Issue 51

Trained or Untrained?

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There is no such thing as tough.
There is trained and untrained. Now which are you?"

--Denzel Washington as the character, "Creasy" in the 2004 movie, "Man On Fire"

That's an absolutely great quote.  It cuts right to the bone - do you know what you're doing, or are you just telling yourself you do?

When I was in high school, we had an annual event called, "Fight Night".  It was a boxing tournament that benefited the football program.  Each year, 20 or so guys would train for a month and then enter the ring and box.

In my sophomore year (my first at that particular school), I signed up for the program.  I was a pretty tough guy - I'd played football for a number of years and was one of the big linemen.  I could take care of myself pretty well.

On the first day of practice for the tournament, we did some sparring.  Within 30 seconds, I took a hard punch to the jaw.  My head was swimming.  I got my bell rung!

"There is no such thing as tough. There is trained and untrained."

If we had been on a football field, I could have just crushed the guy. I was trained to hit running backs, quarterbacks and other linemen.  But we were in a ring, and he had me at a distinct disadvantage.

I spent the next month training like crazy.  My motivator was vanity - I didn't want to get my butt kicked in front of 2,500 people!

Real Life Threats

How would you handle being accosted on the street after a nice dinner with your spouse?

If someone violently broke into your home, could you defend yourself with a knife, baseball bat, pepper spray or handgun?

If you had to shoot around a corner in your bedroom without exposing much of your body, would you know what to do?  How about if your strong hand was injured - could you use your weapon with only your weak hand?

All of these situations happen every single day right here in Northern California.  Every single day.  The vast majority of our fellow citizens have no idea what to do in response.

The muggers, sexual predators and gang-bangers are GREAT at what they do.  It's their job.  They hone their craft every day.

You MUST even the odds.  Learn about Safety Awareness.  Take a Martial Arts class, pepper spray class or firearms course.  Develop skills that are directly applicable to saving your life or the life of a loved one.

Then take those newly acquired skills and practice them.  Then practice some more.  We say in all of our classes that the skills our students have learned are perishable.  If you don't use them, you lose them.

"There is no such thing as tough. There is trained and untrained. Now which are you?"

So, how did Fight Night turn out for me?  Well, I got matched up with a beast of a guy - Joe V.  We literally went toe-to-toe for all 3 rounds. 

It was a war.  I truly do not remember much of the third round.  From what I've been told, I just kept throwing and landing punches.  I fell back on my training.

The Light Heavyweight Champion trophy I took home that night is still one of my proudest accomplishments.

Next Issue:  Home Security Checklist

Bison Risk Management Associates is a Northern California-based company providing Personal Safety and Emergency Preparedness training, workshops and consulting for individuals, businesses and organizations.

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