Thoughts and Opinions on Violence and Defending your Life Part I
Thoughts and Opinions on Violence and Defending your Life Part I
by adam on March 15, 2011
Normally I like to jack ass around on my page but I am going to be a bit more serious for this topic.
The most dangerous predator in the history of the world is close by and possibly hunting you right now.
Never before has our planet seen such a cunning beast, one which is capable of incredible violence and wrath.
I am not taking about T Rexes, Great White Sharks, or Tigers.
I am talking about you. Me. Your next door neighbor Nancy. That nice old fellow who delivers you mail. The young girl who serves you coffee in the morning.
There is no animal on this planet even half as dangerous as a human being. There never has been an animal which will injure and kill for so many reasons & motivations.
Equipped with superior intelligence, problem solving skills, logical thought processing, a wide emotional spectrum, greed, fear and an increasingly greater number of mental illnesses. Prone to abuse of various mind altering substances this over-stressed predator can shift from docile and calm to raging in seconds: suddenly and unpredictably. We see rampant violence and horror in all areas, world wide, where this beast lives. This is the make up of man.
If we look at almost all other predatory animals, we see they will kill to feed. They will often fight to defend territory, and most of this is posturing. If attacked they will fight back, but there is an order to who is attacking whom.
Human beings on the other hand will injure, maim, destroy and kill for a wide range of reasons: a muddy mixture of wants, needs, fantasies, ideologies, biases and illnesses. And more often than not these influences are unknown/unconscious processes to the ones who act out. Not only will this creature hunt you down, it may do so for infractions and infringements which occurred years back, or that had an impact that was unknown to you.
I could write up a huge paper on why violence occurs, or we can agree to settle on this single point: Violence occurs. The motivation is not very important for the purpose of this article.
My back ground with violence.
As far back as I can remember I have had a mild obsession with it. Certain characteristics are fascinating to me. Why is it that given all of our talents and higher order functions, we seem to be primarily driven by a motivation to take, and take, and take from others?
I have a little brother, his name is Bryon. He and I used to fight all of the god damn time. I am certain we gave each other our first black eyes, busted lips, blood shot eyes, and countless bruises and bumps. One day while wrestling around he had me in a head lock and put me face first through the front door glass screen. I think a year or two later I hurt his ankle real bad with a heel hook. He was the first person I ever choked out, I was the first person he knocked the wind out of. I imagine I developed 90% of the submission techniques I know on him. I would like to think I built in him pain tolerance and a mindset to never fear anyone. No one ever fucked with either of us growing up.
There was no reason to fear anyone else, there was nothing they could do in my mind that I had not dealt with before. (obviously as a little guy I was not considering the introduction of weapons)
I miss my little brother.
I was never bullied in school, and I never bullied anyone else. I saw things from time to time but I very rarely had any inclination to get involved. Some black eyes and bloodied lips here and there, but that to me more of a natural rite of passage between young males. It’s usually posturing, not typically true asocial violence.
From the time was little I was encouraged to wrestle by my uncle. He was a gold medalist in the junior Olympics and traveled all over the world as a teenager wrestling in both free style and greco-roman. He no shit had a shot at making the US team, but at age 18 he was stricken with some severe health problems which in many ways wrecked his life.
I miss my uncle Joe. He lives in Michigan and I have not had much of a chance to see him either over the last decade.
My father and uncles could easily have been described growing up as “pain in the asses” and “trouble makers” which are also the exact words my grandfather still uses to describe them. They used to fight a lot growing up.
I am not certain of many details relating to that, but I do remember the lesson which was passed on to me.
It was not ok to pick a fight, but worse than picking a fight was getting your ass kicked. It was not ok fuck with someone else, but it was unacceptable to allow anyone to fuck with me. My family taught me a lot, and that was one which I have passed on to many during my travels.
Don’t be a bully, and don’t ever be a victim.
You know what a victim is? Someone who choose not to fight back.
Every time I have said that, I get someone who gets pretty fucking upset. Good. Being attacked does not necessarily make you the victim, doing nothing guarantees you will be.
We will talk about that idea very soon.
People do not want violence in their life (for good reason) and they do not want to be victims. I am fairly certain no one wakes up and wants to be the victim in theory, but their actions and belief systems maybe the lynchpin which enables it.
So where do many people turn when they want to rid themselves of the fears of violence?
Traditional Martial Arts. Karate, TKD, Kung Fu, and all the various minor stems of these branches.
My career path in the Military put me in the way of preparing others. For violence. To commit it, and to withstand it. I was selected because I was willing to do it. I was selected because of my skills as an instructor. I was given more and more room to continue because I was good at what I did.
With that said I have some issues with TMA and I am going to share with you some of them now.
What bothers me about traditional martial arts is the idea of it taking 3-5 years to be able to defend oneself.
That is a bad belief system. If someone is currently seeking combative/self defense skills it is because they are afraid at some level. What is the game plan here if you think you need to be in the dojo several times a week for over 150 weeks before you can defend yourself?
It is not hard to hurt another human being, criminals are not preparing for 5 years to jump you in the parking lot. Traditional martial arts in this country have fallen so far from their intended purpose that it is laughable they still carry the “martial” in the title. Art is appropriate because science is rarely found in the dojo.
Chi, mystical energies, bowing to the winds, looking for favor from gods, channeling dead relatives; If your current violence practice involves these things you are likely losing a lot of time doing stupid shit.
In the Military I had a lot of work with apprehension techniques, PPCT, restraint techniques, blades, clubs, guns, defensive tactics, and combatives. I have had the opportunity to work with all other branches of service and several ally nations. I really like the idea of no fucking style, just learn what works and stop doing it when it stops working.
Modern combative practices have been shaped much over the last few decades since its rebirth in America from WWII. Men such as Tony Blauer, innovator of the SPEAR system. Tim Larkin, founder of Target Focus Training group, have turned the focus of warfare and violence back to warfare and violence. Not silly pajama parties and discussions of the 15 ways to deflect a reverse punch thrown with the left hand from a bow stance.
I would also like to thanks my primary instructors D. Fischer and D. Olernick for a lot of lumps and bruises.
As a combatives instructor, I can tell teach you how to harm someone badly in a very short period of time. Just a few hours. Let’s examine this later on.
At this point in my life I have used all of the shit I have been taught. I have a perspective on violence which I didn’t necessarily ask for but definitely aligned my ass in a vector to receive.
Traditional martial arts in America have become bull shit if the topic is defending your life.
Take up traditional martial arts if you want to put on pajamas, bow, and practice a slow set of strange movements to fight 100 men in the corn field. Take traditional martial arts if you like to pretend that you are Bruce Lee or Samurai Jack. Send your kids to them to get some entertainment and positive interaction with other kids. TMA and little kids: send them to a stranger to learn discipline and respect if you are incapable of teaching them that yourself. Fail. Go yourself if the place has a decent fitness program. Do not let the silly serious talk slow you down, it is as serious as the cardio kick boxing at your local globo gym.
Do not confuse any of that horseshit with what real violence looks like.
Do not confuse any of the so called “self defense” courses being taught by Rex Kwan Do instructors as a serious option when lives are on the line.
Why would I say that?
#1 What does the greatest majority of traditional martial arts teach you do? Punch A, punch B, punch C, punch D, punch E, punch F. Practice again and again. Now learn a specific defense for each movement. Now learn 10 variations to that. More and more tools thrown at you each step of the way. Very cool for collection of movements. Neat and flashy to show off to your friends. Just please don’t try the Horse Stance Rotational Block Kata Sequence A when you have been stabbed twice from the guy asking for a lighter at 2 am…it is not important how you attack, it is important you inflict injury.
Also look up Hick’s Law, it will help you understand why the bigger tool box is a mistake.
#2 Traditional martial artists love them some katas. What the fuck was that supposed to be again? Ever watch someone do a kata? Even high level black belts are confused on exactly what they are supposed to be doing. They know exactly what the movement is supposed to look like, but they rarely know what it translates to when used against a human being. Cute for the dojo, very low utility for real violence. It is not important to look stylish or cool in a violent situation, it is important to injure your attacker.
#3 Fixation on trivial details. teaching 30 hand positions, investing hours and hours of precision inspection of stances, requiring students to learn Asian languages and history, instructor worship, bowing, saluting, praying to the winds…wasteful!
What are all these hand positions people think they will use? I am certain it is an old joke sent to the USA from China to get more Americans hands broken and bruised. Snake hand, dragon hand, tiger hand, blah blah blah.
It is not important how you position your hand. It is important to injury your attacker.
#4 For the most part, TMA in America are completely ass backwards concerning weapons: I want to compare some people who got it all fucked up with some who got it dead on. I have a friend who is currently a 3rd degree black belt in California in a very popular style of hard hitting Japanese karate. Even after 10 years of study, the only weapon he ever trained to use was a Bo. For those of you not familiar, a Bo is the weapon Donatello the ninja turtle used. A fucking long piece of wood. I fuck with him all the time about this. “hey bro you going out this week? You taking your broom stick with you”
A further problem associated to this silly shit: teaching people to use silly out dated weapons to fight other people who are also using silly weapons. There are many ways someone can try to hurt you, but swords, nunchuks, and sai’s are not the likely weapons of choice.
Literally nothing about this makes sense to me
Bo staff skills get trumped by hand guns, knives, and urban life
Now I will also point out my buddy James Neidlinger, who teaches people Pekiti Tirsia. That is a knife fighting system from the Vasayan region of PI. The first 30 minutes James works with you will include how to hold a knife, where the knife needs to go to hurt someone, and where it goes to kill someone. That is a man who has his priorities straight. James will tell you how to injure your attacker.
The only reason to learn how to use a weapon is to learn how to better injure a human being.
#5 Situational awareness skills, street awareness skills, conflict defusing skills, verbal skills- Not taught in VAST majority of TMA schools. Not even mentioned. Ok so here is your acid test on how useful a given “Self Defense” class will be to you. If it opens up with an instructor saying “See here is how to get out of a rear choke hold” you have fucked up and selected the wrong place.
What should you be taught? Awareness, awareness, awareness! Verbal skills, social interaction skill sets, for lack of a precise word you need to learn “street smarts” which is severely lacking. If more people were taught this a high % of violence in America would likely be reduced. That is the starting point. Physical skills for violence only accounts for a third or less of the skill set. And of course the only physical skill set it which is important is you injure your attacker.
#6 TMA focusing on being more of “X” then your opponent.
There is only one X factor to a violent situation. Who will go further faster? That is who survives.
Not the stronger person. There is always someone stronger. On a side note, how does a strategy of being stronger play out for women? What women is going to be stronger than her male rapist attacker? Stupid.
Not faster movement. This is a huge flaw. The fastest strike does not “win” the battle, the one that does most damage does. The person who hurts the other person worse.
Not who can go longer. Violent incidents start and finish very fast. If your plan is to out last your attacker by absorbing more blows or having greater cardio vascular fitness you are off track.
Not who is more “skilled” which is the core flaw of TMA. If you think you need to spend years in the dojo to protect yourself you are wrong. You know America loves to see a TMA get knocked out. Happens all the time. It happens because violence and injury do not regard your belt. Your position in your school. How many years of practice you have had. None of that matters. Plenty of incidents every year of highly trained black belts being severely injured. Often from a sucker punch ambush. Why? The answer is found in the previous 6 bullet points.
All that matters is who hurts who first, how badly they do it, and how willing they are to keep doing it.
A question I have for all of my TMA friends. Who do you think will be the one who is most likely to try and attack you and hurt you? I will give you three options.
Crackhead Tom, who needs a fix and has his trusty switch blade. He is waiting in the parking garage behind that Explorer your parked next to. Tommy never went to a dojo but he is pretty certain he can take your wallet after he sticks the knife in your abdominals 10-15 times.
Drunk Billie Bob, who feels like its time to validate his manhood by kicking your ass. He plans on starting with a Miller bottle to the back of your skull as soon as you are distracted by his buddies insistence you like to smoke cock at the rest area.
The evil master Shredder who is trained in the ninja arts. He will likely have a mutant animal to pit against you who is trained in the 7 finger bang method of Shu Ti Woo.
To quote Tony Blauer
“There are more untrained people who have been attacked and defended their life than there are black belts who have been attacked”
That STATE not the SKILLS, that is what will likely decide your fate. In the future I will talking about this a whole lot.
So if you are in a traditional martial art, enjoy it for the “art” enjoy it for the community, and enjoy it for fantasy and fun. But please stop peddling that shit off as a viable solution to criminal asocial violence.
Mixed Martial Arts: awesome sport. Not for defending your life.
The mixed martial art game and Jujitsu are the fastest growing sport in America. I think that is awesome. What fantastic sports they are. Development of spirit, strength, mobility, endurance, leans someone up, and has a very strong social component.
I can’t say enough good things about this sport.
It is a sport, and only a sport.
If you understand the nature of violence, and how easy it is to harm someone, you will quickly understand the two places you don’t want to be is on the ground, or wrapped up with one someone.
There are some very impressive techniques which would absolutely get you fucked up with a violent individual in an icy parking lot.
Don’t believe me, fine. Here is the experiment. Find someone who you think can kick your ass with their grappling. Tell them to grab you up. Your only job is to see how many times you can stick your fingers on their eye brow ridge or grab the inside of their leg next to their testicles. Every time you can touch their eye brow is a time you could have gotten a finger in to their orbital socket. Every time you touch their leg is a ripped sack or torn off dick. You will quickly find the limitations of someone trying to hold you down on the floor.
Second experiment, grappler vs edged weapon. Take a magic marker, put it in your pocket. Have your ass whupping grappler put the ju-ju on you. Your only task is to get to the marker, and touch them with it. Their job is to shut you down. Much learning will take place.
So nothing is wrong with the sport, but don’t confuse your tools.
MMA is an awesome sport, but should not be a first choice for defending your life.
So what is the alternative offering? I will talk about that next time. As typical, I will provide actionable information which you can use.
For my readers here, spare us the dignity of the TMA talk. Relating to criminal violence it is the wrong first call.
What to do right now? Check out Frankie’s article on Violence
P.S. did you get your copy of my new Ebook? It’s right on the side of the page. You will love it.
Posted by Soul Ja at 8:53 pm
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