Violence is simple.
How simple is it? We can answer that with two more questions:
- How can untrained people prevail?
- How is it that untrained people can prevail over trained people?
Because for all their blissful naïveté, the victorious untrained have a firm grip on the tool of violence. This fact stands because violence is much simpler than people would have you believe; it’s much simpler than you want to believe.
The idea that violence is difficult and requires years of training (and that years of training will protect you from the untrained) are comfortable, comforting thoughts.
I read somewhere once that the little lies we tell ourselves on a daily basis, the small untruths that shape our subjective realities are what keep us happy. The people who see the world and themselves as it all “really is” are the clinically depressed. Similarly, accepting the simplicity of violence is an unpalatable dose of hard reality. To learn that you are never immune and that someone who is completely and conspicuously untrained can murder you is acutely unsettling. Even depressing.
If violence is so simple that even the untrained can use it and survive, then even a little bit of training is going to make you really, really good at it. And if you’re reading this, you’ve already had more training than most. You’re way better than you think, if only you’d let yourself be.
(Case in point: You know far more about wrecking people than a serial killer does. The only thing that could possibly hold you back is a lack of intent; what the serial killer lacks in technique is more than made up for with a monomaniacal will to get the job done. But you already knew that.)
Violence is much simpler than we present it to be.
We spent a lot of time teasing out the common elements and finding ways to communicate them to you. It comes across as a ton of material that people mistakenly believe they must master before they can be effective.
For all that, we’re only ever really talking about the rock to the head… and what is the rock to the head but a big hunk of kinetic energy driven through a vulnerable target?
Everything else is just detail work, an exploration of all possible combinations and configurations for using your body as a human tissue-wrecking machine, with and without snap-on tools. Violence only seems complicated if you think this detail work is required to be effective. Or if you think you need a black belt before you can seriously injure someone…
It’s simpler than you think because it has nothing to do with thinking. Violence is all in the doing.