Here's where we might be seeing the world a little differently ...
I'm sure it has been asked before, but given a martial artist in a tough neighborhood, in which case do we consider his art more effective ...
- He/she gets into a 'street fight' and 'wins' (however we choose to define it)?
- He/she does not get into a fight?
The corollary ... who is most likely to get in a street fight -
- The martial artist who is convinced that there is trouble coming, and hurries along.
- The martial artist who is convinced that there is trouble coming, but has trained 10 years for just this moment.
- The martial artist who understands that 'being convinced that there is trouble coming' is just a thought ... a thought that is free to come and go ... and so the thought goes..
The last question ... if being 'dominant' (the 2nd martial artist in the above question) is such an advantage, why is it that nearly every bar fight begins with a confrontation involving the biggest guy in there?
There are people in the world that live in areas for whatever reason that they cannot leave of avoid the circumstances they are in. Why do people persist on living in Darfur?
There are people all over the world that live in bad areas and are constantly at risk for violent encounters. They cannot avoid them, they are not asking for them..they are just there and it is their life.
I am sure they have developed habits and mechanisms to avoid and mitigate it as much as possible, but sometimes it is a reality that they must face it.
For many of us, this may hold true as well. At some point in our life, as much as we try, we may be faced with making tough choices about our actions. It may not matter how we live our lives, how much we go to church, how big or strong we are, or how much we stay in well lit areas etc....
At some point in time we may be faced with that which we have worked hard to avoid or mitigate.
So what do you do? What are you prepared to do? What choices do you make? What choices do you really have? How much dissonance are you experiencing?
We should not live our lives in fear of this or develop a survivalistic paranoia that has us looking costantly for potential trouble.
However, budo should be about achieving balance and awareness. Being martially effective is not just about knowing 12 killer moves, or intimidating, or avoidance either...it is about being mindful and prepared personally. It is about understanding self, your limitations, your triggers, your emotions, and understanding as much as possible your "enemies".
Can't answer why big guys get into bar fights. There is a lot of irrational stupidity in those situations that I tend to avoid. I have though gotten into those stupid things before and when I look back, yea...I was part to blame at some level for my involvement.
There have been other situations in which it was not intended and for whatever reason...well there I was....had to quickly figure out what I needed to do. Most times it was not exacerbating the situation and breaking the decision cycle of the risk I was facing and simply walking away. Others I have had to engage in someway, again quick action to disrupt the decision cycle of my "opponent" and decisive action helped me to minimize and mitigate the situation.
I'd say that my background in budo was very important because the methodology provided me a means to understand management of stress and fear. I've used that same methodology to train in weapons and to understand my limitations and capabilities in various scenarios. If trained correctly, it wires you to respond in appropriate ways.
So, I can't answer they various what ifs..or provide solutions to avoidance or mitigation necessarily. I can tell you that if you do train properly and appropriately that you will begin to understand self and begin to see things with an expanded perspective. The more you experience, the more data you have, the better decisions you can make, and hence the more effective you can be.