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Rant – Just because YOU don’t know

September 2, 2015

From another martial arts blog

“80% of fights go to the ground”

“70% of armed assaults involve a knife”

Did you believe these common self defence claims? If so you’ve been misled. We have no idea percentage of “fights” go to the ground or what percentage involves a knife (or any weapon) for that matter.

No, wait. Don’t give me that “we” stuff. Just because YOU don’t know what percentage of fights go to the ground or what percentage involve a knife doesn’t mean the information isn’t out there somewhere.

And the information IS out there. Police departments in major cities often have on hand staff who are educated enough in sociology, statistics and in making sense of the mountains of data they have on incidents of violence. In this day and age, CCTVs are pretty much everywhere. And there are people whose jobs are to watch footage of violence and make sense of it (for prosecution in court, for example). When those people have a large enough sample size, they can draw reasonable conclusions about percentages that would apply to similar environments.

Of course, trying to decide what are the factors that are relevant (population density, gender and age distribution, physical geography) is the hassle. That’s where the academics come in and argue about how valid the data is. But just because people MIGHT disagree about how to interpret the data, that doesn’t mean the data isn’t out there.

When it comes to the study of violence, I am a hobbyist. I run classes here and there, do my own training and interact with fellow hobbyists occasionally. Because I am not a professional in the security or law enforcement fields I don’t know the percentages. But if I need to know I can find out. I have NO excuse to say there is no way of knowing.

Maybe I am too demanding. The ninja ideal is my inspiration, and the ninja were legendary at intelligence gathering. If they had known they would have mortgaged off their homes and sold off their parents to get access to the modern information gathering methods and understanding we have these days. Holding the historical ninja as my ideal makes it hard for me to accept that anyone would dismiss claims of data and without any backing data of his own.

But not everyone is fit to be a ninja, I guess…

Junjie 俊傑
(Shunketsu)
Bujinkan Ninjutsu
Singapore

 

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