If this seems familiar it’s because it is. I’m in the process of building a new website that will include this blog and will be transferring the blog entries over here as I do that. This is the very first one I made when I started this in August of 2014:
A long time ago I was trying a bear-hug release technique that I had just learned out. Hard to describe it briefly, so I’ll just say it was something new to my then-current experience and leave it at that. The guy that was doing the hugging was much bigger and much taller than I was. His size allowed him to envelope me much like a bean-bag chair does when you sit in it.
So he does the hug, I do this new-learned technique, and I don’t go dropping out of the hug like I’m supposed to. A rather bummerish development in my view. So without much if any thought that I can remember I move to the alternate plan, which plan being to slide my hands around behind me and grab him by the balls.
Arms open, I’m out. And appreciative of my freedom I am, I’ll tell you that.
Morrow of the story: Wherever and whenever you can, have some kind of backup in mind. This is a good reason to do what-ifs regularly. Thinking through as many situations and variants as possible ahead of time makes it easier to come up with alternate responses to sudden and surprise situations when you need to.
The other thing I get from that and leave you with is this: Plan A, your best-considered and best-practiced response, can be (to a point) elegant and have some subtlety in it. (You still want to keep it pretty simple if you can, though.) I don’t see that as a problem if you’re smart about it. After that, though, I think the backups need to get simpler and more direct and more brutal as they go.
It’s the opposite of the way I work in my IT job. I have a problem in IT, I look at the known most obvious first and work my way through a list of less and less obvious and more and more subtle causes. In a fight, I might (probably not, but maybe) try some feints or misdirection or some kind of combination technique (or combination of techniques) if I can first. But if that doesn’t get me what I want–victory or escape or an opening to either of those that I can exploit–the thing I can do quickest and with the least conscious thought (which could get in the way of me surviving this) is going to be something more simple and direct. And the more letter-plans I go through, the simpler and more direct (and vicious and brutal, probably) they’re going to be.
Because when other things fail, sometimes the best thing to do is just to grab them by the balls.