Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What most people don't see...

I consider myself a very fortunate person. I have a job that I love which positively influences people’s lives and every day I get to meet amazing people at seminars and courses throughout the country.

Additionally, every week Athena and I get to train with a cool bunch of people who share the same ideals, are positive, non-judgemental and supportive, (and definitely a little wacky) at our group class in Auckland. We get to share stories, discussions, and a lot of laughs while we train.

The other night one of our team members was telling us about an event that had happened to him that same day. To most people it would have sounded inconsequential, but to us it was brilliant.

He shared how he had been driving his car and someone cut him off and pulled in front of him. He said he had almost been hit so got a “hell of a fright”. This was the first point to his story. He said that a year ago (before he started training) if someone had done that to him he would have been sitting on the horn with one hand and giving the bird with the other while yelling abuse at the person (daily occurrence on our roads). Instead, he realised he was safe and instead of hurling abuse at the person he just shrugged his shoulders and said and did nothing (except some tactical breathing). The driver of the other car, knowing he had done wrong and looking to now save face ensured that as they approached the traffic lights positioned himself in the lane next to him and wound down his window and said something along the lines of “what the F*** is your problem?!”. This was his second point, instead of letting his ego take charge and reacting with aggression, he calmly and in a firm but friendly tone said “Nothing, I was just wondering why you would do that, that’s all.” The polar opposite of what the other guy expected of course. His response? He nodded his head in acknowledgement and wound up his window without saying anything. He was left in a position where he could ‘save face’ while at the same time having no further reason to escalate it further. Perfect diffusion and exactly what we train for.

Like I said, to anyone else that may seem like nothing special, but what it displays is a person who has taken control of their ego, their reactionary emotions and who has trained himself to stay calmer and in control of an unexpected and uncomfortable situation (unfortunately, given the amount of road rage on our roads every day, most people do not have these skills).

And THAT, to us, is real self defence in action. Brilliant.

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