3 reasons people risk their lives. Which one is yours?

People purchase car insurance, health insurance and other insurance policies that do absolutely nothing to prevent that actual event from occurring. Car insurance doesn’t prevent the accident and health insurance doesn’t prevent the injury. So why wouldn’t people actually invest in something that could prevent actual injury or death? I have forever pondered why people don’t actively engage in their own self-protection and that of their family. I am aware, that being in the business of teaching self-protection, I may appear to have a bit of a bias, but come on! You would have to maintain an actual clinical deficiency to not be aware of the existence of violence in this or any society. Rape, home invasions, murder, beatings, domestic violence, gang violence, car jacking, kidnapping, molestation, robbery, trafficking and the list goes on and on and on and on. So why do so many continue to bury their head in the sand?

In my 30 plus years of experience I have come to some conclusions about this. “I don’t have the money for that right now.” Or, “Well, we just don’t have the time.” These are the normal brush offs we get in the industry. But that is just another way of saying it’s not a priority. So lets look a little closer at a few of the more honest reasons people fail to take stock in their own protection, essentially putting their lives at risk.

The first is that the majority of people feel exclusionary towards violence. For these people, geography and status keep them from being in the path of violence. For these people violence has always been packaged as a minority figure; a stranger who prowls on the weak and helpless. This figure is highlighted in news feeds and discussed second hand (so to speak), so there is no immediate threat. This group also assumes that the extra $20,000 they spent to live in an area with historically “low crime”, granted them immunity from violence. This group doesn’t feel that the creeper neighbor is anything to worry about. Or, they feel that pedophilia is somehow restricted to impoverished areas. They have not yet grasped the reality that their perfect little town is the best and most ripe garden for the pickings of human trafficking. This group is the same group that doesn’t see violence as anything other than the outwardly appearing thug! They don’t see the man in the suit using a “sales pitch” to gain trust or entry into the home. Or the friendly neighbor that has been getting closer and closer to gaining the trust of their daughter. This group is the perfect example of the biggest group of people with their “heads in the sand”, or in denial. This mindset/thinking is held by so many in suburban America. If you fall into this group ask yourself this; do people who live in places where there isn’t cold weather still get colds? Let that sink in for a moment, that’s the same logic.


Another reason for peoples inactive nature towards their self-protection is image. Now I don’t hate golf, but I am the first to admit that I suck at it! I suck at working on cars, I suck at a lot of things. But i’m not concerned how sucking at those things make me look to others. And if you asked, most are honest and would say that there are things they suck at as well. This is of course what every experience is like when you first start it. The learning curve becomes harder to deal with as an adult, but most expect it. Yet when it comes to fighting or self-defense, very few people (men for the most part) want to go through that period of sucking. I have met so many that would rather look good loosing than look bad learning. Nobody wants to go through the learning curve. They just want to show up one day looking good and being immediately coordinated. The truth is, that if your going to be good at anything you will have to get over the initial period were that voice that says, “I know I look stupid”, “I feel so ridiculous”. The more you do this the more you realize that the voice is an illusion. Imagine your child learning to walk. He/she gets up and takes their first step, then while going to make the second step the child falls. Now imagine looking at your child and being able to hear their thoughts. “Man I bet the kid across the street is doing way better than I am, I feel so stupid!” “I can’t believe I just blew it, everyone is still looking at me… I am so done with this walking thing, who needs it anyway?” “Ill just spend the rest of my life in this walker thing.” Yep , if you could hear your internal voice, that is how ridiculous you would sound.


Finally, the comfort zone. An embedded part of training Counter Violence is being comfortable being uncomfortable. Yet the routines of work, home, kids, sleep, repeat keep most stuck. We then tell ourselves that the sacrifice we are making for our kids…blah blah blah. The ego then kicks in and begins to tell us how such violent things could never happen to us and so on and so forth. Then its our favorite TV shows and routines that keep us in a pattern, and these patterns are generally not productive towards anything healthy. The comfort zone tells you that you have worked all day and deserve rest. Social media has become such a huge issue and contributes to the prison of comfort so much that we have only begun to uncover its effect. We do know that the time it takes to learn self-protection is just a fraction of the time most people spend on social media. Life begins to feel dull. People stuck in this zone begin to post spiritual memes, talk to friends about how they are going to get in shape with one another. They tell themselves that as soon as they get into shape they are going to join your self-protection course. (Let that sink in for a moment.) They make all of these grandiose plans to start feeling alive and yet do nothing and blame their schedule or somethings else. But talking about it and making broken plans every 6 months scratches some itch that makes them feel as though they are trying. Truth be told, most productive people have a self-storage unit filled to the top with excuses of why I shouldn’t do the things that are best for me and my family, yet I do them in spite of those excuses. The comfort zone is a prison and one needs to be broken out of it from the outside. Self-protection usually breaks this prison as a result of something tragic and personal happening to close friends or family. Or if a doctor says if you don’t get off your ass and exercise your children will find you in a pool of your own vomit. Much like those who wait until their house is in ashes before they get a fire extinguisher. Your comfort zone will be the end of you.

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There are a couple of other very serious reasons that fall square on the shoulders of the self-defense industry as a whole, but I will address in our next blog. Until then, ask yourself which one of these is your reason for risking your safety and the safety of your family.


Michael VanBeek