The Psychology of Survival
Why consider psychology? When is fighting real? Understanding the brain is central to who you are and what you do. I would like to take you on a journey to question all that you have learnt and believe to be true about Martial Arts. Before I dive in, I would like to say the words I use could and should be better used. I apologise for my glitches in clarity of expression: I am far from perfect, but you will find value in what is said if not concerned language discrepancies. I have always aspired to increase my knowledge and look beyond my own emotional beliefs or limitations. There is no better lesson in life than learning to develop the self beyond the person you were yesterday. So I wanted to challenge myself by prodding the boundaries of the psychology of real fighting. At this stage of my life, fighting and real fighting have become distraction from the value I now place on the ‘survival response’. I am interested in why the Martial Artists perform poorly when taken out of their secure environments and encounters an unexpected life threat.
This is where the journey begins or gets interesting by getting my heads out of the clouds and around what could really threaten me. The same thing that holds me back, holds everyone back: it is their mind, their psychological and social state of mind. So why do we need an understanding of survival? I am already aware and I would hope you are to that a defence against an unexpected attack is not the ‘if-then’ scenario. These were the explanations my teacher used in his demonstrations and now I recognise them as a sales pitch of the selected technique.Yes. Martial Arts coaching is one huge persuasion machine, especially when people have such strong opinions about their wares. It is an expectancy when learning Martel Arts the techniques have to appear strong, fast and effective. You see, got get it, you got it, OK, Boom he is dead, try to stop that; all statements of self-conformations to close the sale without questions.
I am assuming you are an experienced Martial Artist who values good information. So who out there has been mesmerising student? I always thought that insight is found outside one’s belief set, beyond the status quo and when the pearl come to the fore, it will be worth millions. The problem is we just value our own beliefs too much. Martial Arts are tough nuts to crack when they have experienced praise too many times. They have become overly defensive of the little things. Yes, there are many competing ideas to explore, but let me guide you just for a moment. The trick is we seldom change our spots. One thing I am sure about, a life threat always can takes it all away in a blink of an eye.
There are people out there that do not value life and nobody is exempt. As Martial Artists our focus is on strategic technical excellence and fighting where the focus is on winning. The limited focus acts like trap or a bubble that insinuates there is joy in perusing endless sets of improvements to best oneself. So why is it that the Martial Artist is the first person to get upset when the rules are broken? What was that? “That is not the way to do it”. It only takes a few words and you are trapped into another ten years of ‘high level’training programs. Have you ever considered what holds your mind to watch the good show? It would be naive to believe people will not break the rules to get their way when stepping on the wild side. That ‘boy’ down the street does not care who you are and what you know. If it means taking your life, he will without a second thought.
The rhetoric that comes out a Martial Artist mouth suggests a very different outcome if you train hard. The words relating to danger are repeated so often that they have become ineffective as a motivator to drive a students to shift into the ultimate: a survival mode. They are more interest to hear stories or successes and watch other people go down in a magical display of skill. Words like kill, death and take you out, makes the information deviate from the safe. Ah! That is why you have to control yourself when using your skills for that one situation where you do have choice to save a life. Cough! Effectiveness is always related to technical solutions, reinforced by the spin. Otherwise the conversation is shifted over to fighting and its extremes. I have to ask, “What is it about that untrained kid down the road and taking your life?” Is there a language for that level of unexpected violence?
My idea is to stop imagining defeating the indefensible. Your mind is not to be trusted; it is an illusion machine. What you think is what you become or act out. Nothing you think is actually out there. So what are you becoming? Probably that anxious and stressed person reacting to the indefensible. Your mind is not able to cope with reality, bottom line. Surviving has to be a real response, because it is about getting the response right the first time and without running a mental simulation. What a dumb statement. The boy down the road understands this instinctively very well. This seems to contradict the way we learn Martial Arts and all the variants backing each technique learnt. It only takes a blink of your eyes that can get you in trouble, where you need that lifesaving reaction. So how do you un-package the bullshit and deal with something real and unforgiving? Most Martial Artists are well versed in social drives backing a fighter’s mindsets solely directed towards of goals and getting accolades. So who does not train hard to be recognise? I hope you are ready to spend several lifetimes learning everything about the arts. Martial Arts is just filled with so much shit and magic techniques all designed to promote fighting proas. Promotion is the key to Fighting Arts and solutions
The discussion surrounding survival skills has been lost in translation and replace with the words like fight, kill and tap-out. Even though the streets are a blazing with bullets filling hospital emergency rooms full of people dying; fighters still have no idea what a bullet can do in the hands of an unskilled desperado. Yes there are real technique and real fighting, but fighting is a product of social expectations, develop for gang warfare, fighting clubs, country defence and domestic disagreements. A lot of fights is based on tricks, techniques, weapons and lots of biff. There are so many Martial Arts groups ready to argue and fight for territory, reputation and money. Martial Art’s students are attracted to the illusion of becoming that warrior that has the ability to take out any threat. Whose mind is not polluted when there are so many hero stories where warriors skilled enough to bring civility back to the tormented? Even after a decades of training, the con goes as students are invited to savour the value of advanced techniques. Wow. The advancement has no return rational return to normal. This is marketability. No wonder the people in power do not like losing control of the situation. It is understandable Martial Artists have become the proverbial control freaks. Control is now central to a Martial Artists psychological makeup, instead the chaos of a life threat.
The issue of facing a chaotic life threat keeps me interested in the value of Martial Artists as a source of inspiration. What annoys me most comes out of the technically minded control freaks trapped by their own inflated ego and fighting skills. They are too eager to deploy spin to fit the ‘Socially Organised Statements’ that will hold people to same rigid frameworks. The self-selected rules and regulation only amplify the already narrowed minds to focus on highly select fighting goals. Do not deviate or cheat or you will be disqualified.
All I am doing is highlight the dark side of the moon; the side of human nature that needs to hunt for a tiny bit of dopamine to make oneself experience a moments high. No mention of the the kid down the road, who does not care who you are before he shoots you. Whatever drives these people the tactic is to attack quickly, to be decisive, extreme and without constraint. I do not think people realise the simplicity of a life threat. If a person has this type of intent, even the most effective gun will lack effectiveness. The issue is, for some people taking another’s life is easy. Think about it? Buy a gun, both for defence and attack and then what?
At present, the Martial Artist is better off to justify their intent and actions by facing few rounds in some public arena. To be coached and be totally focused on that fight for months prior to the event. To make things valid, let the Martial Artist continue to believe the sales pitch of extreme fighting skills. This is the rational side of your social conditioning justifying your connection with the same type of people you selected to mix with. It only a flash in a pan in the back of your brain where the social hero lives for a moments glory and some money. The idea of a brutal uncalled for life attack remains a suppressed thought held in check by your big guns that will never leave their holster.
How can stories create truths with our current experiences? The problem is we do not realise thoughts are just figments of our imagination and experience is illusory way to insert a moments reality into our own stories. “I did it, I saw it; it must be real”. Reality does pass us by. We are none the wiser that life is a self-constructed sales pitch to increase our self-worth in the minds of others. We are truly sold on our own bull-shit stories and that is why we do not want to or have time to deal with reality. The stories are just bolder, nicer and friendlier, otherwise you would be terribly boring, lonely and fearful.
The stories we create are self-assuring and solely designed for public consumption: ‘Life is but a story’. Deep down, the gut is telling us none of this crape is true. May be bits are if you are questioning your viewpoint. We know it is all persuasion with a modicum expected rise in self-confidence and recognition from others for your expressed achievements. Life is out there, but from your perspective it somehow arises from the darkness in your head, which can be uncomfortable at times. Our survival response has to stay in the background, away from the truth and we do not want to turn into some human animal. I ask you, who is rational and smart when your next comment could be just more bullshit in disguise.
Where did you get the idea that you need to make Martial artists number one in your life? Our five senses are never really activated in the imaginary world of a Martial Artist. All you are doing is making decisions and plans on one vision at a time. The gap between imaginary precepts and expected outcomes can only be learnt by mastering techniques. The brain is so easily overloaded and for comfort it is better to stay with a focal task where thoughts find agreement in with your select plan. By taking control things get done in a Martial Arts. As socially organised beings we are also controlled and we cannot progress unless we pause to assess our progress. You did that wrong; you idiot, you went through a red light. Judge, judge, judge.
Consider walking down a stair case and suddenly the world turns to darkness as you slip. This so-called accident could have been a disaster, but you landed on your feet. Well, don’t you feel thankful that all is ok. Do you remember what actually happened? You know that you slipped and the rest is a blank. As a response you brain quickly fills in the missing data and constructs a story of past experiences that you will use to explain the brush with disaster. What a story. Every time you express the story it will have a different tone and slant to satisfy the current audience. The brain is great at hiding traumatic moments for a moment’s glory. Maybe it cannot really remember the situation very well and yet you saw the world slow and the detail was indescribable. So what does our mind do, it borrows feeling and emotions from existing memories and stories to make it palatable for whom? This is why death is frightening, people keep on suggesting you should fear it. The people whom we mix with project through their communications what is expected as a normal response to another person’s misfortune. Dead is dead – there are no feeling or emotions to be felt anymore by that deceased sole. How do living people know the truth? Da Dum!
If you want to feel something horrible; squash you finger in the door. This is more painful than death. The emotions, anxiety and fears are taught to use through our associations with others: observing and mirroring other people’s conceptualisations of what is the expected response. Get it wrong and you are heartless. Dead people could never experience death, so how can living have any knowledge of it. It is all imaginary. That is not to say we have not experienced what it feels like when others die around us. Life goes on for the living. Maybe this is why we want to help other stay alive, to enjoy life as you do now and not be left behind.
One huge reason people want to fight is to remember how great their performance was and that the effort spent on training Martial has not been wasted. What a feeling when you have dominated the fight and have won. The mental pain of training and the bruises of the fight are a wonderful justification of your intent to hurt others. It is like getting an award; it is just great for releasing all those happy drugs, resulting in joy and the reason you are addicted to Martial Arts. It is a way of life for social beings to fell a moments to get high on. Who is going to know this is the main reason you chose to do Martial Artists. This self-selection process is a socially organised statement of you own making knowing you may be able to access a greater number of joyous moments. Just to remind again, Martial Artists are a population of control freak who desperately want to say “I have done it all”. Deep down there are still those fears of what could happen next: blank.
Even after winning a few fights, the confidence boost is soon lost and soon needs even more training boost it again. Winning is a big deal for what? As with a gambler, each win alleviates the anxiety of past. To win all the time is unrealistic, but that is the rationale that drives a Martial artists to improve. What more, status and control are even a safer bet. The dark spaces in the back of the head has to be avoided at all costs. Be careful, do not throw a little criticism their way and you will soon receive a very aggressive defensive response and – Boom, Boom in your face.
As mentioned, fighting is an addictive process. The survival aspect is a social drive, which has become a way of life, a way of self-realisation. Fighters are totally focused on setting specific goals to take down their target an equally matched and competitive opponent. Nobody trains to fight unless they expect to beat their opponent. The style and the type people they chose to fight are driven by self-selection and have a common interest in overcoming their weakness of not being good enough. The beliefs and skills have to be narrowed to choose the people they want to associate with. Here’s the clincher; the level of brutality chosen has to be comparable to the attention the person wishes to achieve and the money they want to attract. Your value goes up if you are extra brutal and win. Winning appears to be not enough in the public arenas. Then how much of a survival game is fighting? Well, there are moments where the survival response can be triggered during a fight, but it is usually has little effect on the outcome in competitive fights. The rules protects life. Wow, this must be as real as it gets?
To me fighting is always a series of lost opportunities to see the bigger picture. The resulting lessons is an exercise in self-deception: focusing on toughening up for the next fight that will bring you glory. The motivation is to win, this is what moves fighters ‘to do whatever it takes’, even if it kills them in the process. What fighters want is to be socially acceptable. It is when they bump into the survival response, there is nothing to be excited about beyond that moment. The aim of a fighter is to feel safe and in control. It is no wander that submission has achieved such attention in recent times. Martial Arts has lost insight and does not encourage exponents to explore the survival response. If it did, techniques would not be front and centre.
How do you choose a Martial Arts system that does not control the minds of its progeny? For the better organised schools this is essential to gain more commitment from the students to do their bidding. It is survival of the largest and fittest in any social settings. Control is key and central to keeping the wolves away from the front door. The status quo is set for the next generations as a way to assure authority will continue for generations. Currently trends in Martial Arts are sold on the stage of public arenas. Even though there is no right or wrong way to survive these competitions: fighters and organisations know their status is linked to being recognised by official bodies that market these competitions.
The truth is you can die in any sport, but fighting is not high on the list of what could take your life for your addiction and need for public attention. Hey, what, you are still alive, isn’t that a surprise. The games maybe dangerous, but there are lots of safe-guards in place to keep you alive. You are assured of this even on the day you committed to the ideas of playing these games. You are not frightened or concerned that you will not see another sunrise. The aim of these games is to show others your dedication and skill. You want to be better than any other person out there. I always wonder where the social drive can take us and it appears to turn people into control-freaks. Ironically real life can hit them in the head and they are none the wiser. The public are not interested in a person’s real fight for life; they more interest in the story or vision on television. It is probably too distressing to think of uncertainty of a real survival event. War where millions die are soon suppressed for better thoughts.
As social beings we all lack confidence and self-understanding in new situations. Investing in the self is more about how we want to be perceived. Confidence seems to rise when you are smarter, stronger, faster and tougher to meet bigger challenges head on. It is this fear of status degradation that challenges our security the most. The socially organised statement that we all have allowed to shapes our beliefs and emotions trap us to stay on the straight and narrow to seek advantage. We have learnt to be wise to accept the status quo even though it will hold you back. So why has your well-worn rationale made you so defensive, knowing that your inner world is in turmoil and illusory?
A life threat is different, it lends to no defensive action of your well-worn beliefs and no time to worry. Yes you can worry about possible scenarios, but that is not a life threat like an accident. During a life threat you cannot hesitate and if you did it is really self-destructive and suicidal. Just think every time you get into a car as a driver or passenger; do you consider it is a life sentence as they drive off? Another irony is we go to hospital to get medical help, but more people die from medical mishaps than car accidents. Even though you are more likely to die in these situation than learning to fight, you have no issue about a greater chance to die. Now consider the statement, “this is a deadly technique”. This technique can ‘kill’, but it strikes a social response of submission, rather than a survival response. One thing is for sure, a real life threat will need a snap decision or you will be pushing up daises.
So why do we stop, look and contemplate when someone else’s life is in danger? Your mind lives the experience in virtual thought and finds way to suppress the danger enough to feel safe. Even with this mental simulation you do not see yourself as being the next victim. Fighters are student of the most intense simulations ever, where an observed fight is played through their mid hundreds of time looking for advantage. The fighter is trained to wait and think before launching another offensive. This approach has limited value during a life threat: you do not have the time to even blink your eyes. More importantly, there are no second chances, unless the gods give you one. Mental resistance is futile, that is defensive behaviour, when you are unaware of the true danger. An immediate assault is not a fight, but an ambush with the intention to take life in the shortest amount of time. The fighter does not get this. The surprise attack does not require fighting skills to be successful: because the attacker has nothing to prove. The Martial Artist is so mentally locked into competition; their desire for proof is their biggest blind spot.
So what is real in the fighter’s mind? To me this idea of REAL is lost in translation in the language of Martial Arts. When the term is used, it is a marketing term aiming to turn heads. One thing I am sure of, it gives people hope that someone out there is dealing with reality. I still strongly believe it is beyond what Martial Arts aims when teaching competitive fighting. I do not think the current batch of Martial trainers want to sell flying bullets passing through someone’s head? Not a very appealing thought, but in movies it is expected. Extreme violence be it fictitious or real ends in death, which does nothing to drive people to actually do the job. Stop right there; you are right, this is related to the worst possible assault that you can imagine. Well that is still a dream. To me, if you can imagine a terrible assault, you do not want to deal with it. So how do you plane for the uncalled-for assault with your current insights to Martial Arts? As I have already suggested, there is a gap in the understanding of violence and this knowledge not going to surface magically.
One thing is for sure, you will be alone when the shit hits the fan. Why is that important? Well, all your training is performed in company of others, which is like a safety blanket. Did you know there is no glory to be gained when being the victim? No one else will help you or guide you or help you win? You are currently in the hands of the brainwashed, the traditionalists who you have close relationships with self-gain. Anything that may represent an extreme life threat has been suppressed into that fuzzy side of the brain. So, are you still convinced you have the right stuff to handle a real assault? YES/NO? Your response has to be based in your imagination, if you answered YES. Whatever your opinion it has been dreamt up. I ask you, “Can you image your own death?” The question is rhetorical, but life is not. As people belonging to social groups we want experiences to generate stories to sell our worth to others. The social trap has been sprung and there is no way to give up delusion; resistance is futile. I am assuming this is not the way you thought discussion would go.
Let me start with saying that “real has has little to do with how you think”. This statement has left countless techniques on the scrap heap, because the brain has to simulate them before execution. I am going to hit with? The imagined plan or preparation just is what a technique relies on before the Boom. Have fun, but a technique fail to consider reality. Real is about the moment; a change point, a decision point where you could not have prepared for in any prior training. I like to use the examples of the the unexpected slip on the floor or a car that suddenly swerves in front of you, a metal pipe that come out of nowhere bending over your head, all occurring in a blink of an eye and out of your control. It is the time when all your techniques and skills are rendered useless and somehow your reactions and insights have to find a new way to shine to guide you to safety. Are you thinking you can control the situation? Boom, Boom.
What left: no techniques, no glory and no recoverable memories; that has to be shit? What memories are you going to use to express the experience to others or feel good about yourself? That has to be be a challenge to our attention seeking social being inside of you. Nobody, is really going to understand what you went through to survive the onslaught. The joy that comes from recognition cannot be based on any form of accurate recall. So what did you do to avoid death? That is not going to be the money response. I am sure you would like to know what actually happen, so you can reproduce the responses and sell it as a new technique. Due to the lack of ‘story’, a survival response makes no business sense. We value a Martial Art not life, organisations are not for real experiences.
Whatever you have spent your life savings for and building your secure way of life is fantastic, but has to be shelved for a survival situation. So does this go all against your values; I hope so. What drives you to collect more techniques; reality has nothing to do with that desire. Information is success in Martial Arts and you do not have enough lives to accumulate it all. The pitch for the ultimate understanding I designed to grab your attention and dollars. Nobody likes to be left-out or deprived of information, it’s like being left in the dark socially. You want to be the best or feeling the pain of deprivation. The con of knowledge offers time-out from the possible dangers that lurk in the back of your head. The Martial Artist lives a life of mental luxury: a guru of knowledge. The alternative is that you become paranoid of all dangers, wishing to be better than everybody else to feel safe. I am exhausted already.
Humans are smart to hide their ignorance and why shouldn’t we do this when truth is scarce. Safety is the illusion, driven by promises that we are the righteous group. The idea we are the lucky ones fills or head with strong beliefs and values indicating by this connection you will be safe. We look after each other. Safety in numbers. Our social scape is full of police for security, doors to lock out intruders and the guns that kill. As a member I am more likely to buy into the spin and buy the latest Apple device, because I feel safe and better to do so. This socially derived reliance on others is built on trust in our fellow citizens to do the right thing, but this impressions is based on an illusion. Without further guidance there is a huge gap in our knowledge of survival. What we think we know is shit outside the illusion. When you are alone nothing you learnt counts. You cannot buy a book on this subject, because it is not socially organised. Why do we value the same products like Apple or Android devices? It is this social knowing that make us feel safe with our toys. No power, no fun. Now someone pulls out a big knife and jams in to your kidney. Boom, a car hits you from nowhere.
Our ignorance of reality does not make it any easier to deal with. It is like bad weather. Who knows what will happen next. So what is it with people who are essentially social clone? The choice of becoming a control freaks is one big self-deception. Look around you, who keeps everything neat and a lid on deviant behaviour. “That technique is not right”. My way or the highway type of person. An expert. Just imagine how anxious this person must be when straying of the path or a falls behind a social competitor. That cool exterior does nothing to hide the inner turmoil. Martial Arts are aiming to be sick people, driven to be one better to their imagined competitor. Paranoid or obsessive, both make these people dangerous to others. Do not cross their desired path or your face will be rearranged.
The challenge of being one better needs to be created by self-deception. Hook or by crook to stay number one; believing in the product with a righteous attitude. Hence the rise of extreme fighting skills and competitive arenas. All I have seen over the years is a trail of victims, ignored by ever upholding of new winners. The control freaks need to hold the world in check: to find ways to remove the bad taste of potential failure. Easy step into leadership positions. Anxiety is more painful than death, so to ease this anxiety, hide behind your badge of honour. Fighting is the great excuse and escape to prove that there are better people out than you, but this line of thinking has to end one day. Issuing a challenge is just as much a question about your skills as a way to find an element of truth. We do not challenge unless we believe you can win, otherwise you are stupid.
Sure, there are laws to protect us from the people who deviate from expected behaviour. Bad things do happen within the parameter set by the laws of the land. There are roads, footpaths and well-planned secure environments to keep us safe. You are meant to feel safe and feel looked after by paying your taxes and trusting the actions of our public servants. You believe the system is run by certified professionals: control freaks. When the laws are broken, punishment is an expectancy as long as it is not you receiving a life sentence. Slipping and landing on your ass also is an unwelcome event, where the consequences result in a sore bottom. Your health and your physical protection is essentially in the hands of others like it or not.
So where does fighting fit into the social model of security. Don’t we feel betrayed when we are a victim of an accident? Who likes to be thrown into the deep end; we soon lose respect for social advice. Personal ignorance hurts and the response is defensive action and anger that needs control. The suppression of any constructive thoughts is directed back into your own internal world of beliefs and values. The aim is to solidify your belief system more and more to justify you current understanding of the status quo. This block on the big picture reduces any chance considering new ideas. The defence is meant to excuse or your ignorance. The real world is lost to conditioning: those expectations that you have decided are right and other need to know. The idea of losing control is abhorrent to any Martial Artist. Ouch!
So why do Martial Artists have to be in control? As mentioned many times, we are conditioned to the fear of losing. Everything you have chosen to learn has to lead to a winning formula in your mind’s eye. The whole learning environment is set up to experience dominance over a fellow student. Just imagine the number of false positives that suggest success in a training hall. There has to be huge gap in a person’s experiences and understanding. This is one good explanation of when the shit really hits the fan, shock sets in. During the moment of indecision, the mind has to realign to the poor fit to one’s knowledge, where a flailing student has to retreat or submit as before becoming knowledgeable. The worry of not performing goes to the heart of controlling situations. Who want to developing excuses to justify the unexpected failure? How did you become so good at giving excuses? Well that is learnt during your training also. You got it: there are holes in your rationale and the drive to control the world leave open you realisation to too many blind spots you have created. It is a bit like, if you have not been caught with your hands in the cookie jar, then you will remain innocent in your mind. On the other hand, what do your certificates do for you? It surely makes you feel good at the time of receiving the accolade. Somehow the assurances the certificate offers is like believing in false Gods. It indicates your ability is not worth the toilet paper it is written on.
Just because you have gained acknowledgement does not mean you can use your skill beyond the training hall. Same exponent have enough history to move beyond the four white wall to their credit. The world is forever in change and will continue to create new challenges. If a doctor suggest to you that he can “save your life”, would you believe the doctor in your time of need? The statement is a way a professional hid the truth about their ignorance: they could be hiding the fact they have no idea what-the-hell is going on, but their training says different. Teachers use the same self-deceptions. The consequence is, students are taught to pass the same deception onto the next generation.
Enough of teacher bashing. Let’s move onto experiencing the reality of physical pain. It is not a sign of having practised a good Martial Art nor is it a sign of effectiveness. Pain is a sign that the body has access to endorphins, the happy drugs that happen to last for about half an hour after an exertion or fight. Wide eyed sports people are easily addicted to all their injuries and happy moments. War wounds. Runner are the worst at pushing beyond their addiction to their physical demise. They are essentially a walking disaster, both mentally and medically. So what happens when the happy drugs wear off? Well, it is replaced by depressive episode and even greater need to do it all again and more. Nothing is real during your training and the more pain you endure the more you are attracted to your training. It is all illusory. Training maintains the addiction (self-reinforces).
Depression, the unspoken side to fighting; the deep emotional wounds that silently erode your confidence. Just ask yourself, are you afflicted with a sense of perfectionism and a strong need to retain control? So, who told you ‘not to’ go into that dark alley? Who made you jump to attention when the situation called for a higher level of skills? Are you ready for me to tell you what to do next? I am sure this sound familiar. Who has control really? Are you the person who does what he wants to do within strict barriers and position? It is said to be your choice, or is it? Someone has been leaving emotional land mines in your limbic system. Uncertainty still rules. You have made yourself feel worse than death when thing do not go your way, train harder, train harder. Who set you up with this shit?
We all instinctively believe wild animals have to survive some of the worst ambushes ever devises by predators. The vision of survival has to belong to the fittest. Some form of natural selection. What absolute crape, it is the myth of the ages. We know luck has a part to play, but nobody can control what the God’s choose. So timing is essential to response instantly to any life threat in real time. Yes, human are smarter and have learnt to avert the stresses of being stalked by building fortresses. Social groups have built safe environments and secured long-term food supplies for lean times so the less skilled in the group will not go hungry. We are more like a house cat hiding behind a screen door upsetting the dog outside with utmost confidence. Hey, do not open the door in jest, then you will see the true reaction as the cat scurries and hides. We may be proud of our fortresses and own guns that can kill dangerous threats. Wow. Look again, the devil is in the illusion of safety; knowing it has nothing to do with the survival response. Like a fighter, you have chosen weapons and a strategies that will decide the type of hunt and ambush you will use to win the day. That is what I call a ‘Real Hero?’ By design you will activate your self-protection systems at any sign of danger as long as you are in control- Boom they are dead. The aim is always a trophy to hang on the heroic hunter’s wall.
We somehow think it is funny seeing an animal run and jump at maximum speed at the smallest sign of danger. Nature by evolution has developed an abundance of strategies for animals to stay alive: camouflage, guards to forewarn, surprise attack and traps; all designed to survive known predators. The aim is to live another day. Animals have been able to demonstrate some of the most amazing survival strategies ever seen by people. Sensing danger is the animal’s only true defence from an unexpected ambush. Success is measured by that fact the animal sees another sun rise. Not to labour the point, it is very important to get response right the first time, second chances are in the hands of the gods. Yes, animals have ritualised their training with specialised mentoring and collaborations with fellow members of the collective during their formative years. In many cases it is a matter of numbers not skill.
Human are able to claim they have the longest training program for any animal. The big difference for humans is their built environments that suppress the all-important survival instinct use in the wilds of the animal kingdom. Danger from hunters is seldom considered or even considered an intellectual pursuit. The aim of a person’s survival is to better the position in the collective, increase respect and earnings to improving life style. This is also the case for fighters. The irony is human hunters have not disappeared, but have been control by built environments and rules. People are still being killed by human predators in some number. The truth is, there is real danger out there and for all our smarts it still takes a blink of an eye to become a victim of a Boom. In all society has done well to educate ignorance into our overall smarts.
Animals may appear to be over reacting, but they do really well when it is time to explode into a full fight/flight/freeze responses to maximise their lifesaving maneuver. In contrast, humans rather simmer under the pressures of ass-holes. If we do act it is by calling the person out to fight or argue with aim to make your point. Injury and death can occur, but that is frowned upon publicly. We are Smart?
Survival is not just the flight/fight/freeze responses. It is always about, “the when” you became the victim. Get this wrong and you are dead. Death is never a motivator or a trigger of a survival response. It has little to do with anything. Socially we are conditioned to plan and control the situation and then prove your worth. The alternative is to find the safest way avoid the danger and minimise injury to yourself and others. In other words understand the ground plan for survival.
We find joy and admire wild animals running care free in their natural environment. It nature’s illusion of a coping mechanism that makes them appear happy and content most of the time. Somehow their life is not based solely on paranoia. Yes, the strongest animal may have a better chance to survive, but a virus can change that view at any time. Unfortunately we all get sick, sustain unexpected injuries, daydream and get sold out by opportunist hiding as a well-respected member in the group. Survival is more than training for two to three year aiming for that one fight. Wow you won ‘That is a fight’. Great, now as you leave the fighting arena and someone shoots you. Why? Who knows? The enemy is where? Out there somewhere.
It is great that we can lower our defences in our built environments and find down time to relax. It is all an illusion; the danger are still there, but you do not have at all times the assistance of a fellow member. The slightest noise and we are out of our seat checking things out. The human hunter now is ready to hide behind the gun, but in defence the gun is a wooden leg. The more security you have the more paranoid you will become. The more we own and know the more defensive our reactions.
There is a burglar out there; so we need more security. We are becoming more the victim of our own creations. The trap is our social connections, the gaps in our knowledge that is supposed to make us feel safe with a door lock. When is the world not hunting you? People are like termites, they will always find a way into your house. The trap is set long before you bought security for your castle. Technology, knowledge and planning are meant for safety and yet is the way the hunter finds gaps in your defences. Now, who is going to save you from your ignorance? Fighting is marketed as personal protection. How come the central message is directed to winning the next fight? Could that be misdirection? It is magic.
So, why do we like to be deceived by most? We can meet a complete stranger overseas and if they are from the same country, state or town, we treat the person as a friend without question. Even if the person claims they have visited you home town (the sales talk for cold calling) and asks (How are you?); our defences drop. Now a strange person asks you for direction, surprise your hair on the back of your neck stands up. As mentioned before, we hope in a car with no hesitation. This is fascinating when you consider how many people die in car accidents? Now consider you just have witnessed a fatal car accident; do you stop driving because you saw how easy it is to die when in a car? The news continues reporting on car carnage, splashing death machines all over the screens. How is it you brush off these dangers? Then there is, smoking, drugs, and guns; do we change our beliefs and behaviours? Shit no. I am sure it is never going to happen till it is too late. Sorry you cannot worry when you are dead.
We are conditioned to escaping reality by relying on stories to express life’s horrors. It a way to impress others of how knowledgeable you are. The select word choice and order now describe what action you might take to avoid inaction and find safety. Even in my mind you could imagine a dead person saying, “Only if I did more”. Your whole perception of reality is real Bull Shit and so is mine. We have lived life through ‘bar talk’; “I know a person who has been smoking 50 cigarettes every day and lived to be one hundred and six years old”. With that information, there is no reason to fear death from smoking. Justifications help what?
Even for the students of violence, the Martial Artists; confidence wains after they have tried the ‘Corner Trap’ exercise for good reason: it is close to a real time experience where stories are not made. Again the eyes appear glazed, the face expressionless, still in shock and there are no thoughts that can connect with others. How is this mental gap filled? The exponent still in shock quickly expresses, “My teacher could have done it” as a reaction. This is very interesting – something got lost in translation about the self.
We have somehow folded our survival responses into a social-emotional reactions to gain value and acceptance. I am sure you still think your car is still safe and you are a safe driver. You might also think you know how to fight and stay alive when violently attacked. I hope all those years of training Martial Artist has been all worthwhile and your expectations will be fulfilled. If this information has some validity, but research does indicate the people with high opinions of their driving do not avoid accidents and death. Even doctors who say “they a very experienced”, inadvertently make mistakes and people die in their safe hands. I believe we all have spent too much time looking at what we want to see the world to be and yet it is still a dangerous place. Our positive outlook has cleverly covered up our ignorance. Insurance companies are experts at taking our money for the fact, shit hits the fan and makes us financially vulnerable. Just think of why people take vitamins? It’s got to be for health or is there con to consider?
When it comes to reality: the survival response has activated, but we are so smart that we think we can control events event, so we hesitate. The problem is our conditioned defence strategies have been incubated far from any real-life threat. You have allowed experts corrupt your understanding by telling how you should deal with violence. They are the experts. Yah, experts of crowd control: keeping the classroom safe, so you drop your defences, because you feel safe. I ask you who is getting your money and loyalty. Watch out for the detail; it is the perfect mental trap. Is there no one out there asking you to play Russian roulette for real? I would think deeply about the truth. We are easily dismantled and destroyed in a blink of an eye, and the boy down the road knows this. It only when we are cast out of our safe family that we sense the danger of a possible life threat. Do we not know what it means to be a victim? I do not think so, always cancelled out by a intellectual override instincts for survival.
How do we justify our insight to violence when we have no real idea who or what the attacker will be or do? We start with our own insight of who could become a violent attacker. Then there is the attempt to step on the wild side of yourself, trying competitions and street fighting to have a feel of what aggression might be like.These snippets are more about your own violent nature than that of others propensity for violence. By studying the possible origins of violent behaviour may identify the types of people to be wary about. There appears to be a link between violent and abusive parents passing it onto their siblings who end up reliving their own violent tendencies later in their lives. These children grow feeling hurt and end up emotionally damaged. Their propensity for aggression towards others can take many forms. As a result they are propelled to choose a victim and watch them suffer for their own private joy. The revenge that is directed towards others could be as simple as name calling (make them feel powerful) to Intimidation on the lighter side of their intent, but far worse is physical abuse to taking a life. A violent person has lost their sense of connection and they have distorted the value of life. It does not mean the person’s psychopathic nature make their behaviour less normal than other people. The psychopath is probably better at looking like the perfect citizen. The loudest advocate of non-nonviolence and religious. Watch out they could be your best friend or someone you have put a lot of trust in. The point is, they do not stand out and if they did, a smart person would try to avoid confrontation.
Could you recognise these people in a crowd or at work? Ask yourself, who are the the people you put trust in and feel safe with? I have also suggested Martial Arts can turn into a violent adversary by the need protect their ego or to choose a victim to practice on. Remember a person who is attracted to Martial Arts sees value in violence or was it self-defence. Do not forget you have spent many hours trying to turn OTHERS into a victims without getting hurt yourself. This is like throwing the baby out with the bath water. When I expressed this in a Martial Arts workshop; the silence was deafening. The stillness in the room said it all. Taboo! Well if you have sharpening your sword and practising sword strokes for battle; it that all you want to do with the sword?
What drives a person to decide to be violent at that moment? How does a person decide to take lives? We are all aware of the angry person losing control in a blind rage and a potential to take life during that moment. Domestic violence is a deadly environment to be in with lots of blind anger, drugs and social deprivation and unnecessary deaths of loved ones. The effect on the children is devastating in that they are more likely to perpetuate these violence acts in their life time. Violence can extends into neighbourhoods, in gangs, as a way to climb an imaginary ladder, one-up-man-ship in support of improving your status in the group. Children were all innocent up to a point in time, until they decides to join in the pack-dog mentality that magnifies their urge to hurt other people and even kill them. The idea of targeting the OTHER people really ups a person’s status and membership of Waring groups. Loyalty is everything during war, the very stuff they were deprived of as abused child.
Who are the psychopaths/sociopaths that utilise extreme violence? They are your friend first, usually overgenerous, willing to offer their help beyond expectation and are able to smile internally as they take your life. To me they are the invisible, a human hunter, stalking their prize and even tormenting the target long before they strike. They get pleasure in the hunt, just as a hunter and his rifle stalking their pray. The best of these people become experts at looking cool, spend minimal time briefing their victim before the act. Their intention is to isolate the person away from witnesses and then deliver the unexpected and decisive strike. They are not heroes and do not want to be seen. All they care about is the hustle and their secret desire for a moment’s pleasure involving violence. Do not be looking for an emotional display seen when thuggery is the issue; it is purely for self-gain in the safest way. The catch is these people can be so normal and yet be human land mine able assassinate without warning.
I believe humans are essentially violent, always ready to fight to ensure their perceived rightful position in the group is recognised and respected. They are not the people you should worry about. Step out of their way and all will be OK. It’s only when you desire to challenge the fighter inside them that you will have to fight under strict rule of the street. The fighting response is learnt as a social reaction founded in rules passed down with a deep sense of what is right and wrong. When answering the call to fight, the wrong is always the losing side of the fight. Like politics it does not follow that it is right solely because you won the vote. Why the person who submits is becomes wrong. The rule of law is an ass and accepted deviant behaviour is controlled by empowered people who fight harder and dominate accepted behaviours.
The socially empowered people are like loose cannons that cannot hit a barn door when their position has been revoked. Even though you ae the Master at the time, it really means nothing when you are isolated from your tribe. Even weapons are supposed have mastered crash like a house of cards. That is probably one of the biggest illusion society perpetuates power and position. The shock comes when you realise the weapons are bound by rules and beliefs that make the user vulnerable to ambush when alone.
So what are the most useful assault tools you may face or own? Now, if you listen to all the spin presented by Martial Artists, you are supposed to be in command of superior weaponry. So why do you still feel vulnerable? It seems the speeches get longer with an ever increasing dung pile of assertions that presuppose that you are CLOSE TO BEING PERFECT. You do not seem to be fully convinced yet? The next response is you need to test the spooked approaches yourself for effectiveness. The catch is you need a sucker; a victim that will resist enough to be convincing. As mention before, a hunter needs to stalk and trick the target to be the perfect victim. The safer the process the better the hunt. Martial Artists are trapped by their needs to test their wares, respectfully first by pitting student against student under the guise of helping them. All good intentions need to be paid back in full. The guilt is reciprocally paid back by participating in competitions and street fights. This is the real fighting as promised. I am not sure who the victim in these experiential outings are, but I am sure the club will benefit.
No pain no gain. We all have suffered pain in training by sustaining a stray punch, kick, chock and thought that is enough to confirm the techniques effectiveness. Not to forget the magic of breaking bricks and boards with your nose (Impressive). To me this is the enormous con that schools and instructors have used for an eternity to make students feel tougher than they are. It is the real stuff. These conditioned mental mems of persuasion are well supports by the media and it has to be the right way to go.
Your ignorance is a construction of the social setting you live in requesting an unquestioned commitment that has nothing to do with your survival instincts. The culture of the club is designed to be mesmerising; from uniforms and stories that holds to the status quo of defence and fighting. There is enliven potential in all of us, well that s how the story goes. The promise is that you are going to get ahead of the pack. Trust me? You are the one. Your efforts will deliver a pay-off by having wins over other students. You have also seen the opportunity in competitions; you are not going to be second. Your inner deviant is now motivated to spend long hours training and dreaming up ways to submit fellow Martial Artists. Fighting is the ultimate way to justify bully in you. The catch is, you are also a target for others who train. The culture is not going to let you off lightly because you have joined the illusory way of life.
Having trained for years your Martial Art’s beliefs has boosted your alertness and defences. It is well known that it is dangerous to oppose a person’s beliefs and especially a person who has learnt to fight. If you are feeling defensive, you are already in battle looking launch you skills in defence of your beliefs. So how do you avoid a counter attack or revenge? The quickest way to succeed is by ambushing your target before the person can launch an offensive. It sounds like hunting to me based on the belief you have access to effective weapons that should level the playing field. Your training make you feel ready to seek victory before the battle begins. I am sure you are feeling superior otherwise you would not fight. Why don’t you call them names to rub it right in right now? Withstraint is for public consumption and to make sure you are on the right side of the law. Look at me, I can fight and hold myself back when it counts. Your need to belong at the same time show your strength, intelligence and an ability assert yourself. Anyone wants to fight?
Yes, coming second is one of the worst feeling a fighter can have. This is a consequence of social conditioning: there has to be are winners and losers. Our natural instincts is to team up with strong minded people with an enlarged ego and vision and a strong personal agenda. Your response is a product of learning that there are people that are superior to oneself. It is all about being a good fit and besting the next person by association. You want to be an acceptable member and have respect and one day be that leader. We assume confident people are the lucky ones that can live life like immortals in a system requiring what appears to be engineered for their benefit. The conditioned process of fighting is spurred on by a little competition, by setting targets and goals and some prize money. People are lazy and find it easy to idolize winners no matter how small the win is. Discipline and belief are the key to success, which most of us do not have a propensity cultivate without strict coaching. You could say a fast car will turn heads; better than the average car. The assumption is admiration breads acceptance. It is always a temporary affair: fame is soon forgotten.
The survival response is always about you and your ability to take in the big picture on your own. Respecting all other people as players will enhance your ability to survive. The little things and detail are never going to provide a safe exit. Detailed knowledge will surely enhance your reputation in the minds of others. So, how do you stop that upper-cut and a person who is about to tackle you? Technical solutions are nice to know if you have the time look at one thing, but have little to do with survival. So I ask you, what can change in a situation in a blink of an eye? How can a brain decipher multiple issues when it is only capable of focusing one thing at a time? How do reflexes hinder progress?
One trick to broaden your vision is by agreeing with people or helping them see more ways to solve their problems by considering multiple variables. I like the idea of facing multiple attacker as an introduction to broadening a person’s vision. There are multiple aspects to consider and the aim is to let everyone know this as the attackers can only focus on one thing at a time. The psyche has to be the expert at times of stress and is very good at seeing a solutions in the mind. To me this is great as it makes the person vulnerable. Each solution envisioned has to be rehearsed in the mind before acted upon. The narrowed view is not really based on the the multivariate situation they are facing.
A story well told is a far more gracious way to experience a true aggressive attack, as the imaginative part of the listeners mind fills the gapes with assumptions based on their own conditioned narrative. The mind need to go over the situations and solutions to be able to confidently put some of its recourse towards the task. The uncertainty of a situation with multiple issues sets up a reduced reaction based on defence. The body like in sparing uses about fifty percent of its recourse to attack. It is expected there will be a second or third offensive and more. This is far from a true survival response where the body has to activate one hundred percent. To do this the conscious mind is turned down to almost off, which I like to refer to as mental darkness. What, impossible?
As we accept our social group, our chosen Martial Arts club, we are conditioned to defend our set of beliefs. We a prone to think too much about our weakness. Thinking, thinking not acting. The brain is set to simulate the events over and over again before moving on. Da Dum. Do the right thing or else is the question? Who said this? Help is given to friends, which is all about persuasion, not solving survival problems. What about helping your attackers? The first right thing to see during a survival reaction is life, the life of others. Then there is your, which feels like it about to be extinguished. Life is only maintained if you become accountable and activate fully. Belonging is believing and that lends to thinking and hesitating. A fully activated person is driven by the safety first rationale. What a fighter does not get is, everyone on the playing field has a part to play in your safety. The attackers are determined to challenge your stance and lock into a fight, but you are there to stir the pot to mix up all the ingredients. Think about it?
It is by evolutionary that humans withdraw and hide their true intention in dark places, waiting to ambush another for advantage. This may explain why people feel overwhelmed when a real ambush takes place, because defence and fighting are rehearsed reactions. It is not supposed to happen according to our social exposure and training. Your strongest wish is avert real danger and be able defend yourself against your own fears and weaknesses, Even my trusty gun did not leave the holster. All that is left is to find refuge in memories and fetal postures or childish tears. It is all too late to correct your reactions as an all-encompassing solution for all and not be the victim of the assault. To choose the victims role means the assault has already reached it conclusion.
Your social education has moved you to believe you can stamp your authority over others. Your imagination likened you to the newly formed dominator. You are not just a gun, but a cannon. Through your theatre of your mind, the hunt has no time to eventuate during an unexpected assault. The issue with imagination is, it just does not allow for the variability of reality into your mental simulations. All you were ready for was the re-enactment of a stale stories expressed by others as great and memorised during safe times. Your thoughts were easily out-flanked by the boy down the street. Life dangers requires a broader point of view of the potential of multiple possibilities at any time. No one acts before the brain has simulated the response. It is all too late during an ambush. All technical solutions are rendered inactive due to a poor fit. Are you hesitating again?
The idea of fighting for your life is a flawed concept, as it is intended for social consumption. ‘That cannot be right?’ I think it is more the limitation of the rational mind lending to an unintentional suppression of the survival response. Training programs could not exist without the rational mind requiring students to see their future potential. It is not a bad approach, soldiers would not go to war if human did not find a language to persuade people to fight for a cause or die by not joining in. The innovation of words has given humans ingenuity to develop some of the greatest advances in fighting skills and strategy. A fortuitous battle where death is inevitable allows people find ways around obstacles and not get stuck on the issues just in front of them. In a sense this is a survival response. The mind has to do something to accept their inevitable fate. This is not the same as dealing with the immediacy of an ambush during peace times. The survival response ideas is virtually extinct within our built environments.
So why do modern societies preach competition and find joy in developing and executing highly orchestrated battle plans? It is all about the status game. Winnings means you have engineered an advantage. As with money, the more you have the more valuable you are in the eyes of others. The promoters of competition have a strong interest in controlling the environment or the game plan. There is always a conflict of interest for those in power to run competitions. Surely it is not about fairness and will never be. It is about selling the idea to a willing public to support the concept as a way to move the little person up the ladder. Not to forget only a few good fighters are selected to be valuable to the promoters. As long as people by tickets to see their heroes make the grades the competitions will continue. As humans, we give credit to the people who hold their own in front of others in a show of violence. They are the tough nuts that most of use fear to be or want to encounter. It is the fight promoter that has to dominate people’s minds as a source of direction and facility. The promoter is the true winner leaving lots of people feeling let down and left out for the lions. Competition means you better dominate the scene or disappear.
The aspirants who join Martial Arts are attracted to customs and ceremony as a way of staging there public presence. The bigger the training grounds the greater it gains mass acceptance as place to learn skills to compete with fellow Martial Artists. The so-called winners are now in a position to be unleashed on mass on the public that justifies their belonging based on their fighting skills. Just think how you felt when your sporting team loses. It is no wonder we prepare to fight anyone who does not believe in your choice of Martial Art. Again, I say fighting has little to do with a life threat. We live to agree with someone else’s words: to be sold without realising it has made us vulnerable by lowering your awareness. Why do you always feel unsure you have been told you have made the right decision when sold? Thank God for good service, it is always a winner.
The competitive drive pushes us closer to our psychopathic or sociopathic nature in the pursuit of domination. Yes, this cannot happen unless you have developed narcissistic tendencies. To achieve success you have to be willing to find victims; even the people once stood beside as a friend or team member. With this in mind, check how much of a control freak you are now. Are you as manipulative as a politician? It appears the politicians are too eager to sellout the very people they represent for some personal gain. I ask you, how did you drop your guard and believe politicians during an election when it is all for their self-gain? Self-selection is self-preservation; an instinct used to find greener pastures. Policies and promises are designed to enslave these instincts and set new laws.
I find it interesting that the act of ‘Helping’ people lowers people’s guard. Then you have the shop assistant who comes over quickly and asked “Can I help you?” No, piss off, leave me alone reaction, counter to what usually happens for a friend. The shop assistant turns and runs. Person got a social re-action where help was not probably needed. Socially we are always focused solely on our own personal gains not on others need to sell what is not wanted. By offering what people wants helps a complete stranger like a politician to focus the masses on one thing “The Me Factor that will get what you want”. Link it to a slogan and then ram it down the public’s neck. Vote for me and I will look after your interests. What BS and we all fall for it.
You would hope people are smarter than being persuaded by a BS promise. So why can’t we see through the spin? So why are you arguing when politicians are essentially all liars or truth benders. The tactic can be as simple as divide and conquer. It is because you do not want to see yourself as ignorant or be seen as a loser. The alternative is to sit on the fence and wait for a winner and then say “I told you so”. So who is going to keep you safe? Beliefs are a like a marriage made in heel. We allow ourselves watch highly trained gladiators fight in staged arenas and by our support we become experts only by association. How can you believe your view-point is creditable and needs to be defended? Even when your claims are outlandish and the comments never amount to anything: you are highly motivated to defend them to your death.
Safety is always an illusion, it is like hiding behind a security door. We feel OK when someone else’s safety is breached. This self-deception if you are not next to be violated. The status quo is based on the impression, it is happens to someone else. Ask yourself, how do you think society shuts down the survival response? Easy. Listen to other people’s view point: take in a few testimonials and listen to the news, then all is good. You are more likely to believe you’re a friend or at times even a stranger before you research the facts yourself. The news is a perfect example of targeting receptive people. A report that is repeated with ever increasing content from expert’s results in decreased scrutiny. Before long you begin to consider the assertion as fact. It is all about dampening instincts till helplessness sets on. People become complacent as they sense their efforts to assess the reality wanes with each repeat. The truth is we cannot think beyond our lounge chair or more recently beyond the comment on social media. These carefully selected opinions are crafted to sway to the unreal, as long as the information is just plausible.
This is akin to instant propaganda. The same story can be told with many very different viewpoints. A simple dichotomy is the most common; one with a positive tone the other with a negative view point, both creating a very different reaction. Both viewpoints are usually far from the truth as it depends on the ‘editor in chief’s’ agenda. The truth or the lies are designed to change people’s opinions in moments. Nobody want to be left out. This means we are all easy targets for some shit-head out there wanting to play with our emotions and opinions. Our leader are experts at spin and have the best advisers to write and teach the art of persuasive rhetoric to con the listeners to act. Once the fight and flight response is enacted in the masses, the social group you belong to that person at that time. Social manipulations puts truth into doubt, resulting in people’s perception to deviate to the plausible suggestion. The next time you country is called to arms, I suggest do not believe a word that is said. The anger created by a perceived threat is self-assuring that your opinion is right, because you associate with the rhetoric of the righteous side. So do you want to disagree in front of those people who are persuaded? Shit no? Safety is your first priority.
As a result of believing, we are numb and totally devoid of pushing any other view point. Once the social fight or flight reaction is stimulated; wisdom suggested go with the crowd. Even though your rights are being eroded right in front of your eyes and you are taking sides with the insane. Remember a leader has to first divide and then conquer everybody else and even the fence sitters. Once convinced to take a side, you can stand back and judge. Now you are ready to fight for the cause. As long as we see the ‘other’ people in our mind, we will not enquire about the bigger picture. Just get rid of them and all will be OK. The result is a readiness to bully and push these deviants over the cliff. To me this sounds like Martial Arts where your system is better than others. Focus- Focus -Focus.
So what? The kid down the road can still do the job in half-a-tick, without the brainwashing and training you have. So who is more likely to kill you, members of you school or the boy down the road? You have listened to the stories for years and become emotionally attached to their imaginary worth; your great education and superiority relies on the rhetoric. It is a like a car accident in waiting. It cannot happen to me, I am a good driver and have a fantastic car. The reality is you are not going to be emotionally or physically crucified on anything real that will show the holes in your logic. So in your mind there must be no one at street level with no training that can take you out?
Why do we have to believe in a make-believe world? It is a conditioned of social wisdom to find acceptance in the groups we have selected. The catch is we still fear God’s punishment if we deviate from our beliefs. It is safer to team up with people who have similar values and beliefs. I mentioned God for a specific reason; humans have used his superiority to attract others in the name of some higher justice for thousands of years. I think tradition and religions have a lot to answer for in the name of leadership and tyranny.
Our acceptance of someone’s superiority is instinctive and stupid. This idea of a guardianship of your life means they can take it away any time they please. The leader is authorised to make you work harder and if necessary ask you to join their call to arms. The trap is the focus on the message. Just go to a great motivational speaker and watch your vision change in an hour. It may be a temporary change, because the speaker is not your leader or boss. Your eyes open to the vision where you could be great, a leader in your field. I call this the preachers affect. Even after a few days to digest the information, you realise it is not enough and soon become addicted to great speeches. Now you a sucker in waiting. All you have to hear, “the speaker is a leader in his field” and you come running. Come in sucker.
Hope is lie a breath of fresh air, you want another one. The information disappears into hope. The magic of the speech has to be alluring as a flask of light, the trap is set. The idea is to crank the value up to a level of an obsession. This money can be in the in the pocket for the lucky person who want to change. The issue that cannot be address, people are essentially lazy or fear that level of commitment. It is easier to place your bum on a set and listen to another person successes. In Martial Arts, the movies does this well where you can see expert artists flying through the air and taking a screen full assailants. The only thing that is simple is the story and the heroes that win. The only truth is the manipulation of our fears and failings. Maybe you can be motivated to fight for your mentors and that is OK. I think fighting removes you from the game of life our side of your social group.
As mention before, leader try to control the differences by division in us versus them. Even though through history, this simple strategy of offering insight into the pros and con of staying, fighting is inevitable. It is a great strategy in martial Arts as it brings order to student’s uncertainty in a world they do not fully belong to. The cost is that they have to dehumanise the other people. “Those people”. This narrowing of thoughts is an efficient way to team up followers, it also will protect the cause. The family approach has been use in armies, mafia, sports and most of all with church orders. To be a part of a supportive group is very attractive to the young at mind; this is why young people make the best soldiers. They are the people you are going entrust and share all aspects of their life to the order. It gives people a reason to live as a group, having the sense of protection and group think for their survival. Now dependent on the group’s protection, you are easily swayed to teams-up to fight off ‘others’ who could bring you house of card tumbling down. As in politics, doubt destroys a person trust in the ruling body. Decenters must be dealt with swiftly. You are only valuable to the group if you are loyal or face the consequence of being treated as the “OTHER”. Clubs are like bee hives: be careful the workers will attack on mass any threat.
Ignorance is not a bad word, it is what we are really good at to keep inner world view in order. As a consequence there is a price to pay for adhering to the status quo. It is what make us who we are. We are able to follow the pack into machine gun fire or accept the sales pitch, because other people of the same tribe accepted the same proposal. What has happened to your instincts to see the bigger picture and why are the OTHERS not jumping into the same fire? Focusing on your internal world: your beliefs and values is really short sighted and focused. This is where techniques take you for a ride into a world of inner mind dreams. This is where the mind simulates and rehearses the move before activating it in response to a stimulus. This may be great for playing chess, but not for a multi-level assault on your life. Technical demonstrations are very impressive on the onset of learning the magic, but fail to consider the chaos of a fast moving survival situation. The idea of ignorance is bliss is incredibly dangerous to your life expectancy. It is like a soldier walking into a machine gun fire, wishing the bullet will not hit him. Hope and the Superman syndrome have a lot in common.
Now, how many degrees and certificates do you need to handle a survival situation? I have asked this question too many Marital Artists and still the reaction is the same, defensive and argumentative. The answer, is none. The issue is your beliefs are your blind spot and Martial Arts seem to be happy to be blind folded to reality. They rather chose to either fight or argue to prove a point and superiority. Yes, I know you could win and you have train every day all day for ten years. Good. That could mean you are good at threading a needle now. This is a huge self-deception based solely selfish needs. To me that is ten years of training mistakes in to you understanding: push-hands, sparing, Kata and cage fighting are selected situations where you can win arguments. The kid down the road does not care at all if have you won or have ten degrees. To him it is Shit!
Dedicated Martial Artists are driven people; narcissists that continue to train and try harder to find ways to beat down decenters or those inner demons that keep on resurfacing. The drive usually devours a huge amount of time and mental effort. They need to find techniques to support their arguments and give certainty in gaining higher ground. The process is addictive and for some becomes an obsession. In light of your personal success, the world will never get to know if you do not promote your vision. The trouble is there are countless other viewpoints out there with the same intention of promotion. Hence the fertile grounds for fighting and argument. Is there something better out there? Well, yes and why would there be nothing better out there? The trap always works; organisation can feed the bullshit trail and make you believe if marketed well. It still has not change the opinion of the by down the street. Interesting?
What is a survival situation? It is a trap with one response without second chances. When occurs it has little to do with training situation or what goes on in your imagination. It makes you feel alone and unwilling to face the reality of the correct response. Fear is a social response; an emotion that takes many forms, but cannot be expressed in words or concepts to others. It is ill-defined and conditioned; the reaction is crippling. It is this inability to simulate a real situation in the mind that leaves people standing still defenceless when reality hits them. How are the powers from above going to help you? They cannot. Once you have acknowledged their superiority, you will be left standing with nowhere to go. You might decide to try a technique or two, but you know there is something bigger is necessary to survive. There are multiple levels of information streaming in and the moment is charged with energy, then what? You squash anything you try. You are alone with what you got. Nothing worthwhile. Da Dum. At first glance the Martial Arts sales pitch is very attractive; just like chess game strategies that you can practice and become good at. Training always has to be systematic and done to a master’s level. Bottom line, it is not so real during a real survival situation.
Martial Artists are trapped in the pursuit of short term gains and the mental highs each success gives. Nothing like a pat on the back for a good job. Floor demonstration of power, control, impact, and speed all praise-worthy in a student training world. Don’t I love those dazzling combinations and bursts of artistic displays? Wow. Who is really addicted? The instructor and that includes me. Shit. The whole game is an addiction, dropping dopamine bombs on the brain. It is better than drugs. The issue is halation is always short lived, because nothing is real, it is an illusion.
Well, the more sophisticated the techniques, the more the hormones flow and the greater the mood swings. You believe you are approaching those superhuman skills displayed in the movies. Student onlookers justify you beliefs as they stand with their mouths open in amazement at your skills. The shit now spreads through the whole collective falsely interpreted as superiority. It is the next level of deception and some killer mem to persuade. Where are you left, ‘how could anyone defeat that technique?’ You are the invincible, job done, Boom? You see? Waiting for more feedback from the students. Instructors are lured into their position of power at a cost of losing sight of reality. Now addicted to feeding their ego, their life is now directed to the intellectualization and arguments affirming their skills. The pursuit of perfection. T be a control freak has unwanted consequence: fear and anxiety of being as being less than a Master.
As suggest the illusion grow with mastery of techniques, it is the illness of the Martial Artist’s drive that feeds the inner world of ‘one-up man-ship’. The inner world must be protected at all costs that needs full control of the environments inside and outside. The system is so real in their mind and so valuable it needs to be defended at any cost. The social way is to argue and fight off decenters. Yet, deep down the Master knows things will not go so well if students are not trained hard enough to shield his ignorance. A Master’s Self-insurance is always vulnerable to an unexpected assault or accident. We are essentially always in a temporary state of existence and nothing is going to change that on this world. When it comes to staying alive we rather hide behind screen doors like a cat. There is always a stray bullet or a heart attack. Yes, ‘winners are the grinners’, but reality does not care. Rigid beliefs and values are our own mental land mines that hold us to ransom. When we are good at something, we have essentially built our own mental jail to hide in. Once trapped, the world appears safer in the short term. I am sure you are well aware that famous people get depressed and take their lives have the same limits. The kid down the road is also full hope and looking for opportunity to get what he wants in the moment. Just blink your eyes and everything can change.
The survival response is not a riddle. There are too many choices to consider for any social response. It is interesting when we get together with other people we are consumed by being better than the person beside you. You insecurities rise as you sense a status threat. Other people tend to acknowledge you insecurities and difference for their own personal gain. Your confidence needs to be on display each time you go public, even when your insecurities begets a series of self-deceptions to get there. Life is an act. So, whatever face you put on when talking to another person is really your business? That kid down the road is still waiting to snare his victim and it could be you.
The brain is far more receptive during a car accident than during any human interaction. The social brain is basically suppression machine; it is conditioned to filters out most of reality and replaces the gapes with previously constructed stories already filtered through your mind. These mind gapes are fill with entrusted images you have accepted during many hours of accepting your own view-points. Then I ask you, “How much mental effort does it take to deploy a learnt strategy?” The mind has to simulate everything before enacting the response. If you can imagine yourself doing the response, the effort should be minimal. It is when uncertainty wells up that effort rise exponentially. The brain is extremely reactive to well-rehearsed responses and more so to deviations. The catch is, reality does not ever occur twice in the same way. It is always a deviation from the conditioned responses. We train hard to first to avoid social disadvantage of not being seen as useless: no one wants to be taken down and made to submit. Socially we are taught to choose the right response to reduce negative consequences. The amount of stress you face when you produced a blooper will be crippling. The freeze response to this mental crash is deathly during a survival situation.
Time is extremely valuable and we waste it like water. To freeze in the moment of a fatal blow is not wise. An ambush is a time strapped situation that does not allow waist on any planning or indecision. When think, expectations surface and stress rises, you choices seem further away from a solution than ever. Thought is like putting chains on your ankles before going to court to be convicted. A red light switching on in your head and you stop; something has gone wrong and you are pissed-off that you are not on top of it. The impasse is the world not playing fair and you just need time to sort the issue out. Now just think of a car accident; at that moment BOOM life becomes important, your view of the world turns to shit. Immediately you feel trapped in the car. You are bound to the idea the car is car is safe and it is crumbling all around you.
The primal brain is very fast and it does reacts quickly to the big picture issues. It is interesting that during times of a disaster we quickly befriend everybody. This is for good reason as they are all assets to help recover from your inadequacies and losses. This is not to be confused by the charms of a reflex, which is only a minor defensive reaction of a neural circuit. By considering soldiers in midst of a fire fight, somehow their mental state changes and they will risk everything for the moment to help entrusted fellow soldiers and civilians. What could be their rationale at that very moment? You would think it must take a lot of guts. No so, it is far bigger than that. The choice is simple; to help your mates is an instinct driven by safety. The soldier’s personal safety is linked to the support of fellow soldiers, triggered by battle or disaster. The body becomes so alive and energised that the vision of the world is crystal clear in that moment. You relies everybody is involve and there are not others.
The survival response is not halfhearted, the person is fully activated and energised to act right now and everything and everyone become assets. It is not a socially driven response. Soldiers when question will have no sense of a heroic interpretation of their actions. ‘’You, just do not understand’ is their comment. Heroism is a horrible sales pitch that uses their responses to drive nationalism. This does not mean soldiers cannot be sold on their own heroism. They may find it easier smooth over their own experiences to fit back in with societies delusions. The truth is there are no words that could describe the impressions gained during a survival moment.
A person who runs into a burning house may appear to be making a stupid decision, but in that moment the act was real decision that is beyond any shareable thought. The response is beyond a story created by a person’s precepts of vision or touch. It could only be described as ‘being there’ and that nobody else could understand what it felt like. The path through the obvious chaos is so clear at the time that it should be memorable, but it is not. So what are the stories told about a person’s courage. They are construction by people that could not have experienced the event ever. It is based on a person’s imagination that recreate an incredible survival story. It is like a movie in the mind’s eye of listeners. It was such a horrible situation that the act had to be heroic? The stories are far worse than the real event in that they are expressed as unsolvable. The person in the centre of the story just has to be a hero, because he went beyond the norm. I ask you again, “How could a real hero express to others his feeling, when they unrecallable in the first place. I would think it would be a good day to die when you have to wade through all those heroic stories.
The good thing about an immediate life threat is there is no time to torture the mind as you would in a social situation. It is can be considered as a freedom without all the pain of expectancy. The fear of losing does not exist in a survival moment. If you hesitate or wait to act, the fear response becomes crippling. Bad thing will happen if you spend time looking. Shit, he has a knife, who is running up behind me..? The good thing is you can bypass all your debilitating social conditioning during a survival response. The hormone dump is an instant trigger to activate and energise the body fully. This can only occur if you accelerate into a period of ‘sensory darkness’, the time that is beyond your social conditioning. This means your conscious processes are switched onto standby. Therefore, your comfort zone does not exist.
The survival response is not based on defensive reflexes or any expected technical solutions. Martial Artists find this reality hard to conceive after a lifetime of technical advances. It is easier seeing a bullet going through someone’s head in the theatre of the deluded mind. A gun is dangerous and effective even when it situated in a lockup box. In the Martial Artist’s world techniques the same effectiveness evaluation suggests a need to lock dangerous techniques away in some memory vault. The idea of a steal hammer or hammer fist are matched for effectiveness, but given very different danger ratings. The mind is supposed to be the sharpest of weapons, it’s not locked away. Maybe Martial Artist seldom sharpens or improve the minds effectiveness. It may be like a kitchen knife verses a hunter’s knife. Mmmmm?
Can you think of what is your biggest asset in your arsenal of deadly tools? Do not tell. It could not be your mind. To me the Martial Artist’s world is illusory playing out like a movie in their head. Real thing happen, but it is out of a person’s attention, similar to how a magician pulls off their intended illusion. Taking advantage of a person’s inattention. The issue is the teachings of Martial Arts is the grand Bullshit factory. Wow, did you see that X, it was so fast, it must be affective. It has to make sense for people to follow the rhetoric. As students of violence, the acceptance of the magic must close the door to effectiveness outside a controlled situation. The social mind has to find a way to dismantle the toughest threat by finding the weakest point in a person’s amour.
As an experiment of vulnerability, try running through a dense forest where you are force to avoid obstacles like branches and trees that are far stronger than you. At the same time you have to safely place your feet on some stable aspects of the ground, jump and land while ducking the overhanging branches. To make this experience even more robust, accelerate throughout the whole exercise. What did it fell like and how did you decide to deal with immovable objects in an instant? Did you stop and start? If you did, why? Just to remind you again, hesitation is the disease of losing fifty percent of your capacity to avoid mistakes. How much time did you waste thinking and worrying about wrong decisions?
The social minded person has to deal with a lot of personal issues that take a lifetime to work through. Self-development is never complete or fully enacted upon at any one time. There are too many issues to work through during the day to day issues. If this shit infiltrates a survival response, your progression will be forfeited. A person who hesitates will never find that definitive solution. The impasse is found in the mental chess game you want to play. A person’s logical thoughts has no place during a survival response. This reminds me why I hate the idea of sparing; it is just one big start feast with lots of poor finishes; full of analysis and thoughts of how to control your opponent. When the situation turns real and yes the blood to the muscles in preparation to act. If you do not accelerate, excess blood in the muscles will feel like lead weights. No progression, you have hesitation. Do you know how to identify hesitation? A simple rule is, ‘if your feet are not moving, you are hesitating’.
If you are in real trouble, it is simple, you have no time to resist the urge to survive. You better trust yourself enough to save your life, otherwise your life will depend thinking too much and lured into fighting. This is such an important point. Martial Artists are lured so cleverly and regularly into fighting, which has little what is right. Fighting is a social trap. A survival moment relies on a snap decision. Until you get this idea; your love of Martial Artists will continue redefine your reality by what goes on the arenas. That is fighting. The boy down the road knows this already and has no intention of participating.
The survival is like escaping an angry swam of angry bees. The world will suddenly be seen as a myriad of opportunities. There seems to be no constraints. So what triggered the change in response and perception? Can you imagine the techniques and strategies used to get away from the bees? If you did I would doubt your conclusions. Interestingly the expectation of pain will have little to do with the resulting flight response. The amount of danger is not in question; it is the immediacy of finding a safe place in the shortest amount of time. Your social mind would have liked to see your Martial Arts skills in action; the survival response overwrites all rationale thought derived from social interactions. If you have stopped for a moment to focus on the attack or worry about the consequences, you are blind to all the survival possibilities. I would ask, ‘How much more of a threat is needed to overwhelm your rationale and learnt strategies?’ Now ask yourself, ‘What will create a mental melt-down?’ if you cannot answer these questions, you are too smart for my guidance. These are good question to ask yourself.
Is there a way to know when you are completely switched-on and fully activated/energised to act correctly to save your life? Were you aware that you were firing on all cylinders at that time? If you were; I call this the Energy World. This is where you are not distracted by your expectations. Anything based on imagined outcomes has no place in this world. What happens is you switch to seeing the obstacles are assets that will assist you on your journey to safety. Yes there is a goal to get away from the danger and that unfolds in real time as you progress the resistance. This is only made possible if you remain active and accelerating at all times during the survival response. Your socialisation will try to resurface both internally and in physical form if you connect with any of the assailants. We are conditioned in to respond socially more than protect our life first. The natural response is to stop and look and make judgements and prepare for the next resistance. Who could have thought one’s experience is a luxury during a survival situation. Hesitation is seen as shoving, pushing, grabbing, and posturing and even want to pump before the battle; it is driven by fear and the expectation of failure.
Just to remind you; Martial Artists are control freaks with a lot to lose. When a Martial Artists is completely sold on their approach; skills are at risk of being dismantled by uncontrollable factors such as an uncalled for assault.
A survival situation is a world filled with lots unknowns and chaos and yet there are some consistencies across all possible events. Easy to answer, you are the same person no matter what ever situation you are exposed to. Sure, nothing is going to feel familiar and everything you know will take a back seat. The alternative is to stop, hesitate and begin to fighting as you were taught. Well, you are a student of violence and need to give your skills a workout. I am assuming you would hope that fighting for life means you are fully activated and energised, but this can never occur in a social environment or mind-set. If there is such an extreme level of action, you could not plan it in advance as for learnt action you will have to simulate the response before acting even during the attack. It is the learnt way and the rational way, you have to hesitate first. As with soldiers, they first need need the right command to act. A defensive response also need a trigger that fit some prior conditioning. At no time can a committed action adjust to continuous changes in the environment, it is too focused. I am sure it is very frightening to be being fired upon from all sides in a war zone, but what is left is the survival response. Now the team need each other more than ever. Attack turns to safety first for its members. If you were an onlooker may consider their actions at that time reckless. Given the unbelievable odds and the immediate threat to life, this is completely unimaginable from an onlooker’s perspective.
When you switch into a survival response, you are operating with greater a vision based on the moment. The good thing is your emotions have no time to sabotage your progression. You automatically accept you are either alone as an individual or responding as a team escaping the death trap in perfect unison. The ‘do or die’ scenario is not the worry you have been lead to believe: it is thrilling and enlivening and utterly exciting in an indescribable way. Extreme sports-people experience the fear and the thrill at very close quarters, where death and the ultimate excitement come together. It is interesting all your training is never about being in the moment until are fully committed. Your vision of technical excellence has virtually no role in a survival task as your movement are enacted on without thought. If film, the movement may look like techniques, but you memory of the movements is not retrievable. True freedom only occurs if you accelerate, only then does the big picture information become seeable in flashes. These momentary visualisations are you brain minimising its processes so it can act as close to real time as possible.
Incredible things happen when people response to extreme situation. Even untrained people can give almost superhuman responses. I strongly suggest not to be drawn to the social context of being that winner or the hero you herd on the news or seen in movies. A true survival situation is an unrestricted flow of action with an unbelievable choices. This implies there is no one off defensive strategy for a survival situations.
As always, my way of helping interested parties to start their journey trying the “Corner Trap” exercise. This is not an all-inclusive solution to all your survival insights. You greatest challenge is to overcome hesitation, which is bound up in the mud that lies between your ears. By all means prepare your body for tough times; practice your techniques for new types of coordination’s, but if you desire check your technical expertise you will be in trouble during a real ambush. Techniques have their place in health, coordination and fighting strategy. The key to techniques you have to know your enemy actions well. Fighting is 3D chess and there are masters at this game. I am anticipating a sense of heaviness and butterflies when you feel threatened beyond the technical realm. The initial trick to learn is to accelerate your whole body with a continuous intent and remain totally focus not to be caught on resistance. You have learnt to deal with resistance for a life time and in each case the solution requires you to think logically. This is hesitation and this is death in a life threat. As you accelerate to a real time response, the world will seem like your oyster.
The choice to start your training with the “Corner Trap” is like throwing you social mind into the deep end by challenging the impossible. The idea of facing eight to ten fellow Martial Artists who only want to take you down in the shortest time is not your everyday training. Even though the exercise starts by being trapped in a corner; this will leave nothing to your imagination. Experienced fighters always comment on, “Who would be stupid enough to get caught in a corner?” It is only a defensive and social response based on fear. A person who is too experienced in fighting and defensive strategy are welcome not to see the value of this BASIC exercise to introduce a sense of what a survival response requires from the body. Just to remind Martial Artists, the trusty mind’s eye is filled with stupidity. So why do you get in a car when it is a death machine? Accidents happen, shit hit the fan?
Back to the”CORNER TRAP”; the group doing the attacking has also a chance to be the devils-advocate, to outsmart the exercise and respond with more vigour. True situation are unpredictable and so can the corner trap develop in unexpected ways. Unless you find yourself in the worse possible position, you have no reason to accelerate, you are more likely to hesitate. So where does a life threat start? First you will feel all alone with your skills and no way to access and activate them. No one is going to help get out of this one. What I am saying is, you are caught up in a situation where no amount expertise will help you plan your exit. Technical preparation is not possible if you are a true victim. You are always behind time if you are ambushed. There will be a day where you will become the victim and all your fight experience will take a back seat.
Now that you have some understanding of the Psychology of the survival response and have a way to access it. Get involved in the “CORNER TRAP” exercise: tell me how you went and the issues you may have uncovered. Having the urge to stay with what you know is based on your emotions and belief, better referred to as the status quo. All what the gurus have said, have little to do with the survival response. Freedom is about seeing these choices. Imagination is great for planning a setting goals, but limits your choices in real time. If you find yourself not seeing the big picture, you are not free to act.
Fighting cannot go beyond the ring. It is based on the magic theatre of the mind. Who would really walk in front of a machine gun for King and Country? Clubs are as varied as religions with the same pulling power to attract members. The aim is to isolate you and train you hard to keep you feeling good. Stories are there to assure you that you have chosen well and you can see the evidence in the numbers that are in the collective trap. Then there is the competitive nature of training that connects people to the sporting side of the arts and cements its value in the rawest of physical contact. There has to be a carefully nurtured trust between members to enhance the sense of belonging. The simplicity of the organisations persuasion is to focus on the fight, which ratifies all that has to take place to be a Martial Artist. The family idea asks for your loyalty. The club is a well-formed collective measured by its numbers. As with religion and the military both historically have collaborated to win battles of extreme brutality and a lack of empathy for their fellow people.
Members will go for broke to retain their membership and status. There has to be some consolation in the broth/sisterhood: well they will all be speaking the same language. Fighting is the common bond for members, but is an incredibly narrow vision. The catch is when a member becomes isolated, left for the wolves to be out flanked, Boom, gone. Safety is an illusion created by the four white walls of a training hall and the stories told within. Tradition and rules are like blinkers on a race horse. As a student you may feel safe, but the truth could be you are in line to be the next target for a violent person. We cannot control a deranged and determined sole who suddenly decides you are next. Everything out there is out of your control, just like accident.
One final comment- I apologise for my ignorance, it is human.
Copyright © LorMunMak
Now that you have some understanding of the survival response, try the “corner trap” and tell me how you went.