“Do you have a problem with that Mr. Lawrence?” “No, Sensei!” Well, he kinda did. You can see it in his face but he did it anyway. He did what it took to survive that day. Are you ready to do the same? I read two articles last week back to back. One was an observation on the human condition in today's world, the other seemed to be a cure for the malady that currently afflicts us and I took both to heart instantly for their frank poignancy. The world is a crazy place right now. Nonsensical violence and chaos rule the day, nations and society are collapsing all around and those preppers suddenly seem like the smart people in the room. People are fighting about anything and everything. And if they can’t find something to fight about they will make something up. Whether the issues are real or imagined, the confrontation verbal or physical, the results are all too real. We are in an uber violent and conflict rich world right now and there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason. There are no longer certain gangs to look out for or a “type”, everyone is joining in on the violence and mayhem. There are no longer areas to stay away from, it can happen anywhere, to anyone, anytime and for any reason and you never see it coming. Are you paying attention? Are you ready to sweep the leg?
So what to do? Take responsibility for your survival and that of your family. Be ready. Train a little. Train a lot. Whether with a gun or a bowie or the katana. Kung fu, mma or boxing. Learn a few key moves and practice them once a week if that’s all you can do. Instead of that group weekend at the casino or paragliding, go as a group to a self defense seminar. They are all over the place. Make it an experience and if that’s the only one you do, great. At least you now have a few tools that may be the edge you need. If it leads you on a path of self discovery and self mastery, all the better.
But don’t just train your body, train your mind as well. One of the articles that I read was by Shihan Peter James, world renowned swordsman and inductee in the Australian Hall of Fame (AMAHOF). Shihan James discusses the mental aspects of the martial arts, why they are integral to any martial study, how it can help us in our everyday lives and why intent is more important than physical ability. Please give it a read here.
Through our training we are learning conflict avoidance and as Sun Tzu said, “to win without fighting is best”. There are two ways avoidance comes about, the first is through the mental aspect. By recognizing the signs, symptoms or patterns of a pending conflict and using your martial mental training to avoid it altogether. The physical side is summed up by the quote, “one sword sheaths another”. Simple enough. Does this mean walk around with your Kobra Kai t-shirt everywhere or open carry that Dirty Harry? No. But as soon as you react in a manner that says “I’m walking away and you may not”, if they didn’t know before that you were carrying a sword (aka, ready, willing and able), then they do now and that just may be enough to sheath theirs. If not, then through your preparedness you are ready and now have a higher chance of surviving.
Knowing not only what to do but how to act and react to physical or mental conflicts, or any survival situation is key. So to help in that mental training I share with you the following article on the freezing effect in stressful situations. When the mind goes blank and we forget what to do. It happens to all of us, no one is immune. Here’s a little mental kung fu for you from the bowie master himself.
Reason comes once in a conflict, if you do not seize it, it may not come again. Take responsibility for you and yours. Do the preventative maintenance. Read about these topics and be familiar with them. Think about what you would do and how you would react to these very real threats that face us today. To be forewarned is to be forearmed and maybe when your moment comes, you will recall and survive.