Hi everybody, I’m John Graden from the Martial
Arts Teacher’s Association and johngraden.com. How do you avoid a fight like a martial artist?
Well very simply. A martial artist has confidence, a martial artist has confidence. When you
reach the level of confidence that you don’t feel the need to prove yourself then you get
into what I call “a quiet mind”. Your mind becomes quiet about these things. In other
words, for a lot of people, they have one coping mechanism and that is to fight, or
to get angry, or to yell or to scream. A martial artist has a spectrum of coping mechanisms,
and it takes a long time to get to the point where there’s going to be a physical altercation.
A martial artist has that inner confidence that first, we’re very good at observing.
We’re very good at avoiding situations that are going to lead to potential confrontation.
James Colburn, I think, said it best, “Always avoid places where there’s big ego and lots
of alcohol, when they’re mixed together, you’ve got a potent mix for potential trouble”. So
distance is always your best defense. I try and simply stay out of those places, or if
I’m in those places I’m very aware of my surroundings, I’m very aware of where the exit is. I’m also
very aware of the more aggressive personalities that I’m seeing in the room and I simply maintain
distance and maintain observation. I’m never in a place where I feel the need to prove
myself. I’m a highly skilled martial artist, I’m an 8th degree black belt from one of the
best instructors in the world, that’s a lot of skill. But you would never know it, you
would never see it. I’ve had tons of confrontations since 1974 when I started martial arts and
none of them have led to a fight, not a single one. So walking away, maintaining my dignity,
maintaining my personal strength, is very easy for me to do. Again, the reason is, the
martial arts gives you that inner confidence that allows you to be happy with yourself
and you’re not compelled to try and prove yourself in potentially dangerous situations.
So if you’re not in the martial arts, act as if you were a black belt and walk away.
If you’re beginning in martial arts and you’re in those situations, act as if you were a
Master. What would a Master do right now? A Master would not engage, a Master would
leave. I’m John Graden, I hope that helps. It’s an interesting subject, one of my favorites,