I’ve been doing traditional MA for many years and always had this idea in my head somewhere that I was preparing for a “fight”-something mutually agreed upon. Personal insecurities driven and always thinking about what others could do better than me. When asked if I’ve ever had to use what I’ve learned, I would sort of embarrassingly say no. Thing is, I never took into account the reality that I had been exposed to. I lived 10 years in a bad part of Los Angeles starting at 17. With the UC course I actually stopped and counted all the times I had been confronted personally as a target with intimidation, and violence ranging from sucker punches to an armed holdup and they happened to me 18 times. I counted 10 times for people I know that I knew of. Among those were 2 murders, 2 sexual assaults, 3 jumpings, and a multiple attacker, armed home invasion. These were the REAL VIOLENT CONFLICTS and not FIGHTS. Yet, like other trauma, I had put them out of mind as something other than what they really were-an education however limited in violence.
Some common denominators from these encounters. I wasn’t in fights because I was usually able to avoid them. The violent acts were thrust upon me and there was nothing consensual about them. Things that helped? Having confidence walking the streets of my neighborhood and feeling like I belonged there as much as anyone else even though visually I must have stood out. Other things-people preferred to intimidate rather than fight. If there was a weapon of any sort available people used it rather than not. If friends were with others they were instantly involved to put the odds in their favor. Everything always started with a blitz and it didn’t stop until the person couldn’t get up. Lastly, the perception of weakness and not being alert in the environment is key for being targeted What Mr. Morrison is saying is absolutely true.
From my experience, with martial arts training, the responses have become too tame and driven by fear of liability. I’m guilty of this myself. Example-joint locks against grabs instead of taking the lights out. Training to conservatively deal with someone you know that gets out of line rather than the unprovoked person who comes out of nowhere. You can always tone down your responses but most people are never taught how to ratchet it up and therefore can’t. Aggressive behavior even though needed at critical moments is frowned upon typically in society. This underlies the unrealistic nature of most MA training. Thank you Mr. Morrison for sharing your approach. It’s changing the way I look at training.