This is a guest post by fellow martial artist Carlos Rodriguez.
He had one of those nights where you watch a Kung Fu movie and then get a sudden revelation for improving self-defense and our fighting skills.
I've been there.
Take it away Carols...
I was watching "Enter the Dragon" the other day once more, I enjoyed it as usual.
But what drew my attention this time, was the scene where all the martial artists were heading to the island where the competition will take place.
If you remember well, there's this guy who wants to fight Bruce Lee right there. Bruce accepts the challenge under the condition that they take a boat to the nearest island to fight.
Bruce then lets his opponent get to the boat first. When he is in, Bruce drops the rope and pushes the boat in a way that his adversary can't come back onto the ship.
This way, Bruce neutralizes the menace.
When we practice Martial Arts, we believe that once we get a higher belt, we'll be able to kick-ass everywhere.
But the reality is that fights and brawls are not fair out in the street. There won't be a mat, a referee, and even your friends will stay away from the problem.
Of course, getting to know a Martial Art is better than not having a clue.
This way, the best self-defense trick and the most important one is prevention.
You're not supposed to go to dangerous and dark places, whether you are a man or a woman. If you ever go, it's better to go with someone you trust.
If you see a potential problem, you must look for different ways to run away. Even if there is no problem, you should always analyze the place where you are in, just in case.
You might go back to that place in a different situation where you won't have the opportunity to analyze it.
If you are at home or a place where you usually go, let's say, your job, your school, or a movie theater, you must have set the escape route, or a place where you can hide while the danger passes.
You don't know if someone with a big gun may appear, and nowadays reality can prove that.
But what happens if you are already in a situation?
Then, the second most important trick is awareness.
You might spend some time learning some cool moves, fast ones, whether it is punches and kicks, or grappling and submission, but the reality is that they won't work if you are not aware of the space where you are moving.
Imagine this as a 3D model, where you are at the center, and your opponent(s) are at a given distance. There's any given number of escape routes, some nearer than the other. There might be a loved one close or behind your adversary(s). They can have a weapon or not, or you may be near a potential weapon, like something you can throw or use.
In this way, you must be aware of all the conditions and act accordingly. If you fail to consider one of these, it may result in your loved one or yourself getting injured or dead.
You must keep a safe distance from the potential danger. The better the awareness, the faster you can move into prevention mode.
Once you enter in contact with the potential danger, then the third valuable trick is speed and accuracy.
And this is something you cannot leave to chance. You may have a one in 10,000 chance or less that you can defeat someone with just one punch. Because there are many factors in a dangerous situation, anything can happen.
But you can decrease random possibilities when you are aware. This gives you speed and accuracy. But unfortunately, speed and accuracy decrease with the adrenaline rush of the moment. It is unbalanced.
The only way you can achieve speed and accuracy is only by what we're going to call the fourth trick, but it's not a tick at all, it is practice.
You must practice to be aware, you must practice to prevent, you must practice to improve your speed and accuracy. Once you achieve a little bit of each, one feeds the other. If you prevent, you'll be aware, you'll be faster, and you'll be more accurate.
You will be able to see if there is a hidden danger and if a dangerous situation pops up suddenly, you'll be able to react wiser and help others and yourself, without losing your temper.
This cycle repeats, making you a better martial artist. One who doesn't need to fight to prove you're better, because everybody will already know that, just like Bruce Lee in that scene. He used all the tricks we talked about.
So go now and practice the tricks!
Thank you, Carlos!
This article was a great reminder that martial arts movies aren't only entertaining, but solid motivators to keep training!
You can find out more about Carlos below.
And if you'd like to share an article on Wing Chun, Martial Arts, Kung Fu, self-defense, situational awareness, or other related topic, just contact me. WingChunLife readers will thank you!
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Carlos Rodriguez is a creative graphic artist, writer, and blogger. He is a Pilates and fitness trainer. He recently started to learn BJJ, and has trained and performed Feng, Yang, and Lung Tai Chi for 20 years. You can find him at www.cecallidesign.com and www.cecalli.com