Men should know how to fight.

Why?

Ultimately it’s for self-defence and the defence of others. 

Secondly, martial arts training helps you become physically and, more importantly, mentally resilient. Practising martial arts, like Kyokushin karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, teaches mastery over your mind and body. It doesn’t matter how physically strong you are. If your mind isn’t, then you’re in trouble. Mental resilience is crucial in a fight and in life. 

Additionally, having the knowledge and ability to defend yourself and others increases your self-esteem and confidence. This changes the way you present and carry yourself and many times that in itself lowers your chances of needing to fight. But in the case that you need it, you still have the ability. Knowing that I can defend my family and friends when they’re with me is a relief. 

Now, practising martial arts doesn’t only have to be for self-defence. That is the main purpose of it but you can do it merely for recreation and enjoyment as well. How convenient when a sport can be useful in real-life situations too. It keeps you fit, makes you strong and gives you a very particular skill set. 

The tournaments in martial arts or boxing prep you for real-life scenarios. The stress and adrenaline in the fight simulate the feelings you’ll feel in a real fight. Then there’s the aspect of intensity. Sparring and fighting are two very different things. 

A fight in a tournament is brutal and animalistic and it’s exactly the same on the street so, if you can control and calm yourself in a tournament, then you can handle yourself in a real fight.

“An angry mind is a narrow mind”

That’s what makes practising martial arts as a sport or purely for self-defence so amazing because you learn so much: self-restraint, the control of your mind and body. It’s not about getting strong and cocky and to then seek out a fight but rather being able to defend yourself and others if need be.

"It is up to the private citizen to protect himself and his family, and this is not only acceptable but mandatory"

Not just with fists.

The most important part of fighting is understanding the occasion and application: It’s a mental game.

“Kids stab, girls shoot, boys punch. Grown-ups fight with their heads. That’s where the real battle is. Up here, in the grey.”

Lads, the first prize is to de-escalate a situation before it becomes a physical confrontation. 

Navy Seal Jocko Willink says the best self-defence is to run away. Hearing that from a Navy Seal is so weird, but it makes sense. Swinging knuckles with a guy from the street on hard concrete is so dangerous because of the danger of ignorance and unpredictability. You simply can’t know what the other guy knows in terms of fighting and on what level his/her physical ability is. Injuries are inevitable and it could lead to legal problems.

Most of the time swallowing your pride and getting out is the best move. 

Jordan Peterson echoes this mentality. He says that you should be physically and verbally dangerous. Before the fight starts there is an exchange of words. That is the time to try and de-escalate the situation. Being very articulate is an amazing skill just like fighting is and if we can master our tongue, we can get out of trouble a lot faster. 

I have had to do this many times, especially in high school. Being in an all-boys school can become a (pissing) contest and tempers get flared. I just generally didn’t like the hostel boys. Most of them were very arrogant and as I was willing to stand up for myself a few run-ins were inevitable. 

So, using clear and concise language is the best way to handle these situations. Be very clear when talking to a bully and stand your ground. Do not show fear. This is especially a good skill in the adult world because as soon as the fists fly, someone wants to press charges. 

Becoming physical in a confrontation should be the last resort.

“Self-defense is not just a set of techniques, it's a state of mind that begins with the belief that you are worth defending”

Not just the men.

I strongly believe that women should know how to fight too. 

Unfortunately, we can’t always be with our women. Life is busy, everyone is working separate jobs in different places. That’s why it’s our job to teach the women we love how to defend themselves when we can’t be with them.

Your duty as a man is only complete when you have passed your hard-earned skills on to others. It’s not enough that you know how to fight and leave the rest around you vulnerable. 

Our women and daughters should have this skill to defend themselves at school, work or on the street.

I would be absolutely devastated if I heard that something had happened to the woman I love and I had the knowledge to teach her but for some reason, didn’t. 

It’s for this reason that we need to teach this. Women need these skills too. I would encourage, and I am, any couple to go train together. This is a way to make memories, strengthen your bond and ensure each other’s safety. 

As a bonus, this makes for some fun sparring at home too. You can learn from each other, train together and embark on this journey together as a unit. 

Dealing with fear

Fear exists and is a necessary component of life, and learning to fight helps us control our fear so that we can use it to our advantage. Fighting another human being who is trying their hardest to hurt us demands that we find and trust our courage.

It teaches us to have control over our minds and not to freeze in fear due to the stress of a fight.

Danger is a part of life that we must always be willing to face when called upon.

As humans, we’re wired to be able to do this, so training this part of ourselves allows us to walk the streets with less fear and more awareness. 

Training ourselves in the art of self-defence will require us to dedicate ourselves to strength and pain, wage war on our fear and learn to control it, overcome laziness, cowardice, and carelessness and cast out some demons.

Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.

Overthinking never got anyone anywhere. Fear has crippled me so many times and I regret the things I never did because I was afraid of judgement or I was fearful. 

One day I had enough. I was fed up. I made a decision that fear wasn’t going to be my future. 

I started doing things that I was normally afraid of, like speaking in public or talking to women.

Let’s be clear, this doesn’t mean go do stupid things that could get you in trouble or killed. Take calculated risks, for example: Contact that business to make a deal. What’s the worst that could happen? They say no. Move one to the next one.

That’s the thing about courage, it’s doing what you have to even when you are afraid. It’s taking part in a martial arts tournament, talking to that woman you like or defending your or your loved one’s life.

Don’t let fear cripple you. It has only as much hold on you as you allow it to have.

Conclusion

Gentlemen, as men we have a responsibility to protect ourselves and the people around us. This is an essential skill we need and our children need. Every man should teach his household how to defend themselves when he can’t.

This is absolutely mandatory.

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