It is one of the greatest challenges for martial artists. Can we discern the difference between the real threats and the imagined dangers? Are we still being deluded by our own internal conflict? Can we tell the difference between emotional defensiveness and practical engagement?
Because when we try to assert power by claiming victimhood, then we abuse ourselves as well as others. We create more conflict when we let our emotions obscure the truth. We must learn to free ourselves from our own fear and selfishness and to avoid the negative consequences of that pesky flinch response.
As men, we may feel threatened by #metoo. But we are not - not really. The movement is good for all of us if it enables honest communication, self reflection, compassion, and better behaviour all around. If it helps us to be more aware, and more kind and more respectful, then that is a good thing. If it helps actual victims to feel less guilt, and enables their abusers to recognize their responsibility, that is a good thing.
Of course, there are 6 sides to every story, and 64 degrees of nuance. But it starts with letting go of fear, and opening ourselves to the possibility that for a martial artist, one of the best things we can do to defend ourselves is to become more compassionate.