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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Art of Fighting without Fighting

As a kid, I loved the Bruce Lee’s movie, Enter the Dragon. A great scene from the movie was the ferry ride to Mr. Han’s island when the bully, Parsons, challenges Bruce Lee to a fight.


When ask, “What is your style?” Bruce Lee responds “The art of fighting without fighting.”

“Show me some of it,” challenges Parsons. Bruce Lee accepts the challenge and lures him onto a lifeboat. He skillfully unties the lifeboat and leaves Parsons tethered behind to ferry.

Here’s a video of the scene.


Some parents asked, why do we teach our students to shout, “Back off, leave me alone” from a defensive position.

Well, basically, this is our version of the art of fighting without fighting. We want to ensure that our students use every option available before resorting to physical force to end a conflict. We base this practice on tons of research done to make the FAST Defense system. Let look further into statement to back off/ leave me alone.

Why say back off/ leave me alone?

The Interview – Yes, attackers interview victims like a boss interviews an applicant for a job. The attacker looks for the best victims. The interview ranges from asking simple questions like “what time is it?” to aggressive statements like “what are you looking at?” If you fail the interview, the predator knows it found a likely victim and continues the attack. This interview you want to fail.

Displays assertive communication – By communicating assertive, we are less likely to become a victim. The bully or predator will move onto an easier victim.

Let the attacker save face – This is very important. We need to leave the attacker a way to save face. In other words, if we are overly aggressive and challenge them to fight, the attacker must attack to support their fragile ego. Saying back off/ leave me alone assertively, let’s the attacker know that you don’t wish to fight by will if necessary.

Matching attacker level of intensity – Shouting back off/ leave me alone prepares you for the attack. If the perpetrator does attack, you want to match their level of intensity. Yelling back off/ leave me alone gets your adrenaline flowing so that you are ready if an attack does happen.

What will witness say – If you are cursing and yelling threats back, witnesses will say that BOTH of you were fighting. Believe me, after the fact, the attacker will say that you started it and make it sound like you attacked them. The police will ask witnesses what happen and charge you both. Don’t let this happen to you. If you are yelling back off/ leave me alone, the witness will say that you did not want to fight and the other guy attacked you.

Okay, so that’s a little about the art of fighting without fighting and why we say back off/ leave me alone. My next post we will dig deeper into this topic and talk about the color codes of awareness.

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