called Studio City Martial Arts, a.k.a. Yamato Dojo, and began a lifelong practice of studying and living the art of Ninjutsu, under the tutelage of Sensei Chadwick Minge. I say “living” not because I am a hard-core super serious martial arts lady; but because the martial arts are more than just physical techniques. They include philosophy, theory, methodology, and spirituality — it’s a system of beliefs and a way of living. The way I describe it is, martial arts is to men what yoga is to women. That’s a short hand way of saying it.
But I digress.
Incorporating Ninjutsu into my daily life helped me develop Pretty Deadly Self Defense, which is also what I’ve built my larger company SINGE around. It would be fair to say that the art, and my Sensei, have given me all the…