Taking It To The Sand

by Keith Pascal

An important point that I have to get across to my intermediate students in martial arts is that, if you have a choice, self-defense doesn’t have to happen at the point of awareness.

Here’s what I mean….

If I’m at the mall, in a lounge, at a concert venue, or any place where there are a lot of people, I sometimes hug a wall for the purpose of observation.

For example, if my wife were to say, “Hang tight; I’ll be back in a few minutes,” I sometimes take a few steps in reverse, in order to put my back up against a wall.

For me, this is a great vantage point.

And while this does give me a 180 panoramic view of the mall, it’s not a position where I’d want to defend myself.

Note: We have talked about the fallacy of fighting with your back to a wall vs. the benefit of having room to move in the open. If we need to discuss it again, I’d be happy to, in a future article. Just let me know.

Just the way, I’d get a better view by standing on a chair, I wouldn’t want to fight from such a position, if I had a choice.

Would you like another example?

Everyone always advises to sit facing a door in a restaurant. This way, you can see any evildoers entering the establishment.

It makes sense, right?

Yet, if I had to defend myself against such a person, I’d rather be the one closer to the door … or

any other exit. N’est-ce pas?

Unfortunately, we don’t always have a choice or a chance to work our way to a more desirable position. Still, it’s good to know where you’d “want” to be.

So, why is this article titled, “Taking it to the sand”?

Do you remember the old movie The Warriors? (If you haven’t seen it, you should.)

Towards the end of the movie, The Warriors lead the bad guys out to the beach.

Why?

Because the Warriors are from Coney Island.

They are accustomed to, and have practiced extensively, fighting in the sand.

This is where they have the advantage.

Note: It’s sort of like the University of Oregon football team having to play a game in the rain. It ALWAYS rains here in Eugene. Hehe. The team is super-accustomed to playing in wet conditions.

If you have a choice … and a chance … defend yourself from your “sand,” not necessarily from the initial vantage, awareness point.

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Apply these bus-stop safety tips to other areas of your life. Stay Safe …

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