Martial Arts • Fighting Science • 19 • Yin ☯ Yang of Sports vs. Violence

Motivation to train varies by student. Some need to vent their aggression. Some want to exercise. Others are attracted to the competition. Police officers are trained to protect themselves from the violence exposed by their profession. A street fighter may be driven by emotional issues or adrenaline. When I meet new students for the first time I try to understand their underlying motivation. Are they training to get into shape? Do they want to better defend themselves or fair well in a bar-room brawl? Sometimes it’s not a clear-cut division.

Fighting is fundamentally a combination of violence, sport, and art:

  • A competitive fighter will focus on the sports aspect, wanting to learn skills so they can win in a competition.
  • A violent fighter’s goal is to hurt their opponent.
  • A martial arts practitioner wants an outcome where they will not get hurt, and even try to settle the altercation without severely hurting their opponent.

In a combat situation, understanding an opponent’s motivation is important. A street fighter facing a martial artist is a conflict of diverging motivations: The martial artist wants to leave the conflict causing minimum harm while the street fighter wants to inflict maximum harm.

Violence is a mixed bag of anger, fear, and heightened emotion.
Martial Arts concentrate on the skill, composure, and technique.

Students who are motivated by self-defense typically won’t stick with training for long. They find themselves leaving after a short time, once they’ve learned enough self-defense to satisfy their minimum requirements. Most violent confrontations are the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Practitioners of Krav Maga such as police officers, bouncers, or bodyguards – are often situated in the wrong place and at the wrong time.  A majority of society will not see such violence if they avoid locations where violence occurs. In other words, training for an altercation that is unlikely to occur in one’s lifetime is not a reasonable objective. Spending years training for a chance encounter is not a good balance of one’s personal investment against personal risk.

Martial Arts • Fighting Science Series

If you would like to read more articles in this “Yin Yang of Fighting Science” series, check out these posts:

• 1 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Power
• 2 • Yin Yang of Speed vs. Timing
• 3 • Yin Yang of Fighting Styles
• 4 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Instinct
• 5 • Yin Yang of Empty vs. Full Cups
• 6 • Yin Yang of Slow vs. Fast
• 7 • Yin Yang of Perception vs. Reality
• 8 • Yin Yang of Fear vs. Confidence
• 9 • Yin Yang of Threes
• 10 • Yin Yang of Burden vs. Privilege
• 11 • Yin Yang of Anticipation vs. Surprise
• 12 • Yin Yang of Compliance vs. Resistance
• 13 • Yin Yang of Attacking vs. Defending
• 14 • Yin Yang of Fighting 360°
• 15 • Yin Yang of Teachers vs. Students
• 16 • Yin Yang of Physics vs. Physiology
• 17 • Yin Yang of Vulnerability vs. Opportunity
• 18 • Yin Yang of Martial Arts vs. Combat
• 19 • Yin Yang of Sport vs. Violence
• 20 • Yin Yang of Rhythm vs. Random
• 21 • Yin Yang of Stability
• 22 • Yin Yang of Strategy vs. Tactics
• 23 • Yin Yang of Instinct vs. Reason
• 24 • Yin Yang of Unstoppable vs. Immovable

• Fighting Science • Fighter’s Curve
• Fighting Science • Fighting Zones


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Gabriel is a seasoned sales and marketing expert with over 25 years in senior positions at Motorola, VeriSign (acquired by Symantec in 2010 for 1.25 billion US$), SecureWorks (acquired by Dell in 2011 for 612 million US$), and Cognitive Security (acquired by Cisco in 2013 for 25 million US$). He is a blockchain entrepreneur, with strengths in international business strategy.

Gabriel has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from McMaster University in Canada and expert knowledge in crypto incubation, cloud computing, IT security, and digital video technology. Gabriel also runs his own company, Euro Tech Startups s.r.o.

Hobbies include photography, video production, motion graphics, digital graphics, photo restoration, carpentry, martial arts, traveling, blogging, and trying to be better than yesterday.

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