Dealing with the Unexpected

Peace is good. Violence is bad. But when sudden, out of the blue, unexpected violence such as this hits what do we do?


Dive for cover?

Fight back?

Call police?

Whip out the phone and start shooting video?

We can give all sorts of answers as to what we can do and want to do. However, the reality is until violence visits us and stares us in the face we can’t say for sure what we will actually do.

To paraphrase Tuhon Apolo Ladra, my teacher in iKali, it is what you don’t see that gets you. For example, you may be fighting with someone and chain punching him into oblivion until his buddy comes from behind and hits you in the head. Then your imminent victory becomes sudden defeat.

We can never be sure what violence and when it will come down on us, if ever. The only thing we can be in control of is our training, what we train, how we train, what is our skill level like, how is our reaction, and so on.

If you are attacked by a knife wielding person tomorrow what would you do assuming you can see it coming? Run? Can you? What if you can’t? What then? Fight without knowing how but at least you die fighting, right? Or fight with some idea as to what to do?

Just because I know Tai Chi does not mean I can handle a knife attack. That’s a fact. Fajing ability does not equal knife handling skill.

Tuhon Apolo said something else that makes sense – you can’t handle a knife attack if you do not know what a knife attacker can be capable of. I know some knife disarms before I learned Kali and I have seen videos of masters teaching how to fight against a knife attack.

After learning Kali knife method and strategies I would advise to run when you see a knife attacker and if you can’t then you better have a good plan that you have trained for when this day would come. I know I don’t which is why I must train.

I have seen videos where the person playing the attacker would do an attack and then wait for the master to counter. Is this realistic? My advice is learn how people in Kali use the blade and then assess for yourself if such counters would work. You don’t even have to learn advanced and fancy knife skills, just the basic skills would.

Your life is basically in your hands. Its not in mine and it is not in your teacher’s nor the police. When something like a knife attack comes you can either run or you have to handle and pray that what you know works. My prayer is simple – that I never have to use what I know. Until then I would follow Tuhon Apolo’s advice to hit 10,000 repetitions to ingrain the muscle memory and develop further from there.

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