Okay, so you practise a martial art or some other form of self defence. I mean, self defence is about self preservation right? Violence, aggression, physical action whatever it takes – so why on earth would you be thinking about first aid?
Ah! But violence isn’t the only answer, it’s a means to an end obviously, but inherent in any martial arts philosophy, in the martial artist himself should be the desire to ‘preserve life.’ So, whose life are we talking about? Mine? An aggressor’s? The answer is both, even that scumbag who just attacked you without provocation, the one now lying unconscious on the ground, he hasn’t moved for a few minutes, is he still breathing? There’ll be some of you reading this now who’ll be saying: “So what, he attacked me, let the ***?! die!” Your prerogative of course, and yes he did attack you so common sense dictates that he got what’s coming to him……your call, your conscience.
Now, if there’s still a threat to your life or safety you don’t want to be hanging around – it’s up to the individual to decide the dangers in any situation and act accordingly and where possible, humanly, which may mean giving assistance or effecting an escape.
You see martial arts isn’t just about punching, kicking, throwing, locking, gouging, biting etc. it’s also about avoidance, awareness and compassion and sometimes, though it goes against your instincts, you need to stretch out a helping hand to someone whose just tried biting it off. I
‘m no different, I would seriously think twice about helping someone who had just tried to rip my head off, but then again I don’t want to be responsible for causing serious injury or worse still a death.
If this concept instills a feeling of disgust in you and goes against your ‘survival ethics’ then at least consider the benefits of first aid for your family and friends.
Today children are being taught rudimentary first aid techniques in the classroom. Kids are more medically aware than they were twenty years ago and that’s got to be a good thing right? Well we think so, that’s why every student in the IAJJ from green belt onwards has to have a valid first aid certificate issued under examination conditions from either the St. John’s Ambulance or the Red Cross; and that includes the junior students.
So, if you’re an IAJJ student and you’re preparing for your green belt you need to be seriously thinking about a first aid course. If you’re a parent of a student or even a visitor not involved in the martial arts, do yourself and your family a favour and enrol in a course now…..the preservation of life isn’t just a job for the angels.