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No satisfaction based upon self-deception is solid,
and however unpleasant the truth may be,
it is better to face it once for all, to get used to it,
and to proceed to build your life in accordance with it.
                                      Bertrand Russell

Self-Delusion Cycle Of Self-Defense

On this page:
Getting Sucked In | Grigris | Cycle of Self-Delusion

On this site we talk a lot about people getting involved with bad training. By 'bad training' we mean commercialized martial arts schools fake streetfighting groups, macho BS (e.g. sport fighting being sold as self-defense training), agenda-driven training, cults and countless other ways your wallet can get sucked dry.

Add to this money vacuum in an overwhelming majority of cases you are being pumped full of false information. What you're learning isn't any good for self-defense  Worse, you are being told not only is it good for self-defense, but that it IS self defense. Nooooo .... that's selling a tractor as a Ferrari.

What we're telling you is most of what you're being sold as 'self-defense' will result in either you getting killed or thrown in prison for using it.

With the picture we paint, we are often asked "Why would anyone be sucked into such an obviously screwy situation?"

Getting Sucked In
Well first of all, it's not that obvious. Sure it's easy to see the stuff we're talking about after we point out the patterns (especially if you've been burned). But until you've had that experience in these groups, it's hard to detect these patterns among all the other things happening.

It's especially difficult to spot these patterns because the people engaging in them sound so confident while they are explaining the 'whys and wherefores.' After all, he wouldn't sound so convinced about what he's saying if it wasn't true ...would he?

Wanna bet?

Although most people believe they are good at detecting lies and deception, study after study has revealed, they actually suck at it. Without specific training on lie detection they average a success rate in the low 30 percentile. That's because the best lies are based on exploiting what you think you know. Mix that in with someone stating reasonable sounding, but false, information with utter confidence and you're likely to be taken in by it... unless you already know better.

Which brings us to the second point. We go to these instructors assuming that they know what they are talking about. Not only do they lie, but we lie to ourselves about the instructor's qualifications. After all, he knows martial arts. Martial arts are self-defense. So because he has a black belt, he must know what he's talking about when it comes to self-defense ... right?

The third point is that it ISN'T what you don't know that makes you vulnerable to deception. It's what you think you know that makes you vulnerable. This is kind of a vague concept, so let me explain it via an example.

Have you ever watched a movie about something that you really know? You sit there and go "No. Wrong. Not how it works. Or OH PLEASE!" Well how many people -- who don't know what you know -- thought the movie was entirely plausible?

The same thing goes for self-defense. You've seen movies. You've seen fights in high school. Maybe you were even in a few of them. What you think is involved in 'self-defense' is punching (and maybe kicking). Whether you are conscious of it or not, THAT is going to bias 'what makes sense' to you. You are going to unconsciously accept anything that reconfirms what you believe you know. Punching and kicking? Well that's what the martial arts teach, that's what self-defense is, so the martial arts must be good for self-defense. Right?

And THAT is what most so-called self-defense programs are going to be selling. A simplistic package that reconfirms your biases, assumptions and what you think you know already. Instead of teaching you to become adept at the components of what is involved in self-defense, you become adept at the components you think are involved in self-defense.

What they are NOT explaining are the complications, variables, levels and -- not to put too fine a point on it -- the sheer hassles that come with violence.

Grisgris (Gree-Gree)
 In case you aren't from New Orleans, a grisgris (pronounced: gree-gree, the name is French) is a voodoo amulet, talisman, charm or mojo bag to ward off evil. A more modern interpretation is an irrational, unable-to-be-proven belief that gives us emotional comfort.

What are we talking about? Try this:
"What's that thing around your neck for?"
"It keeps the vampires away."
"There aren't any vampires!"
"See how good it works?"

Unfortunately, most of what is being taught out there as 'self-defense' isn't about personal safety, it's about grisgris.

Although it is supposedly training to help you solve a real problems of crime and violence, what it's usually doing is feeding into a cycle of emotions, misconceptions and self-deception.

In case you need that spelled out in plain English: It's NOT teaching you how to effectively deal with the complications, problems and realities of violence. Instead what it's doing is soothing your fear over the boogey-men of your imagination and of your own creation.

Does this not make sense?

Well try this. Most people don't go to a self-defense course because of an actual and immediate danger (e.g. you are currently being stalked). Most people go to these classes because of a perceived danger

Most of the training out there is oriented on calming your fear, not teaching you how to handle the actual problem. The irony of this is even though you've reduced your self-induced fear, you haven't actually reduced the danger. Nor have you even learned about the problem. All you've done is learn fantasy answers to fantasy problems.

Having that emotional calm and confidence IS important. But since you're paying money, you have the right to demand to be trained in something that ALSO works in case your fears become reality.

The Cycle of Self-Deception
Pay close attention to this cycle because the odds are to some degree or the other you've fallen for it. It's about grisgris. It doesn't matter if you use vampires, that you were assaulted in your past or that you're just scared of violence. Basically the cycle goes like this:

  1. Working from an image and/or memory (a movie or a past event) you scare yourself.
  2. You tell yourself this 'danger' is real and immediate (it's not necessarily, but the fear you've created is).
  3. You search to find some way to cope with this fear. Usually in a way that is as unsubstantiated as the perceived danger (e.g. thinking what you need is a magical talisman to ward off vampires or self-defense training to keep from being attacked again)
  4. Then you proceed to act in a way that reinforces your convictions about both the nature of the danger AND that this is the cure (e.g. carrying a talisman or taking 'self-defense' training). The key element he is you are doing something that you have convinced yourself IS effective -- and by extension, it gives you control over the 'danger.'
  5. The action soothes your fear, BUT doesn't actually address the problem

In time, our perceptions change. E

What I want you to notice here is that even though outside actions are taken, most of the process is occurring within your own head. You are telling yourself 'this is dangerous.' BUT, you aren't going out and researching exactly why it is dangerous, how it functions, what are the limitations and the actual dangers of the situation.

The next internal step is, now that you've defined it as dangerous, you're going to decide what is the best course of action to handle the danger. For example, you're afraid of crime so you're going to go get self-defense training at a martial art school.


(For example, a moving train IS dangerous ... if you're standing in front of it)


 WE create the monsters in our heads and these salesmen in funny clothing will teach us how to defeat them -- for a price.


what they are teaching you would only work in your own fantasies about how violence happens.


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Defeating The Victim's Consciousness


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