Fighting science: Teach your children well.
Buster’s initial reaction was that Mom was kind of a scary broad, but a few minutes later he said, “teach me that stuff…”
No, I don’t intend to train my son to the blade, nor do I recommend anyone else do it. But, this all has me thinking…in a perfect world, we should not need weapons, nor fighting science…and yet as we see, daily, the world is an imperfect place, and all of our best impulses toward peace may be thwarted at any time by someone with another idea. My son is not exactly a kid who wanders around wondering how he can kill people with the tools at hand, and I’d certainly prefer that he bring his mind around to “restraining and detaining” a bad guy rather than taking his or her life, but sometimes I wonder if we have gone too far in teaching our children that “fighting is bad.”
Skeeter, in comment #5 says:
I had a self defense instructor (who believe me, could VERY easily kill an armed man bare handed) tell the class about the time that he was held up, at gun point, and his wallet was taken. What struck me, though, was that he said that he looked at the guy, made a determination that it was the wallet he was after, and he gave it to him.
Teaching children to fight, with a knife or any other weapon, is not incompatible with teaching that fighting is bad.
Skeeter continues with what the instructor said about cases where taking action is necessary:
In that case, he said, that the choice was always with the individual, but if action was your choice, you must hurt him first, and hurt him badly, badly enough that you could turn your back and walk away, without risk.My instructor expresses this a little differently. He says to hurt the attacker badly enough that you can get free and run. The principle is exactly the same, however. And there may be more than one attacker. Every strike should be an attempt to stop the attacker permanently. There is no place for a gradual ramping up of action until a person gets to "enough." When the decision is made it must be total because the decision that is made is "is this life and death?" If it's not life and death then it's just *not*. The emphasis is always on avoiding the fight. On getting away.
Now, I will say that this advice is for people who are *not* super-duper martial arts masters. This advice is for *me*. My instructor could undoubtedly "restrain and detain" an attacker in most situations. His father could probably "restrain and detain" an attacker using nothing more than his little finger (and I am almost not even exaggerating) .
Training is what makes it possible to make the less lethal choice.
A lack of training or not enough training *requires* the more lethal choice because *I* don't have the ability or physical control to attack just exactly so, to hit a nerve center or manage a joint manipulation, just exactly right. And if I screw up, I don't get a second chance. I get one chance while my attacker isn't expecting me to fight back and I *have* to take the strikes that are going to be most reliably effective to remove someone who may well be a foot taller and twice as heavy out of action *permanently*.
I'm sure that it's the same with knife fighting as well. A *skilled* fighter might be able to disable an attacker. An unskilled person couldn't risk trying.