Be Aftershock Aware
BE AFTERSHOCK AWARE
Most, if not all, people who do martial arts often fail to understand that those who are the victims, or the losers, of a physical conflict may need more than just medical treatment as a result of being in a street fight, or after being attacked in a more prolong way, and that being armed with the correct understanding of what to do with a trauma victim is vital if more harm than good can be avoided.
For example what would you do if a female student came to you and told you that she had been raped? You may have 50 years experience in teaching the martial arts and have trained the police, army and security people, but what do you say to a female student who has been beaten and raped and is crying from the shock of it all?
Do you - Advise her what she did wrong and what to do next time? - tell her to see her Doctor? or give her a big hug? If you said yes to any of the above then you need to be aftershock aware far more than you realise.
Preparation - Action - Consequences'
The martial arts have always been based on two out of the main three factors - preparation and action but the third 'consequences' is totally neglected.
The martial arts are very much focused on prevention, which of course is better then cure, and you will find a remarkable amount of advice on how to avoid or defend against being attacked, plus of course instruction on all the various fighting methods, however this is of no practical value at all to those who have gone through such a traumatic event already and are feeling suicidal or are going through emotional hell.
Telling someone after they have been beaten or raped that they should have done various things to avoid or defend themselves at the time in fact would only make the trauma victim feel worse as they will feel additional guilt for not taking such actions at the time.
The martial arts community is excellent at giving advice on prevention, avoidance and how to prepare to fight someone, and when it comes to teaching fighting techniques the martial arts community is the best place to go, however - ask someone who teaches the fighting arts what practical advice they can give to a trauma victim who is lying in a hospital bed suffering from mental scars and all you will get is a blank look and their eyes blinking away with nothing to say.
WHAT DOES AFTERSHOCK MEAN?
Aftershock means the emotional after-effects of being in a traumatic physical conflict that can cover anything from domestic violence, a street fight, rape or even soldiers returning home from a war zone.
How often do we read, hear or see news items every single day of someone being raped, gang raped, beaten, sadistically tortured or a combination of all these things on a regular basis?
Although we come into contact with such events through the news media every single day, including seeing soldiers on the news returning home from war zones with limbs missing etc.., such events have no true effect on our minds due to being desensitised to such things over a long period of time, however, if it was to happen to a loved one then this of course would have devastating and very long lasting effects.
The world of martial arts is all about being prepared for combat and how to use various fighting skills during a fight, but just like the soldier returning home from duty, or a rape victim, the after-effects of any physical conflict are more dangerous and long lasting to the mind than surviving the trauma itself.
The emotional aftershock of such a devastating situation is not dealt with by the martial arts community in general, only the physical aspects of combat in the main, therefore highlighting the need to be aware of such a devastating situation should be made far more aware to those that teach any of the fighting arts so that they can in turn highlight this specific aspect within training and class sessions.
Remember - To help a trauma victim who is suffering as a result of a criminal attack or violent rape you need to arm yourself with knowledge in just the same way as a martial artist needs to arm themselves with fighting techniques.
Unfortunately the general public and many, if not all, involved in the martial arts have no true understanding of what is really involved when it comes to providing care for a trauma sufferer within the family, or maybe a student, who has been involved in a serious attack.
People often think that such care is all about showing love and understanding, however, thinking that all you need is understanding and showing that you care on its own falls very short of what is truly involved and without being fully informed of what is needed the carer can often do more harm than good in the long term.