Saturday, October 06, 2007

It's not if, but when

It was incredibly uncomfortable as she recounted her tale to us, because you could see her reliving the fear. Her young teenaged son nervously looked down and shuffled his feet as we listened.

A woman came into Bruce Gunderson's school with her son, who was a former karate student, to ask for our advice on a situation.

She and her family had been hassled, intimidated, then physically attacked by a group of young men at a resort -- a resort that she had specifically picked out because it was in a safe part of a safe country.

This woman had planned a family vacation for her Chicago-area family at a very upscale French resort which is known to be frequented by mostly French. She indicated that she chose that very resort because it was considered safe.

At some point a group of young men began verbally intimidating the family and then culminated in a physical confrontation and attack in a laundry room. The details of the attack were jumbled by this woman's outright shock of the situation, "This was not supposed to happen here!", she said choked with emotion.

It sounded like the confrontation escalated in a couple of different areas by the group whose leader appeared to be drunk. The woman indicated that at one point she physically placed herself in between her husband and the big mouth because "I felt that he wouldn't hit a woman". We won't go into the tactical pitfalls of this move because that's not the point of this post.

The point is -- don't wonder IF your next confrontation is going to occur. Wonder WHEN it's going to occur.

This family picked a French resort, visited by French locals precisely because it is considered to be safe. Yet, they were attacked by a group of French men. The denial that was occuring was palpable, "I specifically chose this resort so this wouldn't happen!" She said she was further upset because none of the other guests would help them and the police took an intolerable length of time to respond.

Why was this family attacked? Was it because of increasing anti-Americanism in Europe? Or was it simply because the group of toughs could? Who knows and who cares. YOU are responsible for your own safety and the safety of your family. You can't count on others to help you.

Your attitude (or "mindset") plays a huge part in your ability to react. If you have the mindset that I am willing to fight for my family WHEN we get hassled or attacked you don't have to sit around and fret whether or not you MIGHT be attacked.

Brian Hartman at PFC Training teaches his students during his "Searching for Adversaries" class to go into a building expecting to find a bad guy, not wondering if you might find one hiding therein.

Relson Gracie, in the indomitable Gracie family fashion, tells anyone stupid enough to hassle him, "I don't fight for free." The meaning should be clear. If someone attacks his family, the message is even more concise, "It's a good day to die, man."

I remember Jim Peterson from the old SCARS tapes making a similar point about deciding beforehand what you are willing to fight for.

Make the decision now, not then -- "I love my family. I will fight for my family if someone attacks us." Don't worry about being embarrassed. Don't worry about the legalities. Don't worry if it will happen or not.

Think about it for a moment because this shift in your mindset is incredibly liberating. Now I don't have to worry about being attacked. In my training method we already have a plan (I know WHAT to do) and I have a specific trigger point to set off the plan (I know WHEN to do it). But I don't have to wonder every minute what to do if there is trouble.

There is either going to be trouble or there is not going to be trouble. That's it. Either I'm under attack or I'm not. I don't have to waste precious energy and time worrying about a non-existent situation.

It's not IF you are going to be attacked, but WHEN you are going to be attacked.

Train hard.



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