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Old 10-25-2013, 12:13 PM   #9
Mert Gambito
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 202
Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
I think it's fantastic if people have learned to avoid fights. But that simply doesn't have anything to do with Martial Arts, or Self-Defense. It is weaseling out of the dilemma and discussion. Yoga may very well teach you the inner calm you need to never get into a fight, but that doesn't make Yoga a Martial Art, or Self-Defense. I, personally, have been able to avoid fights my entire life, simply by repeating the mantra "Oh, I'm sorry!" (whether I truly am or not, is utterly irrelevant) over and over and over again, in all hostile situations. But that doesn't mean that saying sorry should be considered a Martial Art, or can realistically be considered self-defense. Nor do I understand why people need to train Martial Arts, to learn how to say "I'm sorry". I can only imagine the amount of mental instability you would need to have, for Military/Martial Art/Sports training to be needed, just to calm your inner anger. Besides, I'm sure that anger management courses would probably have suited you better anyway. Or perhaps just general courses in conflict de-escalation?

At this point, I'm sure some will chime in and say "well that's just your definition of Martial Arts/Self-Defense". And no, it's really not . . .
Well, then there's the case in which an established martial art codifies de-escalation and other non-combative tactics into its syllabus, and treats them as part of a continuum of self-defense techniques -- up to and including lethal force. From

In Hakkoryu, there is indeed no technical skill without a spiritual determination to carry on without hesitation to life or death.

. . .

In general, Hakkoryu Jujutsu practitioners endeavor to prevent acts of violence before they occur. This is a primary belief in Hakkoryu. We say, gIdomazuh or gno challengeh which includes this idea. The first set of instruction in Hakkoryu is proper Rei. While the physical form consists of instruction in correct etiquette in a dojo and other Japanese settings, the principle must be more fully explained by Hakkoryu Shihan. Such explanation should discuss the importance of respecting others. Its form might manifest itself in acts of politeness, courtesy, empathy, flexibility, and simply enough, smiling. Thinking and acting in such a manner towards others may be the best and simplest form of self-protection available. After this first Hakkoryu lesson, probably ninety-five percent of situations that lead to violent actions can be prevented. The rest of Hakkoryu is for use where such an approach is not practical or proves ineffective.

Hakkoryu Waza (Techniques)

The very first basic technique in the Hakkoryu Shodan Kata is named gHakko Dori.h One of the lessons it contains is the principle on how to escape. Should an attack be imminent or occurring, this art teaches methods to neutralize, avoid, or escape from strikes, grabs, and other types of physical dilemmas. In the dojo, physical techniques of escape are taught, but the principle may be expanded to everyday common sense actions such as just crossing the street if you see trouble ahead.
Even within the shodan kata, there is a waza that expressly calls for the tori/nage to smile and laugh out loud to escape a choke, and set up a joint break and throw. So, part of the continuum is using non-combative techniques to cause distraction, for example, to help facilitate more traditional jujutsu techniques if you can't just walk away.

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