Improving Self-Defense, Add Violence
The highest concern for me as a self-defense instructor is to properly facilitate and encourage (by way of writing, coaching, lecturing, etc) practical, safe and effective training methods; period! Not ones that effect a person superficially, but ones that cut deep to the marrow of reality; the very real world in which we live. To be honest, we (for the most part) live in harmony. We go to work, we come home to our family, or we go out to dinner with friends. Most people don’t even concern themselves with the very real possibility that a vicious assault lays just around the corner.
We all lack confidence, just in varying degrees.
As we “free climb” upwards from where we currently are [self-protection readiness] we must have a strong and sturdy grip [abililty] to change our state to one of: high intensity, strong-willed, 100% determined. Our foothold to this climb is our confidence.
Believe me or not…it does not matter. Somewhere within that skull of yours you understand that in order to effectively conquer a violent aggressor, the modern man or woman must find it within themselves to not only reciprocate the violence being done to them, but to break rules, to go against (in most cases) their religious/social/cultural beliefs. What is right? What amount of violence is right, if any? At what cost? What must be at stake for us to act in such a way? All of these (and more) are important questions to ask yourself.
Most people (including myself) have a natural aversion to violence.
As a kid I trained in the martial arts so that I wouldn’t have to win through violence. Everything was properly planned out, and when needed, I would respond with the same energy, skill and grace that my heros displayed on television and film. I would always be in the moral right. I would always be merciful. I would always beat them with a calm, collected mind. And I would walk away from battle without a scrape or bruise. The sorry chap would never seek revenge or vendetta because of the fear of being humiliated twice over.
Luckily, I grew into a man. And although I can still hold a smile to my “invincible youth,” I can easily decipher fantasy from reality. Reality comes into play when play is wild and spontaneous. Training for real world violence, therefore, should be conducted with as much zestful aggression as one wishes to have in the moment. Punching a bag for the sake of punching amounts to very little. It’s as if you were trying to drink up a lake with a fork.
I leave you with this question…
When violence becomes necessary… by this, I mean, when there is no other recourse but to fight for your survival, how might we know if we have what it takes?
My belief is that it rests on two key components: how you change your entire physiology to aid in your survival, and how we build our confidence through proper, situational, and realistic training methods.
Many martial artists insist on fighting fire with water. But I strongly believe, and it is essential to know, that there are times when you must fight fire with fire!
Please give your thoughts below. Let me know if you disagree, and/or if you have something to add.
»»» click the picture above to visit a short interview of Coach Joyce in this month’s Skirt Magazine (Jan. 2011).