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
William Demeere's post
It drives home the importance to remain aware and in control, i.e. as much as any adrenaline driven situation goes with fear and anger involved without some method to keep it within controlled limits. Awareness should have triggered a defensive posture and this is the main topic of this post.
I train to defend but in layers. First, if someone is approaching with body language that triggers my "spidey sense" I am going to assume a natural defensive posture while my mouth is going to try and deescalate the person approaching.
When I practice waza, kata and goshin-kumite I automatically raise my hand in a somewhat submissive/defense position. I stand naturally with a slight drop at the knees and my hands come up with palms facing toward the approaching person close to my chin/face on each side. I am NOT going to remain stationary and waiting for him to reach my or his striking range, this is stupid. I will be backpedaling or better moving to either side off his center and continually moving and talking - in the monkey dance that is but in a predatory attack it changes drastically. Even if you have your hands up and ready if your mind is on arguing or whatever by the time the punch comes it is most often to late.
Again, first recognize your in trouble and start moving and protecting "BEFORE" he reaches striking range. When he enters your safety zone, i.e. your toh-ma, start moving to keep your distance. Better yet, don't let your stupid ass get into a group dynamic like many of these short clips show for that is a good way to get into trouble.
Crap, you know what, all this means that you failed to learn about violence and all it entails and you allowed your stupid self to get in to a dynamic that leads to the fight and your going to get hurt. (why I write as the process pulls up more common sense as you go :-) Here is my story and what I did to avoid getting clocked even tho my stupidity as a youth let me get into the fix in the fist place - lessons, life is about lessons.
Ok, another point I missed here, once I get in a defensive posture and start moving I must also act if the guy persists and enters the striking range - his, not necessarily mine. Once he strives to enter into my uchi-ma (strike zone/range) I better take action or I am reacting instead of acting. Remember also that what your saying will go a long way as you talk to the attacker for witnesses and video's (cell phones are there you bet) that can go a long way for your defense of self-defense. Never, ever wait till the fist is flying and the guy is in the strike range - often, too late dude.
I remember as a young person when I was going into a stupid situation where this guy who outweighed my by about one hundred pounds decided he didn't like the way I looked at him and began to approach. I back peddled, assumed this hand posture and actually talked my way out of being punched in a way that I am sure would have knocked me out and caused some sort of head and brain injury. I would have assumed that once down and out this guy would have continued and my death could have resulted. Oh, why do I know this - drug deal gone bad is why. In my youth I tried to purchase some grass from some very nefarious folks - stupid, stupid, stupid (lets not even begin on the stupidity of smoking grass).
See how complex this can get by my comments and the post by Demeere Sensei. You really gotta get the right information and training to deescalate, avoid or fight with fight a last resort.
This reminds me of my days as a physical security officer, you have to have security in layers. No one security method does the work, it takes a good, solid and well thought out layered plan to get the right security for the level necessary to protect the assets. In this case, your ass is your asset. You have to have layers of security to properly protect your ass and what I propose is not a total security plan but rather enough to get you thinking. You need layers to make it work. Think about this ... !
Security strategy might have been better if: one, you recognized the situation as volatile and either didn't enter into it or left it quickly.
Second, if you are still stupid and stay then recognize the signs as people do go through stages to reach the punch, mostly.
Third, keep your mouth closed so you don't antagonize possible antagonists.
Fourth, if they start to approach you then assume the posture and then talk, talk your way out of it if possible but be careful what you say as that can both deescalate or escalate the conflict.
Fifth, start moving to keep the antagonist out of his striking range in relation to you. Move to a safe place assuming you actually looked for avenues of safe exit and safe zones (then again if your aware of this you should have avoided the site anyway unless you just happened to stumble into it - really?)
Sixth, if the antagonist moves into his striking range for you "ACT." You will see it coming if you know his range and yours. If he is moving and his range is larger you need to ACT quickly to reach yours and strike. Don't move straight in but move off center and then in quickly to take advantage, if you can.
Sixth-n-a-half, as an alternate and if you can do so assume a dracula pose (see Rory Miller's blog for a description of this one) and get the hell out of dodge.
See, layers, practice for layers. Find your own security posture or strategy and make it work in training so it is instinctive in tough situations - if you can. It sounds simple in writing but it is not and that is the real point. Nothing in the world of violence is simple - just the way it is in my perception.
Anyway, Demeere Sensei really drives home a point and it is worth the time to visit his blog and read his post. Read it here, "How Not to Block a Punch!"