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.
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…]