Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Self Defence

Theodore Roosevelt popularised the phrase "Walk softly and carry a big stick" Now, while we can all walk softly , carrying a big stick may not be possible, desirable or in some cases legal. Given that we all have an inalienable right to self protection , lets see how we could substitute the big stick for something less obtrusive.

Now most of us do not want to fight, even if we have to fight. Fighting is after all, illogical.To train to "fight"  is not the true purpose of the martial arts. In fact most martial systems do not, and in fact cannot teach us how to "fight" using what is commonly perceived as , eh, fighting! What I mean is that if we look as if we are learning to fight by using that which we perceive as fighting methods i.e. blocks, punches, kicks etc, then unless we use these "tools" in an abstract manner then, we are not learning true fighting.

OK,  lets substitute the word "fight" for "defence" or lets not. The term "defence" is you see a more politically correct term. If I advertise fighting classes as opposed to defence classes I immediately create a totally different image of what I do.

Now,  though I would never encourage anyone to fight unless under extreme provocation, i.e. in the case of a pathogenic attack and in order to protect oneself or another,  in order to "defend" we must " fight"

Using the term defence can encourage a mind set whereby we await the attack. If we condition ourselves to be in the mindset of a defender then it might be said that we are already accepting the fact that we will at some point be attacked. Then if we have to defend that could imply that we perceive ourselves as a passive to our attackers aggressive.

So, perhaps understanding  that we may, under extreme circumstances, have to fight, in order to protect ourselves, exercising our inalienable right to self defence on a moral level and under the guidance of the law.

Now, back to the big stick. Cumbersome to carry and a little intimidating . What do have in its stead then? Well, we all  have the capability and the methods to ably protect ourselves. These skills have been hardwired into our subconscious minds over milenia  Well, not strictly our minds but through the minds of our ancestors and passed on to us through our DNA. Moreover we all posses a "reptilian" brain. That part of our brain that is the oldest most primal part. It is through our ability to access this reptilian mind that we can very easily learn how to reactivate our dormant protection capabilities.

Think of your family dog. Old Shep can be the kindest sweetest pooch you'll ever meet. Now, threaten his territory , his family, his dinner. See where this goes? Shep doesn't have to learn Kung Fu, Karate, Taekwondo, or MMA. He IS Kung Fu, Karate, Taekwondo, or MMA. Well,  he is at that moment when he enters his reptilian mind . Animals will and can do this far quicker than us humans. We have had this ability diminished by centuries of "civilisation".

So, if  we learn to train martial arts correctly, we can when its needed, enter this reptilian mind. The beauty about this method is that we can , after the threat has abated or been dealt with, return to our normal relaxed state of being. We don't have to continually be in a state of alert. In fact to do so would cause untold problems both physically and psychologically.

Correct training will allow us the confidence that our self protection needs are met utilising those areas of our mind where those skills  have always existed.

For more information and training times and venues feel free to call me on 085-8708885
My understanding, such that it is , of the reptilian brain and its function in "fighting" was gained from my association with Erle Montaigue and his methods. I would encourage interested persons to consult his work or website.

Self Development

Growth through adversity . In all aspects of life there is no growth in comfort. In order to advance ourselves in any area we must experience resistance. Martial arts training, properly applied, will allow us to grow exponentially and to greatly enhance our experience of life.

In our modern day society our sense of "self" is being constantly eroded. We are in the main, being swallowed up by ever increasing consumerism. Our self image and self worth appears to be dictated by the latest fashion, or the latest must have gadget.

The Internet abounds with every conceivable type of "self help" guru who promises , for most times, a substantial fee, to take away our pain and to allow us to elevate our lives to a higher plateau

So, it would be fair to assume that many of us seek "enlightenment".

How can martial arts help? How can learning to work, strive, sweat . laugh, cry, achieve, overcome, encourage, support ,enthuse, advocate, own, and engage bring us to our personal nirvana?

Try it and see.......

Martial Health

In our western society martial arts are normally associated with self defence, tournaments,and the attainment of various coloured belts. While these facets are popular goals and in many cases are exclusively what is promoted by various schools there are of course far more profound and life changing/enhancing elements to martial arts.

Most "martial arts" schools have their origins in the Orient. In these cultures the role of martial art is very much that of an holistic pursuit. Good health being ,in most cases, the premier reason for practising a particular discipline.

In introducing these concepts to the western world the role of the martial arts school, teacher and students changes.

Self defence becomes a complete defence. A defence of oneself in every aspect of life.

While we live in a somewhat violent society, most of us will never be attacked. At least not attacked in the street going about our day to day business. Of course, we learn self defence strategies to be used in the event of a physical assault by a third party. But, what about attacks to our health ,both physically and psychological.

Should not a martial art, a self defence art , prepare us for these attacks?

Good Health is Martial Arts, and Martial Arts is Good Health!

If your instructor , sensei or sifu is not teaching you HOW to look after yourself  HOLISTICALLY  or if he/she is not inspiring you MASSIVELY to take positive life affirming actions then perhaps you are not learning REAL martial arts.