With, To & For


When it comes to training in the martial arts, there are many methods out there. It is easy to get confused as to what is what.

I was trying to explain the difference between defensive tactics, training, sport and protecting in a way that clarified the difference. Something that communicated the right feeling of each and didn't over complicate the subject.

Three Faces:

Combat sports (like boxing, wrestling, judo, bjj, mma, fencing, etc.), training in martial arts & defensive tactics are things we do WITH others.

Defensive tactics, personal protection, survival, violence are things we do TO others.

Protecting, helping, administering first aid, etc. are things we do FOR others.

Some of these activities may look similar. An MMA match may look a lot like something you would do TO another person, but in fact it is a game where two willing participants share an experience where there are boundaries, expectations and consent.

Here is an analogy that may better illustrate what I mean. *WARNING* Before I share this I first must warn you that it is a bit explicit, but it will unmistakably drive the point across:

Making love is something you do WITH someone.

Rape is something you do TO someone. 

Prostitution is something you are hired to do FOR someone.

All involve sex, and if you didn't know what you were looking at you may not be able to tell the difference, but as you know they are worlds apart!

Self Defense, Protecting Others and Combat Sports all involve physical interaction, and there is overlap in training and techniques, but they are also very different things.

You may do something WITH someone to help train you to do something TO or FOR some one, but don't get that confused either. When you are training with others to prepare for battle, protection or a consensual game remember the difference of WITH, TO & FOR.

Concurrently: Conflict Management is something you do TO someone, whereas Conflict Resolution is typically something you do WITH the other person or party. Mediation is something you do FOR one or both parties.

Attempts at conflict management can lead to conflict resolution, however in order to have true resolution, both parties have to be willing participants, which is an on-going decision by BOTH parties.

Another way of resolution is by having a management strategy that eliminates the opposition, then voila, the conflict is resolved by default by permanently removing any opposition.

If both parties cannot resolve their differences and for whatever reason don't eliminate the other then it is really conflict management.

So there you have it, the theory of With, To & For when it comes to conflict management, self defense, protection tactics, training, martial arts and sport.

Keep going,


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