When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:
I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me
I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me
I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull
I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death
I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed
I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes
I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados
I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers
The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn
Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung
WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE
The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.
Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.
“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated.” - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources (this applies to this and other blogs by me as well; if you follow the idea's, advice or information you are on your own, don't come crying to me, it is all on you do do the work to make sure it works for you!)
“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames (note: you are on your own, make sure you get expert hands-on guidance in all things martial and self-defense)
“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne
Why Avoidance Training is Important
Westerners tend to put this in reverse of importance. Western martial arts focuses on all the possible techniques and their variations to build up a tool box that is chocked full of every possible techniques known to man to achieve proficiency in fighting. Oh, by the way, you know that fighting is against the law - right?
We as westerners fail to realize that we first have to achieve proficiency in avoiding conflict first so we understand when we need to use force to stop the damage - note I didn't say fight. If we simply build up our repertoire of techniques and then simply apply them in any conflict then we are not avoiding or reducing damage but we are instigating it.
You have to first know and understand how "not to fight" before you begin to learn how to protect yourself in a violent situation. If you know avoidance then you know which and when and how and why you apply any technique/skill/means. Then, in training and practice, you can practice and train those specifics that will best suit the needs of the moment only in the rare event you have to stop conflict.
See, to avoid conflict you have to know what to look for, what is violence, who are violent people, what are the difference in social vs. predatory violence and then how to avoid that starting long before you get to the physical interactions of attack vs. protect. You cannot do this and avoid with out all this other stuff first, long before you learn how to apply techniques.
Avoidance also teaches you what level of force is necessary for the present moment situation. If you just build up your tool box and then just start extracting the tools within and applying them your in deep doo doo because your doing something illegal. If you understand what level of force you need to get the job done, i.e. stop the damage and gain safety, you will be less likely to succumb and use force that is illegal.
It is a bit like knowing that you need a hammer to nail in nails and a screw driver to screw in screws. What if you just grab a hammer and start pounding away only to discover after it is all over that you were trying to drive in a screw, too late. You may get the screw into the wood but you will damage it and the wood beyond what would normally be necessary.
Learn avoidance first then choose the right tool for the right job. Remember that avoidance will teach you when to stop hammering or screwing. Too much of what is perceived as a good thing may be too much and that is where you get into "difficulties."
Knowledge in what teaches you avoidance. Avoidance is what teaches you when, where, how and when to apply force in those rare occasions where as a human who is foible accidentally gets involved in violence. I can say with enthusiasm that avoidance is possible in literally 99.9% of cases and if you do get "into it" then I can also say with certainty that it is your doing and your could have avoided it.
Oh, another reason why avoidance is important, cause it's smart too!