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Pausing before responding

On the mats, we learn to create a gap in the hold of an attacker to give ourselves an opportunity to escape. Whether it's a white belt simple wrist grab or a blue belt 'bear hug', the first part of our defence involves moving to create that distance that allows us to manoeuvre away. This approach can prove useful even in a non-physical confrontation (or before it becomes physical anyway). The best thing we can do for ourselves when placed under the pressure of a heated argument or an emotional person pushing for a quick reaction is pause, and take a breath – or three, or even 10, however long it takes for us to clear our mind and ensure we make the best possible decision and offer the best possible response. Our ego is all too often driven by the need to be right, to have the last word, to thrive on the feeling of "I sure showed them". Letting that dictate our response can only lead to escalation and aggravated circumstances. Be the better person, seek the better response. Pause and breathe first.

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