Last night in Overlook Park, about 16 men and women, wearing everything from short skirts to spandex, learned the rudiments of a newly emerging martial art form: Bikendo.
Our teacher was Nature Boy, a longtime practitioner of karate and tai chi. He had the idea to develop a specific self defense technique for people who ride bikes, using the bicycle itself as a tool for fending off attack. He has been working on creating particular techniques using bicycles for several months. Last night was the form’s public debut.
We learned how to stand properly, alone and then with our bikes. Then we learned to use our bikes as a shield, and practiced dismounting and grappling. Nature Boy walked through the group correcting stances and giving suggestions. Along with experienced assistants, he demonstrated a couple of techniques for flipping an assailant over your rear wheel — see the photos below for a better idea of what that looked like.
Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for BikePortland.org since 2006. Find her at http://takingthelane.com