Hopefully one never has to come to this. One must always be prepared, however. The physical confrontations described in James Wesley Rawles’ Patriots and Survivors works are very realistic to me. Fortunately in most cases they were armed but many of the same tenets apply.
7. Kata is essential. Before anyone blows up let me explain. The literal definition of kata is form. Unless you have an unlimited number of prisoners you can sacrifice while learning your skills, you can not learn effective techniques without them. Bruce Lee had an expression that you must train the way you intend to fight. Any motion has to be repeated correctly until it is intuitive; then practiced at full speed and force to be effective when needed. That is kata. A boxer or MMA contestant practicing a jab-cross-hook combination on a heavy bag is performing a kata. To be intuitive it must be capable of being executed without conscious, analytical, thought. If you have to think about it it’s too late.
9. Psycho trumps everything. If it has hit the fan many, if not most, people will be quickly psychologically reduced to an animal state of mind. Most animals have very little if any left brain, or rational thought process capabilities. They operate solely on right brain, intuitive or emotional, processes. Japanese has a word, mushin, which is loosely translated “no mind.” This means you don’t think about it, you do it. This is the right brain, and sometimes when it is in control you will feel you are looking at what you are doing as if someone else was in control of your body. Bruce Lee talked about “it” doing the things he did because he didn’t have to think about doing them, they were just done. The left brain imposes limits-morals, fear of injury, fear of punishment, fear of failure-on you, the right brain has no limits. The right brain in control allows little old ladies to lift a car off a grandchild. After it hits the fan many people will not be thinking rationally; and they will be the most dangerous. And they won’t be mutant zombie biker gangs. Most will be ordinary looking humans for whom the new reality is too much to take. They will be unbelievably desperate, and if they want something they will try to take it even if it means attacking a larger person or group. They can’t be controlled without physical harm to you if you try, and any injury you suffer during this period could prove to be fatal.
There is good science behind what Bruce was saying – I took TKD from Dr. Cheon Jae Park in No. VA (not starting on the fighting-style-efficacy debate yet, it’s irrelevant to this post) who got his PhD in kinesiology and impressed upon us deeply the importance of muscle memory. This is also why it is important to do motions properly and deliberately from the start or else you will retain failure.