It's in your nature to fight. It is in your nature to be strong. It is in your nature not to be a victim. We are the products of 4 billion years of bloody evolution, where the victims were eaten. Everyone dies, we aren't immortal, but we don't die easily. Not naturally.
Fighting, self-defense, whatever you want to call it, is one of the most natural things in the world. Competence at it is your birthright. We do a disservice, I think, when we teach it as if it is complicated, as if it is something that needs to be learned. Not that you can't improve, learn and train. It is complex and nuanced to be good... but it is not complicated. That's a thought for another time.
But in the end, this is not about "forging warriors." This is about rehabilitating a predator so that it can take its natural place in the world. This is your nature.
Not fighting, the fear (not of fighting, fighting hurts, it is wise to fear it) of trying and learning, the insecurity is not nature. It is conditioning.
We are a large population of effective predators. Individually, not impressive. But teamwork is a power multiplier like no other and we are, often, better than wolves at working together. But unlike wolves, we're shitty at getting along. IMO, our teamwork was learned behavior, for wolves it is their nature. Without the genes to get along, we created rules, and we instilled those rules into our children from the first day. That's conditioning.
So when your student can't pull the trigger or can't grab a face, that student is not fighting his nature, he is fighting his conditioning.
There are two immediate implications of this, at least in my mind.
I walk in peace with you because I respect your strength. I see your nature, even if you have been blinded by your conditioning. The Hindu greeting "Namaste" I have been told translates: "The divinity in me recognizes the divinity in you" (seems unlikely, that's a pretty small word for two nouns, a verb and two locations). We walk in peace, you and I, because the animal in me recognizes and respects the animal in you. Negotiation and cooperation are preferred to testing who is the wilder.
The second: I understand that people need to be trained from a very young age to get along. But training makes it a choice and conditioning removes choices. And it seems that more and more effort is going into making people more and more passive. Who wanted you to be a victim so badly that they convinced you passivity was normal? Who feared your animal nature so much?
Take your power.
This grew out of a conversation yesterday with Kathy Jackson, the Cornered Cat. Kathy's a great instructor and great people. She has the magic power of making me think.
We were attending a weapon retention program designed by Don Stahlnecker of the Firearms Academy of Seattle. Good stuff. Best civilian program I've seen. (LEO weapon retention focuses more on holster retention, since officers open carry).
Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015 - Crap. Another one gone ... I met Nimoy once, worked with him on a book project. Here's the link to that post:
13 hours ago