Thursday, July 05, 2018

The Art of Fighting Without Fighting by Badger Johnson

One of the most important concepts that Bruce Lee and others (Sun Tzu) talked about is ‘Fighting without Fighting’.

Why is this important? It involves a methodology of dealing with conflict that gives a successful outcome, with a minimum of subsequent issues. It is a way to empower individuals to handle daily life. It gives an alternative to simply butting heads, using logical and sensible tactics. It is both a way of acting and a thought process and something one can practice and affords personal growth. Below are some ideas. As always research carefully the ‘how’ of enacting these methods in your own situation. Not all of them may be applicable to everyone.

Twenty-Five Examples of Methods of Fighting Without Fighting.

1. Do Not Be The Enemy - Define, or redefine your enemy. Often it is yourself. Sometimes we ‘need’ our enemies to keep us vigilant. The body needs stressors to keep its defenses strong.

2. The Brain - Use your brain, your best weapon, find a way to put the enemy on bad footing, or in a situation where they self-defeat.

3. The Art of Interception - Bruce Lee talks about the art of interception. We must intercept the opponent’s intent, their opportunity and their methods, not only up close but at a distance. Intercept motive, means and opportunity.

4. Make Careful Choices - Choose your battles carefully.

5. Seek To Make A Friend - Make the enemy your friend or at least see their side and thus deescalate things.

6. Be The Gray Man - Use stealthy methods, be transparent, leave no trace. Striking causes wounds which can be used as complicit evidence. Be the ‘gray man’.

7. Multiple Fronts - Encounter the opponent on multiple fronts. You can use overwhelming methods to defeat that which you might not defeat on a single front.

8. Define Your Enemy - By defining your opponent I mean not just carefully researching them, it, him, but look beyond an individual. Your opponent might be fatigue, or lack of self-knowledge or lack of preparation. It could be internal or external. It could be an idea, a prejudice which is keeping you confined.

9. Laying Traps - One way to intercept the opponent is by laying traps. If you know an action will make the opponent go right or left, lay a trap where they will go. Understanding the opponent is paramount because you can not predict what they will do to lay a trap if you have not understood their motivation.

10. The Subtle Beats The Overt - Seek subtle means over overt means, because those use less energy.

11. Limit Your Damage - Before you engage the enemy, try to make sure that though you might take damage you can survive and not be destroyed should you lose any particular engagement.

12. Seek The Successful - Look for real world examples of how success is achieved, analyze that success for principles you can incorporate.

13. Do Not Fear Failure - The best teacher is failure, so don’t be too afraid of failing in any one encounter. You learn and can come back and win later.

14. Be Elsewhere - The best way to win a battle is often not to be there. While your opponent is engaging and expending energy you are somewhere else.

15. Anticipate Early - Anticipating danger and trouble is part of interception, it doesn’t necessarily mean you never seek to engage, just engage on your terms.

16. Blow It Off - In any conflict if possible, always seek to ‘blow it off’. Let time pass. There’s less chance for unnecessary or unpleasant repercussions or backlash.

17. Poker Face - Avoid showing your intent, or plans. It may cause the enemy to fear your level of threat. Poker face.

18. Do Not Gloat - Once you have succeeded in solving without conflict avoid the tendency to gloat over your success. Allow the enemy to save face.

19. Do No Harm - Adopt a ‘first do no harm’ approach to conflict and resolution.

20. Do Not Be Drawn In - Try never to be drawn needlessly into an ego-driven conflict.

21. Do Not Cling - Learn and practice ways not to cling to a goal or an object. Do not cling to the need to be right or wrong.

22. Add Your New Findings - If you need victory at times, consider adding a new method of resolution to your list that you get from experience. You have added a new tool toward self-mastery. That kind of victory will last.

23. The Six Diseases - Study and work at solving the six diseases of excessive self-consciousness.
“The six diseases are:
  • The desire for victory;
  • The desire to resort to technical cunning;
  • The desire to display all that he has learned;
  • The desire to overawe the enemy;
  • The desire to play a passive role;
  • The desire to get rid of whatever disease he is likely to be infected with.”
24. Practice What You Learn - As part of the process one should seek ways to practice and perfect the art of fighting without fighting.

25. Avoid Ego Battles - Seek the 10,000 foot view on issues. This will help one to not be caught up in ego-battles with strangers.

© Badger Johnson 2018

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