|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
The Economics of Self Defense
The following is a recent email I received; I thought I should respond to the list rather than to the individual because this situation is common:
"I'm a 52 year old guy who has been pretty active lifting weights for about 20 years but about a year ago I found myself in a situation where a guy suckered me and I friggin was so intimidated that I walked away with my tail between my legs. Thankfully the only damage was to my ego cause I totally wimped out in front of my buddies who were there... but more importantly I realized that I was totally unprepared to defend either myself or my family should the occasion arise.
Hey...even guys my age can realize they missed out on being prepared. So anyway I appreciate your newsletters and your videos. I'm learning a lot from them... just wish your place was closer so I could spar... the biggest thing holding me back is the fear is that I could permanently damage or kill somebody with a blow because I'm pretty strong... this fear holds me back a lot.... it's hard for me to say "him or me"... if you know what I mean. Also training on a heavy bag has shown me how poorly conditioned I am cause I get tired really fast... just in a couple of months though I've seen an increase in stamina from the training."
Carl has boiled down the reason you decide to fight to the simple Cost-Benefit model. Call it risk-reward, profit and loss - it's all the same. Nations, armies, corporations and even you operate on this fundamental truth. If you risk X (physical or financial assets) will Y (an out come in our favor) be worth more than X. Will the net result of X - Y be positive? No matter who you are, before you decide on fight or flight, you do your own risk analysis assessment. You ask yourself one question- is it worth it. Will I get my butt-kicked or will I kick his ass? Is it worth fighting over a parking space or not? Every one has their breaking point, the proverbial line in the sand. If you are a person with a lot at risk like, friends, family, ego, reputation and even career and material things; you will be more reluctant to fight if the stakes are low. Especially as you get older, you naturally acquire more attachments and responsibility as well as feeling your own mortality. As a result you will be reluctant to put those things at risk.
Furthermore, if your enemy looks like a tough customer, you may just not want to suffer a beating over something petty.
It stands to reason that someone with less to lose will be more apt to engage because he has less to risk. The less thought given to the repercussions of your action, the more likely you are to act. When you were a kid, you didn't do something because of the punishment. When you stopped fearing the punishment, you did what you wanted with out regret.
Let's take a typical bar room scenario. Two guys bump elbows, they start to have words. Man A is in 45 years old, job, wife and child. Man B is 22, a few part time jobs and a girl friend. Both men are equally matched for size and strength. All other things being equal, it would be safe to assume that man A would be more reluctant to fight over some spilt beer. Is man A any less competent or "less of a man" than man B? Before you answer, let's change the scenario.
Man A is sitting at home with his wife and child in bed, he hears a noise and finds man B breaking into his house, now what- it's my guess that man A is going to be one hell of a tough customer. Now man A is fighting for what he lives for and man B is just trying to make a score. Since man A's core values are at stake, the cost is too high and he will be more inclined to put some foot to butt.
So what about the guy with nothing to loose, the career criminal that could give a damn about you and is just takes what he wants. Or the person who has lost everything he cares about. This person is very quick to go to work and because he doesn't second guess or hesitate, he has a distinct advantage and is an extremely dangerous person.
So where does this put the average, law abiding citizen. The advantage you have is sustainability; especially with a predator. The career skel doesn't want a prolonged encounter. Just by his nature, he's doesn't want a prolonged conflict. The longer he is exposed; the greater the chance of getting caught or injured. The longer or more difficult it becomes, the more resistance he encounters the less likely he will be able to finish the job. The longer you survive, the greater your chances. Even the most skilled predators will cut their losses after an extended period of time. Note hear, that its been our experience that even the most hardened criminals will avoid a confrontation if they think they are going to be disfigured or damaged.
So what does the average citizen have over the criminal element?
Steven Pressfield's Gates of Fire, an historical fiction about the Spartan's stand at Thermopylae, if you haven't read it, do it as soon as possible. Pressfield asks the question, "What is the opposite of fear?" The initial response is bravery. But that just describe the result or action- what motivates bravery? The answer is "Love". Love of family, love of country, even love of one's self is the opposite of fear. The point is, the things that tie you or obligate you are the very things that will motivate you.
First you have to determine two things, what matters most and where is your line in the sand. This is a personal issue and can only be answered by you. Once you get a handle on this you can develop this and use this in your training. Think of your assailant keeping you from going home and seeing you loved ones again. Imagine your enemy keeping you from doing the things in your life that to you matter the most- put that into your training. Work with it and develop it. As you get in tuned to what makes you tick, you will have the confidence to do what you have to do when the time comes. The exception to this is someone who is not thinking rationally. Emotionally disturbed people who don't posses the capacity to reason fall in to this category.
Well, even rabid dogs have to get put down.Once you get a handle on what matters most to you, walking away from a useless confrontation is no big deal. But if you get backed in a corner and this guy is the difference between going home or never tucking your daughter into bed again, he better be ready for the fight of his life, because hell is coming to breakfast.
I hope it helps a bit.
Damian Ross is the owner of Zenshin and instructor of Tekkenryu jujutsu and Kodokan Judo. He started competing in the combative sport of wrestling in 1975 at the age of 7 and began his study of Asian martial arts with Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwon Do at the age of 16 in 1984. In 1989, Shinan Cestari gave a seminar at Sensei Ross's dojo. Sensei Ross has trained under Shinan Cestari's direction ever since. In addition to Tekkenryu Jujutsu, Judo and Tae Kwon Do, Sensei Ross has also studied Bando. Sensei Ross continues his study of Judo under the direction of 8th degree black belt Yoshisada Yonezuka and Tekkenryu Jujutsu under it's founder, Carl Cestari.
Below are is a list of some of his title ranks
Yodan (fourth degree black belt) Tekkenryu Jujutsu under Carl Cestari
Shodan (First degree black belt) Kodokan Judo under Yoshisada Yonezuka
Varsity Wrestling Lehigh University under Thad Turner
2nd Degree Black Belt Tae Kwon Do
CBR TV: Davidson, Whitley & Minns Bring Martial Arts, Comedy to 'Black Dynamite' - Comic Book Resources
The Fallacy and the Myth
It's always amusing when "know it alls" dismiss certain methods out of hand as being useless or "unworkable". One "victim" of this line of thinking is the "cross arm" or "X" block (for lack of a better term).
New Book: Positive Aikido
A new book with a practical look at Aikido and its history. The Co-authors are direct students of the legendary master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei from 1957.
Generating More Power from Hip Rotation - Lessons from Martial Arts
One of the important lessons of Martial Arts training is the ability to use hip rotation as a way to generate power and speed for maximum impact.Martial artists know that the hips are where the body's 'center of gravity' is located.
A Great Question!
It's a question that we went back and forth with for awhile ourselves many moons ago. The "how" and "why" of our conclusions may be of some interest.
A Few Things Everyone Should Know to Keep Themselves Safe
The following are a few thoughts about how to decrease your chances of being a victim of a violent crime. I know a lot of times we focus on the nuts and bolts of a fight and we assume most of us know these things and this information is common knowledge for some of you, but it some times it's always good to review.
"Fronting": The dodge to get in close to you. The frontal assault, as opposed to the ambush.
Tae Kwon Do As A Means To Stay In Shape
Becoming a martial artist is a fanatastic method of fitness. While there are many martial art forms to choose from, taekwondo is clearly the most beneficial, and the most practical.
Are You Still Standing Toe to Toe?
How many times do you practice techniques with your training partner and you stay in the same spot? Next time you are training, see how much you and your partner move. You will find you move very little or not at all.
Content, Are We?
I asked a simple question at the last seminar:"How much has everyone improved in the year since we last got together?"I've practiced the same basics everyday for decades.Everyday Rain or shine.
How To Defend Against A Knife - Dont Use The Stuff Taught In The Dojo!
Defences against Knife attacks, Firstly if at all possible get yourself and anyone else out of the potential danger area..
Im Soooo Confused...
I was going to write about the BASICS of "practical unarmed combat". Things like a solid and productive core of strength training, development of real speed and power.
The Shocking Truth About Stun Guns
If you are outside the world of law enforcement, chances are you haven't had much "hands on" work with stun guns. Stun guns are as popular today as they have ever been and with the newer smaller packages like cell phone/stun guns, their popularity continues to grow.
British Aikido Board National Nepotism Seminar
For many years The British Aikido Board (BAB) have shown no interest whatsoever in the true history of British Aikido, to be fair to the BAB, they have shown a great deal of interest and support for the false history of British Aikido for which they have now publicly apologised, the apology by the chairman Mr Vincent Sumpter can be viewed on www.geocities.
Samurai Armor Part 1
The first prototype for Japanese samurai armor came about in the form of the yoroi during the Gempei War of 1181-1185. The weight of the yoroi was around 60lb.
Dermot Michael (Pat) ONeill
Dermot O'Neill was born in 1905 in County Cork, Ireland. As a teenager he traveled to China, and settled in Shanghai.
This is our last installment on "defining" the parameters of COMBATIVES.The point, I am sure, will be missed by some but it must be emphasized that this material is historical fact and is accurate in substance and detail.
Choosing a Self Defense / Martial Arts School: A Parents Guide
"Daddy, I want to take Karate!""Mommy, Jimmy on the bus hit me again today"There are many reasons why parents want to sign their children up for Self Defense or Martial Arts classes. Once you have made the decision, now you are faced with many different options and questions.
How to Select Your Martial Arts and Self Defense Equipment
The most common place to buy martial arts or self defense equipment is in the local dojo. Most dojos, training centers, etc.
A Beginning History of Old School Jujutsu - Part 1
Over the next couple of day's I will writing an article of the history of Pre-WWII Japanese Jujitsu/Judo. I wasn't sure where to start, but here I am so let's get started.
5 Steps to Choosing the Right Martial Art for You
One of the questions I get asked most frequently, in several different variations is about which martial art an individual should study. Generally which martial art, and more importantly which school to choose are fundamental decisions someone should make.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.