May 18, 2016
By Silver Krieger
New York, NY — Fifth-degree black belt David Sheeger has a message, “Martial arts is for everyone.” His company, Shihan Martial Arts, is based in Manhattan and Long Island City, and he offers a complimentary introductory class.
“Anyone can do it. You just have to want to,” he says, “It’s not an elitist martial arts and not expensive. It’s not about becoming the next Bruce Lee; it’s for your everyday life. I’ve trained people from three years old to people in their nineties. It’s all about self-improvement.”
About how he himself began, he says, “I’ve always had an interest in martial arts as far back as I can remember. I never took the chance of pursuing it til I had established an office type of career, but I felt that something was missing. I was an athletic type of person but I felt that
sports wasn’t enough to satisfy me. I was looking around, living in Manhattan at the time and there was a lot of variety, so I looked in the Yellow Pages, went from school to school and visited them and found one that I liked and that I thought suited me and never stopped once I
joined.” That was in 1986. He has studied “traditional Japanese karate; practicing basic techniques, forms (kata), sparring, and basic fighting techniques, and some weapons training as well. It turned into a lot of hand-to-hand combat with no equipment and no protective gear: full
contact knock down karate.”
He started teaching within the school after about three years, and has taught for a total of about thirty years. His opened his own school a few years ago where he teaches karate, jujitsu, grappling, and self-defense.
Martial arts and self-defense can be a boon for workers, he says. Those who have to travel to areas they aren’t familiar with can benefit from the increased self-awareness and general awareness that it brings. In a difficult situation, where you are confronted by a dangerous or
menacing person — for example, he says, a bus driver on his or her route who is alone and menaced by a hostile passenger.
Martial arts, Sheeger says, helps you develop “certain techniques and skills. It gives you confidence about your abilities, and lets you know you are capable, and also helps you evaluate that person: are they mentally ill, having a very bad day, et cetera.” He says it can help you to
learn how to diffuse a difficult or threatening situation so it doesn’t get worse – maybe by talking, or, in the case of the bus driver, calmly driving the bus to the closest corner, getting off and calling the police. “Your confidence gives you calm,” he says.
Sheeger does workshops and clinics that teach students to subdue and disarm hostile people. An added bonus, he adds, is that “Martial arts is a real community, a camaraderie and a brotherhood.” To reach David Sheeger or a union to set up a self defense class for members call 917-645-7580