You know how you hear something and it just grates on you like fingernails on a chalkboard? That is exactly how I feel about this phrase: “If you mess with my kids, you will see a whole new level of crazy!”

I overheard it again a couple weeks ago uttered by a woman in reference to a self-defense situation. She was talking with a friend about how she didn’t like guns when her friend asked her, “What are you going to do to if someone attacks you or your kids?”

That’s when she dropped the line about her whole new level of crazy.

I just wanted to grab her by the shoulders and say, “Self-defense is not like going to your child’s school to complain to the teacher about unfair grades!”

Think about this: People willing to attack others typically have plenty of experience in doing so. More often than not, a criminal predator has engaged in more than one assault. Often, that predator has been involved in several assaults per year. The predator knows how to get close, use the element of surprise and, most importantly, the criminal predator does not care. He does not care about you, your children or the consequences of his actions. You are simply a barrier between what he wants and his opportunity to get it. He will remove that barrier by any means necessary, including ruthless violence.

If you are not trained; if you do not practice; if you are not physically and mentally prepared to deal with a sudden assault when it comes, you WILL be overwhelmed. At that point, you will be at the mercy of your attacker and all you have left is hope. You can hope the attacker decides not to kill you. You can hope the attacker chooses to only take your money. You can hope the attacker gets disturbed and leaves you alone. Hope is not a strategic defense, nor does hope give you a tactical advantage.

Fear will not make you a better fighter. Anger will not make you a better fighter. Showing off a “whole new level of crazy” will not save you from an attacker.

The only thing that will make you a better fighter is participating in effective training and then regularly practicing the skills you learned during that training.

Situational awareness will certainly help you to see and avoid potential danger, but we can’t always be aware of everything going on around us. Sometimes we have to focus on the little things right in front of us. It is during those times when experienced predators strike. And when they do, you will already be at a disadvantage. Only practiced training will protect you and allow you to turn the situation to your advantage. No matter how angry or scared you are, you will not suddenly learn new skills in the middle of a fight. Don’t rely on the unrealistic idea that you will somehow rise to the occasion. That’s not what happens. We don’t rise to the occasion; we revert to our lowest level of training.

Make the choice to win the fight. Get more training.


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