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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Training against negative energy

There has been a lot of talk lately about training outside of your weight class because this is most likely the kind of person that will attack you.

There is always someone bigger and badder than you out there


Those blogs are so awesome, I can’t add anything.

But I want to discuss another side to this kind of training. Training against negative energy.

What does this mean? A lot of us are martial artists. We train in a safe dojo, with friends and partners we trust. Feeling safe while you are learning is a good thing. It frees your mind to absorb the knowledge. But you also need to put you newfound knowledge to the test. You need to know if it works. Kasey and Rory eloquently described that fact. Once you know your stuff, once you are confident it will work against larger opponent, you need to also test it during an adrenaline dump stage. Will this work for me when I am under extreme stress.

I can’t speak for men, I have never been one, but I can speak for women. One of the most stressful /scary time for us is having a large angry man coming at us with mean intents. This bad intent/negative energy is something so strong it can almost be touched. It is terrifying and paralyzing. A larger opponent during a sport match or an exercise is one thing; a larger opponent that is trying to rape you or kill you is a completely different animal.

You need to be able to experience it, to get “desensitized” to it for lack of better terminology. You need to know how you will respond to it before this becomes a real life and death situation. You need to work with it and build the confidence that “yes, I can do this… might not look as pretty as I intended it to, but I made it worked. I survived this confrontation and I am going home alive”. You need to be able to rely on this confidence. If you try to do something without a strong lack of belief in its validity, it will most likely fail you when the time comes that you need to depend on it.

So make sure you add this as a part of your training. Have a larger male come at you with anger, mean intent and solid threats. Experience the fear, the shaking, the adrenaline rush. Understand what it is like to work with only gross motor skills. Understand that your voice may fail you, that you may have tunnel vision, mind blocks. See firsthand what it is like to freeze under stress. Then learn to deal with it. Learn to go ahead despite all those draw backs and to be pro-active, to make a solid decision and to follow through with it. This is probably the most helpful self defense training you can receive.

Be smart, stay safe


  1. Hum...

    I have some things in common with women (size, power and some of the mental background --long story--, although it's almost scary how that last part can be rewritten). Training does mean you can physically hurt more people than before. Even so, I met my wife's mobber some months ago: a guy in his 60s, physically unfit... and still extraordinarily impressive when he jumped on my face. Although I was able to verbally / psychologically prevail, it was a pretty close call (and I _had_ stacked the deck).

    Yes, loss of oral capacity (do words count as fine motor skills?), loss of verbal capacity (of the mental ability to think words and sentences), adrenal dump, tunnel vision, some tachypsychia... the works. Verbal assault only. Impressive.

    Take care.

    Ferran, BCN

  2. Yes speaking words definitely counts as fine motor skills ;-)
    Glad you prevailed in that assault.
    Thanks for sharing