Why You Don’t Attack A Martial Arts Expert

Have you ever thought you could attack a 4th Dan black belt, hand to hand, and defeat them? If so, move to the back of the smart person line. I don’t care if you are a 230 pound, six foot three linebacker. You would have no chance. Even with a weapon, you would be at a huge disadvantage.

Why would an amateur always lose?

Because all martial arts masters are prepared. No matter what your attack looks like, they have a prepared response for it. A response they practiced until it is automatic. They have a sequence of moves that respond. It is not just a single move. Expecting them and overcoming them at the speed delivered is beyond unlikely. Amateurs have little more than the first attack.

I know an advanced belt practitioner who claims, “If at first you don’t succeed, you better be running.” Amateurs have an idea. That’s not the same thing as a plan. I think Mike Tyson summed it up best. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

The ideas apply elsewhere

That’s why we have Emergency Preparedness systems. The military has filling cabinets full of plans. Everything from a typhoon in the south Pacific to short supply of bullets in Europe. If you are prepared you have a better idea of how to proceed.

In any situation you can estimate possibilities.

  1. What might happen?
  2. How long would we have to respond?
  3. What response would be appropriate?
  4. What you would do if other things happen after our response?
  5. What resources do you have?
  6. What resources do we not have and should acquire?
  7. What training is needed?
  8. What measurements will matter and can be accumulated?
  9. How will we know when we are coping well?
  10. What messaging is helpful?

If you had  such a plan and some emergency you had prepared for appeared, what would happen?

Like the Karate master, you respond step 1, step 2, step 3, review and revise approach. Continue until the risk dissipates.

There are people who know how to do that with emergencies.

What happened with Covid-19?

In the beginning no one followed plans that existed. We know there were plans, because pandemic risk was a known concern. What happened in our case? Nothing of value.

You’d like to think the decision makers would have triaged the risk and dealt with the greatest risk first. In the Covid situation that would have been long term care facilities. In the early going, easy half the deaths occurred there. “Flattening the curve” to protect the health care system was ill-advised. There was little evidence that if older people, especially in care, were shielded, the health care system would have failed.

The approach taken had disadvantages.

  1. It induced fear in the population and fear is always a poor counsellor.
  2. Isolation, and fear induced several other adverse effects. Family abuse, mental health issues, substance abuse, and children losing their education trajectory and friends. No one can expect those effects are cost free to individuals or society as a whole.
  3. It stalled the economy because the communication was paranoid. If you were under 60 without serious co-morbidities, the expectation the disease could kill you are less than one in a thousand. Why shut down if the vulnerable have been protected?

It was an amateur response

Medical Officers of Health are not trained emergency management  specialists. Neither are the policy makers in the Ministry of Health. Certainly the politicians and their staff are not capable. So what happens when amateurs attack a serious opponent?

They try something. In this case lockdown. Things don’t turn out as the amateurs expected. They then select another tactic. That is even more likely to fail. Then a third, and as a last effort, go back to first failed attempt and hope. Like Australia. No honest cost-benefit analysis addressing the virus would recommend their approach.

The first mistake – wishful thinking

The wrong people were tasked with decisions. As we saw above, they were not competent to do the job, and worse they had political ambitions that were assisted by being in charge and seeming to do something. Most of their doing was to command unreasonable things and spend money. The secondary effects were clearly known before the actions were taken. The people whose hubris prevents admitting error, deemed them to unforeseeable and the consequences unintended. Everyone knows that is untrue.

Incompetent people tend to stick to failed methods because they have not thought objectively about their response. They make decisions based on belief instead of on objective evidence. Maybe wishes are a better description than beliefs.

The second mistake – Mistaken priorities.

Flattening the curve was a false ambition. The thinking should have been to expand capacity by other means. All flattening the curve has accomplished is people with other serious diseases have been without treatment. Does anyone have a sense of what that costs? No. Of course not, and no one in the public ever will. No one will accumulate those costs.

Neglect of treatment options in addition to prevention. Vaccines are wonderful, but leaky vaccines like the one we face are not as helpful as they tell us. Many people have spoken out about the risk. They have been silenced by the media. Treatment and prevention modalities exist and we have been told to ignore them.

Frontline doctors are the most likely to find helpful protocols because they have experience with somewhat similar conditions. They have a deeper understanding than any bureaucrat or politician. Why ignore them or worse command their silence?

The third mistake – communication failure

Demonize anyone who disagrees with you. It might be smart to discover why they disagree. Could it be because everything you have done was inadequate and too costly and they have the temerity to disagree. Could it be the failure to admit mistakes and correct them.

Propaganda. If you have a truth to tell, you shout it. If you don’t have truth on your side you must use lies and exaggeration to convince the rest of us.

Media manipulates inf ormation to support a narrative. Do you really think the federal government gives hundreds of millions to the media, and spends another billion on the CBC so they will be objective? Be serious.

The fourth mistake – Never let a crisis go to waste

When the government decided to take opportunity to gather more power, they adopted approaches that made the crisis more fearsome. A more fearsome crisis made it more important for the people to rely on them. Their approach and the reasons for it, are antithetical to a well-functioning society. How many people believe the government needs more power? Not many outside government.

What happens next? Emergency health declarations are the center of their actions. How long will they wait to deem climate change, or guns, to be clear and present health dangers?

The inept response has destroyed the credibility of many institutions. Ones we needed. A bureaucracy that prepares for possible problems. Once you politicize the ministry of health or the emergency measures organizations, you are done with people taking them seriously. Mask mandates. Vaccine mandates. Shutdown. Reduced capacity. Inadequate healthcare for those suffering depression and other maladies. Government is not your friend. Maybe they never were, but now it is obvious.

The takeaway

You pay the price for their mistakes even if they try to tell you they have done everything possible. They have done what benefitted themselves against the advice of people who do know how to solve emergencies. Doctors, and emergency measures people.

Be smarter and look after yourself. They are not doing it.

In your own life, there are predictable risks. Have a plan and the resources to deal with them.

If you have an hour you might find something useful in this video. Interview with Lt-Col David Redmond, former director of Alberta’s Emergency Management Agency It’s about an hour long but interesting


I help people have more retirement income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email don@moneyfyi.com

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