The Importance of Self Control
Here’s a quick question for you. Have you ever started a fight? Walk to someone and challenge them to the point they had no alternative but fight back or bail? Did you?
Your most likely answer will be no and you will be a bit confused as to why you’re asked this question on a self-defense site. After all, you ended up here because you were afraid of being attacked, right?
Fair enough. But I just wanted to point out that violence is one sloppy Giuseppe that’s hard to define exactly. While in 95% of all fights and aggressions you will be the one that’s attacked (prompting a response a.k.a. self-defence) there are cases when our hot temper and hot blood get the better of us. Moments when we leave the door open and all our demons come to the fore, obscuring our judgment and temporarily transforming us into a fist-flying Hulk.
Before self-defense there is self-control. Self-control is a necessary tool every person needs to have. Think about a samurai. A samurai would only draw his sword if he intended to kill someone (or at least that’s how the legend goes). They did not draw only to scare away a noisy drunk or a thug in a fish market. Think of you as a samurai. You don’t want to get into a fight unless there’s no other way to settle an incident and knowing that you might seriously hurt someone (and the other way around).
No matter how calculated and cool we think we are, we all have a tipping point. A trigger that will make us go berserk and leave all cautiousness behind. Well, it’s that moment, that trigger that you need to learn to master. You need to get physical and violent only when there’s a physical and violent threat coming straight at you, 100 miles per hour. Not every time a douche has something to say about your mom or about the way your hair looks.
Self-control means that you and you alone are in control of the potentially deadly weapon that your body can become in a tense situation. What you might think it’s self-defense is in fact a fight you started because your pride or your ego were affected by the other guy. While valiantly punching a guy to defend your pride, that will not stand in a court of law and you will be at the receiving end of law enforcement.
Self-control is directly proportionate to the decrease of your pride. The less cocky you are, the higher the level of self-control you will master. Remember, until you get physically attacked, it’s all in your head. That desire to just go and punch a guy is like a panic attack: you made it up and you’re making it worse by paying attention to it. Step back, take a deep breath and think about what you’re about to do- it might a decision that will haunt for a very long time.