What is your fighting style? This is written for the martial arts student, but it applies to everyone. It applies to physical conflict and to social or interpersonal conflict or internal conflict equally. Everyone gets caught up in fights. Not all fights are physical.

Everybody has a primary, innate fighting style. You have had this so long, you do it without knowing what it is. You might even say, it does itself without your knowing. It is natural, feels instinctive, operates by itself. You are most likely not conscious of what it is. That is its strength. You do it instantly and without having to plan. And that is its weakness. You then react “instinctively” and do it when it might be better not to.

It may be difficult for you to identify your style because it is so natural that it goes unnoticed. It seems the obvious or smart or civilized way to respond and you may assume everyone responds the same way. They do not.

You do not, cannot, and probably should not try to control it. It works for you. But neither should you be limited by it. That can be dangerous and makes life difficult and repetitious.

When seeking to identify your style you need to seek that elusive quality that is so natural as to appear transparent. It seems to have always been there. It was actually a successful response to a real or perceived threat or challenge that happened at a specific time and place many years ago. You may find it difficult to identify by yourself.

You depend on it for your survival.

Here are some examples to help you begin to determine your style.

You can divide people into tanks or cavalry. Tanks stand and fight or move slowly. They are strong and have armor. They can take punishment and give it out.

Think of fortresses vs. mobile attackers. Some people are like cavalry. They are fast and mobile. They depend on timing and showing up before disaster to save the day.

Here are some more examples to help you determine your style.

One type of person looks for weaknesses in their opponent. They strategize and plan. Another type always keeps their balance. Another uses speed.

I've made a list of some of the more common styles I've come across below. See if you can find yours. You may:

• always seek balance
• be cautious
• be willing to take punishment (or block) until you can give it out
• use speed or change your speed at the right moment
• use muscle or force, strategy, retreat in the face of danger and advance strategically
• look for weaknesses in your opponent
• retreat
• strategize
• avoid conflict to your detriment
• freeze
• harness emotion

If you do not recognize your style, ask your friends (or enemies) what it might be. There will a second part to this article, where you get to see how this applies to you specifically in your life. Look forward to access to this when it is complete.

© Copyright 2007 Peter Woronoff

Author's Bio: 

• 3rd Dan Kokikai Aikido
• 40 years study of Aikido, Tai Chi, Shing I, Ba Gua, Rape Prevention (Certification from AWSDA)

• Art Therapist (Registered Art Therapist since 1974), Board Certified
• Master Practitioner in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)
• Grief Recovery Specialist

• Former classroom/program leader, accountable for Team Management and Leadership Program, Landmark Education, NJ
• Lifelong student of numerous schools of bodywork, nutrition, transformation, therapy, self improvement, etc.

• Welding, printmaking, painting, Fulbright-Hayes Grant, numerous exhibits, etc.