There is no defense…there is no self-defense.
Last night in class we talked about violence, and the levels of violence. The psychology of violence. I invited my former mentor and good friend Avery in, who has lived it his whole life, run a very successful Executive Protection company. We upped the level of violence in the class – the level of willingness to fight, to injure the other person.
The question becomes – you’ve train in all these means of violence, but it’s not ‘can you do it’…but are you psychologically willing to use what you have learned…and to what level?
A few weeks ago I was working on the combat psychology part of the Pramek manual and I was writing about these concepts – that there is no self defense. You don’t wait – stand there waiting for someone to stab you. You attack, even when it looks like defense, it’s an attack. A parry creates a strike. For the past few days, for some reason I have been on a Magpul kick with accessories and I saw an interesting quote from Chris Costa (I paraphrase) that there is no defense – when someone offensively comes in your home, you are going to offensively try to stop this person from killing your family.
Then, when Avery said the same thing last night – there is no defense, there is just offense, I began to wonder if someone put something in the water.
Let’s be honest with each other for a minute – most people teaching self-defense have never been in a real fight…the really horrifying ‘I might lose this and die’ fight. I remember my first like it was yesterday because it doesn’t leave me. It was in an elevator in Indiana on a detail.
It’s the night K-Sys died and Pramek was born.
Now, I am not talking about offense like throw your arms up and swing like crazy…I’m talking about a sound, planned, visualized, practiced strategy for offense that takes into account all aspects of the your prey, your enemy. His psychology, physiology, biomechanics and kinematics. Most people don’t.
Most people go to class for fun – they go to class to get away from their wife – to get into shape.
Nothing wrong with these.
But, it’s when the class atmosphere changes to Weekend At Bernie’s instead of Platoon that it becomes a problem.
The problem with martial arts training is we forget that the average street criminal (that isn’t completely tweaked out of his mind) versus the average martial artist is like the olden days of UFC when Tank Abbot would chase that 110 pound karate guy around the ring until he caught him and beat him like a dog.
Go walk downtown Atlanta and look at how different ‘bums’ look at you. You can see the ones who you to give them money – and the ones who don’t mind taking the money.
The average street criminal does this to live – they know everything that I just wrote about – the psychology, the physiology, the biomechanics, the kinematics. Not in big words, but they know through experience, through having to do it to eat (and we haven’t even gotten into more than one, I’m just talking about the stick up artist).
Joe Six Pack goes to martial art class because his wife nags him, he’s reliving his glory days, he can feel a sense of accomplishment, he can bolster his self-confidence which is destroyed by corporate America….he goes for these reasons. He never goes home and shows his wife, girlfriend, partner how to do what he learned. He’s there for other reasons….to answer the question, ‘did you have fun?’
So, when the stick-up artist comes, without a gun, Joe Six Pack usually loses.
It’s why we hear about ‘man was mugged and stabbed’ and not ‘man defended himself against mugger and stabbed him repeatedly with his own knife.’
You have to change your training class psychology – get rid of fall taking. Reset before every single interaction to stop rote memorization. Work with adaptation. Use violence – actually hit someone (it’s why we use gear).
We have to recognize that there is a time for the laughs and fun and things to bolster ego’s – but we also have to recognize it comes after we get to the real business of psychology, physiology, biomechanics, kinematics. That when we walk into the street, we are at risk and possibly at war for our lives – and do everything we can to make sure we live through that day.
As I said in the equilibrium video – getting home is your certificate.
The only way that is going to happen is if you are viewing life this way…martial art is for the street. Laughing, cutting up – that’s for inside on the couch with the doors locked.
Your classes should reflect this….then you begin to answer the questions, ‘are you psychologically ready to us this.’ That comes before you ever get to the ‘can you do it’ part of the equation.
There is no defense…there is no self-defense.