When Not to Smash Someone - A Lesson From My Karate Friends
In a US jail, if some calls you a “punk”, a “bitch” or gets in your face and is abusive, the convict code requires you to hit that person or else you get smashed by gang members of your own race. Unfortunately, this sets you up with a fist-clenching reaction for the rest of your life towards disrespectful loudmouths.
Last night, I went to London with ten people from my karate club (Guildford Seiki-Juku), nearly all black belts, two senseis (our teachers), one a 3rd Dan (third-degree black belt). Setting off to watch and support a local cage fighter, Nick “HeadHunter” Chapman, I wondered what would happen if muggers or drunks tried to accost my friends.
On the way home, three drunks started yelling at us. One kicked a can at us, and shouted in a loud and challenging way, almost obstructing our path across a bridge. Gripped by the prison reaction, I braced for a fight, but the black belts swerved around the drunks as if they didn’t exist, the flow of their conversation continuing as if nothing had happened.
I found such a mature response interesting in comparison to the jail experience.