Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Three Elements of Self Defense

People interested in martial arts often focus on technique. "What would you do if...?" kinds of questions are very common. This is understandable, if missing the point. Before discussing technique (either a specific technique or technique in general, as in a particular approach to combative scenarios), we have to consider cognition, the ability to recognize in a timely fashion either the offensive opportunity or the defensive need. And before we talk about developing cognition, we have to acknowledge that cognition won't be functional if we don't have an appropriate state of mind, something other than deer-in-the-headlights-this-can't-be-happening. That does not mean having to have complete confidence, as some fear can be very inspirational, but an attitude that at least allows us to respond. To sum up, technique may matter, but fighting is first and foremost an emotional challenge.

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