Saturday, July 13, 2013
When one is first deciding to learn a defensive skill, it must be determined what level of defense is likely to be required. The most commonly encountered manor of an altercation, is a (simple?) alpha dispute.
These are altercations that arise because of some manor of (supposed) disrespect and/or embarrassment. These can more easily be controlled with (verbal) apologies and acts of (at least) feigned submission. The ability to dominate an alpha dispute (verbally), is one that requires knowledge about a number of the social dynamics for the (individual) situation which it occurs in. It is not the intent of this article to (attempt to) explain all of those (possible) variables.
The more commonly “trained for” (manor of) altercation, should be for the alpha dispute that has become physical. Though the majority of schools/systems will propose that the student is training to defend against a Predator (i.e. “robbery/theft”), the more common physical dispute is between known acquaintances (and whom are also often family members).
For the student who is at risk of domestic violence, the commonly presented attitude of “stranger danger” is worthless. We have always endorsed that the student embrace the attitude of (mentally) engaging a neutral opponent (the “uke”). The only “thoughts” (regarding that opponent), should be in what their (physical) reactions are to the applied techniques/motions. Any (possible) emotional connection to one's opponent should be neutralized (if not completely eliminated).
It is the intent of this practice, to disassociate the student from any emotional “connections” to/with the opponent (whether any emotional connection exists or not). Our training is intended to teach the student to neutralize their adversary's (physical) ability to continue any physical aggressions upon the student.
This does not always entail causing (serious) physical injury to an aggressor/opponent. When circumstances permit “incapacitation” could easily permit for placing the aggressor unconscious and/or in a restraining hold. In a (typical) domestic dispute, there are no other person's present (as being either additional “threats” and/or for “assistance”). Causing an aggressor to lose consciousness is a far easier (and practical) goal to attain in a domestic disturbance situation.
Those that present the argument that “they're too small” and/or “too weak” to apply those manor of techniques (upon a larger, stronger opponent), are practicing the wrong techniques. If your instructor isn't able to teach you how to make a technique work on anyone (regardless of your, or their size/strength) you either need a different instructor, or a different system to be studying.
When I see and read various articles (in regards to “self-defense training”), it always amazes me. Evidently (and despite every published report regarding crime statistics) the public belief is that they will be violently attacked (by some stranger) in their lifetime. The majority of those “official” reports, don't include the (estimated) 80% of unreported domestic violence events.
Though it's true that males are often also the victims of domestic violence, it is a far smaller percentage than when compared to females. Males are more often involved with some manor of (public, "MM" ) Alpha dispute (that has the potential to turn physical). Females are more often involved with a (private, "MF") Alpha dispute that has those same tendency's (though the potential for physical violence is greater). Each are dependent upon the amount of “public” display and reaction (in regards to their tendency to become physical). In either case, being more “public” will tend to lessen the chances of the situation becoming (dangerously) physical.