SOCIAL V ASOCIAL VIOLENCE
Violence is a Huge subject,from Husbands and Wives arguing to Nations using Weapons of Mass Destruction and everything in-between, it is doubtful that anyone knows even half of what there is to know about violence, but with Martial Arts it can be reduced down to just 2 things.
Social or Asocial Violence.
Social Violence is anything that you choose to be involved in, and if you refuse to walk away you are by default choosing to be involved.
Asocial Violence is something that is thrust upon you against your will, something you cannot avoid.
As a Student it is very important that you understand if you are training for Social Violence or if you are training for Asocial Violence, because they are very different things and what may work for one may fail miserably when applied to the other.
It is of even greater importance to an Instructor to know what he is teaching his Students.
You find yourself in an argument with someone, it begins to get heated and the remarks get personal, after a short while the other person begins to posture and wave his arms around. You steady your breathe and await the inevitable, he raises an Arm and you step in redirect it and Punch him in the Face.
This could be straight out of a training syllabus.
You are walking through a busy Bar / Street / Place and you accidentally bump into someone quit hard, you turn to apologise only to see a fist flying at you, you step backwards and sideways, redirect the Arm and Punch him in the Face.
I am sure that most of us have experienced something along these lines.
Scenario #1 is SOCIAL VIOLENCE, there would of been opportunities for you to de-escalate the situation or simply walk away but you made a conscious decision to wait and act.
Scenario #2 is ASOCIAL VIOLENCE, you did not personally do anything deliberate to provoke the attack and in fact the first thing you knew about it was seeing the fist flying at you.
Picture yourself in Scenario #2 and imagine that you will try to step in and Punch this person, is it even possible?
The vast majority of Wing Chun students that I have spoken with claim to be training to develop skills to use in the event of an attack upon themselves, most openly say that they hope that they will never need to use their training, it is obvious that they are looking to Scenario #2, tools to protect themselves from ASOCIAL VIOLENCE.
But every School that I have visited teaches people how to deal with situations that begin with 2 people facing off, these situations are clearly Scenario #1, SOCIAL VIOLENCE.
If an attacker is compressing the Time and Space between you there will not be any chance at all to step in towards him, at best you would be caught mid stride and out of balance by a moving force.
I will expand on this next week and offer some tips on how to adjust the training you do to make the transition from SOCIAL VIOLENCE defence to ASOCIAL VIOLENCE defence.
I have no wish to open up the can of worms that are the Legal ramifications of our actions, but it should be noted in passing that in this day and age of Security Cameras and Smart Phone Videos, you can be pretty sure that anything you did would be caught on film.
If it was used against you in a court of Law trying to explain the finer details of Simultaneous Attack and Defence to a Magistrate, or even worse a Jury made up of ordinary people, people that think that anyone who trains themselves in Fighting is just a Thug, may prove futile.
The Video would clearly show you stepping in and punching someone that up to that point had not laid a finger on you.
It could even be argued that not apologising or walking away, but rather standing your ground and taunting the other person was the cause of the ensuing violence and would make you the Attacker and not the Victim.
On the other hand a Video that clearly shows you avoiding an unwarranted attack and then responding in a way designed to only protect yourself will go a long way on your behalf.
Never forget that “How you train is how you will Fight”.