- Martial arts is a technical skill, but applying martial arts, fighting or self-defense, is primarily an emotional skill.
- We don't have good paradigms for teaching emotion. A little bit on discipline and emotional control, but almost nothing on slipping the leash while maintaining control.
- The emotional aspect hits every other piece- you might see it coming, but whether you accept what you see is less cognitive than emotional. So is whether you will act...almost everyone who has ever frozen knew, intellectually, what to do. To engage in the fight as an animal. How you will deal with the aftermath. All emotional.
- We slip into the thought process that emotional skills can be taught like physical skills. You can teach martial arts the way you can teach algebra. I don't think that's true for fighting. The difference is qualitative.
- The only time-tested method is war stories + personal experience + de-brief. Not sure if that is practical if, as is likely, there will be little or no personal experience to debrief.
- It is my belief that women have a much deeper understanding of sudden violence than men. They can empathize with the profound suck, and it tends to freeze women for different reasons and in different ways than men.
- Men freeze because they have this ridiculous fantasy that rarely survives first contact.
- And so (the math may not work on this) I tend to use the same experiences and the same stories to get opposite effects in men and women. Women I want to grasp that if the horror only prevents the victim from acting, there will always be a victim. I want them to find a go button, attain permission, and slip the leash. For men I want them to step out of the bullshit fantasy and look at the real, messy and expensive (in so many ways) problem that they daydream about.
- Would it be possible to do a class/seminar just on the emotional aspects, just on the glitches? Or do I only have questions at this point?
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
One of my earliest memories is wishing, desperately, that I would live to be six. I had two siblings much (seven and eight years) older, and this thing called ‘school’ where I would learn everything sounded very cool.
I’m not sure why I was so obsessed with my own survival or so pessimistic about it. It seemed that living to six would be a rare and precious thing. Something unlikely. Barely to be hoped for. Maybe it was the annual visit to the twin’s graves. They had only lived for a few days. Maybe the stories about my own gestation- I had been officially declared dead before I was born.
Don’t know, but when I made it to six and went to school, I was very happy.
Then I wished to see ten. Same thing, but ten was just a number. Then twelve. Not thirteen, the line between a teenager and a pre-teen seemed arbitrary. Sixteen was the next one. Then twenty-one, but that had changed. I started college at seventeen. New challenges and a new world. Somewhere about then, the subdued hope to see new ages and new stages of life morphed into a form of defiance. For about five years, I was daring the world to take me down.
Many of my oldest, best friends are from this era. They saw what I was doing, and most accepted it. When I turned 35, Melissa won the bet. Of all my friends she had picked 35 in the pool, not just that I would make it, but I would pass that milestone. She alone bet that I would live to see the 21st century.
Looking at the moon tonight, I don’t care if I make fifty, the next milestone. It’s not despondence nor is it bravado. As the Czechs say, “It is one to me.” Mje to jedno. I will be happy to see fifty. If I don’t it’s been a good ride.
But I do, very much, want my family to be cared for. Comfortable and unafraid. Secure.
Midnight thoughts, with a narghila, listening to the blues.