A Writer’s Favorite Game and Self-Defense

Today I was in a gym surrounded by big, muscular karate guys. Guys with many years of training under their black belts. And I started to play a writer’s favorite game, What If. What if one of these guys attacked me right here, right now? Could I really, truly defend myself? Could I beat my attacker? Could I win a fight against them?

Then I remembered that traditional Okinawan karate teaches that, “The purpose of karate is not to win, the purpose of karate is to not lose.” In other words, the goal of self-defense is not to fight until I “finish off” my attacker, the goal is to fight until the attacker loses his will to continue.

Statics show that fighting back (even with no training) gives you a 50% chance of survival. This is because your attacker has 2 fears; getting caught and getting hurt.

Therefore, I don’t have to keep fighting until I win. I have to keep fighting until I don’t lose.

Don’t believe me? Then check out this video of a seven-year-old girl who was grabbed by a stranger at a Georgia Wal-Mart.

Did she win? Well, she didn’t knock him out.  Didn’t subdue him.  Probably didn’t even hurt him much.

But did she not lose? You bet she did! And THAT is the goal of self-defense!

No matter how big, strong, or scary your attacker is, keep fighting until you don’t lose!

~KM Fawcett

8 responses to “A Writer’s Favorite Game and Self-Defense

  1. Very true!
    Statistics (real statistics) about victims who fight back, is around 90% they fend the attacker of and away, in cases of would-be rapes it’s almost 99%. So there, you have to fight back, even if your first instinct is to freeze.

    • Hi Alexy – Could you give me a link to where you got your statistics from? I had a hard time finding something concrete so went with the information I received during my self-defense training. I just now looked it up and it said, “You double your chances of success when you fight back.” They didn’t use the word statistics. Apparently that is my error. But, in an effort to be as accurate as possible, I’d really appreciate it if you could give me a link to where I could find the 90%. Thanks for your help!

  2. Wow. This gives me an entirely new perspective on an incident that has haunted me for 20 years. When I was in college, I was on the way back from my dorm when a very ordinary looking man attacked me and began beating me in the face. I was so stunned by the sudden viciousness of the attack, I could not move. I kept screaming in my mind to FIGHT BACK, but I could do nothing but scream. And that’s what I did, even though he hit me in the face again and again, yelling at me to stop screaming. Cars were coming, and he ran away. Later, I discovered a serial killer named Anthony Bell soon after began raping and murdering women in the same town until he was caught and finally executed. Was that the same guy? I don’t know. I will never know. But the point is that though I was physically incapable of fighting, I DID NOT LOSE. And I reported the incident to the police and even let the cops walk me past a suspect, though I was terrified. I always considered the incident a huge failure on my part because I couldn’t fight. This post makes me see I DID NOT LOSE. I am alive, and my son, born three years later, is also alive because I screamed and refused to stop screaming. Wow. It’s been 30 years, and I never realized that.

    • Angela, I’m so sorry you had to experience such a horribly frightening thing. Thank you for sharing your story. Fighting back doesn’t solely mean physical fighting, as you had leaned that day in college. Screaming to gain attention is also a part of fighting back. [That is one of the reasons we kiai (shout) in the dojo. We train ourselves to yell.] Your attacker told you exactly what he didn’t want you to do (scream) because he feared getting caught. Good for you for continuing to draw attention to him even while he was hurting you. Good for you for fighting back! I’m am so glad that you’ve come to realize that you did not fail that day. You’re alive because you did not lose! 🙂

    • Oh, Angela. I’m so sorry that happened to you. but you did win. That man wanted you to be quiet because that’s what he needed you to do. All that screaming certainly ruined his plan! Fighting back doesn’t always mean physically striking your opponent, and like Kathy said, winning doesn’t always mean overpowering an attacker. Just thwarting his plan was enough. That bastard did NOT get what he wanted that day. For that, we are all profoundly grateful.

  3. Thanks, ladies. It was terrifying, but like everything else, it became grist for my mill.

  4. Pingback: Scream And Shout | Attacking the Page

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