Training in traditional martial arts does not necessarily prepare one to contend effectively with violence.  This post is not a meaningless discussion of which martial art is the best for self defence.  Rather what follows is a list of notes and aphoristic reminders about what is necessary to contend with violence:

Do not stop until the threat is ended

Aim small, miss small

Always aim for vital targets

You cannot win by defending

Always strike never block

Strike whatever moves first

Control the center from the flank

Your brain is the weapon everything else is a tool

Always assume the bad guy is armed – tools can be produced quickly

Always assume the bad guy has a partner

Focus on what is available, not on what is being done

Teaching reminders from Grossman’s On Combat

  1. never kill a warrior in training – learners are expected to complete every scenario even if hit, stabbed, or shot – as a trainer tell them, “You’re not dead until I tell you you’re dead!”  Always win
  2. Try never to send a loser off your site.  Have learners go through as many times as necessary for them to succeed
  3. As a trainer your role is not only to pass along knowledge but also to inspire – encourage students to not worry over a ‘bad’ day – fix the problem, correct the deficiency, strive to improve and move on

Your resolve to succeed must include the possibility of losing some blood.  Ceasing to fight when bleeding is due to a lack of will, not a lack of hydraulics.

You have a moral obligation to survive: a covenant with those who love you and whom you love.

It is better to avoid than run;

Better to run than de-escalate;

Better to de-escalate than fight;

Better to fight than be killed.




Sam Harris















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