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You would shoot an attacker raging at you with a huge butcher knife and you are cornered with no place to escape. But if that attacker were 15, or 12 or 8, or a woman, a pregnant woman, kids in the room, your kids in the room? Mr. Miller puts a real face on violent situations.
He plays out how to defend yourself in the courts after you have defended yourself against a live attack. It is an important point, maybe you survive an attack, but spend your fortune and spend years of your life in jail because a jury does not believe it was self defense.
Perhaps you have trained for decades in deadly martial arts. For decades you have pulled punches and kicks, choke holds and strikes because you do not want to injure your students or training partners. Your groin strike hits the thigh so you don't disable the groin. Now what happens in a violent situation? You have trained to miss, so your reaction is trained to miss.
Violence dynamics. Self-defense must teach how attacks happen. Students must be able to recognize an attack before it happens and know what kind they are facing.
The Priests of Mars. The minute you don a black belt, the minute you step in front of a class to teach, you are seen as an expert on violence. It doesn’t matter if you have absorbed a complete philosophical system with your martial art.
It doesn’t matter if the art gave you, for the first time, the confidence to view the world as a pacifist. It doesn’t matter if you studied as a window to another age and culture. It doesn’t matter that you have found enlightenment in kata or learned to blend in harmony with the force of your attacker.
It doesn’t matter because you are about to teach a martial art, an art dedicated to Mars, the God of War. A MARtial art. Even if somewhere over the years you have lost sight of this, your students have not.
You wear a black belt. You are an expert on violence. You kick ass. You are a priest of Mars.
The simple truth is that many of these experts, these priests of Mars, have no experience with violence.
Very, very few have experienced enough to critically look at what they have been taught, and what they are teaching, and separate the myth from the reality.
The Story. Maybe this is a metaphor, maybe it is a model: Things are what they are. Violence is what it is. You are you, no more and no less—but humans can’t leave simple things alone.
One of the ways we complicate things is by telling stories, especially stories about ourselves. This story we tell ourselves is our identity. The essence of every good story is conflict. So our identity, the central character of this story that we tell ourselves, is based largely on how we deal with conflict. If there has been little conflict in the life, the character, our identity, is mostly fictional.
I present this as a warning. You are what you are, not what you think you are. Violence is what it is, not necessarily what you have been told.
You can read more about this subject in Rory Miller's new book "Meditations on Violence".
What kind of target do I look like? Big guys who look tough are Monkey Danced on more than little guys. Win or lose with the big guy, you score points on 'heart'. Win with the little guy and you just beat a child-- no rep in that. Worse if the little guy beats you.
People who, are uncomfortable in their own skin, awkward, inattentive and hesitant, are primary targets for predators. Resource predators, the most common, are just in it for the money.
The 'outliers', and this is important. There are types of violence that do not follow common patterns. Sometimes that is deliberate. An insecure member of a violent group may do something completely outside the rules of normal social violence to get a reputation for being 'hard' too crazy to mess with.
It is often a display of extreme violence against someone who would not normally be seen as a legitimate target-- like stomping a baby.
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