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Verbal Diffusion in Martial Arts

Your Best Weapon is Your Mouth

When was the last time you trained your mouth?

Over the years, I have found myself in one or two threatening situations when I have chosen to practice 'the art of fighting without fighting'.

One method to do this is to leggit - run away as fast as possible. I am not ashamed to admit that I have done this, usually when I have had a strong inclination that weapons were about to get used.

The second method of 'fighting without fighting' is to use arguably the most powerful weapon at you disposal - your mouth. Verbal diffusion, as it is known, is the first line of defence in any confrontation. It's always better to talk you way out of situation.

Asian martial arts philosophy says that the best fight is the one that can be avoided. Mr Miyagi of Karate Kid fame stated, 'Best Defence - Not be there!'

The art of verbal is to non aggressive, reasonable in your requests and avoid throwing insults. Make it clear to your potential aggressor that you don't want to fight, without showing emotion or fear. If you have been training for a few years, your aggressor will subconsciously pick up on your body language and physical demeanour, and will be frantically sending his brain signals to back away and not fight.

What you say and how you say it can make the aggressor believe that in a physical confrontation, he will lose.

Once you engage someone in talking, the outcome is very likely to be positive. As Tony Blair once said, "Those who are willing to talk can usually be persuaded to walk." Part of o our martial arts training is learning what to do and say in order to diffuse the pressure in a confrontation.

I have a friend who has been in many bar fights over the years. He tells me he has collected souvenirs from many of these, such as scarring to the upper arms after being attacked with a broken bottle, various knife wounds, a partially missing ear, fingers that don't work properly etc. He considers himself lucky that his injuries were not more severe.

The point is that if you get involved in a fight, there is a risk of getting injured. Don't let your ego get in the way when insults are being thrown around. They are, after all, only meant to goad you into a fight. Don't let your emotions cloud your judgement.

Many thanks to Belasz, MMA Student, for contributing this article

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Ibush Kabashi, Instructor

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