May 17, 2019, Israel
We all like certainty, we all like guarantees. When we invest our money we want assurances, guarantees, and insurance that our investment will not disappoint us. We want the same from martial arts and self defense.
The truth is that neither is possible. All we can hope for, in the words of my teacher, is to minimize damage.
The truth is that both sides are "entering a zone of uncertainty, of misty groping. The test soon became a test of nerves".
That quote does not come from hand to hand combat, it comes from a comment about the early encounter between French and German troops at the beginning of World War One. It is as true today for personal self defense as it was then for the high command of those military forces.
All we can do is prepare the best way we can, develop our nerves and choose the best tools of combat.
The following commentary was offered back then in 1914, War was all a mystery, laced with speculation, boasts and fears, confusion and half-truths.
I feel the same is true today of all self defense. The novice looking for training hears boasts, but they are as truthful as the boasts of the Belgian, French and German forces in 1914, all of whom were shocked by defeat.
We hear reports but they are half-truths at best.
The only truth is ...mystery, laced with speculation, fear, confusion..
We study real cases of violence, we analyze how the human body and the human mind works. We observe how humans function under stress. That is what our system is based upon.
The truth is that when we enter the combat zone we know no more than General Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre knew in August 1914 when facing the Imperial German army. We need to adapt, adjust, rethink, and overcome as the general did later on in the Battle of Marne.
With this in mind we can begin our honest training, with the realistic goal of minimizing damage and getting home safely.
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