Jan 02 2009

Self-defense is your duty and a form of community service

Category: education,national security,societyharmonicminer @ 10:43 am

When you don’t defend yourself from attack (when that option is available to you), you are a co-dependent with your attacker, and bear at least some responsibility for the fate of future victims of your attacker. Doug Giles has an interesting article about giving his daughters martial arts lessons here. It’s all very interesting. The money quote:

If you decide to attack your aggressor, do so quickly and with complete conviction. Attackers are most often cowards and prefer to attack easier and more submissive targets.

In the article, Giles interviews the martial arts trainer of his daughters, and it’s all pretty good advice, not Hollywood unrealistic, just straightforward common sense, highly recommended.

I think this is something most parents should consider providing for their children. And parents should teach children to be aware of their surroundings, by sharing with their children what they are thinking when they’re out and about. Sadly, most parents have been taught to be victims by schooling and television/movies, where any sort of weapon waived around is thought to be a magic wand causing complete paralysis in the victim, and where only heroes with black belts can successfully defend themselves.

If you can possibly do so, put your kids into training in something that is not oriented to “dojo ballerinas” but is more practically oriented to getting the job done, without what Bruce Lee called “the flowers”, i.e., moves that look pretty but are complicated, hard to remember, and depend on your opponent doing what you expect in order for your counter to work.

My personal recommendations: 

1)  JKD (Jeet Kune Do), Bruce Lee’s “system” (it isn’t, exactly) that borrows the most practical aspects of many different arts

2)  Krav Maga, an Israeli adaptation with enormous amounts of real world experience backing it up

3)  Jiu Jitsu –  a Brazilian adaptation of Judo and other arts

These are all “current generation” arts, i.e., they are not essentially the same as they were 300 years ago (or 1300!), but represent evolutionary adaptations and blending of multiple streams and traditions, a blending that took place in the last few decades, and represents the best of the best.

My kids study JKD.  We were lucky enough to live near one of the few students of Bruce Lee.

And, to requote:

If you decide to attack your aggressor, do so quickly and with complete
conviction. Attackers are most often cowards and prefer to attack
easier and more submissive targets.

This has a certain bearing on foreign policy and war-fighting, does it not?  I have wondered more than once what would have happened in Iraq if we had shot looters from the beginning, and responded forcefully to the first couple of terrorist acts, especially in Fallujah, Mosul and such.  Our weak initial response to these events left the populace feeling that we would not or could not protect them, and left the Islamofascist cretins with the impression that we could be had.  And that was very nearly true, before the surge.  If we had taken early, very stern action, showing we just would not tolerate looting, terrorism, or people who provided safe haven for terrorists, we would have been criticized for harshness, but consider the tens of thousands of lives, mostly Iraqi, that would have been saved.

When your enemy (the one who has decided HE is YOUR enemy) is allowed to think, even for a moment, that he can proceed with minimal resistance, you have just multiplied your problem by an order of magnitude.  It is still possible to defeat a confident enemy who thinks victory is assured…  but it’s lots harder, and costs more.

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