lowest common denominator



The other night after class my fiance and i were shopping at the local store and in order to maximize our free time, we were quizzing each other in a relatively low voice with a series of vocabulary words (in preperation for the general masters degree entrance exam) Anyways, after a brief period of time i had felt someone gazing at us, and sure enough, i noticed two guys smirking and making comments in an oh-so clever fashion. These final gentleman continued to shadow us for a couple of aisles before reaching their 6-pack of old milwaukee. Obviously i just pretty much ignored them while being cautious and it turned out to be just a few "dudes" entertaining themselves, but as we all do, i started playing scenarios in my mind and trying to mentally prepare myself for any of an infinite number of possibilities. Now, some of the instruction we recieve involves the eye gouges, elbow strikes, well places strikes to critical areas and i started thinking, what we everyone realistically do in a situation such as a this? What we be the least amount of provocation you would need to reciprocate with a crippling or seriously injuring strike? And i do realize no strike is always deadly or serious, that there no one panacea martial arts move that ends all situations, i just mean if executed correctly, would a truly conscious martial artist be able to live with the consequence of crippling a person of lower rationale or fighting ability? just curious as to everyone's thoughts.
In my opinion, there is little that would actually provoke me to seriously injure someone. I think a take down, or joint lock would suffice most of the time. I guess if I felt in danger, or my wife, or whomever I was with was in danger, then I wouldn't feel bad at all in hurting the attacker, but I would try my best to talk my way out of it, or walk/run away. Porbably can't run away if you with someone though. Probably if I saw someone hit a woman, I don't think I could go without stepping in. I don't feel bad about seriously hurting someone if I think their intention is to truly harm someone. I guess every situation is different and must be looked at seperatly, but there are some hard set situation that would basically make me fight to protect myself or someone else.

People who start a fight generally think that they have an edge.

If someone starts on you, then give them the benefit of the doubt. They may have an edge.

I'm not saying deliberately try to cripple them, because that would hurt you, karmawise. Just fight them off as aggresively as you can, and if they get hurt so be it. Once they cease to be a threat walk/run away.

Don't think that you were put in the situation to measure out justice, and conversely don't suddenly decide that you were put there to do good. Fight them off and let the Tao do the rest.
Totally depends on the situation. The example you gave in a shopping store? I would be pretty careful not to maim someone in that event as their intentions can't be too lethal considering the witness factor and cameras and all that but.... same scenario out in the middle of no where and they attacked? I would use lethal force to protect my wife and myself.

Damian Mavis
Honour TKD

but im my mind i was playing out the scenario of the situation escalating and taking place outside in the parking lot. yes i definetly would do anything to protect family, i guess i was going more along the lines of someone (just an average idiot) that is more an annoyance and not really bright enough to realize how fast things could escalate....i think most of us train to be instinctive and immediate in our self-defence (and in those situations i would rely on my quickest and most effective), and i guess i sometimes worry about using excessive force in a situation that could warrant much less. because as others have stated, you dont want to use too little force and end up with something dire happening. i sometimes worry i might treat everyone like the b.o.b. bag

There's an old saying (paraphrasing) that nothing ever happens according to the battle plans. Sizing up opponents is honestly pretty unrealistic. Being "in the moment" of an encounter determines what really happens.

If you focus before anything happens on the opponents eyes...with the "I could get him there" mentality. What if he's a boxer that is very adapt at protecting them. Too much mental chatter leaves the instinct and the body responses cold.

My biggest question though...why were you going over terms in a public place? This draws un-needed attention from those who feel the need to prove themselves in some juvenile way.

What we be the least amount of provocation you would need to reciprocate with a crippling or seriously injuring strike?

A whole heck of a lot.
I agree with Mr. Bell. "Don't think! Feeeeeel!"-Bruce Lee

"If you watch the hands, you'll get beat by the hands." Not because he's that blisteringly fast, but because while you were watching his hands, you got kicked square in the nuts! Don't anticipate, participate. It takes awhile for practice to cut off your monkeyinternal chatter, eventually the practitioner learns the difference between perception and sensation.

And using all your stuff on an average untrained person may be gratifying, but it's also highly evil. Do whatever it takes, no more.:asian:
yeah, you definetly have a point....

it was pretty late at night and i had thought the store was mostly deserted...we werent trying to attrack attention, just that after work and class we dont always have a lot of time to study, so we (i thought) quietly quizzed each other. and yeah, ive only been studying for around a year so i guess i dont have a whole lot of confidence in my physical abilities, i feel like id really only posess a mental edge. i definetly hope to get to the stage of feeling confident enough to realistically react in the moment, but not yet...thanks everyone for your great responses....i love this site!
Truth is, I have found that the more I know about martial arts and the more skilled I am the less chance I will have to hurt someone. When I first started martial arts and got into a fight I had to use destructive force. (i.e. hitting) Now 12 years later I find that I'm good enough to avoid getting hurt and often don't have to resort to hurting someon else... most of the time. As an example a drunk guy decided to take a couple of swings at me in a bar and my training kicked in and I easily evaded. I waited to see if he would try again but he just lost interest and walked away. Can't always count on that happening but to me that is the best use of martial arts training and no one was hurt. Another time I was charged by an idiot and I redirected his energy and he hit the floor, he was a little bruised but far better off than if I had laid into him with my fist or a kick as that is what I would have done several years ago.

Damian Mavis
Honour TKD
that is exactly where i hope to be ..
Well, as a cop out solution, you can carry a can of pepper spray. :D

If you are too macho to carry one, buy one for your girl and hide behind her skirt in times like that. :asian: lol
It's important to think of scenarios and form a GENERAL strategy like on wet grass, don't emphasize kicking. On a bridge, a train, or a plane, grappling wouldn't be best, etc. However, do not try to strategize in the way that if he punches you, I could do this or that. It should be instinct. If you think about it, you would already be hit.
Practice really hard. Study all the books you can get your hands on. Learn to distinguish between martial art and crap. Some material out there is good to look at, just as cautionary example, ie what not to do. I wish you luck in acheiving martial skill.:asian:
You know, all peoples, as citizens of democractic countries have rights to freedoms of speech and will. Yet, it is how we exercise these rights publicly which explains our intent. Practicing word games in a grocery store is not considered a hinderance to anyone. Picking at someone in the store is considered a hinderance even though the hecklers also have that constitutional right! For another unknowing couple, the word game consequences might well become tragic for either them or the aggressors. However, by not abusing these freedoms of speech and will, it can be understood that justice will see fit in prayer to exonerate our defensive self-protective actions.
Sincerely, In Humility;
i have felt this way at times also. especially when i am out shopping with my family. i always have my eyes open and i am always aware of what goes on around me. too many people are oblivious to what is going on, and therefore they are unprepared.

i have clinched my fists at times when i feel something is just not right. imagining scenerios is a good thing i feel. it gets you mentally prepared for confrontations. work different ones through your mind... in the rain, in the snow, in various locations. although you can never fully predict the outcome of a fight, it will give you some options so your train of thought can reamin focused. this is just my opinion.
thank you all for your great responses....

as per the free speech response...im not really sure if i understood your point...if you were saying that everyone is allowed the freedom of speech and although i might not agree with their response to my actions i have acccept them, i do agree,but i guess that wasnt so much what i was asking...i was more interested in the level of agression vs provocation issue...but definetly a good point and i do agree