“In his book The Gift of Fear, Gavin De Becker writes, “Of course, if it is in their heads now, so was it then. What they mean is that they only now accept the significance. This has taught me that
the intuitive process works, though often not as well as its principal competitor, the denial process.” De Becker is referring to people he interviewed, who were a witness to or victim of a violent
encounter. In retrospect, they realized that their intuition had correctly warned them of an impending danger in the minutes prior to that very event, but they had ignored their brain’s warning
system. He concludes that our gut instincts are not acts of chance, but instead our brain and our body’s subconscious reaction to a collection of abnormal stimuli in our environment. He goes on to
explore the experience of those who, unlike the others, did follow their “sixth sense.” One person narrowly avoided a robbery at a convenience store, deciding to suddenly exit the shop just minutes
prior to the attack. While our body senses danger afoot, often times we tend to dismiss these feelings as paranoia because the threat is not staring us in the face. Regardless of what we read in
the news or hear from others, we often accept the reality that bad things happen to others and reject the possibility that it can happen to us.
Krav Maga is, in every way, the exact opposite of denial; it is the embrace of the innate intuition that De Becker describes. What is quite amazing about Krav Maga’s philosophy is that the self-
defense process does not begin with the physical counter to an attack. Instead, it begins with the recognition of a potential attack. The training very much conditions one’s body to proactively
respond to a dangerous situation. Thus, the most ideal situation is a confrontation that can be avoided entirely. By its very nature, the training forces us to accept the possibility that we are in
danger and to thereafter begin planning, or in some cases executing, a response. In the case that we fail to recognize the threat early on, we must react immediately to an attack already upon us.”
By Brian Lieberman
Gavin DeBecker’s book,The Gift of Fear, is the first book I advocate clients read when they want a greater understanding of the pre-cursors to violent behavior and how to address and understand your intuition. What I like about this write-up is that they are taking the pre-cursors to violence into consideration in their training and decision making; acknowledging and recognizing a potential encounter before it happens means you are thinking quicker and responding quicker. I agree and also advocate that training should always be more than just a physical response. It's extremely important to add threat recognition and emotional content into your training to make it feel more realistic and to add context to the what and why of what you are instilling in your students.