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October 31, 2011

Protecting Oneself

Many people think the “Art of Self-Defense” as “how to cope when being attacked by bad people”. Learning how to handle an attacker, by training on a daily basis, of course, would be a good thing. However, in an actual situation, it is too late to begin “handling” an attacker after already being attacked.

The true Self-Defense is to sense and evade the danger ahead of time. So training how to sense danger is actually very important.

In a train station or inside the train, if you try looking around, most people around are looking at the screens of their mobile phone or at game consoles. They do not pay much attention to or have much interest in the people around them. Therefore, if there is any threat of approaching danger, they would not be able to sense it.

To be able to protect oneself, there is a minimum distance needed around oneself. This is referred to as “Maai”, but when surrounded in a crowded place, it is difficult to be able to create the distance around oneself. This would be especially so, when in a train or bus or the inside of an elevator. When someone whom one is not familiar with comes inside “Maai”, one should recognize and check what state of mind these people are exhibiting.

When you have an uncomfortable feeling, you put in place a natural distance from that person or get on the next train or elevator. But when concentrating on a mobile phone or game console, one may actually invite danger inside Maai. Extending Ki to the surroundings is actually fundamental in the protection of oneself.

Some days ago while it was raining, I was driving my car and what I saw caught my attention. There was a person riding on his bicycle with earphones in his ears, while holding an umbrella and also flickering at the screen of his mobile phone. Already, it seems obvious that being aware of his surroundings is disregarded and he may be inviting danger.

Those who always use a mobile phone or game console while being out in a public area should first please look around you for one day. You will realize many things that you were not aware before.

“Protecting Oneself” applies the same to human relationships.

In human relationships there is also “natural distance (Maai)”. In protecting oneself there is a minimum distance required. Unlike physical distance, the “distance” in relationships is not visible. This is felt by sense and the only way to learn would be through experience.

In regards to this, we will continue further at another opportunity.

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