Tuesday, January 6, 2015
I'm going to do one of those tricks I do with definitions from time to time. Professionals are people who study their trade and practice it, who do something more than weekend seminars and twice-a-week training. They know their tools. In MA, SaBunNim Smith is probably in the professional-amateur level regarding violence (he might be a highly professional teacher, or lawyer, or accountant... all of those required abilities if you have your own dojo), while a caporal or a bouncer is probably a professional (there are exceptions). Thing is, some skills might be innate or not. The capacity for violence is mostly universal (some people might be an exception). That doesn't mean everybody deals with violence, but almost anybody can be violent. We choose not to. And it's great. But that means the professional has to learn more about other details. About mechanics, about psychology, about weapons... But, again, who is a professional weapons user? Someone who studies and practices the use of weapons, yes? There's a place, about 150 yards from home, with over a hundred professional weapons users. The kind of knife that could well cut me in half, not pocket knives. Knives like the one in the previous post. Sometimes, when dealing with self defence, we get certain sceptics, specially around certain systems. And then people go into adrenalized mugging responses. The mugger is not my worry. I can give him most of what I carry. His knife is visible, mostly static. The ambusher is another critter, but I can probably avoid that (lifestyle choices, awareness, prudence...). A good deal of incidents are monkey dances gone south. Way south. I have seen people rant and complain and verbally abuse someone with a 12 inch blade in their hands. Usually, nothing happens. If it does... you have someone with a 12 inch knife, expert user and angry, coming at you. And yet, martial arts and SD still train either the classic old school defences against long blades and Japanese knives gone rote or weird ideas against the switchblade. And then someone pops up and uses a butcher knife like he means business... Again, there's a story in one of Lawrence Kane's books about a guy attacking him with a baseball bat. He used an old school defence against a sword. It was the right distance, the right mechanics... until the perp let the wood go and made it a shuriken. The guy knew his tool. If I get a fishmonger or a butcher to attack me, it's pretty likely one of us is going to end dead (I really don't want to find out which). Instead, we get hung up on punks with blades, on old techniques hung to dry under the sun and cracking down. Take care.