“(In) people for whom violence ‘doesn’t happen’ or they haven’t been in a physical conflict since they were kids, there is huge denial factor…Overwhelming shock and confusion…They’re going waste time trying to find a palatable way out of having to use violence…. One, you’re going to freeze. Two, you’re going to walk right into it. Three, you’re going to get flattened while trying to find some way not to fight.”
Marc MacYoung, No-nonsense Self Defence
Something I like to dwell on here is the reality of fighting.
Its easy to get sucked into a gym/dojo/kwan bubble and play a lot of “if you do this, I would do that” games based on very speculative assumptions.
In real life, violence plays out differently than we typically imagine. The consequences are often counter-intuitive. We see too many movies and so our perspectives get skewed.
For one thing, we don’t really understand just how much damage can occur from one punch.
A 2007 article in The Situationist told the story of Brian Walsh, who now has metal plates in his face and suffers headaches resulting from one punch to the face.
Walsh got annoyed by some young guys speeding by his house while he was barbecuing in the yard. Then a lieutenant and Navy pilot at Coronado, he sprayed one of the cars with his garden hose. The driver stopped, got out, walked up to Walsh and punched him in the face, shattering his left eye socket and crushing his sinus cavity. Plus he could no longer fly, as he lost about 40 percent of vision in that eye.
This is why its so important to understand how easy it is to avoid fighting!
Marc MacYoung has a lot of material on his site about this subject, but the Cliff’s Notes are:
- In a confrontation, always understand you can usually deescalate and walk away. It’s never too late.
- Give the other person a way out without stinging their pride (face is very important with the sort of people who are often picking the fight) – don’t give in to the impulse to shoot off your mouth.
- You don’t want to get injured and you don’t want to injure others! Hospital bills and legal fees and possibly incarceration are not worth that last one-up comment.
- Awareness is king – if you keep your eyes and ears open, you can usually spot trouble coming a mile away – head in the other direction!