Boxing gloves
Boxing gloves / Pic: Emanuel Rudnicki

Recently on social media, I digressed that while there are tough guys and self-defense enthusiasts, who could not compete in combat sports, there are equally fighters, who may not fare well in a street setting. To be fair, training in any capacity certainly favors the skilled individual, but we must also look at what it means to be skillful?

If it is having encountered the same stimulus many times and drafted an ingrained an effective neuro response, then we can count seasoned street fighters, ex-cons and RBSD practitioners with ample work time into that equation. There is an old saying that was passed on to me many years ago that equates to, “Never turn a self-defense situation into a fight.”

You see, self defense is predicated on three variables:

  1. Surprise
  2. Environment
  3. Raw f**king violence i.e. who is willing to be meaner for the greater duration (resolve)

As a long time trainer of both amateur and professional athletes I have seen my fair share of guys (and girls) who do really well in the room, look technically sharp and are impressive to watch, yet, seem to fail when the situation becomes live and the reasons why are many. Some have performance based social anxieties, some are skilled, but begin to wilt and break down when things don’t go their way (a lack of heart), and some simply don’t put in the ring time to become proficient against others better than themselves.

The current situation with COVID 19 worldwide is a grim reminder that we as martial artists must always remember that, at the end of the day, the term “martial” implies warfare and is meant for the protection of self and loved ones.

When was the last time you trained in street clothes, developed and implemented a home defense plan, which we were taught for dire drills as kids, but few practice in our adult lives for home protection? Do you have a plan in place? A safe room? A safe word?

The popularity of firearms over the past few years has relegated many to blindly depend on guns without the knowledge of how to gain range, draw and fire under extreme duress. One cannot depend on having the false sanctity of a gun without knowing to use their hands first to set up a draw point.

As a lifetime practitioner of Filipino Martial arts, I have been comfortable with the utilization of blades my whole life, yet, I know that environmental factors or even regional factors (I live in Colorado where it’s cold and many wear thick jackets) may come into play. Wide swinging motions with blunt weapons become ineffective in narrow hallways, yet, most people keep the old baseball bat behind the door.

We as warriors, citizen soldiers, protectors and guardians of noble martial traditions must get better at cross training, remaining relevant and developing aptitudes beyond our comfort zone.

As the world shuts down, the cockroaches tend to come out (especially at night) and we have homes to defend.

Wishing you and yours much health, safety and best in skill my fellow warriors.

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