Martial Arts Philosophy : How to Avoid a Fight

Hi everybody I’m John Graden from The Martial
Arts Teacher’s Association. You know I’ve been doing martial arts since 1974 and I’ve
seen a lot of variations and approaches to the marital arts. One of the key lessons that
I think is so important, especially for me, as a teacher of teachers I want to convey
to you how to avoid a fight, how to stay out of a fight. Sometimes you are attacked, sometimes
you are just in a situation where you have got to defend yourself and martial arts gives
you those tools to pull the trigger if you have to but most of the time you want to avoid
it as best as possible. James Coburn, the great actor, who is also a student of Bruce
Lee said the best way to avoid a fight is to avoid places where ego and alcohol are
mixed and I always thought that was really good advice. Here is how you avoid a fight
and it really starts in your mind it really starts with your sense of self confidence,
the confidence you have gained in martial arts. One of the great lessons in life that
you can learn to help you to make decisions is short term pain for long term gain or short
term gain for long term pain, what do I mean? If you’re in a situation where someone is
verbally harassing you or in some way insulting you, you’ve got to make a decision. Do I want
the short term gain of taking this guy out for the long term pain of possibly being sued,
maybe seriously hurting this person, going to jail, or getting yourself smashed or all
the above? So it is a short term gain for your ego for the long term pain that comes
with that kind of activity, the karma of that kind of activity. So here is my mindset. A
true martial artist, someone who is truly confident in themselves, has a quiet ego.
I have a massive ego but I keep it quiet. Something as trivial as being insulted or
my manlihood being insulted, my ego is so strong that it cannot be penetrated with that
kind of talk so I take the short term pain of putting up with it and leaving for the
long term gain of knowing that I’m moving forward with my life. I’m doing positive things
in my life and that’s the message that I want to convey to you, all my students as a martial
artist. That is the message that I want you to take as the real message of martial arts.
I’m John Graden. For more information contact me at Thanks.

17 thoughts on “Martial Arts Philosophy : How to Avoid a Fight

  1. @fordyaus The whole reason to learn it is so you can win the fight you can't avoid. Even the samurai eventually learned that the greatest victory one can achieve is to not fight at all.

  2. i had this dude at work that was trying to fight me cuz me an another guy was messing around an he kept nagging an nagging saying he can kick my ass an that i cant fight. all i told him was "i know what my limits are an i know what i can do to someone if need be so i dont need to prove it to you.

  3. There's a lot of people out there who take martial arts for the sole purpose of fighting and think martial arts is only for fighting. Those people out there cause fights on purpose, hoping someone will attack them so they can test their skills. But the guy is right, knock the guy out, get sued.

  4. Yeah. Some people just need to fight to prove how good they are. What they are not aware is it may get them into tons of trouble than if they simply just walked away. So is all that long term pain really worth it?

  5. @ECpimpsta thats funny,when some one has a gun the last thing they want to is shoot someone(cops,military,conceald carriers and so on.) but they are still wiling to defend their life(their life and their families life,and only to save a persons life will they pull out the gun and use it ) if it came down to it.
    im no martial artist,im just a wanna be gun expert who has been trained by police.

  6. Very well said, plus, you never know what they know and what they are carrying. It's a good thing to practice what words to use to get out of a fight. Still, I do it in a way that my body does not look threatening and yet it is in a position to act fast if needed. Great video. Thanks.

  7. some people try to provoke you but no matter what they say you are better than them because you dont give a shit.

  8. this is true, any real master of whatever martial art style would teach you to avoid getting in to fights and to do not act recklessly. Ive been in MA most of my life and really Ive never got in any fight. with a lot of practice you learn to "feel" violent situations. besides you never know if someone has a knife or a gun. you can be beating a guy out and suddenly he draws a knife and thats it, doesent matter of you are bruce lee youll probably would get killed anyway.

    my theory is that fighting is a very violent thing and by fighting almost every day you "learn" the violence, you can feel it, you can see it in someones eyes, or when someone is about to explode, I feel it like a pressure in the back of my head when something is not right. Ive been in dangerous situations like everyone else, but Ive learn to trust my gut and avoid situations thet make me feel kind of weird. of course you can never rely on that to stay safe but it helps a lot.  

  9. In Martial Arts we are Taught Humility, Respect and Being Humble, why ? because if its not taught and there are many   A#%holes. There will be lots of Fights everywhere  🙂

  10. I just got harassed by a bully in a road rage incident and he was pushing me to fight it out. I chose to avoid it and after watching your video am not feeling bad. Thanks

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