Two stupid idiots fighting over what?  

A classic case of road rage and giving into their own emotions. Both of their actions were stupid in their own way and their UFC fighting style was even more stupid.

I am making my way through Marc MacYoung’s book titled “In the Name of Self Defense.” I highly recommend it. I got the Kindle version off Amazon. Highly recommended.

This book has got me thinking about the typical martial arts school training regimen or the self defence courses that are offered. The vast majority of the training focuses on the “bad guys.” The training inevitably focuses how to physically deal with them and in various scenarios (against one guy or versus a mass attack situation). In virtually every martial art school or group that I’ve trained at has this focus.

But isn’t the focus on the “bad guy” only half of the equation? It takes two to tango, doesn’t it?

What about the other half of the equation? Namely, YOU.

As MacYoung points out, the thing that you need to worry most about is not the typical street level mugger or some punk but your own emotions. For example, how many of you have flipped your finger off at another driver? Many of us are guilty as charged. Yes, the focus on a violent adversary is important. But this assumes that the problem is always the other person. Many times, your words and actions will influence whether a confrontation will turn violent or not.

Let’s take the above video. Do you think that the typical martial arts school covers this kind of road rage scenario? By the time they are squaring off, both of them have lost any claim to self defence. It is clear that their emotions have gotten the better of both of them. Their manhood, not their lives, was on the line. Is it worth it?

I am now coming around to the view that martial arts and self defence instructors need to address both sides of the equation (the student AND the “bad guy”) and make this part of the curriculum, perhaps by requiring a reading list. Perhaps more discussion and role playing scenarios would be an appropriate part of the training.

What do you think?

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5 thoughts on “Missing Half of the Equation?

  • May 25, 2015 at 11:56 am
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    Wow, that’s a great point! And it’s not just road rage either. Let’s say I’m at a party and I sit down on a couch. Some guy comes and sits down next to me and puts his hand on my thigh. Am I justified in separating him from his family jewels? Or is a better response a firm, “NO” followed by me brushing the offending hand off as I stand up and walk away?

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    • May 25, 2015 at 12:13 pm
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      You got it! Too many of my women friends have experienced the unwanted touch scenario that you mentioned. 🙁 They did what you suggested and just walked away. I imagine that’s hard for some though to deal with the arrogance of those who think that they can do what they want to do.

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      • May 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm
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        Yep, it’s tough to only use the minimum force needed, but it’s better than landing in court or doing jail time. And there is another thought – I could stay home instead of hanging out with drunk guys who want to put their hands on me! I know that’s not politically correct, but my point is one must assess the risks of any given situation and either negate them by not entering the situation or preparing as much as possible beforehand by making smart decisions ahead of time. Like – if someone’s a jerk on the road, safety is my first priority.

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        • May 26, 2015 at 3:01 pm
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          Exactly! I often tell my students that they can substantially lower their chances of a violent encounter by not going to biker bars or places where drugs are sold. They often chuckle and say “Yeah right, like we go to those places.” I then ask how many of them have flipped a bird at another driver while driving. They look at my sheepishly and virtually of them raise their hands. I say “that’s your greatest risk, whatever happens, try not to flip the bird.” 🙂

          Reply
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