Monthly Archives: January 2016

The ‘off’ switch.

Violence is a complicated subject, with many aspects such as;
-Physical
-Psychological
-Environmental
-Consequential
-Moral
-Legal

 

There are different types of violence.

 

There is however a difference between a fight and violence. The difference being that two individuals in a fight willingly want to hurt each other, but in violence, it’s predator vs. prey. One inflicts harm to another in order to get what they want. The other just wants to survive.

 

Today, I’m not just going to write about violence though, no, today, I will also write about fights (as the article topic today applies to both). Fights happen when things aren’t resolved verbally, aren’t deescalated and as a result they get to a point where things become physical. Two individuals, who lose their tempers so badly, that they forget the consequences of their potential actions. This is usually called a ‘street fight’. It is not self defense, it is a fight. There is another kind of street fight, where two individuals compete against each other by fighting each other in an unsanctioned fight in a public place such as parking lots, etc. This is also a street fight. The minor difference being that the fight that takes place inside or outside of a bar (a.k.a. ‘bar fights’) is mostly due to drunken individuals not being able to keep calm and control their drunken rage. Remember, even though violence is different than street fighting, the ‘aspects of violence’ still apply when things get physically violent.

 

This is where the ‘off’ switch comes in. It is imperative to know when to act and not just how to act, as far as fighting and violence is concerned. Prevention is the best option of course, I always say that and make sure to mention it in my posts, it works majority of the time. If you are getting into violent confrontations on a regular basis, maybe you should consider making better life choices or try keeping a calmer demeanor. But if the situation does get out of control, even after preventive measures were taken and even after you tried your best to avoid it. Then comes the time to physically act. In this situation, your no.1 goal should be, not to fight and kill everyone in sight, but to escape to safety as quickly as possible. This is where the ‘off’ switch comes in, it is basically you keeping yourself in control and as calm as possible in an adrenaline charged situation.

 

The more angry you get, the more clumsy you will become, the more mistakes you will make. You will become so blind that you’ll forget what you are supposed to do, I.e. Survive. Hence the saying, ‘Blinded by rage’ This, ultimately will result in your inevitable demise. You will forget your priorities and focus on the wrong things. Your ego will take charge and drive you down suicide lane and straight to the hospital or morgue. Your best bet to survive a fight, or a violent confrontation is to keep your (metaphorical) finger on the ‘off’ switch.

 

How do you do that? Well, take an example of a road rage, a guy slams into your car, messes up your paint, what’s the average reaction of an individual? Getting out of the car and start yelling, yes? What next? Walking towards the vehicle that f’d up your paint, right? Then what? Banging on the window of that vehicle or if it’s a bike, just straight up getting into the face of that guy. Or if he drives off, I’ve even seen, some people get into the car, and driving violently to catch up to them and overtake them to stop them and confront them. So people go out of their way to start a fight, why? All because of a paint job. Yep. Seems reasonable to me… NOT!

 

First of all, your paint is already messed up, it’s not going to get better just because you beat up a guy, okay? Second, what makes you think you can actually beat that guy up? What if he has a weapon on him? Is your paint really worth being stabbed or shot? Third, why go look for a fight, when all you have to do is take the driver’s car number and report it to the police. That’s what the law is for, to solve these messes, so you don’t have to. Why would you want to risk yourself by starting a fight, when there are already people who are hired to resolve these things in a magical place called court. I know, many will say, but it’s a long process and the perp may not even be caught, etc. etc. well, if you don’t wanna bother with a long process of court, then maybe your paint wasn’t that important in the first place now, was it? So… my question, why is it that you wanted to risk your personal well being for it, if you didn‘t want to bother with the long process of courts? ‘sup with that, man? No. That just doesn’t make any sense, now does it.

 

Well, it does to you, because that’s the easy way, right? Well, easy ways aren’t always the safest ones. It’s because you don’t know how to use your ‘off’ switch. We all have our triggers, god knows I have mine (a lot of them… like major anger management issues… shh.. It‘s a secret though). The thing is I know how to use my ‘off’ switch. I have developed a kind of thick skin, I was actually forced to develop a thick skin. So there aren’t many things get me angry easily or even moderately easy.

 

The thing is, what I’m basically saying is that you need to calm the ‘F’ down. Not let every single annoying thing get you losing your temper. World is filled with them. Can’t lose your sanity every 5 minutes now, can you. Too stressful. Not good for health.

 

Anyway, back to the topic, there’s another situation where the ‘off’ switch is the most important. That is when you’re in a fight, like in it, during it. Know when to stop. Don’t just blindly keep on pounding on that poor moron who picked a fight with a freakin’ psychopath.

 

Learn to control your anger and know when to stop, because if you don’t stop, you will be stopped by someone else. It‘ll most likely be either the police (hello jail time) or the friends of the guy you’re beating on (hello hospital time). Don’t even for a second, think that you’re invincible, you’re not. If you let your rage direct your actions, things will not end well for you. The consequences will be dire.

 

So keep calm and learn to use the ‘off’ switch in your day to day life.

 

That’s it. Thank you for reading.

Regress – A lesson learned.

We all lose our ways sometimes, what matters is that we find our way back to continue our journey.

 

It all started today, as I started conducting a class, the most amazing, yet, disturbing thing happened. It was a real wake-up call for me. As an instructor I have always followed one simple saying, “You teach what you can do”. Unfortunately, today I failed to follow that saying. I didn’t think his day would come, I might’ve known it subconsciously, but I never paid much attention to it and that was my mistake, because it did arrive and I failed myself, but like I said, it was a wake-up call for me.

 

The titles of instructor/teacher/coach, etc mean something. Individuals with this title have a responsibility towards whom they impart knowledge on. The knowledge should not only be of excellent quality and effective, but it should also be something that the instructor him/herself can actually apply and have in depth understanding of.

 

I’m gonna go back a few years here. When I started my training I was a child at 8 years old. I trained through my teenage years and I was obsessive in my training. I didn’t let anything distract me or hold me back when I was training and even though I didn’t completely neglect it, not even my education was given that much of an importance by me. I would train every second of free time I’d get. My training not only consisted of combat training, but exercises too. From Cardio to Calisthenics/Body-weight training to Weight Training to Functional Workouts, etc. My diet was strict and I stuck to it for years. Everything in my life was centered around my training, everything was scheduled according to my training schedule.

 

This continued until the year 2010, before I had other things to worry about in my life. When I returned home from my training, certain events led me to start teaching what I had trained in over the years, I had to be practical and start making money, doing nothing but training all day and night wasn’t gonna feed me.

 

That is when the downfall started, but it wasn’t noticeable… at first.

Now leaving my training obsession, I shifted it to getting my career up. When it comes to my life decisions, I’m the kind of individual, that focuses a 100% on one thing, one goal first and I don’t let go until it’s done.

 

But my training was still number one, and I had to adapt and evolve. Learn to divide my attention and focus on two things simultaneously. As time passed, I did my best to do exactly that. I tried to manage my training and my workouts with trying to get my career up and running. It wasn’t perfect, but it was holding up. I was holding up.

 
It went on relatively smoothly for the next two years, but as the responsibilities of my career began to grow in numbers, the time for my training and workouts got shorter and shorter, to the point where, by the beginning of 2013, I usually had to make a choice, whether to train in Combat techniques or workout. I would either be too tired to do both or got time to do only one of the two things… or so I thought at the time.

 

That led me to choosing my combat training most of the time. They were less exhausting to me. This was my mistake. A big mistake. I now realize that lack of time management skills led me to do that. I could’ve easily fit a 15 minutes workout in a day. I had 15 minutes. So, by the end of 2013, I was mostly focused more on combat training and only a few exercises, like bench-press, push-ups, crunches and pull-ups. I maintained my diet throughout all this, but diet without exercise isn’t that effective, it helps you maintain your level at max, but overtime it inevitably goes down nonetheless.

 

So, the above continued till mid 2014, then one day, it was in the summer and summers in India can get scorching hot. Hell is cooler than India in summer. Anyway, one day I came home from my class and there it was, I had no energy left (I wonder why..). So my first stupid inaction of the year 2014 happened. I just came home, washed up and went straight to bed, slept till 10 in the morning, it was a solid 12 hrs sleep, I do mean solid, like if you had hit me with a brick on the face, I wouldn‘t even have noticed it. First time I had slept that much, that deep. Next day, It was a Sunday, I got up, brushed my teeth and there lay two choices in front of me, go back to bed or get some workout done. Guess which one I chose? That’s right, I made my second stupid choice and went to bed. I wasn’t tired by the way, I was just too lazy.

 

From there, it was a series of similarly stupid choices, which by the end of 2014, led me to stop just about every exercise I used to do. In the end of 2014 and all of 2015, all I did, was an hour of combat training and just a few major muscle groups stretches before that. Just to note, this wasn’t some average individual trying to get into shape, this was an instructor who was supposed to teach people how to do that.

 

I kept thinking I’m still in good shape, blah-blah-blah and was blind to what I was doing to myself, how I was losing everything I worked hard for over a decade, in just a few months. I never felt tired while conducting my classes, so I thought I was in good shape, but what I failed to realize is that majority of my students/clients, were either beginners and hadn’t worked out before in their lives or the fact that THEY WEREN”T MY INSTURCTORS, I WAS THEIRS. I was stupidly comparing myself to them when I should’ve compared myself to the actual individuals who are at their peak level or at least should’ve compared myself to my younger self.

 

Today all of those mistakes came back to haunt me, when my lack of stamina and endurance got me tired by running a few kilometers. The guy who used to run, not jog, run on the beach every morning with 20 kgs on him for 2 hours, got tired in 30 minutes without wearing any weights in front of the security personnel I was supposed to be training to get in the best shape of their lives.

 

The most embarrassing moment of my life yet, was today. But I’m glad it happened, as it opened my eyes to my past and present mistakes and my lazy choices early on, before I did further damage to myself. I’m almost in my mid 20’s and today made me realize that my young physiology is not going to help me forever. I am responsible for myself and when I get to the point in my life where my body doesn’t function the same way it does now, it’ll be the things that I do now that will help me to not crumble and instead be a physically fit and active individual who can enjoy life on his two legs.

 

After, today’s jolt to my brain, I made myself a promise, to get myself to the point where I’d reached before all this stupidity and then exceed that level. If I don’t have time, I’ll make time to take care of myself first. No more shortcuts. No more easy way outs. I’m going to become worthy of the title of an Instructor and accept the responsibilities that come with it.

 

So I’ve given myself a deadline of 3 months to get my stamina and endurance back to my previous level. Then after achieving that, I’ll continue to get it higher and start working on other aspects like muscle mass and strength development immediately. By the end of this year, I will achieve my set goals and continue to improve further.

 

There are more than one lessons here that I’ve learned today, lessons that I’ve relearned and have a new level of respect for.

 

-One of them is that just because you’re an instructor, doesn’t mean you get to just let go of yourself and your responsibilities as an instructor, your responsibilities towards yourself, your clients/students and your teachings.

-The other one being, that an instructor should first and foremost continuously make him/herself better each and every day of their lives. It’s a journey, with many goals that you keep completing for self-betterment and to make yourself a better teacher.

-This is probably the most important and this is something I always tend to live my life by and apparently the one that I have relearned in the harshest way possible for an instructor, (being embarrassed in front of the ones I was teaching), it is to maintain balance in whatever you do. That includes training. All I did was focus on just one type of training and let my physical fitness level fall in the process, I regressed. Whether you train Martial Arts, Sport Combat or Self Defense or anything else really, your physical fitness should never be neglected, always strive to do better.

– Finally, a thought came to my mind which made me be determined to get back to my level and beyond. A great teacher helps mold a great future for the ones they influence.

– Not to mention an obvious lesson, that being lazy and procrastinating doesn’t pay off in the long run.

 

Like I said in the beginning of this article, we all lose our way sometimes, what matters is that we find our way back. We are humans, we are flawed, we make mistakes, but it’s the repeating of those mistakes, that we should avoid, and I personally, will try my best to do so in the days to come.

 

That’s it. Thank you for reading.

What would you do if someone tries to kick you in the face?

I get asked questions like the one in the title quite frequently. My reply usually is just a one word question, “Why?” I either get a blank stare in return or something like, “What do you mean “why?” Usually most just assume that someone will randomly try to kick them in their face without any reason or initiation and they want me to give them some magical technique that will toss their “kicking assassin/s” in mid air and send them to kingdom come.

 

Well, maybe in a comic book that would be possible because I’d be a super cool super powered anti-hero that kicks ass and takes numbers left and right. But alas, this is reality in which I’m but a mere 5ft 10 inch – 166 lbs homo-sapien. All I can do is be realistic and form a solution that will prevent me beforehand from getting punched in the face or from getting stabbed in the face or worst case, get acid thrown at me, you know, actual stuff that happens, not without initiation out of nowhere, but as a result of the chain events taking place before it happens.
Anyone who has actually been in a fight and/or has been training properly, knows that there is no magical technique that will make them super invincible and immortal no matter what they train and however long they train for.

 

Anyway, back to the question. The thing is, most people tend to imagine, (keyword imagine, I.e. a story they tell themselves, not what actually happens), they tend to imagine that a fight is going to breakout like a flash mob in the middle of the street where people will be flying at them wanting to beat the living daylights out of them.
What they don’t realize is that there is a huge window of opportunity majority of the times where they can just avoid everything and prevent it from happening by escaping/running away, walking away or just deescalate and talking their way out of it, if they have good communication skills and know proper conflict management.

 

There is no need to imagine stuff like “What if he does this or that?” All you need to know is what you’re gonna do and how efficiently are you gonna do it. Unless, you can read minds, then you can worry about what the other guy is gonna do or even then, you can just escape, since you know what he‘s thinking. See? So easy.

 

So you know, my point, stop asking for (unrealistic) solutions to the (fictional) problems that do not exist and/or exist only in your imagination and start training practically and I can‘t stress that point enough, that is the reason I always try and include it in almost all of my posts. Fighting is the last resort, prevention is always the primary objective. You should train physical techniques, but you cannot have the mindset in which physical combat is your primary option, at least as a civilian it is. For those who face violence as a part of their job, have different priorities.

 

Oh and just one more thing, for the ones whose egos tower above earth, remember, no matter how much you train, you’re still human, you still bleed, don’t think that just because you train a lot you are invincible and can go around picking fights, many have that illusion, which is destroyed as soon as they come across the wrong guy at the wrong time and place. Stay humble and be responsible with what you train or you‘d just be another thug.

 

Well, alright, that’s it for this post then. Thank you for reading.