Avoiding Conflict

Best fights are the ones we avoid.

– Mr. Han (Jackie Chan, the 2010 remake of “The Karate Kid”)

Whenever people dole out self-defense tips, it tends to be under the guise of you being in the fight. The fight has started, or the fight is inevitable, and how can you manage the fight. Granted, sometimes this is how it goes. But what might be better is if we could avoid the fight in the first place.

There are good techniques for this, like SouthNarc’s Managing Unknown Contacts (MUC) techniques, or just following the Insights Training ABC: Always Be Cool. Marc MacYoung knows a lot about the subject too, and when he posted this article I thought it was one worth sharing.

The article is titled “Eight Self-Defense Tips for Men to Avoid Violent Conflicts“. I would argue these are good self-defense tips for everyone to follow, but I can see the author’s point towards men because I get reminded of LowTechCombat‘s examination of Alpha vs. Predatory.

Here are the 8 points, without elaboration (you can find that in the article):

  1. Forget what you see on the screen
  2. Live, love and be happy
  3. Know yourself
  4. He’s human too
  5. Get over yourself
  6. Leave
  7. Peyton Quinn’s rules
  8. Stick to the mission

Notice there’s no tips on how to punch him just right, how to shoot more effectively, none of that. It’s about mindset, it’s about mental approach and tactics for situations — before they become situations. This is more important.

It’s also about humility. There’s so much bravado, so much macho about fighting and self-defense. I recently saw a posting on Facebook, of a picture of a bank holdup scene and captioned basically “and what would you do”. The comment thread was full of big talk, heroics, fantasy, and few posters acknowledged realities involved (tho it was cool to see Rog mention the Beer & TV Maxim; one of the few rational comments on the picture). I think about #8 of “stick to the mission” which is basically:

Every time I leave the house, my mission is to return to it and my loved ones safely and unharmed so I can live a long and happy life with them.

So does your macho, your bravado, your fantasy, your heroics, do they permit you to fulfill your mission? Granted, your mission may be different, but then at least you know your mission. You do clearly know your mission, right? If you don’t, if you cannot stop right now and state it clearly aloud, then perhaps you should take a moment to define what your mission is. It will guide you and your decisions, which may be critically important when the flag flies.

Give the whole article a read. It’s quite good. In fact, most of these tips will apply beyond “violent encounters”. I mean, we have conflict on the job or in other interactions in our daily life. Tips like Peyton Quinn’s rules will help you manage those just fine too.

2 thoughts on “Avoiding Conflict

  1. Wish I had George Soros like money because I would love to do a scientific study/survey about people avoiding fights/conflicts. I wonder if those who carry concealed/have a gun in the house are more or less likely to avoid a fight.
    Of course, one of the factors to be considered is the legalities of the activities the gun owner is engaged in. I bet those who are already breaking the law (drugs/gangs) are less likely to avoid a conflict– the criminal statistics seem to support that supposition.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some sort of data on this… I’ll ask around.

      But I will say, enough points have tended to direct us that those who carry (legally) tend to not be involved in crime all that much, because they know better… or because they want to keep their ability to carry legally… or because they are already alert and aware of crime and dangers out there, so they know how to avoid it in the first place.

      Converse tends to hold true as well.

      But yes, to have some sort of formal study would be welcome.

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