The Way of the Warrior – Part 2
Modern Combative Training and Proactivity
In our last discussion we talked about proactive people in comparison to reactive people. Specifically, we talked about the character traits these individuals embody and how these two types communicate with the world around them. This included verbiage they used in speech, body language and their communication regarding their actions.
Over the last weekend my Dojo, The Budo Shingikan School of Japanese Martial Arts in Mesa Arizona, hosted a Multi-Martial Arts Seminar. We focused on showing our students different interpretations and vantage points on a single martial concept. That concept was the Japanese martial principle of Irimi, defined as “To Enter without Fear”.
We were fortunate to have Steven Nesky, a Master Instructor in Taekwondo and a very dear friend. We also had our very own Hanshi Stephen Ewing who focused specifically on the Tenshin Koryu Ninjutsu aspect within the Bushin Ryu Martial System. I of course added my two cents into the equation. Another good friend of mine, Sensei Tom Joanes from San Tan Aikido, provided the students with another perspective on Irimi. This event was truly wonderful and I believe that our students all benefited from having such a diverse level of explanation on the topic.
In large part Master Nesky discussed a few topics with which we see quite often in the Combatives world. He talked in great detail as to the O.O.D.A. Loop, and the Color Code of Awareness. If you are unfamiliar with these systems I encourage you to look them up and educate yourself on them. They are key elements to self-defense and personal protection in general.
The OODA Loop stands for, Observe, Orient, Decide, Act and describes a process for understanding the cycle with which action follows. The Color Code of Awareness describes a similar subject matter starting at Condition White, which is not paying attention to your surroundings at all. Condition Yellow is situational awareness (threat identification), Condition Orange is assessing a potential threat and, in my opinion, where target acquisition begins, and Condition Red is the state of action or that of target engagement. Now keep in mind this in not meant to be a comprehensive understanding of these principles but rather a brief synopsis of them.
The point of this article is not to delve into the depths of these two principles but instead to highlight one major thing, we cannot live our lives as warriors or prepare to defend ourselves if we are reactive people. In both training tools the only portion that is Reactive is that of Condition White, which is basically being asleep! All other components are proactive behavior. This is of huge significance. The great thing about understanding this is realizing that we have achoice in the way we live our lives. We have the ability to simply choose which type of person we want to be.
I encourage you to take a look at your situational awareness. Do you zone out with the radio on? Do you have an obsession with your phone, like most people, and walk through the parking lot checking Facebook? Or, are you observant as to what and who is close to you? Be proactive and place a priority on you and your family’s safety. If you are present in the current moment the would-be-attacker will choose to go after the reactive person, the weak one in the herd.