03 Asocial violence

A vital component of reality is to have a framework to hang your thoughts on.  
TFT, target focused training with Mike Allen
Most all of us have a number of them.  Societal frameworks are designed to provide a fixed reality with comfortable norms which work for 99% of  all social interactions.  This framework provides the ‘rules’ that we all play nicely by to get things done with other people.  Most of us will have trouble understanding things that fall outside our framework even if it effects us directly or indirectly.  Target Focus Training provides a way of understanding what is outside the norm.
Most of us use the terms Social and Anti-Social as the range of our interactions in a broad way with our fellows.  For example: having dinner with your Mates over a few beers with good chit chat is considered Social.  But an argument and screaming at those around you may be considered Anti-social.  Even a brawl would be considered Anti-social behaviour to most people. 
Violence as defined by most people in society would fit into a framework that really only had Social and Anti-social explanations attached to it.  And when asked, most people would describe violence as anti-social behaviour.  Meaning that a good bitch slap where no one really gets hurt and no one dies is the extent of what most would consider violence and therefore what is needed personally to protect ones self. 
“Self Defence” then in the main stream is the study of dealing with social and anti social confrontation with social or anti social skills.  Great stuff really but does not cover the most critically important aspect of violence.  In a violent act where someone is doing their utmost to kill you this sort of thinking doesn’t work.  Simply because there is no social or anti social interaction involved…it is a-social. 
This is the area that is inhabited by those that are only interested in results.  Those people that have gone past the terms that define most human interaction, this is the A-social realm.  These individuals are highly successful at injuring or killing others.  They typically are unfit, have no formal martial arts or other training and are very successful. Many inhabit our prisons or are existing on their primary prey…the Social individual.
The Asocial context of violence means that there is NO social context.  Meaning it is outside of social interaction.  When all the pleading and crying are done it is purely about injury.  When a killer is going to kill you no matter how much Social and Anti social skill you have you will be at the EFFECT of their actions. 
Target Focus Training describes the States of interaction in the Asocial arena as either the EFFECT state or the CAUSE state.  There is nothing else, because there is no communication or social nicety in the Asocial.  You are either Causing the injury or you are at the Effect of the injuries.  No gray area here.  You are either giving or receiving.
Those that are interested in causing grievous bodily harm or murder are not interested in communication.  Social skill does not work here and if you use the tool of communication when there is no application for it, you will be the one who dies or is permanently injured.  Like trying to use a spanner when a jackhammer is what is needed.  Wrong tool for the job.   As Tim Larkin (Founder of  Target Focus Training) says : “Violence is rarely the answer but when it is the answer it is the only answer.” 
So the framework that is needed when learning how to deal with violence is to learn how to deal in the area where all social norms breakdown…the asocial. 
Chris Rahnk-Burr is a master instructor in Target Focus Training and has spoken and written extensively on the subject of violence.  Chris has spent over 20 years teaching every level of society what is needed when dealing with those trying to murder you and the following are some short statements from his writings:
‘…if you kill a killer who was busy trying to do the same to you, 'self-defense' is how the legal system will view that event. While it's fine for after-the-fact, you can't train for it like that. It's important to remember that you're not training for your court appearance--you're training to kill a killer. You don't get to any of the rest of it if you don't get that part done right.’ 

To get through that bit you have to strip all the cushions off of reality, as uncomfortable as that might make things. If you train for padding that isn't really there, you can get surprised. Perhaps fatally so. It's not going to be the way you wish it was--it's just going to be like it always is. Accepting that and then training accordingly keeps everything clean and streamlined, even if stone-cold uncomfortable. To wit: 

A gun is only as good as the bullet in the brain or the drain holes in the cardiovascular system. 

A knife is only as good as the amount of blood you can get him to dump. 

A stick is only as good as the broken bones and skull fragments you can drive into brain tissue. 

Your boots and fists are only as good as the injuries you inflict.’

Mike Allen (Instructor)
TFT Australia, Sydney

About Mike
In 2008 I had the privilege of attending one of Mike’s seminars at Andrew Sunters Sydney dojo and to host him in Brisbane for a weekend seminar later. Mike has been training martial arts for not-quite 30 years and is a recognized instructor in Kempo, Aikido and Yang Mian. In real life he is also a practicing physiotherapist. Recently he has been studying a system called target focus training, which he regards as 'the pointy end of the stick' for personal protection. I believe it embodies many aikido principles, but with the gloves off. Mike sensei is an approachable and articulate instructor with a genuine interest in sharing this method in a safe environment. 

For me the introduction to the reality of 'Asocial violence' was quite confronting. It was good to learn more about how our bodies and minds can and do respond as a way of being prepared for such a situation. When coupled together with some of the tools Mike presents I think this rounds out our understanding of Aikido in the realm of Personal Protection. It nicely complements the methods that Catherine Sensei will present later in February and will help prepare us even better as we continue to develop our Personal Protection workshops for the community.