My wife and I have a running joke about “Mr. Attacker”. When one of us inadvertently leaves a door unlocked, invariably a comment about “Mr. Attacker” will ensue. Mr. Attacker will now be known as MA for the remainder of this post mainly because I’m tired of typing “Mr. Attacker”.
To keep MA away, you must be aware, and awareness keeps you safe by giving you a buffer of reaction time. Think of it this way; when you drive you normally make some extra room in front of you incase the driver ahead needs to make a sudden stop. The “space” gives you time to react. Awareness is that “space”, as it gives you time to “observe, orient, decide and act”. (OODA loop)
The best martial art is outwitting your opponent without having to resort to the risk, (legal and otherwise) that is inherent in physical confrontations. Remember the boat scene from Enter the Dragon where Bruce Lee tells the pushy Australian guy who wanted to know Bruce’s style i.e. “fighting without fighting”. Bruce outwitted the guy easily because he was caught up in his own ego and view of how things should be done.
The decision to not take that short cut through a rough part of town, or an alley that isn’t lighted appropriately….the examples are endless and I will leave the variables to you, and how you live your life.
Everywhere you go, MA is present, just waiting to do a double leg takedown and a quick ground and pound, just for good measure of course. All joking aside, MA is and has been a valuable tool of awareness for years. A training aid, an old friend who taps you on the shoulder…and reminds you he can and will kick your ass if you don’t wake up!
It’s not all gloom and doom though. Living in fear is no way to live. Being present in your day-to-day activities will give you the reaction time needed to defeat MA. MA wants you to be asleep, to be looking at your phone while you are walking down the street…that way he can bring the beat down to you.
Make MA a training tool, a reminder to keep your head up and on a swivel. Looking for MA can be taught to your students and loved ones with humor and wit. Physical confrontations are serious business and the sober reminder needs to be addressed frequently to not let yourself or your students become complacent.
In part two I will introduce ideas on awareness and maintaining personal space so that reaction time is maximized.