Hi everybody! I am John Graden for the Martial
Arts Teachers’ Association and John Graden.com. How do you fight? Well, that is actually a
very interesting question. To me, all fighting begins with a mindset. My mindset is that
no one touches me without my permission. That is my guiding line. No one touches me without
my permission. And, if you touch me without my permission, I am going to prevent you from
doing that. That does not mean I am going to be able to beat you in a fight. It does
not mean I am going to win every fight. But, I am always going to protect myself. I have
a high sense of self worth. That being said, there is two types of fights. Organized sport
fighting where there are rules, a referee, and a goal. And then, there is street fighting.
Self defense where there are no rules, and there is no referee and it is not a place
you want to be. Let me discourage you from getting into any fight that is not an organized
sport fight that you are preparing for with a coach. Here is the key. When a self defense
situation arises, a street fight situation arises, people talk about technique a lot.
All self defense is mental. Ninety percent mental, ten percent technique. The initial
reaction of your body when it is threatened is fight or flight. That is the subconscious
reaction. It is not a conscious reaction. You will feel probably hard to breathe. You
will probably feel as though your arms and legs are suddenly very heavy and that your
body releasing blood to your major muscles as you prepare to fight or flight. It is an
adrenaline dump that, for someone who is not used to it, can be debilitated. So, regardless
of the techniques you know, you will never get to fire those unless you learn to deal
with the adrenal dump that precedes a self defense situation. You do that first by kind
of putting yourself in situations where you are under some stress in a safe, organized
manner, so that you get used to that adrenal dump. And then, the second thing we do is
we control that by breathing. Continuing to breathe. Typically when you get tense and
scared, fight or flight, you stop your breathing which exasperates the problem. Key is to breathe.
A martial arts master thinks about breathing with the entire diaphragm and the stomach
out, pushing air all the way to the bottom of the lungs, not just this surface panting
but strong deep breaths. And, in that scenario, the martial arts master, while there is chaos
everywhere, the martial arts master maintains the quiet mind. And, that is how a martial
arts master fights. So again, street fighting versus organized fighting. Join a good martial
arts school, a Martial Arts Teachers’ Association School and learn organized fighting. It is
a lot more fun. It is a lot more safe and it makes more sense. I am John Graden. I hope
that helps. Thanks!