On Your Own Part 7

By Mark Brosten
Published on Jul 15th, 2012

So much time in the art is dedicated to the physical part of training; through repetition of motion we internalize self-defense Ideas. Another way of internal
izing self-defense Ideas and developing other fitness(es) (mental fitness, emotional fitness, etc.), is to apply these same self-defense principles in an argument. Consider training your mental fitness through debate.

The cycle of considerations is a diagram of the process of a fight. It was developed by Skip Hancock from Ed Parker’s original Eight Considerations to a conflict. “The cycle” can also be used as a model for any argument. The cycle consists of Attitude, Environment, Dimensional Stages of Action, Positions, Maneuvers, Targets, Weapons, Angles, and Cover

The most important concern in any argument is the control of your Attitude, or being self-aware. Ask yourself, “How concerned am I about the outcome?” “What if I lose, or win this argument?”

Environment might refer to who you are in a conflict with: a loved one, a fellow worker, a school teacher. Ask yourself, “What is the relationship."

Dimensional Stages of Action refers to the extent of the conflict, or how far does it need to go? What are the stakes?

Positions refer to considering where each of you stands on the subject. Your strategy may vary depending on your position in the conflict. You may choose to be avoiding, compromising, competing, accommodating, or problem solving.

To Maneuver means putting yourself in a position to be offensive or defensive. At this point on the cycle you begin to manifest your strategy; your plan for the conflict.

Targets refer to your goals. Do you want to win, loose, or compromise? Weapons are used to control or manipulate the conflict.

Weapons may include the use of a fact, a resource, or skills, perhaps your skills as a negotiator.

Angle refers to the points you may make or opportunities for agreement that contribute to your overall goal. Some angles to consider are using: distributive power or your power over the other person, integrative power where you join forces with your adversary to come to a compromise, indirect power or using other means to influence the outcome. You may even designate power by choosing an arbitrator to resolve the conflict.

Cover Out is how you leave the conflict. Did you share power? Was there a balance of power? Did you leave as friends or will this conflict continue later?

The training and internalization of fitness(es), other than physical, is of great importance to your development as a Martial Artist. Without developing these other fitness(es), we are only training 1/4th of the art. We miss out on so much. By using the cycle of Considerations as a model for any conflict, we gain a more encompassing understanding of “Power” and how it relates to conflict.

Power is the magnification of any force aided by focus. Power’s capacity is proportionate to the strength, force, or energy exerted. Power, like influence, can be manifested in many ways. The use of power in both physical (Martial Arts training) and verbal sparring (debate or argumentation) can be identified from the three points of view. Your application of power and its influence in any argument can be controlled. You can control how you use power and how your adversary’s power affects you and to what degree (1st person). Any powers in an argument that your opponent may have, you give him.

Whether it’s an emotional connection you two may have or through any legitimacy and/or the endorsement you have attached to his position, you’re the one who determines its importance. Your opponent’s influence on you (2nd person) is directly dependent on this value you give his position in the conflict. Any bystander viewing the argument (3rd person) will be able to characterize it. Was it friendly, aggressive, did either person dominate the conversation, etc.? In an argument, you have the power express yourself and directly sway the result. This experience of power can be an overwhelming thing; but by mustering courage, facing the challenge, and using the above models, you’ll be able to make the most of your ability to influence the outcome. Accepting power in an argument allows you to use the preparation, structure and techniques learned in the Martial Arts to aid you in everyday life, the real world, not only in the studio.

Filed under Techniques and Tutorials

Author Bio :: Mark Brosten

Mark Brosten began his Martial Arts teaching career as an associate instructor in Missoula, Montana. After Serving with the Military Police in Kuwait and Iraq during the first Gulf War, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, to continue his training. Mark was promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt by a Board of Examiners for the International Kenpo Karate Association. While in New Orleans, Mr. Brosten continued teaching, working with a diverse group of students from artists and architects to law enforcement and military personnel. Mark also developed a summer program for children, ages 4 to 5, for the Isadore Newman School in New Orleans.

An exceptional athlete, Mark is committed to training and competition. He competes in Martial Arts events throughout the United States and has placed within the top three, each time he's competed internationally. Since his return to Montana, Mark regularly teaches seminars at various martial art studios. Mr. Brosten successfully tested for advanced Black Belt rank in October of 2007. In 2008, Mark taught his first international seminar at The World Kenpo Karate Championships in Jersey, Channel Islands U.K. His practical experience and no nonsense approach to Kenpo have served him as a student, competitor, and teacher for nearly 25 years.

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