Thursday, October 20, 2016

Is Deflection Ever Enough?


By Scott Shaw

            I had an interesting experience last night. I was out and this guy, who had a few drinks under his belt, knowing who I am, comes up to me. Trying to break hard in front of his friends he throws a few insults my direction and then sets up to punch me. Before I had the chance to laugh it off and walk away, he unleashes his punch. I blocked it with an open palm upward block to the bottom of his fist.  As I caught it just at the right time, it caused his own fist to be driven into the bottom of his jaw. BAM! Certainly, it was not enough to do him any real damage but what it did do was to cause him to rethink his motivation. After he exclaimed, “Ouch,” he looked at me, smiled, and said, “Much respect.”  I reached out my hand to shake his but, instead, he leaned in and gave me a big hug.
            Now, the outcome of this situation is a rarity.  First of all, this is a very precise blocking technique; you have to be fast, well-focused, and know how to unleash it. But, more than that, in street altercations, it is rare that an attacker is going to concede so easily. Normally, once you have rebuked their initial attack this is only going to make them madder and more adrenalized. This is why you must always question, “Is deflection ever enough?”
            As conscious martial artists, we each enter into any combat situation with the intention of using the most refined method of self-defense that we can employee.  For those of us trained in the deflective arts, this first-line of self-defense is most commonly the use of deflection. But, the problem with simply deflecting an attack it that, in most cases, deflection does not debilitate the attacker. Their attack is simply deflected then they come back for more.
            This is the same with bobbing and weaving. Most adrenalized fighters are so locked into the forceful course of their attack that, for example, if they unleash a punch, the power of that punch controls them as opposed to their controlling it. For this simple reason, it is very easy to move your head slightly out of the path of that punch. Thus, the punch misses you.  
            As those of us who have trained in the fighting arts for long periods of time understand, though we may have the ability to easily deflect or dodge an attack, this does not stop the onslaught of the attacker. At best, it simply gives us the upper hand to counter attack.  But, here lies the problem, this world has become so litigious and filled with dishonest people that even though they may be the one instigating the attack they are going to lie to protect their own self-interest.
            I have written many editorials about this fact. I have also long discussed that, for this reason, it is far better to walk away than to fight in these modern days; as getting arrested just because you can kick somebodies ass serves no purpose to the overall progression of your life nor does it contribute to the great good. The simply fact is, people are liars. Especially, those unconscious enough to only think about themselves and to not take others into consideration.  All they try to do is save face for themselves while inflicting as much pain to other people as possible. Though we all know this is absolutely the wrong way to behave, think how many people act in exactly that manner.
            My secondary advice has always been, if you are accosted and physical combat is brought to you, and there is no way to walk away from it, then allow your attacker to make first contact and then defeat them. By preforming your self-defense in this manner, you are far less likely to end up on the wrong side of the law. I have had students come to class with a black eye and I would inquire, “What happened?” “I let them hit me first, then I took them down,” was the answer. Not ideal but a good way to keep yourself out of legal trouble.
            It is quite commonly a foolish world we we exist within in these modern days, fueled by unconscious, uncaring people; lost in their own lie of self-worth. First of all, fighting is barbaric. There is no reason for it. Secondarily, people are self-centered lairs. Again, there is no reason for it. If you are whole onto yourself, you never need to attack any-one by any-means for any-reason.
            So, what is the moral of this editorial? If you are accosted and you want to win the confrontation at any cost, then quickly punch your opponent first, with full-force in their face. This will, most probably, knock them to the ground. But, this is not the way of the spiritual warrior. To be whole and true to yourself, you needed to understand the motivation of the other person, you need to care, and then you need to only defend yourself once you are physically attacked, and only with the minimum amount of expended energy.
            Is deflection enough? Rarely. But, in times like the aforementioned situation, it was. Thus, never fight unless you have to fight. Then, only deflect and let your attackers own negative energy lead to their demise.

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