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Self Defense:
The Weakness Of Strength

How An Aggressive Attacker Can Set Himself Up For Defeat

By Christopher Caile

He is angry, upset. He steps up to you barking insults, presses his chest up into you and then takes a swing. He is looking for a fight and you are it. His actions show he has lost control of his emotions.

This type of aggressor is ready to fly off the handle at the least perceived challenge or insult. In response they try to control you by physical intimidation, aggressive behavior, anger, and sometimes attack. Often too they cruise looking for the weak and easily intimidated. You often see this behavior around alcohol in bars and sporting events.

This type of aggression, the kind that leads to an assault, contains its own weakness, its own seeds of defeat – the loss of control.

The roots of this personality type (assuming they do not have a mental disorder) reflect internal conflict -- frustration, low self esteem, a fragile ego and/or the inability to control a relationship with others, such as with a spouse, or people at work or within their social environment. This type of personality problem can also stem from internal anger, or guilt generated from inability to control and shame over an addiction – drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.

Aggression is unleashed when this internal turmoil boils outward. He finds compensation and emotional reward when he can control others -- in voice, in argument, in directed anger, in physical control or assault. But the emotional reward from these ventures is momentary. Internally they remain emotionally famished. External control can’t really compensate. It only gives temporary relief.

The best way to avoid an assault from this personality type is to interact non-emotionally, being careful not to feed their emotions by injecting your own. By listening, by quiet redirection and patience, this type of emotional confrontation can be reduced, if not avoided. But not always.

If the attack can’t be avoid, these people often exhibit a fatal flaw in their attack. Their lack of emotional control creates a parallel lack of physical control – the attack is often uncontrolled in an attempt to make contact, knock out with a single punch, to strike out and hurt – an attack which opens up the attacker to a counter. Wild emotions can release wild actions. In short, the single minded strength of their attack is also their weakness.

Thas is why traditional martial arts emphasize mental discipline and mental control as well as physical control within technique. Thus kata techniques are very disciplined and exact with form. Basic practice can also be repetitious and difficult. Progress is slow and the process takes sustained effort. Usually those seriously unbalanced find the effort frustrating and discontinue training, but if they stick it out, it can help them control and overcome their emotional issues.

By disciplining and controlling the mind and body you also discipline your technique and actions. You don’t needlessly expose yourself to counters, open yourself up or put yourself in a dangerous position. Your actions even when countering are controlled and not wild and do not overextend or overreach.

Thus, an important component of kata, free fighting and even self-defense is your own mental and physical self-control. It is not enough to be powerful, or strong – your strengths and actions must be measured by discipline.

If emotionally controlled, you are unlikely to be prompted into an attack. You can also maintain an even voice and clear mind that does not feed into and escalate emotions voiced by others. This dampens potential conflict and aggression. You maintain control of situations by exercising control over yourself. This way internal control becomes real power – a method of its own self-defense.

Those who are humble are often the strongest, the most internally sure of themselves and confident. There is no need for them to prove themselves externally. Their calm demeanor and clear mind will serve them well.

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About The Author:

Christopher Caile is founder and Editor of

To find more articles of interest, search on one of these keywords:

self defense, street self defense, aggressive behavior, fighting strategy

Read more articles by Christopher Caile

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