Finally got back out on Saturday after weeks of unrelenting rain. Thanks to Janelle, Patt and Dan for coming out! We worked on empty hand Chimandi drills which are always good for some sore forearms.
We had a great discussion around situational control I'd like to share.
I've heard it referred to as " Verbal Jiu Jitsu" recently and it is an apt phrase. Janelle shared a great story about thwarting a fight between someone she knew and a stranger arguing over a parking space. Been there, done that. People get serious about their parking. But it brought up a great point. Janelle was able to deescalate the situation by providing a positive, alternate solution by which both parties could benefit. When asked by her coworkers afterward why she didn't "kick that ladies ass" (because, you know, Janelle is a trained martial artist), Janelle responded "why would I want to do that?" *Proud Teacher Moment*. Janelle has gotten to the level of training where she can see the totality of the situation and anticipate outcomes. This gave her the ability to clearly see a solution that avoided unnecessary violence.
When so much is on the line, being able to engage and defuse situations prior to needing to use physical violence is an essential skill. Uncle Leo used to say this all the time "We train to fight so we never have to". Training helps with awareness both physically and mentally. Understanding and anticipating outcomes is part of our training. Knowing that a violent encounter will not only leave people hurt physically but may also ruin lives forever, we are wise enough to avoid that conflict. Remember, if a fight occurs, someone is going to get seriously hurt and someone is likely going to jail.
Another aspect of situational control is anticipating intent and instinctively or actively finding alternate scenarios. Janelle simply offered her own, much better, parking space to the irate assailant and that act of kindness stopped her in her tracks. It's like that moment in the bar we have all seen. One patron confronts another and questions loudly "What are you looking at?". Without missing a beat, the other says "Your shirt...I love that shirt...where did you get that?!". Suddenly the situation has turned from conflict to compliment. It's a silly scenario but it does happen. I've done it over a spilled Mai Thai. Had the bartender making a new one faster than the guy could square off with me. I suddenly had a friend rather than an enemy.
Is this a direct result of training or a happy by-product? I don't know. I sure try to emphasize to my students to be aware of the totality of the situation and during training, we are always looking for the next guy. It was part of GME Leo's core curriculum. You are always fighting more than one person. I also think good training humbles you and makes you aware that people get hurt, including you. Most importantly, the Giron curriculum gives you the confidence to know you are not always under threat and the peace of mind that allows you to respond with kindness, knowing violence is within close reach should you need it; but, ONLY if you need it. There is freedom in discipline.
Train hard and stay safe. It is better to sweat in peace than bleed in war.