mind set

Every contact leaves a trace; conflict changes us.

The mind, body and heart (used here to represent our emotions) are intrinsically linked; each feeding back, informing and influencing the other aspects of our selves. Exposure to violence, or even the threat or feeling of it, results in changes to our physiology and psychology.

In the short-term; fight or flight processes widely affect the body. Chemical changes and the associated adrenaline-rush provide immediate feedback and adaptations to our self-state to allow real-time reaction. The immediate aftereffects can cause changes to breathing rate and blood sugar, create feeling of sickness or leave us with shaking hands. Typically, these effects last no more than a few minutes to an hour.

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If you're a traditional martial artist, I know I got your attention with the title. Now, let me pose a question:

Q: Who wins in a street fight with hand-to-hand combat?
A: The guy whose buddy shows up first with a gun.

Yes, I know some of you will say that's a trick question! Everybody thinks their style is enough to handle any conflict they encounter on the street, but that's not reality. Now, before you start thinking I'm anti-traditional martial arts and start warning up your fingers for any angry response, let me tell you something about myself: I've been the guy who only won because his buddy was first to show. And no, it's not because I didn't have enough training.

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