Imagine you’re out with your friends. It can be anywhere, restaurant, movie, grocery store, . . . You’re enjoying yourself. It’s been a good day with people you enjoy and have enjoyed sharing the day with. Are you relaxed? Most people are in situations like that.
Now, imagine a person or group of people approach you and your friends, or a neighboring group of people, and start trouble. They’re threatening those people with violence. How do you respond?
Let’s take it one step further: What if the intruders are attacking those people? And, what if they’re armed? How do you respond?
During a recent conversation with a young man, here in the United States, the subject of communal violence came up and mass shootings. This young man, a practicing martial artist, stated:
This is the problem with most martial artists. They don’t address guns. It’s disturbing how it feels like they don’t wanna address guns. They wanna live in a world where they don’t exist. They have no idea what criminals are packing. In their minds, it’s a pistol at best. That’s not always the case, especially with cases like this. We’re talking about guys who have automatic weapons that they got illegally.
I don’t know what your experiences are with martial artists, but mine has shown me that most do deal with weapons of various types, to varying degrees. That said, there’s more at work here than physical exercises on combat. There’s the psychological effect of being in such positions. And, if someone is not learning to deal with their mental and emotional responses to such situations they may find that when called to use what they’ve learn they are inept in its application.
This issue of mental and emotional training is tied to focus (something that relates to a Wing Chun principle called Nim Lik). And, this issue of focus is important to martial artists because there’s a responsibility that comes with becoming a martial artist. Consider, again, your original scenario, and imagine someone coming in shooting up the place. As a martial artist, do you consider a responsibility to community to attempt a mitigatory or remedial response?
There’s a sacrifice to using any martial system in any combat situation. Sometimes that cost is the aches and pains of combat, sometimes it’s worse, sometimes it’s our lives. We have to be willing to pay the cost for our familial and communal survival. If we aren’t, why are we learning a “martial art”? Really. Are we learning for self-esteem? Okay. Fine. But, is that martial arts or a psychological session? Are we learning to be fit? A lot of people do. Nothing wrong with that. But, is that martial arts or a gym membership? Or, are we seeking those things for something greater, like the survival of ourselves, our family and our community? If so, we not only can become an instrument of protection for those things but accept a responsibility for being such an instrument.
I have spoken before about how important honesty is in our training, and that starts with why we are training, then extends into how we are training and what we are including in that training.
Be honest with yourself, your students and your classmates.
Be honest with your family and community.
Learn real martial arts; because, when it matters most there are no participation awards.
Empower yourself and those around you to life!™
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If you have a question or subject you’d like to see me address on my blog page, or if you have an interest in learning self-defense in or around Tallahassee, Florida, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.