Jason, my friend just got mugged. The guys who jumped him beat him good, causing him to get stitches in the head. And, he knew martial arts! My friend says these two guys were after his wife’s tablet, when they jumped him. When these guys jumped him they were wearing motorcycle helmets to protect their heads. And, they were carrying a bat and some sort of stick like weapon. My friend told me, “I dropped to the ground in my Jiujitsu guard, but they beat the hell outta me.”
Iron Mike wasn’t talking about untrained street fighters, he was referring to trained boxers, guys who prepare to get in the ring.
I remember, growing up, many street fighters disrespecting martial artists; because, they didn’t believe the martial artist knew how to really fight. In most cases, they weren’t wrong. People who casually go through a martial arts program or train for a sporting event don’t get the opportunity to develop real, effective and efficient fighting abilities. The same can be said of those with bad teachers, or those who never accept what a real fight is. (These later folks are the ones who think they know what fighting is and won’t learn to deal with what real fighting is because real fighting is too ugly for them to accept.)
Just look at this guy’s situation. There he is, with his wife, minding his own business when two guys surprise him, prepared to deal with any beating he might be able to give them – with his hands – and they “beat the hell” out of him. While it is true the guys didn’t make out with his wife’s tablet, in a situation like this most experts recommend you give up the property (e.g., the wallet, purse, electronic device, etc.). Many would also recommend you run; flight. Many would not recommend standing there and fight.
But what if you can’t run?
I had a guy come to my school, who is a 10 year student of another teacher, here in Terre Haute. He told me that his teacher instructs everyone “to just run” if someone has a “stick or knife; because you can’t defend against them.” Standing further from the door than he was, I asked him to run out the door. When he started to run, I did too. Beating him to the door, I said, “You’re not getting out that door. Now what?”
The point had been made. If I’d been carrying a bat or a knife and could out-run the guy, I’d have beaten him with the bat or cut him with the knife until he quit running or I got what I wanted or some other factor popped up to stop me. And, he would be dealing with the beating or the cuts.
Sometimes you cannot run.
Think of it like this: Should this guy have left his wife there, if she couldn’t run fast enough and he could? No one would expect this man to leave his wife behind.
Sometimes you cannot run.
Fortunately, what Tyson says goes both ways.
The answer to violence is violence. In this case, you must fight, and you must use violence to survive.
The sociopath, the psychopath, the mugger, the rapist has a plan… until you interrupt that plan. In neurology and psychiatry they call that pattern interruption. It’s something trained fighters practice over and over again – to build a tolerance to it and to deliver the necessary message to interrupt their opponent’s plan.
Using violence to defeat violence is not about a bunch of cool moves, either.
That’s too complicated. That kind of thinking creates too many points of failure. Not acceptable. This is another reason street fighters don’t respect many self-proclaimed martial artists. Too many go into a class trying to memorize a drill or exercise. This is the wrong application of the mind.
In Wing Chun, we call the proper application of the mind Nim Lik (or mind force). This is the same principle researched and discussed in neurology and psychiatry as “The Flow State“. The whole and flowing application of the whole person in deliberate activity and relationship.
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