Let’s Not Mince Words

I have recently been getting a few anonymous comments about my hand to hand/knife training.  I am not sure if it’s the same anonymous that is posting all the not so encouraging comments or not, but this is the latest one…

I was involved in martial arts for 30 years, boxed and placed twice in the police Olympics. Taught at a large police academy. The problem is disparity of force. No matter what you do unless you can get a advantage ( gun and a bit of distance vs knife or open hand) you will lose. My late wife was 5’4″ and 105. Do you really think she could fight a 200 lb in shape main with the element of surprise? I told my wife one think survive. She did this by her natural advantage. She was a runner, and I told her to run like Hell. Learn to fight and live another day. Too many instructors in Dojo’s etc have not spent any time “really doing it” in the Military or Police. Play the game with your rules not attackers.

I can not disagree more with this mindset.  I am not saying that there isn’t a time when running away might not be your best option.  Absolutely, run if you can.  That was my very first mistake. Had I hightailed it out of dodge then there wouldn’t be a blog for you all to be reading because the story would have ended there.  Run, run, run, but DO NOT EVER and I mean NEVER think you are out of the fight for any reason.

Here was my response to him…

I will not argue the merits of Arete’s skills and training, mostly because I don’t think he would want me to. It is not my place to say what he did or did not do, so out of respect for a relationship I value I will leave it at that. However, I will say two things about it. One, I have great respect for anyone who served honorably in defense of this country whether it be at home or abroad. Secondly, I will grant you that simply being an MP or a service member does not automatically qualify one to teach self defense or knife training, but it also does not automatically exclude one either. And one more because I can’t help myself…he was not an MP.

As for me, I train for a lot of reasons. The most important is for self defense. I have no idea what kind of situations I will find myself in and I most certainly will not leave it to odds to decide my fate for me. I have read story after story where the little “guy” who shouldn’t have won, won. I am not giving in and I train to gain any kind of advantage that I can, however remote.

I also train for mindset. The more I train the more confidence I gain, and the more confidence I gain the better equipped I will be to handle any of those bad guy situations I might find myself in. If I go down and I might, I am going down with a fight and a bloody bruised attacker left behind.

****Adding a comment here. This paragraph was not in my original response. If I am attacked and running isn’t an option, I do not care what his or their size is, I don’t care what kind of weapon they have, their crazy jacked up evilness will pale in comparison to mine and if need be I will fight to the fricken bloody end.  What is there to lose at that point?  Nothing and who knows, I just might win.  Story added from the Cornered Cat’s FB.  Look what we have here…surprise, disparity of force, no gun…no dead victim, well all be damned. Thank God she didn’t know she didn’t have a chance.

36 thoughts on “Let’s Not Mince Words

  1. How anybody can criticize your training and your desire for self-protection and reliance is beyond me.

    Do you want to be in a knife fight with a much bigger foe? No. Can you avoid it? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. So you train in the event it happens.

    To contrast those comments, a 205# guy isn’t going to expect fight from a woman half his size. Therein lies the surprise. A few stun moves (groin, instep, head, whatever) can be enough to escape or disable the attacker.

    Running may be an option. It may not be. So for his wife who is a runner, what happens if running isn’t an option? Guess she just plays dead.

    You don’t train for one scenario. You train for ALL of them.

  2. I really try to be very respectful of everyone who comments and I do appreciate everyone feeling comfortable sharing their different views and a different view is good, it offers perspective, but doing nothing almost got me a free ride in a bad guys car. STUPID! What I did or didn’t do isn’t really the point. Who knows if I would have done B, then C would have happened. Don’t know, but what we do know is that the second I saw him, I gave up. I quit and had to rely on fate to save me. Guess what, sometime fate says you better wake-up chic cuz if you don’t this ones gonna hurt like hell.

  3. You train for the times you can’t get away. Just like training on how to get into shelter from a tornado! If at all possible you don’t run into a tornado you run away from it! But there are times when that may not be possible. You train so that if the situation ever occurs that you can’t run you will have some knowledge of how to fight!

  4. My feeling is that yes, God said to “turn the other cheek”, “give the cloak you are wearing”, etc etc….but He didn’t want us to be victims. He also warns us to carry a sword. There’s a time to be nice and give in, a time to haul butt, and a time to kick some ass. You can invite the quivering remains to church afterwards if it makes you feel better. I dunno if the original poster had good intentions for what he posted, but I got the feeling that he found your blog by doing a Google search for “knife fight” and decided that he didn’t want a woman involved in his ‘sport’. He just doesn’t get it.

  5. Good points all, and yes the disparity IS used to the bad guy’s advantage, but when you have a set of options OTHER THAN acceptance; YOU have the means to “control” the fight!

    • I know disparity is an issue. I know being a girl and weaker is an issue. I know criminals can be skilled at being a criminal and that is an issue. I know I am at a disadvantage and that is why I want all the tools I can get. I suppose there is a point where to many tools is just overload, but I am no where near that point.

      Thanks for the comment and support!

  6. i am trying to be “christian” here and have read his comment several different ways – but i am going to with the benefit of a doubt and say that i think that what he might be advising, though not very well written, is to not get too comfortable or confident in “training”, and that by doing so it might encourage a puffed up sense of cockiness so that you won’t think you are in trouble if you find yourself up against a 250lb guy. this, in fact, happens quite a bit when women take self-defense classes/training. i think he might be advising to never forget that if you can get yourself out of the situation – then run for it. i have known women who took martial arts/self-defense/gun classes and because they were puffed up by instructors who made them feel really confident in themselves – but then these same instructors were being paid and enjoying the repeat business – these women then stopped using their brains when in a dark parking lot because they were actually looking for a fight!!! i kid you not!!!

    and i think that is what he might be meaning – to not feel so confident in your training that you go looking for a fight.

    he provides his background info as i am suspecting that he, like myself, does not like how easy it is for any joe or jill out there to take a Tae Kwon Doe class at the local dojo, taught by a white guy who earned his black belt in two years, and be able to earn their black belt in 4yrs all for the price of $2,500 a year. the same can be said for a lot of self-defense instructors and sadly enough, weapons instructors. pretty much anyone can go out and take a 2 weekend course at the YMCA and end up an “instructor”. which makes it hard for the client to find a truly qualified instructor – and is hard on the actually qualified instructors having to compete with unqualified joes.

    however, you seem to have an excellent instructor!!!

    so, all in all, i needed to re-read his comment a few times to come to this interpretation…but i think he just wrote it out badly. i think he was trying to offer some good advice. but i do try to always see things from a good point of view, and if i am wrong, then he is just an *sshole and who cares about him.

    your friend,

    • Kymber, I always and I do mean always appreciate your input. Thank you very much! I do try to see things from a positive side also and almost always assume the person means something nicely and perhaps I am misinterpreting, but I do tend, and this is a flaw, to get might ticked off when people appear to be attacking people I care about.

      If a person has read more than one post on here then they know 100% that the 2 biggest things every single person I have trained with teaches me is avoid, avoid, avoid. Be aware, heck that was most of the first days training with him…mirros, “profiling” , knowing escape routes. I am telling you , this person, much like John, is one of the highest caliber of people and he knows he knows what he is doing. I appreciated when 45er gave me a gentle reminder to be diligent and I appreciate the nudges from others and the concern, it means everything, but I get a little edgy when someone says something against my friends or if they are pushing victim mindset. The part of his comment that bothered me the most, other than the traing bit was ” do you think she could win? That doesn’t sound like don’t get puffed up, that sounds like your doomed, so you better run. And run I shall if I have that option. I won’t go looking for a fight:)

      I will take a breath and calm myself though. Thank you!!

  7. Good for you, A Girl! Once I had people criticizing me on how much ammo I kept with my home defense shotgun, and what backup guns I had on hand in case of a home invasion. I’ve never been involved in such a crime, but the thought of the possibilities is incredibly frightening to me. People DO get their houses broken in to, and criminals who will let themselves in when you are home WILL perpetrate the most unconscionable crimes known to man. I’ve had people stare at me incredulously when they found out that I was carrying two handguns, extra ammo, three knives, and two flashlights. Why show up anywhere without enough tools? Similarly, you’ve got to do what you must to assure you are ready for the worst case scenario. Good for you for training and arming up! God forbid you should ever be selected by a criminal again, by all means, win or go down with guns blazing!

  8. AGirl, you are doing an amazing job with training. Don’t let anonymous nay-sayers get to you. I feel bad for his wife, whose only option is to run. What if she can’t (as other commenters have said)? I understand and agree with your training – avoid, avoid, avoid, but when you can’t, FIGHT! It’s a philosophy I live by.

    You know what else I love? That you are now confident enough in your choice to train that you are able to stand up to this guy in a calm and articulate manner.

  9. Do what you feel is best to further your training. It is, after all, your training – not anybody else’s. You are chronicling YOUR training to share with us. Your growth in the defensive arts.
    It is up to YOU to decide what advice, if any is offered, to co-opt into your training.

    It is not for anyone else to dictate.

    As for less than supportive, or negative comments left under the guise of “Anonymous”? I’d have more respect for someone who posts a contrary opinion under their own name. Anything else is less than above board, and is on par with spam for Viagra and mortgage refinancing.

  10. Hi,

    Training is for one thing. taking action. taking action is the result of being prepared.

    In a situation that can’t be avoided you can, freeze and do the deer in the headlights, fight, or run. So you train to be alert, have a game plan for the fight if that’s it,
    and yes training helps one to know, run NOW. Why? The criminal already has it in his head how it’s going to
    go and once you break the script the perp is making it
    up as things progress, you are not as you know the script.

    Its about multiplying your choices and building an ability to select one and execute it.


  11. I support you 100%. Do whatever you can to protect yourself and your family. Train for as many scenarios as possible. You are awesome. Keep up the great work.

  12. I like to think training in different scenarios gives you a edge in fighting panic. Panic kills. Anything that fosters clear thinking under stress adds to your chances of survival. Freezing up like a deer in the headlights gets you hit by a car.
    I applaud your courage in enabling yourself to survive.

    • Thank you! Oh my gosh, you said it…my mind. Overcoming all that wimpy, I can’t fight thinking has been a long haul and I think it is much better for me to work on it now as opposed to in a real life bad guy situation. Been there, dont that…failed. Not again.

  13. I am at times very blunt…so, here goes. Any man not willing to sign his name to a comment hasn’t the balls, nor the right to tell you what not to do. Screw him. Simple as that…

    You go Pretty Girl.

  14. Bad guys operate on the risk vs. reward concept. They only go for the reward when they think the risk is low enough.

    Likewise, if they suddenly discover that the risk is a good bit elevated from their original estimate, they tend to reassess things and suddenly decide that absence is the better part of valor.

    So yes, if you can convince them in any way that you’re not worth their time and effort, that the cost outweighs the benefit, you’ve done yourself a great favor.

    • Right!! Of course my training and planning are to not be selected in the first place, but I think training to fight helps give me the confidence to carry myself a certain way hopefully not even be the target of choice, but again, if for someone reason they chose unwisely, then I would like to be able to leave alive.

  15. It looks like the commenters have covered most of the responses. We train for exactly what Anon mentioned, the surprise attack. I will most likely not enter into or extricate myself before something happens if possible. You train for all contingencies for the situation you didn’t anticipate. An immediate and violent response will go a long way to counter the “disparity of force” and will most likely give you the time to you need to run. Getting out of a situation is job #1. Without the skills to fight your way out, how can you run? Also, what makes you think you’ll be faster if you have someone serious about keeping you in their control? The initial strike will most likely surprise and incapacitate enough for you to be able to outrun them. Keep the fighting mindset. It’s what really matters.

  16. Jeez, what’s left to say? 🙂

    Yes, there are people out there, lots of them, who could beat you and me together. Not an excuse to not train realistically. Being able to break contact and run is good… but if that is a woman’s only defense, being a one-trick pony is dangerous. You can’t leave your kids behind, if you are in an elevator, etc etc.

    The key element is to keep the training real. Practice it as close to “full-speed,” both in speed and hitting power, as is possible in practice. If it doesn’t work at full speed, then find something else. My friends with Martial Arts background tell me this is the main problem with many MA schools/dojos/trainers…they don’t practice at fight intensity to see if their techniques really work.

    Here, you might be inspired by this — it doesn’t involve hand-to-hand, but it does show the right spirit:

    • Exactly. I know a 200lb guy can beat me up and I know lots of other people can as well. Not the pont! I have to be able to have options.

      Yeah, that full power stuff scares the heck out of me, but I will not give into fear and I am kind of hoping we never make it to full power:)

      Thanks for the link. I will check it out!!!

  17. I’ve been a LEO for over 25 years now and have done a lot of defensive tactics training over the years. While I have my own likes and dislikes in this subject I will still try what another instructor demonstrates or teaches in a defensive tactics course. Training in different self defense styles is a positive step forward; it instills self confidence and a winning mindset. Continue training, train hard and then train others as well.

  18. I say it all the time: “Not every problem is a gun problem.” The more tools you have in your toolkit, the better your response will be to a given problem. I applaud your training efforts. Many think that the mere act of carrying a gun acts as a talisman that wards off evil magically. It does not work like that!

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