05 January 2017

Wisdom for the aging combatant

Whenever we are teaching a course that involves physical self-defense we first cover use of force.  I give examples based on those in attendance.  For example I might point out how a smaller woman in the class could be justified using a higher level of force against a male attacker than I would.  The primary reasons being a woman against a man and smaller vs bigger, two things that the courts will take into consideration.

However my favorite to talk about is "able vs disabled" because it more than many other factor can change in a second.  I start by asking what makes a person in a wheelchair disabled?  Obviously it is the fact that they can't stand or walk.  For example, if during an altercation if you fall backwards or are pushed backwards resulting in smashing your tailbone on concrete concrete causing temporary paralysis, how would that change things?  What if you are not injured from the fall but the attacker follows you to the ground and continues the assault.  This is what happened to George Zimmerman after he made several other mistakes we will not dig into here.

Then we talk about how this plays into our individual Personal Protection Plans, nobody has the same one, because we all have our own abilities, needs, and weapon preferences based on needs and laws.  Over the last several months I have thrown my back out three times.  The first time it was getting off a leg machine at the gym, then playing tug of war with my bulldogge, and two days ago twisting to get off a decline bench.  It is central nervous system issue that causes immediate pain and loss of range of motion.  After a visit to the chiropractor yesterday and a good nights sleep I feel much better, but if someone had physically attacked me yesterday around 4 PM I would have used a much higher level of force faster than usual.  This is because I was in severe pain, could not stand all the way up, and very well may have not been able to get up if I was knocked to or simply fell to the ground.  Today, felling better I would have dialed it back to baseline, but still keeping in mind that any twisting motion could aggravate my preexisting injury, and that going the ground is still not an option.  Again, if I end up on the ground and the attacker follows be there I would be able to justify a higher level of force.

Earlier I spoke about part of your PPP (Personal Protection Program) being weapons.  What if you do end up on the ground with someone on top of you and you feel you are justified to shoot or stab them, but they happen to be high up on your chest, physically covering your gun, or another weapon with their knees.  Do you have a mechanical force option above your waist or the mindset to and training to use open hand skills to survive?

Over the years I have written  a few articles while staying off the ground and doing damage as fast as possible to get up from there are a huge part of MCS.  Years ago these were not personal reasons but now some are.  I am by nature and  training in Judo and traditional Ju Jitsu a grappler.  Due to a lifetime of lifting, sports, martial arts, service, and putting my hands on people for a living, my model year is not that old, but lots of off road miles have taken their toll.

No matter your pursuit, the key is longevity and sustainability.  My social media demographics tell me that the majority of MCS fans, supporters, readers, and students are 35-45 year old men.  This makes sense since MCS has absolutely no flash, belts, trophies, or uniforms.  At my age (44) I am only interested in things that work for my application.  I am not interested in training for several hours a week making a pile of once fired brass or rolling around on the floor trying to get another guy to tap out.  I need to believe that everything I spend my time training on will work in the worst situations, and MCS does.  I still test it as a bouncer.  Instead I prefer to spend my free time loving on my wife and kids, riding my Harley, playing with my Bulldogge, and enjoying fine cigars and whiskey.

Please don't think that I am discounting traditional martial arts training.  Just understand that the originally the arts of a warrior who's job was war.  Now we have to go to work the next day and training has be watered down to achieve that.  Understand that if you can practice something for hours and hours on end in the dojo or on the mat without injury, don't expect it to stop a human in the street. For those of you still training and teaching the old ways, good on you. You will fight the way you train.  I wish this wisdom had occurred to me 20 less painful years ago.  Stay Safe- George

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