Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The 10 Commandments of Street Survival

Tony Blauer gives us his 10 Commandments of Street Survival (these are excerpts):

1 ‑ Thou Shalt Not Not Train
"... You can’t not train and expect to be your best at a moment’s notice. Boxers agree to fights 3 months in advance so that they may train for the contest. You don’t have that luxury. As my friend Marco Lala said, “You can’t fake endurance.""

2 ‑ Thou Shalt Not Defeat Thyself

"... Unsolicited, a ‘Victim’s vocabulary' starts: What if I lose? What if it hurts? What if I fail? Thoughts like these must be eliminated from your vocabulary for you to perform at your peak. Your ‘self talk’ or 'internal dialogue’ must be positive, assertive and motivating. Your inner coach must empower you to greater heights, to surpass preconceived limitations, to boldly go where…you get the picture. That is what it means to not defeat yourself."

3 ‑Thou Shalt Not give Up
"The will to survive is probably the most neglected area of our training. It is also the most important. Knowing what to do and knowing which tools to use isimportant but compares little with the ‘will to survive’. If you have great technique, but do not know how to dig deep, I will bet on the opponent with heart. Will beats skill. “Not giving up,” means Not giving up..."

4 ‑Thou Shalt Not Fear Fear
"More dangerous than your opponent is your mind. If it doesn’t support you you’re ¾ beaten before you’ve started. There are really only two types of fear: biological and psychological.Fear (biological) has been generally described as the “fight or flight” syndrome for most of our modern history. This definition does not serve us once the physical confrontation is under way and is really not pertinent to your success. Though the adrenaline surge created by your survival signals is a component of success, it is the mind that ultimately determines the action you will take.Psychological fear, on the other hand, is an emotional state. Therefore it can be controlled and used to create action. However, due to the lack of good information on fear management, fear, as we feel it, usually creates emotional inertia: your body’s inability to move. Inertia or panic is created by psychological fear when the mind visualizes failure and pain. Understanding this process is necessary to conquer fear..."

5 ‑Thou Shalt Not Telegraph Your Intentions
"... Start thinking about the various ways we reveal ourselves, signals that create the telegraph: anger, erratic breathing. Adopting a specific stance, going for the knockout, verbal threat. These are some of the most common telegraphs that would afford an experienced opponent some mental preparedness. Remember that your opponent should be the last person to see your attack... "

6 ‑ Thou Shalt Not Lose The Street Fight
"... appreciate the relationship to the pejorative ego in combat. You don’t “win” a real fight. You survive one. Win & lose are labels our ego uses. Think survival. Think about your life and why you’ll survive. This is true power."

7 ‑ Thou Shalt Not Invite Disaster
"You’ve heard the expression “An accident waiting to happen”. So many victims of violence failed to use simple skills like awareness and avoidance. No one deserves to be a victim, but many street tragedies result from “planning for failure through failure to plan.""

8 ‑ Thou Shalt Not Kill, Unless It Is Absolutely Necessary
"...What would you do if...? Have you really visualized different scenarios and analyzed what would be necessary to escape the confrontation safely? It takes courage to walk away. Is avoidance a component of your self‑defense system? How far would you go to avoid bodily harm? Would you kill? What moral and ethical issues do your responses raise? Do you possess a directive, one that would support you in a court of Law or when you looked in the mirror?"

9 ‑ Thou Shalt Not Settle For Mediocrity
"... Reflect on this expression: “You’ll never know how much you can do until you try to do more than you can.” In training, assess your capacity, recognize your potential as greater, and create realistic goals so that you experience success regularly and you will be on your way to self‑mastery. But do not fixate on your potential.In the self-defense and martial art world many practitioners severely handicap their capacity by not sharing information, not investigating other options and ideas, not asking questions. Etc. To go beyond the limitations of style’, you must challenge all ideas so that your training results in unshakable faith in your skill."

10 ‑ Thou Shalt Not Rebuke Other Systems
"... In the martial arts world there exists so much comparison, pejorative competitiveness and politics, that our industry is simply a microcosm of the warring nations and rival gangs that pollute our cities and countries. Please reflect on this.We are on the same team. We train to better our selves. We choose different schools and styles for a variety of reasons. But we all want the same thing. Peace. Inner peace. Confidence. Self‑control... "

Thou shalt read it all!

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