Art of Fighting: Avoidance

Being in Control of Oneself While Being Aware of One’s Surroundings

Avoidance is being aware, understanding the enemy, understanding yourself and understanding your environment. If you are training in a martial art, then avoidance is understanding that art and whether it will stand up to the threat of a real encounter. More than anything, avoidance is having enough control over yourself, your ego, your pride, peer pressure, morality etc. to stop these negative emotions from dragging you into a situation that could otherwise be avoided. __

If you can avoid areas known to be rife with conflicted individuals, that is generally best. Avoid high crime neighborhoods and cities, and gatherings of people where there is a high potential for violent encounters. Even when in relatively “safe areas,” maintain a reasonable level of awareness.

Jeff Cooper Alertness Codes
Jeff Cooper Alertness Codes

Taken from: The Art of Fighting Without Fighting

When Trouble Finds You

Sometimes it is not possible to entirely avoid conflict. Even so, one should learn how to avoid violence within a conflict situation, if at all possible. When you become aware that a conflict is developing, be prepared to move to a place where you have more control of the situation.

Escape can mean as little as swallowing your pride or controlling your ego, taking your lady by the arm and moving to a place where your company is appreciated. If you are like me, have a little drink at home or go to a nice restaurant thus avoiding the potential all together and stopping you having to look over your shoulder every five minutes to see who is staring at you. If you find this difficult, if for some reason you are stuck in a particular place for the evening and a guy gives you the evil eye, lift your hand up and give the fellow a polite wave. The chances are that he will think that he knows you from somewhere and feel embarrassed that he has stared, he might even wave back. Once you have made the wave do not hold eye contact, this is often seen as a subliminal challenge. __

When trouble has found you, and it is not possible to move away from it, sometimes one can decompress the situation with the right words and body language. Or, perhaps, one can stall for time while looking for a way out.

When avoidance is gone and escape is no longer possible we are left with verbal dissuasion. Verbal dissuasion means talking the situation down… Therefore, as soon as you are approached in a potentially confrontational situation take up a small forty five degree stance (as illustrated) by moving your right (or left) leg inconspicuously behind you. Simultaneously splay your arms (fence), as though in exclamation, whilst replying with your dialogue. The lead hand is placed between you and the assailant, the reverse hand back, ready to control or attack…

… For the duration of dialogue it is imperative to maintain distance control until you are able to escape, or are forced or strike. If you are forced into an attack situation -this should be an absolute last resort -make it a telling blow to a vulnerable area. Explode into the opponent with every fibre of your being, then run!! __

Being aware of your surroundings and avoiding the bad areas is only part of the challenge: You must also know how the bad guys think, and how they go about stalking and attacking their victims.

If you know how the bad guys work it stands to reason that you can avoid him like the plague. These people mainly rely on deception, not so easy now that you know how the blighters work. Avoid at all costs, escape as soon as you see their ritual in play, if that doesn’t work, or the option has been spent .then use verbal dissuasion.

But in reality, bad guys are not restricted to bad areas. They can stalk deeply into your community and into your neighborhood and even inside your very home.

Dangerous Children are taught to keep a part of their minds awake and ready, even while attending to other things, even in reasonably safe environments. Such readiness allows them to move into a necessary response phase more quickly and automatically.

Competence-Based Confidence Makes Choosing Avoidance Easier

Combat flow training and “attack-proofing” allow trainees to become accustomed to the feel of ongoing physical contact, and helps to move them beyond the sometimes paralytic fear of physical conflict. Mastering such fears should allow a person to more easily choose avoidance, evasion, escape, and verbal dissuasion — even when he might easily put the aggressor down quickly and (perhaps) relatively easily.

Benefits… :
1. You don’t waste training time memorizing a million moves
2. You can improvise any strike to any target when you need it with full power
3. Hit harder at close range without telegraphing or winding up
4. Fight on the ground against multiple attackers without wrestling
5. Develop hyper-balance plus the ability to control your attacker’s balance
6. Develop a liquid body that eludes blows, locks and grappling
7. Feel what your attacker’s doing before he does it
8. Adapt to both changing attacks and changing defenses
9. Train deadly striking and dirty fighting all the time
10. Train defenses against both

There is nothing like getting hit to clear the cobwebs from your nervous system, at least if you have incorporated dynamic contact into your training. By placing improvisation into the middle of your training, you are not as likely to be surprised by less conventional attacks.

Amusing Afternote:

Once there was an app called “Sketch Factor” which was meant to alert newcomers to “sketchy” areas of town that they may wish to avoid. It was based upon user reports, and displayed red bubbles on neighborhood maps where suspected trouble spots existed. After being labeled “racist” ad nauseum, the app died a slow and ignominious death. The new app by the developers is called “Walc.” It is meant as a safe walking guide for cities, to keep walkers from wandering off their intended path.

Clearly there is a need for websites, apps, and services that help to acquaint travelers, visitors, tourists, and newcomers with unfamiliar territory — to keep them out of trouble. Just as clearly, powerful interests in media, the activist community, and the rabble-rousing peanut gallery in general, wish to prevent such useful information from becoming common knowledge — even if innocents suffer as a result. Political correctness and ideological purity are obstacles to living long healthy lives in some situations.

Corrupt influence peddlers and information gatekeepers in government, media, academia, and other cultural institutions want to keep people in the dark just because they can. We’re gonna need a lot more guillotines! 😉

Combat Flow Training: Relaxing into Dynamic Linked Chaos

Staying Alive is a Dynamic, Chaotic Affair: You Must Learn to Flow With the Go

Get Out of the Box!

Just as Neo needed to understand that there is no spoon in the film The Matrix, you need to realize that there is no box to step outside of. Once you start with a box you have already created something in your mind that limits your creativity because the box doesnt really exist…

the fight is what it is; it is less about what you want to do versus what you have to do. As we always say to students, “as long as it is within the laws of physics and human physiology don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can’t do.”

from the basic principles one is able to develop a multitude of responses and you are not limited by them but eventually you begin to learn to manipulate them at will. From there, you are, for the most part, only limited by your imagination because there is no box. __ 188 Contact Flow vs. Combat Flow

Developing an instinctive and effective approach to personal combat is only one part of an integrated survival system. But if you do not pass the test of face to face survival when you or your family are attacked, you will not be able to proceed to the other aspects of the survival continuum. To make the best use of your training time, strip the process to the basics, then go crazy (in a figurative sense).

Some essential aspects of defence and survival:

• PHYSICAL Self-defense, weaponry
• EMOTIONAL Mindset, coping tools
• FINANCIAL Investments, holdings, barter
MEDICAL Self-help, first aid, food, water


Notice that self-defence and weaponry are only the tip of the iceberg. Yes, they are the penetrating tip, the sharp point and edge. But they are only the beginning. Developing the underlying foundation is crucial for motivation, focus, persistence, and impulse control.

Combat flow exercises are designed to train your subconscious reactions, so that you will not have to take the time to think about what you must do to stay alive.

Take what works and drop the tinsel wrapping. You do not have the time to waste on empty ritual or tradition which has nothing to do with the fight at hand. Aikido, for example, is an excellent training method to develop the mind and body for many forms of dynamic combat. But focus on what works, and drop the ritual.

Survival is something that often takes place up close and personal. It is important to get out of the mental straitjacket that unrealistic television and movie portrayals have wrapped around your brain.

Close quarters shooting and self-defence:

Videos are Not Training; Training is Not Fighting

Unless you are in possession of “Matrix-class” virtual reality, you need to partner with other persons to train.

Movement flow exercises for fitness and pre-combat conditioning

Basic philosophy, applications, drills of flowing combat:

You can fast forward to the training exercises roughly 20 minutes in. Learning to close with the opponent is a key aspect of surviving an inevitable attack.

These exercises are very basic and introductory. The purpose is to develop the right instincts in training, so that in case of a fight you will react effectively, instantly. All videos presented here are mere introductions, meant to suggest different approaches to training you may choose to take.

Importantly, avoiding and evading violent conflict is almost always your best bet — particularly when innocents and loved ones are in the vicinity — and it is possible to move them out of danger.

A well-trained, mentally prepared person’s competence shows in his confident bearing and demeanour. Such a person will be seen as a “hard target” by predators. Persons who project fear, on the other hand, will attract conflict and attack. Likewise, persons who behave in an arrogant and antagonistic manner are magnets for violent and unbalanced persons.

Dangerous Children: Learning to Move

Movement is a vital part of infancy and childhood, for boys and for girls. Children often show an aptitude for rhythmic movement long before learning to crawl, or walk. This capacity should be adapted into purposeful dance and other movement skills as early as possible. With practise, a child can master skilled movements in an astonishingly short time.

Toddlers Dance

Hold me closer tiny dancerThe earliest form of dance instruction should take place in the home, in a safe, comfortable, and playful environment.

Alternate fast and slow songs, and change the way you dance to each dramatically. For instance, get on your knees, assume a dancing pose with your toddler, and rock back and forth with your toddler to a slow dance. Then, when the fast song comes on, get up and shake that slow song out.

Clap with your toddler to each beat in several songs that exhibit different time signatures. Children’s songs are often written with four beats per measure, but grownups know that this is just one type of time signature that can be danced to.

Teach basic dance movements, one at a time, after your toddler has developed confidence with keeping time. Enrolling in a dance class together or buying an instructional video will keep your child from feeling overwhelmed in a crowd. — Teach Toddlers to Dance

As the child’s coordination and skills develop, parents may consider offering the child the opportunity to attend a children’s dance studio:

It may seem like a wise idea to put your least experienced teacher with the “baby” classes because of the technical level of the class, but in fact the opposite is true. Toddler ballet and creative movement are the most challenging classes to instruct at my studio. Due to their importance and complex nature, I teach all of them myself—even though I’m a busy studio owner. An experienced teacher’s class should introduce technique using creative pedagogy and also teach students how to participate in a classroom environment. A confident teacher will follow these guidelines with exuberance, creating a fun class that will keep students coming back for years! __

Teach them to Juggle!
Juggling is not just for mimes and circus clowns. It is a useful skill for training coordination and sure-handedness in a tight spot. And the skill can be taught to very young children, with the right approach.

There is some question as to whether juggling should be taught to beginners with slow moving scarves, or with balls. After many years of teaching juggling, and reviewing the small amount of research addressing this question, my opinion is as follows.

Children in fourth grade and up are usually capable of learning to juggle with balls or beanbags, so they should use them. My experience has been that when they learn with scarves first, balls seem more difficult. However, this is not to say that scarves should not be allowed. Although I much prefer them to learn with balls, if I feel a student is becoming overly frustrated I will give them scarves. __ TeachCircus

Light foam balls, wiffle balls, and tightly wadded sheets of paper or aluminium foil can also serve as “slow” balls for beginning jugglers.

Dancing and juggling can lead to more complex movement skills, such as martial arts. Kids who learn unarmed martial arts skills and self-discipline are better able to learn to use sports implements such as golf clubs, tennis raquets, fencing foils, and baseball bats as natural extensions of their own bodies.

Teach them to manipulate Sticks

Children love to swing sticks and other objects around in the darndest ways. The earlier they are taught to handle sticks skillfully with good control, the earlier you will be able to relax if you are hiking with your small child and he begins swinging and twirling a stick he has found.

Example: Devil Sticks

Devil Sticks are a manipulative skill, derived from a form of staff manipulation practiced in China. One large stick is manipulated with two smaller sticks that are held in the hands. Devil Sticks have become popular with kids recently, and many students may already own a set.
__ Teach Circus

What many young boys really want to do with sticks is to fight with them, like swords or staves. They should be taught to do so safely and responsibly.

You will likely want to start your very young children with foam sticks or “boffers.” Hollow foam “sticks” may work for starters, very inexpensively.

Hollow Foam Tubes
If a child learns to manipulate “sticks” quickly, consider a latex or foam sword before moving to something harder.Once latex or foam wrapped “sticks” are mastered, the child can move on to rattan, to be used with protective gear.

you will need a good pair of rattan sticks (also called kali sticks) to spar with your training partner. This weapon is approximately 26 inches in length and is relatively slender. It is hard, yet lightweight, durable and inexpensive.

Most importantly, the rattan stick is also safer than wood because it does not splinter on impact. It simply frays and shreds apart. This is especially important when performing full contact stick combat techniques with your training partner. Kali sticks allow the fighters to engage in full contact training, however protective gear (i.e., fencing masks, hand protection, arm and elbow pads, throat and chest protectors, groin cup, etc) must be worn at all times…

During a stick fight, you only have four possible defensive options. Make certain you can execute all four of these responses with ease and efficiency when fighting with rattan sticks.

Evasion – you can move out of the angle of the stick attack.
Deflection – you can deflect the stick attack.
Block – you can block the oncoming stick attack.
Striking – you can strike the opponent’s weapon hand with your own stick.

Stick fighting may be the only weapon many children will need to learn, other than the safe use of firearms. But others will want to move on to actual sword fighting. For them, early training with boffers and rattan will prove useful later on.

Here are some benefits of fencing training for kids:

Fencers learn good sportsmanship, self-discipline, gain quick reflexes and how to compete independently. They gain a sense of accomplishment when winning and learn to profit from their defeats. They learn to make complex decisions, analyze problems, and think fast on their feet. These ideals help children reach their potential in many areas other than fencing. __

There are many forms of sword fighting

Dangerous children learn self-defense and strategic/tactical thinking as a basic part of their training. But any child should learn to move gracefully and handle himself physically up to a certain point — and should particularly learn to size up situations on a moment-to-moment basis.

His survival may well depend upon it. So may yours.

Republished from Al Fin Next Level