Adrenaline can cause us to act in very different ways.
For some it is the fuel that can unleash an inner beast, for others, it is the equivalent of being thrown into a frozen lake.
This article is NOT for everyone.
But it might be for some of you.
And for those that it does apply this will be the most important self-defence article you ever read.
It is an article about failure and forgiveness.
It is the article that you need to read if you have ever been attacked.
It is an article you need to read if you have ever been frozen with fear.
What If I Had……..
What if I had stayed at home.
What if I had not gone to the pub.
What if we had driven and not walked.
There are always 1000 ‘what ifs’ when it comes to self-defence, and this is the first route that many victims send their minds down.
The ‘if only I had’ is another route.
And without a doubt, the more serious the consequences of the attack, the more those questions burn into your mind.
But that is a route you cannot go down.
As people, we see an attack as a failure.
We failed to protect ourselves; we failed to protect our loved ones, we failed to protect our property.
And we set about finishing the job the attacker started; we continue to beat ourselves up.
We cannot go down this route.
The first stage of recovery after being attacked is simple; it is the 100% realisation that the incident was not your fault.
The person responsible is the attacker.
In all the years I have had dealing with violence there is one thing that remains true if someone is 100% determined that they will attack you, they will.
Nothing you can do or could have done changes that.
So never go down the route of ‘I could have’.
Deer In The Headlights
We freeze, it happens.
Our hands shake, our voice trembles and out legs turn to jelly.
Here is the one piece of information they never tell you.
It can happen to us all, no matter how experienced we are.
I have seen police officers with 30 years experience, hard, tough men freeze.
Stood, like a deer caught in the headlights.
Why did they freeze? I don’t know.
Its complex, we are complicated creatures.
But this is what I know; it wasn’t down to fear, it wasn’t a lack of strength or skill.
It was a reaction caused by a spike of chemicals created by the body.
It can happen to us all; it wasn’t your fault,
Getting Over The Loss
When we have been attacked, it hurts, physically and mentally.
On one side we have been hurt, abused, injured.
But the real pain comes from revisiting the incident over and over.
We let them win the one battle we can control.
The battle for our minds.
I am not mental health or counselling expert, nor is this advice meant to be an attempt of that.
It is a post about forgiveness. Because we often carry ego’s the size of buildings.
I am no different.
My advice for anyone going through this is to focus.
Focus on being part of the world and realising that the world is a great place. The chances if being attacked are low.
Focus on the good and not the bad. But above all realise that freezing is not a sign of fear, your body could not control what happened to it.
If you have been a victim of an attack, if you froze and could not do anything, realise that this was not you, it was your body.
But although you froze this time, the next time will be different.
Freezing in attack situations happens, but it does not happen all the time.
And so now you have the chance to take control of the situation, but do you have the know how?
Do you know what to do if you are attacked?
Do you know how to stop an attacker?
Can you defend yourself?
And this is why we train; we train so that when it does happen, we can fight back.
The aim of this article is to say “hey, we can’t win them all, our bodies make mistakes.
And they do.
We can do things that make no sense when under pressure and stress. Yet as martial artists we feel we must be fighting machines.
And losing is not an option.
Well, we do freeze, and sometimes we do not fight back.
But we can forgive ourselves because it is rarely fear, ability or technique that is the cause.
It is the chemicals in our bodies.
We can’t control that, what we can control is our ability to fight, this can be learned, and this is what Defence Lab is for.