This article is a part of my 30 days challenge “One Problem A Day”. Where I have to solve a problem I have through my day. Today: How to respond to violence?
People in my class bought some Nerf (Plastic gun) to battle in the classroom. Then for fun one of them aimed his gun toward me…
Edward, a Bagua (Form of Tai Chi) practicer once told me there’s 3 way to react from an aggression:
- Freeze. It can be because you are afraid but also simply because you hope the predator won’t see you like a butterfly or ostrich
- Flight. Run, as fast as you can avoid, dodge the threat !
- Fight. Put your arms up and be brave
Guess what I did in front of this Nerf pointing at me? Did I fight, flight or freeze? I freeze, put my hands up to hide my face and did nothing else hoping he’ll not shoot. Ok he was my friend and I knew nothing so bad would happen.
Another time I was biking in Paris when a car hit me at slow speed but I catch myself and keep rolling. The man get out of his car and start yelling at me. In my head confident in my few years of martial art training I thought he deserved a lesson but I kept rolling and I’m very happy I did.
So what’s the point of all my practice in the dojo? Being ashamed of myself because I can’t respond to violence? I think it’s worth it for me to freeze and run even if I have a pretty good chance to win a fight. First harming someone doesn’t feel good, I can live with a bit of shame I’d rather not break anything. I also preserved the good relationship I have with my friend. I think the only time I’ll need my martial art skill is to fight for someone else or my life. It’s the last choice and there’s nothing to be ashamed if you run or lower your head.
Picture is from the top of a castle in India