Would you smash your fists into their face as retaliation?
I bet you have never asked yourself that question.
But the question you should ask yourself is this.
Could you stop yourself from hitting them?
Before you rush to answer that have a think.
The attacker has just spat right into your face, your eye.
The saliva is dripping down your cheek and they are laughing at you!
I think your blood might be boiling a little even by reading this.
Because anger is something that can take hold of us all.
Anger is something that can get us into trouble.
So here are some tips on how you can control your hidden anger.
The Hidden Consequences
So they spat in your face, and you hit them.
Your fists smashed into their face with power and accuracy, and they were knocked out.
They fell hard and fast; their skull bounced off the pavement.
They then died!
We rarely think about the worst consequences of any incident, but when it comes to violence, death is always a possibility.
So knowing this it brings up another question.
Would you kill a person for spitting in your face?
Most people would answer no.
But if you asked a person ‘what would you do if someone spat in your face?’
The clear favourite answer would be;
‘punch them in the face’.
Science tells us that one punch can kill. We know this.
The fall can kill, a brain injury can kill.
But we somehow disassociate ourselves with the potential consequences of our actions.
What Is Your Intent Through Violence?
Sticking with our spitting example, let us say that you have answered ‘you would punch them in the face’.
Ok, so what is your actual intention?
Is it to knock them spark out?
Break their nose or jaw?
I appreciate this is tough but very few people consider what their intention is when they set about a violent act.
Or have you considered what their intention was?
Are they trying to get you to fight them?
If so, by hitting them you play into their hands.
As martial arts and self-defence students, we learn to inflict harm upon another person, justified by the fact we are protecting our lives.
But in my experience, you are more likely to encounter violence through more everyday activities such as road rage, domestic incidents, parking tickets, neighbour disputes and of course family arguments.
You are likely to encounter unskilled but highly volatile people who have let anger get the better of them.
The question is…what are you going to do?
Is Walking Away An Option?
We often tell children that walking away from a fight takes courage.
This is true, but as adults, we forget this and go straight in at 60mph.
Why? We call it red mist but essentially this is anger.
At the heart of this is a loss in status.
If we are spat at, we lose status, and we want to raise our status in the eyes of anyone watching.
You can deny this all you want, but it happens.
The same occurs if you are pushed, you push back.
You want to get even, and this is how violence escalates.
Ok, so I have laid out the issue. We are human, and we get angry, so how do we deal with this?
How To Grab Your Anger And Reduce It In Size
In the heat of the moment controlling your anger is tough, especially when faced with provocation.
So how can you learn to stop your anger and be able to walk away?
I use a 3 step approach.
Step 1: With great power comes great responsibility.
Like it or not, you are training to hurt people.
Yes, we have moral and lawful justification on our side for training. But it still turns you into a badass.
In contrast, most people can’t fight their way out of a paper bag.
So by learning to defend yourself, you are going to be able to inflict a level of violence upon them that they are unprepared for.
You have to understand that you have the power and by striking them you could cause serious harm, so the first step is to ask yourself;
Is it worth hurting them over?
Step 2: Count To 10
Yes, this old tried and tested tactic works.
Count to 10 in your head and give yourself time to calm down.
This small space of time will help you to gather your thoughts.
Step 3: Walk Away
My final step is to walk away.
Once you have asked yourself if this is worth fighting over (it could be a parking space), you will find the answer to be no in most cases.
Then count to 10, and let your mind calm.
Finally walk away and do so with your head held high.
Minor incidents can often cause horrible violence, but very often this can be avoided.
Am I saying you should let people spit in your face?
No, but I am saying that striking them could come with a severe consequence for them and you.
In life, many things anger us.
These things tend not to be life-threatening and are often more a case of our ego and status becomes damaged.
We are all human, and we all get angry, but when you train in martial arts and self-defence, your anger can come at a cost.
You can inflict incredible damage to another human.
Yes, we do this in defence, but if we let our anger to get the better of us we could do this in offence!
Being able to protect yourself and others often means you have to protect others from their own stupid behaviour.
And to achieve this, we often need to be able to stay in control.