Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Best Defense is No Defense

When one trains in martial arts especially the art of hapkido or aikido, the primary objective of the art is self-defense. When I was introduced to hapkido, my instructor made clear the objective of hapkido or taekwondo is NOT to be in the fight at all. He was more adamant about this idea where weapons are involved. There are several reasons for this.

1. In most attack situations, we do not know the attacker or that person's abilities.
2. In most attack situations, people are going to get hurt.
3. In attack situations with weapons, someone WILL get hurt, regardless of martial arts ability.

"Where there is no blame, there is no fight"

Objective: is not to get hurt and to get away as quickly as possible.

The question is begged of how does one defend themselves and the easiest answer is not be where the attack happens (both location-wise and physical proximity to the attack). First thing is attitude and observing where you are location-wise. Observing one's environment and being smart about realizing fixtures, lights, people, distance and simply being aware can go a long way to preventing bad situations from occurring.

Second thing is physical confrontation. If the attacker only wants money, why not hand over the wallet and save anguish, bruises, cuts or hospitals? If one gets into a confrontation, the training and skill works to avoid or deflect  attacks where one becomes like flowing water and uses the attacker's energy against them. As well, in an attack situation, the standard sparring, sport or wrestling rules do not apply because you would be in a situation to defend yourself and attempt get away as quick as possible. Even the most skilled hand has to have time execution of techniques to the appropriate recognition of the attack, and thus, the attacker has the advantage in most cases because time of reaction is simple behind the initial action.

So the answer to the questions is right mind and right action. No self-defense seminar or karate class can guarantee that you will prevent all attacks or escape without injury. Yet, if one uses the right mind and right action by observing the environment as well as considering what one says or does in company will impact whether there is an attack. If one truly means to reduce the potential for injury, then learning techniques and practicing them regularly can reduce that potential.