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The 3 stages of conflict

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Krav Maga lessons applied to real life.

The arts of war teach us life. Life teaches us the art of war.

There are some skills that we would be happy to confine to training, knowing how to defend ourselves from a physical attack is one of them. But as you know, it is when you are best prepared for war that you have the best chance of avoiding it. So let’s learn together the lessons of martial arts practice. They are all different in their approach, their philosophy or their practicality. Why, each has something to teach us to deal with a form of conflict in the best possible way.

Maybe I’ll do a series of publications highlighting a martial art, I’ll see if I have enough to say.

Here are some lessons I have learned from my practice of Krav Maga: observe, anticipate, avoid if possible, if not surprise and get out of danger

Although it was originally thought of as an offensive martial art, today it is readily associated with the idea of self-defense, after all, the best defense is offense. Let’s look at the strategy that is recommended when faced with danger or a perceived threat. We must go step by step. If there is one thing to remember in Krav Maga, it is that the most important thing happens before the altercation, a bit like a chess player who places his pieces on the board to checkmate the opposing king. It’s all in the preparation, the rest is important, but if the first step is well done, you ensure a favorable outcome.

Know your enemy and know yourself, even if you have to fight a hundred wars, a hundred times you will be victorious. Sun Tzu

This advice should serve as a reflection in your daily life and your relationship with conflict in general.

Perceived disputes

Observe like a chameleon
Conflictuality often materializes as disputes that are observed and are potential premises for a possible escalation. This stage is only for observation. When you observe a disagreement with someone, whether it is due to diverging interests or different visions on a subject, it is not necessarily strategic to dwell on it. Quarrels are often egotistical and only serve to flatter the person seeking them. Avoid this futile trap, it is better to move on when faced with people who only find satisfaction in hostility. The best way to deal with conflict is to anticipate it, and in most cases this will result in avoiding the problem. If you have not anticipated well or cannot avoid the conflict, you will reach step 2, which is decisive and can be a trap for many.

Tensions: intimidate, make the opponent refuse to escalate

In many situations, the protagonists stop at a point of tension that spreads a heavy atmosphere. This is often a point where the strategy of intimidation is put into action: convincing of one’s superiority to dissuade the opponent from taking up arms. This strategy is effective on individuals who lack self-confidence, but it is risky with more seasoned individuals. The idea is that we must not allow ourselves to be trapped in this situation that is imposed on us by giving in to intimidation. If you see that you are being openly disrespected, don’t stay in that in-between position, but instead take the next step, which is open conflict. In these circumstances, the masks come off and it is the more aggressive party that usually wins. The best strategy to adopt in the face of bullying is indifference, or at least the absence of fear, to indicate that you are quite ready to move on to the next stage and that if your opponent takes you there, he or she will have much to lose.

Above all, it is important to avoid letting this stage drag on for too long, at the risk of becoming unnecessarily exhausted. Either you manage to get through it without a hitch, or you have to accept the escalation. There are only 2 solutions: calmly end the tension or prepare for the attack.

War breaks out: all means are used to win

You now have no choice but to throw yourself into the arena. You have used your powers of anticipation and persuasion, but nothing can be done, the fight is inevitable. Now your reptilian brain will take over. What will work are the thousands of moves you’ve learned in training, not the latest technique you were taught last week. Your reptilian brain has recorded the most automatic body movements to defend yourself. Now, the more animal part of you is dominant. Nevertheless, ideally, a trained person should have a calm or even relaxed mind in the most stressful situations to better overcome them.

Final tip:

One must feign weakness, so that the enemy will be lost in arrogance. Sun Tzu

You have to know how to cultivate a deceptive image, but it depends on the strategy you put in place. If you live in a place where everyone knows each other, it is better to build a solid reputation, so that people will avoid bothering you in the future. Conversely, if you live in a changing environment where anonymity is the norm, it’s not a bad idea to hide your strengths in some way. Still with the idea of surprise, it is much more effective to surprise because you have been underestimated rather than overestimated. Don’t rock the boat, show your true colors. However, if you see that you have no choice but to go out on a limb, put your heart and soul into confronting your enemy. To be able to do this, you should never stop training, so that you are always in top shape mentally and physically.

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