Common sense and self defense

Watch this first before you read my thoughts on common sense and self-defense:

Next, read Kathy’s thoughts on this video. She’s a firearms instructor and author of a good book on firearms for women. It’s a short piece and she makes a point I want to expand upon.


Common sense and self-defense

First, look up “anthropomorphism” if you need to.  Since when does it work to treat a bear like a person and argue with him, plead with him, threaten him or whine his ears off? The answer: since too many people have lost touch with nature and are increasingly shielded from danger in daily life. As a result, they don’t know how to handle things like dangerous animals and other high-risk situations.


Second, Kathy’s comments are spot on: certain types of criminals don’t care about your whining or pleading. They just hurt or kill you regardless of what you think or feel. This used to be common knowledge and common sense too. Not anymore, like a lot of other things. Some examples…
One of my students works in third world countries. He told me the story of having a new (young) colleague come over to Ethiopia and they were driving around to show her the place. All is well until she accidentally runs over a goat on the road.

He urges her to drive on. She doesn’t.

He tells her to just drop some money out the window and not get out. She doesn’t. [Read more…]

The death of common sense regarding violence

Earlier today, I had a first interview with a new client who wants to learn self-defense. I explained how I view things and one of the points I made was this:

We live in an age where having knowledge about how violence actually works is frowned upon. Having experience with it is viewed even worse.

When you look around you, you can find many examples of this. Just to help you out, try this one, where you’ll see stupid behavior towards an armed professional. Or this one, where instead of letting it go, somebody chooses to escalate the conflict but gets way more than he bargained for.

One of the key issues I see is that in modern societies, a large number of people no longer have to face violence on a regular basis and haven’t had to for several generations. As a result, the knowledge and skills needed to handle it are deemed obsolete and no longer passed on.

It wasn’t always so. A bit over a century ago, to be considered a (gentle)man, you were required to learn to protect yourself as violence was seen as an inherent part of life (two interesting books about this here and, in a different vein, here.) You were supposed to know boxing, fencing and other skills that helped you face violence.

Let that sink in.

About 100 years ago, this was considered normal.

Today, it is seen as “wrong” by many Western societies.

What happened?

Many things, but mainly our societies changed and became more peaceful. The need for understanding and knowing how to handle violence diminished. Some people feel that it is gone entirely. These are the folks who say things like “Violence never solved anything” and mean it, notwithstanding millennia of human behavior proving them wrong. The end result: what used to be common sense regarding violence is now no more.

Case in point:

A cellphone case in the shape of a firearm. Take a look at these pictures: [Read more…]