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Perceptions and Reality, Pt 2: Language Matters

About 5 years ago I wrote this piece on how we perceive violence happens.


In the 5 years that have passed, many things changed, but what was discussed in that article still holds true.


Today I’m going to revisit that idea, and discuss how the language we use impacts our perception, and vice versa, and how that impacts our understanding of, and response to, violence and self-defence.


Below are some of common phrases that are often used interchangeably in self-defence classes. But are they really interchangeable?


Read on to find out!

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'I Hate Violence': Thoughts on Tools, Idealism and Misconceptions

I remember describing to some family members, in excited fascination, some new insight I got into self defence and violence prevention. To my amazement, they were horrified by what I was describing. The general consensus was that ‘it’s all so violent’. The discussion went on to the moral opposition of violence, and eventually the following sentence came up:

‘I hate violence’.

Well, I’m here to tell you something. If you say that you hate violence, you are either naive or silly. 

 

Don’t believe me? Well, read on and I’m sure I can change your mind!

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Trick Question: Where Does Real-World Violence Happen?

A fight is about to start. You know it. You tried to avoid and you tried to de-escalate with no success. The person is pointing at you, shouting that he is going to punch your teeth down your throat. He is closing the distance quickly and starting to angle his body, so you know a right haymaker is coming next.


You are not worried. You’ve practiced your moves in the dojo thousands of times and you know what to do.


As he closes the distance, you shift your weight and for a front kick to push him back, like you’ve done a million times in training…
… but you lose your balance and fall on your butt. He is right on top of you, and about to try and curb stomp you into oblivion.


Where did you go wrong? Read more to find out.

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Spreadsheets, Processes, Goal Setting and Developing Training Plans

Let’s start with something you (hopefully) already know. Combat sports and self-defence are not the same thing.

If you think they are, then I recommend you read this. If you still don’t believe me, then you should probably stop reading here.

At the same time, there is so much that self-defence practitioners can learn from combat sports! You can read more about this here. Again, if you still don’t believe me then you should probably stop reading here.

So, if you are still reading then hopefully, we are on the same page.  So, let’s talk about some of the training methods that are useful for both, how they cross over, and at a great structure and toolkit for your training.

Ready? Read on!

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'Roses Really Smell Like': Reasons, Excuses and Recognising Your Own BS

Knowing when to train and not to train can be a tricky minefield to navigate.


Every martial artist has experienced this. Whether it’s soreness, injury, family or work commitments, car trouble, bad weather or just not feeling like it, we can always find excuses not to go to training.
Where this gets difficult is knowing the difference between ‘excuse’ and ‘reason’.


Knowing the difference can help you in so many important ways: preventing injury, maximising your performance, and improving relationships with your training partners and teachers, and also with your relationships outside of the dojo.

So how can you tell the difference? Read on!

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Should I take my child to Martial Arts?

Martial Arts can be an incredible force in the life of a young person. It can provide focus, structure, culture, problem solving capabilities and solid strategies to deal with bullying and other various challenges that life will throw at them. But it's not for everyone, and for some kids it's important to consider the type of training they may need before throwing them into a martial arts programme.

Will Martial Arts help my child's behaviour problem?

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