mental. (re-post from 05/07/12)

    Regarding self defense:

    We offer self defense classes at Wolf Brigade, both in an open group format on Saturday, and by small-group appointment.

    Physical capacity, in our opinion, is only as useful as its application in keeping you healthy, happy, and safe. “Self defense” is often a murky term, and is just as often bathed in misinformation and mysticism- mostly for marketing purposes. NOTHING works all the time, big people will very often be able to overwhelm smaller people regardless of training, and if it is hard to learn or requires precision, it is HIGHLY unlikely it will work during a real-life attack without extensive, exhaustive practice; if you’ve been studying jiu-jitsu for many years, you may triangle choke an attacker, but that is by FAR the exception, and applies to very few.

    Even the most well prepared can be victimized by the least prepared, just as the strongest can be toppled by the weakest. One near- sure-fire way to wind up on the wrong end of an attack/ altercation/ confrontation is to let your ego (or denial) keep you from considering the mental AND physical pieces of the puzzle.

    The goal of our self defense training is just as much instilling a mindset of awareness and preparedness as it is introducing and practicing physical techniques.

    Ready, WILLING, able.

    This seemingly simple statement becomes the most important question that needs to be asked prior to undertaking the physical side of self defense training. We can help with “ready” and “able”, but “willing” needs to be understood, digested, and accepted on your own.
    If our life or the safety of those close to us is threatened, all the training, strength, speed and power in the world aren’t worth a single damn thing if when the threat arrives, we are unwilling to act with decisiveness and do whatever is needed to assure our safety.
    Are you willing?

    and willingness can be the difference between “passing” and “failing” in a hostile situation. Willing to run, willing to scream bloody murder, willing to give up a possession for the sake of safety, willing to fight with the intent to injure… and the willingness to do the work needed to prepare for each possibility.

    Controlling panic response, developing presence of mind under duress, and not losing composure in a heightened or weakened state are (for most) NOT things that will come naturally. Having been involved in a number of self defense-related scenarios as well as competing in combat sports, I can assure you (as can many others with far more experience than me) that if you rely simply on how “wirey” or “squirrely” or even how smart or strong you are, you are taking a huge gamble. You may live your entire life never even coming close to a violent or threatening situation, but as society gets more and more desensitized to violence, our youth become more desperate for money and attention, and desperation continues to grow throughout many of our cities and towns, ignoring the possibility is a gamble I myself would never take.
    Most of us don’t wait for our engine to seize before adding oil… most of us don’t wait to live through a fire before installing smoke detectors… right?

    We encourage everyone that trains with us to consider self defense just as valuable a piece of their training and physical culture as any fitness related movement. As we’ve said before, we would much rather have it and not need it than need it and not have itboth on the mental and physical side.

    Most high-tension scenarios can be avoided without ever needing to fight, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no need to prepare.

    The easiest targets and most frequent victims are those that never consider the possibility that they could be.

    Preparedness is NOT paranoia.