• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

2. Non-stop Barrage of Interruptions -- Block the Punches

Updated: Oct 8, 2020



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Six Inappropriate Behaviors Recently Seen on TV and Tips for Handling


Behavior 2: Non-stop Barrage of Interruptions


From my days of martial arts training, I learned something profound about blocking strikes. If the strikes are predictable, blocking is easiest. That isn’t the profound part, that is the reality. It is why we have people practice repetitive responses to repetitive strikes.


It is not about the predictability of the strike, it is about building the muscle memory so that when strikes are coming in a flurry, and there is no time to think about how to respond, the muscles will do what they have been trained to do.


Block the punches.


And, we teach that a good offense is the best defense. And all of that works in a fair fight.

And, we teach that a good offense is the best defense. And all of that works in a fair fight.


In an unfair fight, everything goes. More than that, there are no rules. Even in MMA cage fighting, where “anything goes,” it still isn’t “everything goes.” There are things that are not ok. For example, poking someone in the eye.


My first experience with this was at my very first NWMAF Special Training. Most of the classes were for striking artists. I was barely a blue belt in Judo with zero experience in anything else. There were very few classes on the schedule that focused on mat arts, and the one that I did see was “grappling.” I thought, “Ok, we grapple in Judo. I can handle that.”


And was I in for a surprise. This was real life grappling and all of a sudden, I was finding myself being pinched and bitten, not full force, but showing that I had left myself vulnerable to being bitten.


So, not fair, but for training purposes, it was important. And yes, after the surprise, my training kicked in and my muscle memory served me well.


When it comes to having a verbal fight, there are rules. Debating is about having a civil verbal fight with rules for engagement. Point – counter point – discussion – response – bing!

When it comes to having a verbal fight, there are rules. Debating is about having a civil verbal fight with rules for engagement. Point – counter point – discussion – response – bing! Ring of the bell. Round 1 over. It is impossible to have a fair fight if these rules are ignored. Using a non-stop barrage of interruptions is not playing fair. And it isn’t about, “Well, if you can’t take it, get out of the ring.” That is a bad justification for abusive behavior.


So what can you say and do?


“The next time you interrupt, this conversation is over.” “Your behavior is inappropriate and will not be tolerated. Last warning.” You can just keep repeating yourself, talking over the abuser’s barrage. “Stop interrupting. Stop interrupting. Stop interrupting.” Keep going so that nothing they are saying is being heard until they stop. Or, walk away.


Now, that is much easier said than done. But it is possible with practice.

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