If you’re into self-defense, MMA or specific martial arts you’ve probably heard the saying, “Live by the sword, die by the sword”. It’s actually derived from a saying of Jesus, quoted in the Bible, in effect meaning that if you use violence you can expect to have those same means used against you. Is this saying true?
If we utilize or dwell within violence are we more apt to be a victim of it? The answer is, unequivocally, yes. If we hang out, partake, even with good intentions around fist-fights, shootings or stabbings, as opposed to siting in a religious monastery all day as an example, we’re more likely to become victims of those violent acts. You’re near it, around it, all over it and because of that, you’re also more likely to be a victim of it.
You may wonder how all this could have any bearing on the average self-defense practitioner. If your mindset is that of being on guard and being ready to fight at a moment’s notice and even perhaps your mindset is one of jumping into action if someone else is being bullied or accosted; you are more apt to also be a victim. You have more of a chance to get beat up, stabbed, shot or again, “die” by that sword or a similar “sword”.
Conversely, if you run away, hide or simply bury your head a lot, the less of a chance you have of being a victim. But the more you are ready and raring to go, the more of a chance we have of also being “that victim”.
Does this mean those of us who are trained to fight should never use that training, or hide from everything? Of course not. Does it mean that we should only use it when we are pushed into a corner? Herein lies the meat of the matter. Civilians or regular folks as opposed to police and military should do their best to not fight unless it’s absolutely necessary. Law-suits, and criminal charges are waiting in the wings. Our society is law-suit happy and there’s the possibility of criminal charges even if you did not start the battle. Someone may lie about what really happened or why you got physical or witnesses may see things wrongly which occurs quite often.
Here is something even more concerning. If you are really on top of your game and very good at “fighting” it may be harder for you to back off, turn the other cheek, look away or take any crap from anyone. Much harder than the average bear. After all, you’ve learned and practiced a lot to be physically self-sufficient and to be able to protect yourself so why should you take any crap from anyone even mildly abusive; verbally or physically?
Great fighters are rarely bullies and when I say that it may be harder for someone who is very proficient at self-defense to back off, all I mean is that they are ready and raring to take it to the bad guy. They know that they can. I’m not saying that they do not walk away or that they do not let some things go but I do know that for some great fighters it is much more difficult to walk away. But my suggestion is to do just that whenever possible. If you cannot walk away or the person continues his abuse or hassling and comes after you or stays in your face, then as Mr. T, the once famous TV bad ass was famous for saying, “I pity the fool” comes into play. Then his ass is yours. Do what you have to do. Do it quick and well but only as a last resort.
For anyone trained to protect themselves it can be a fine line when to use their skills and when to walk away. We simply cannot hesitate in many instances and knowing when not to hesitate is a crucial learned skill—learn that well. And of course, it goes beyond saying that we should learn our physical craft to the level of excellence. And very importantly, learn to walk away or leave the area when you can. If you cannot and you must turn it on, turn it on like a tornado and wipe the floor with the culprit that we now know, obviously, needed a thumping.
Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer.
For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.
Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
Latest posts by Steve Kovacs (see all)
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- Meaning—Makes the Man and Woman–Makes the Difference - August 28, 2017
- Bars, Demonstrations, and Getting Thumped… - August 14, 2017