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Monday, August 10, 2015

Thinking Something Through

I came across the following article in my FaceBook feed.

As a self-defense instructor, this is the kind of story I love to see. It's a story about someone trying to victimize someone else, and getting their comeuppance for their actions (yes, I just used the word comeuppance in a sentence. It's a good word. I like it). I think it's fantastic that these two men stood up to their attacker.

But the last sentence of the article profoundly bothers me.

"If only we all had our own West Point grads protecting us at all times."

The notion that we (where we is anyone who is at risk of being victimized) need our own personal bodyguards in order to be safe is not only false, it's (obviously) unsustainable. But that notion is also demonstrably wrong. There are plenty of stories of people with absolutely no training fighting back, successfully, against their attackers. Certainly, being a West Point grad is not a requirement for self-defense (if it was, the number of people capable of defending themselves in this country would be severely limited).

I would hope this story would inspire more people to seek out training, rather than to wish they had specially trained bodyguards to protect them.

One final thought: the article rightly notes that a lot of LGBT people don't have any kind of training in self-defense. That's unfortunate, and honestly, I suspect it's exacerbated by the culture of a lot of martial arts schools (which, let's be real, aren't always particularly friendly to people in the LGBT community). I honestly haven't the faintest idea of what to do about that fact, but it's unfortunate. If more bigots though they were going to get smashed instead of doing the smashing, I suspect we'd see less of this behavior.

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