So you have trained in Martial Arts for years, you hit like a sledgehammer and you’re as fast as lightning.
You pity the poor fool that picks a fight with you.
But then one night it happens, a guy wants to fight you.
The years training kicks in and now is your chance to finally test your skills.
This scenario happens more than you think because when you are good at ‘fighting’, you might find yourself engineering a situation that goes physical.
In this article, we explain why ‘walking away takes courage’.
Why Not Every Fight Is Worth It
When someone shouts at you, verbally abuses you and insults your partner, what are you going to do?
But what if they walk over to you after you shouted?
Do you fight them, perhaps launch a pre-emptive strike?
Or let them swing a punch at you and boom you knock them out with fierce strikes.
All these things could happen, and you know it.
But you still shouted back at them didn’t you! Knowing that once you did, you set off a chain reaction that would lead to this incident.
Now, this is what I like to call ‘guilty knowledge’.
If this guy is the author of his own misfortune, you are the publisher.
To quote the old spiderman line ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ and when you are a Martial Artist you possess skills that could crush most people.
And just like driving ‘you have to drive for everyone on the road, not just yourself’, self-protection is very similar. You need to use your skills wisely.
Now let’s get real, every time you use your fists (or other body parts) you risk causing someone serious, life-changing and potentially lethal harm.
Sure, testing your skills sounds great after all you can justify it to yourself by saying ‘they left you no other option. But usually, there is always another option.
Yes they are an idiot, yes they do deserve a punch in the mouth and to be taught a lesson. But the lesson you might teach them could force them to eat liquids for the rest of their life!
Ask yourself is it worth it?
The Worth It Check List
Before I ever take myself down a route that could end in violence, I have a ‘worth it checklist’ that I mentally run through.
To show you how it works let’s use a real scenario.
You are out with your loved one when you walk past a group and shouts abuse at you for no reason.
You now have a few choices, go over, shout back or ignore.
Before I do anything, this is what I do.
Is this worth spending 24 hours in a cell for?
Is this worth seriously harming someone for?
Is this worth me being hurt?
Is this worth my partner being hurt?
Is this worth hours of paperwork?
Is this worth fighting for?
It takes seconds to run through this, and if there are ‘no answers at any part I default to ignoring and doing nothing or making every attempt to ‘de-escalate’.
When Is It Worth Fighting?
The decision about ‘when to fight’ is an individual one for each circumstance but I also have a few general rules.
My pet hate is verbal threats. I have been on the receiving end of every threat you could imagine, some too horrifying to imagine as well.
Did any come true? Thankfully no.
But I will not tolerate any threat to my life,family, safety, property or health.
Now I am not saying I would go out throwing strikes at the first ‘I will kill you’ comment. But I will deal with those threats quickly!
My usual response would be “do it now then.”
You see a threat is a ‘future promise to do you harm.’
If someone says ‘I am going to smash your face in’ they are basically saying that at some point they will hit you in the face.
My view is ‘why wait’.
A threat is designed to make you worry, scared, fearful and intimidated. Those are feelings that I am not going to have, so it is far better to tackle these things head on.
However, I say this as someone who is very comfortable with violence, your skill level and or experience might dictate a different approach and I urge people to call the police if they ever are threatened in this way (before dealing with it).
I will also fight if there is a chance of harm coming to someone who cannot protect themselves.
It could be a woman being abused in the street by her partner, a man hitting a child or even a man striking another man that cannot defend himself.
In those circumstances, I will get involved.
Having The Courage Not To Fight
It is easy to fight another person, it takes real skill to avoid, and de-escalate violence.
It takes a lot of courage to walk away giving the other person some sort of moral victory.
They may laugh, they may shout abuse and call you names, but you quite probably saved them from the next six weeks in intensive care.
But this will make you angry inside, and you need to deal with that anger quickly, or it will bubble over.
In these situations, I use ‘reminders’. I get my phone out and start going through photos of my life and the things I care about.
Because if you are in prison for manslaughter or in a cell, you are not with them!
That is your reward, a healthy and peaceful life. Sooner or later they will get a beating but what is important is that you were not the one to give it.