We’ve heard a lot about violence lately…

“Gun Violence”

“Violent Crime”

“Violent Altercation”

“Violent Video Games”

“Violent Sports”

“Violence on TV”


In fact, the message is so consistent and prevalent that I could understand if you might even catch yourself thinking that violence is bad from time to time.

But is violence bad?

True violence is disgusting. It’s disturbing. It causes a visceral reaction when you see it.  But is it bad?

If you had a chance to go back in time and ask liberated Jews at the end of WWII if they thought that violence was bad, what do you think they’d say?

They’d probably say that German violence was bad and Allied violence was good.

Do you think they’d criticize US use of violence in the process of neutralizing their oppressors…and maybe say we should have tried to understand Hitler better?

What about a hostage who finds the knife that was just pressed against her neck suddenly laying on the ground next to her dead former captor…who has a fresh, new hole in the bridge of his nose?

Do you think she’d criticize the use of violence by the person who saved her life? No. Again, I’m betting she’d say that the bad guy’s use of violence was bad but the good guy’s use of violence was good.

What about a college co-ed who successfully defends herself from being raped by crushing and breaking parts of her attacker to the point where they can never be repaired.

Was her use of violence bad? No, but her attacker’s use of violence was most definitely bad.

Was the “violent” training and practice that led to these 3 positive outcomes bad?

It’s complicated.

Violence is neither purely good nor purely bad and value judgements about violence are based on your perspective.

Think of any active shooter situation and the murderer’s use of violence was always horrible, but in almost every case, the length of time that they were able to murder people was limited by a moral and ethical person who also used violence.

Violence took lives. Violence saved lives. And in many cases, “gun violence” saved lives.

The more empathetic you are, the more disgusting, repulsive, and horrible violence seems and, ironically, the more vital it is that you become fluent in the language and art of violence.

Violent people don’t need to take a class on violence. They don’t need a course. They don’t need to learn how to do what they already do to control and manipulate people on a regular basis.

Nice, empathetic, peace loving people—the people who are the most repulsed by violence–are the ones who need to learn violence the most, because they’re the ones who are the easiest targets for someone who’s willing to use violence to get what they want.

In the times when posturing and verbal judo don’t work, if your attacker is speaking the language of violence, it’s too late to start learning the language.  You’ve got to know how to dance before you get to the ball.

Sheepdogs have this figured out. They live in the polite world, but are ready to flip the switch or turn the intensity knob and defend themselves and possibly others at a moment’s notice.

I want to share 2 quotes with you that are particularly applicable. The first is from Tim Larkin, creator of Target Focus Training.

“Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is, it’s the ONLY answer.”

People in civilized society are (fortunately) conditioned to negotiate differences with words, wild gestures, and sometimes touching, poking, and pushing. In a “civilized” society, the response for someone calling your mother a whore might be to puff your chest out, get bug eyed, and put on a show of trying to fight past your friends who are “holding you back.” Violence is not the answer. Maybe bumping chests or a punch or two, but not violence.

When someone cuts you off in a car, it might escalate to honking, flipping them off, yelling through your closed windows at them, tailgating them, and/or trying to pass them to “show them a thing or two.” Violence is not the answer.

But when a home invader comes into your house with a mask and a gun, they have crossed several lines that pretty much shout out that they are not interested in talking or bluster. They’re all business and you would be hard-pressed to find a good solution that doesn’t involve violence.

The second quote is from Navy SEAL Sniper, Chris Kyle,

One of my shirts from Chris

One of my shirts from Chris

“Despite what your momma told you, violence solves problems.”

Chris solved a LOT of problems in Iraq with violence. He saved hundreds, if not thousands of US and Iraqi lives in the process.

Violence solves problems when nothing else will…when all else has failed.

God used violence throughout the Old and New Testament when nothing else worked.

Governments and militaries use violence when nothing else works.

It’s the basis of law enforcement “use of force” training and almost all self-defense classes.

“Use the least amount of force necessary to solve the problem, and no more.”

But that only works when your ability and willingness to use force goes beyond your attacker’s.

What I mean is this…if your “violence volume knob” only goes up to a 4 and your attacker’s goes up to 11 AND he’s willing to use it to get what he wants, you’re going to lose a real-world violent attack every time.

Which is why it’s SO important for good people to train and practice the skills necessary to, as Ernest Emerson says, “turn their knob to 11” on instantly and on demand.

This is especially important for people who aren’t wired for violence.

It’s this ability to “go to 11” on command that allows an innocent happy-go-lucky kindergarten teacher to be both nurturing and caring when there’s no threat to her kids and EFFECTIVE in her response when she’s confronted in the mall parking lot after school by a guy in a hoodie with a knife to her throat. If she wants to survive to be the happy-go-lucky teacher tomorrow, she must have the ability to “go to 11.”

Not just with intensity, but with effective intensity.  A 130 pound woman hammer fisting a chest has a MUCH different effect than striking a throat with the same intensity.  Scratching the face leaves embarrassing marks…scratching the eyeball is life-changing.

Yet, how do you do this? How do you take someone who isn’t wired for fighting and give them the ability to “flip the switch” and take care of business if the need arises?

There’s 2 parts…

First is avoiding as many violent encounters as possible and that will be the best first step for many people who think they’re opposed to violence.

Regardless, the smartest and most effective way to “not lose” a fight is not to fight in the first place.

This means practicing situational awareness…and not the silly “look for bumps under clothes and bad looking people” that’s floating around online. I mean REAL situational awareness skills like what you can learn in Retired Navy SEAL, Larry Yatch’s course.

This is not a high-speed-operator course, but a situational awareness course that everyone from middle schoolers and non-tactical people to concealed carry holders, law enforcement, and military will learn from. If you don’t have it already, you can learn more about it >HERE<

Second, is the psychological ability to flip the switch and the physical ability to follow through on it. This means knowing exactly which targets on your attacker will stop the fight fastest, what bodypart to use as your impact weapon to have the most effect, and the body mechanics necessary to cause the most damage, regardless of your age, size, strength, or speed.

The training that I recommend the most for this is Tim Larkin’s Target Focus Training.

Some of TFT is pretty basic…like the fact that you should target the groin, eyes, throat, and other vulnerable targets that can’t be “hardened” by working out or get desensitized through repeated strikes.  You can get a list of effective strikes from a thousand or more websites and fly-by-night martial arts “experts”.  Just read the UFC’s list of prohibited strikes…really, a list of effective strikes is not special or valuable information.

What makes TFT special is the high level accelerated learning techniques that they use.

Originally developed for the SEALs, (Tim was in the Navy at Coronado. He had a catastrophic eardrum rupture during BUD/S [SEAL training] and they asked him to stay at Coronado for this project instead of being sent back to the fleet.) These accelerated learning techniques have been used, tested, and proven effective for almost 30 years.

I don’t want to spend a lot of time convincing you, but it’s incredible training and you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you find out more by going >HERE<.

With that, I want to ask you a favor.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of my readers who can’t get through to their loved ones that they need “violent” skills to protect themselves from violence.

And that having a volume knob that has the ability to go to 11 doesn’t mean that they’ll suddenly go there and stay there any more than having a speedometer that goes to 140 will make you a speeder.

So if you’re someone who is “more sensitive than most” who has gone out of your comfort zone to learn the craft of violence, PLEASE share your experience by commenting below and let us know what you’d tell someone to convince them of the need to learn some skills that may be a little uncomfortable at first.

And, if you’re someone who has successfully convinced relatives, friends, or loved ones who are “more sensitive than most” of the need for violent skills, please share what you said and what the transformation was like.

Questions? Comments? Anecdotes? Please share by commenting below…