Accepting Violence

As Martial Artists, we have to remember that what we are learning to do is to use violence against violence.

Whether it is in a self-defense situation or in competition, we are using violence.

Rough, I know, but it is important to remember that important fact.

Yes, there is philosophy attached to this, which I believe necessary as it holds us accountable to use the art and teaches us to use them appropriately.

Having said that, the end goal is to incapacitate someone else and that’s hard, sometimes, to fanthom.

This is especially true to anyone who is knew to martial arts or physical violence or simply, are not used to physical contact.

As you start or continue in your martial arts journey, you need to remember that the end goal is indeed to do violence and your training should reflect that.

Allow me to use the following example: when competing, more and more I see competitors who don’t go all in. They go just “hard enough” to impact their opponent but they don’t usually cross the line. This is absolutely normal as, to be quite honest, most martial arts practitioners are actually very nice people.

We might debate how far or hard we should actually perform and to some extent, training in the dojo or competing in a tournament teaching us our own limits, to how much we are willing to hit, how much we can actually hit and how much we can receive.

Yet, I find that in competition, the competitor who is willing to cross that line a bit further, or has a higher pain tolerance, will usually prevail.

In self-defense, however, we must find ways to “go all out”. You perform as you train. If you train soft, you will be accustomed to hit soft and if one day you will need your skill to save your life, you will need to dig very deep in order to defend yourself.

For this reason, it’s important that you include in your training sessions where you actually “let the beast out”, using pads, protective gear, etc. You need to get used to the adrenaline rush, you need to learn how to control it and you need to learn to operate under these conditions. We need to accept that we will inflict violence to the aggressor as much as they will want to hurt us.

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