Sanchin Buji, Three Conflicts in Safety:

​Sanchin Buji,  Three Conflicts in Safety:  External Environment, Interpersonal Relationships, and Internal Struggles.  We live in a time where the external can enter our homes easily. Social toxins from our media saturate our consciousness, too often showing interpersonal relationships as conflict-ridden rather than compassionate and mutally supportive. The commercial interests that fund these portrayals too often prey on our insecurities and internal struggles.  Whether it is a case of “art” imitating life, life reflecting harmful influences, or whether we find ourselves in a house of mirrors, it is of little matter when we are face to face with conflict.

We and our children live in communities which are increasingly unstable due to the mobility of our society. As teens and adults, we experience a growing acceptance of illicit drugs and increasing tolerance for exposure to and use of violence and crime to solve problems.  Many children are growing up in dysfunctional families without the benefit of any form of extended family.  Increasing numbers of children are experiencing violence in their own homes, often at the hands of step-parents or family friends.  When these children leave their homes, they go off to schools which are often disorganized, failing academically, and in general suffering from the overall community’s lack of interest in their success. 

Increasingly, the children within their peer group and those they cultivate for friendship have also been exposed to and/or engaged in similarly dysfunctional behavior.  There are rising numbers of individuals who participate in “extreme” risk-taking and myriad acts of antisocial behavior (Catalano and Hawkins, National Crime Prevention Council).  These behaviors travel the continuum from intimidation, stealing, and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, and sex, to school delinquency, tardiness, and illiteracy--all problems, which if not faced, will plague them into adulthood. Whether we experience these problems in our own families or not, we are not immune to the risks they present.  These social plagues can become very personal for us when they enter our lives in the form of addiction or assult. Neither are abstract or entertaining in reality--nor can you change the channel. You must face the conflict, and it is essential that you are informed and prepared.

​Sanchin Buji, Goshin-Jitsu, and Shin Gi Tai, are three concepts that can help prepare for and avoid conflict.  To be prepared, you need more than just the physical aspects of self defense, or Goshin-Jitsu.  Sanchin Buji deals with the three conflicts of self defense:  external environment, relationships with others, and internal struggles.  All three aspects are covered in works such as Gavin DeBecker's outstanding books, The Gift of Fear andProtecting the Gift.  DeBecker provides personal security at the highest levels, from celebrities to corporate executives and retired political figures.  He has been described as a "modern-day knight--a good guy who shares his intuitive and intellectual armor with us all."...and offers "a brilliant lesson plan in prevention." (quote by Ken Wooden, author ofChild Lures.)   In his briefcase, DeBecker carries copies of Kathleen Baty's A Girl's Gotta Do What a Girl's Gotta Do, the  "ultimate guide to living safe and smart."  Knowing that young women are particularly vulnerable statistically, he gives copies of Baty's book to women and girls he encounters who need the information she shares.  In it, she offers tips gathered not only through careful research, but also from hard-won personal experience.  Baty survived more than a decade as the target of a persistent, dangerously aggressive stalker.  With Congressman Ed Royce of California, she helped pass the first federal anti-stalking legislation, signed into law by President Clinton in 1996.

​There are risks all around us, but there are also answers.   De Becker's and Baty's books are two of the best examples of many credible resources available.  Another excellent resource is the internet, and a great example in Wisconsin is Wes Manko's Defense Works.  Mr. Manko, of Milwaukee, is the author of How to be Safe No Matter What.   Mr. Manko refers to Gavin DeBecker's work in his own book, and Manko's own work has appeared in in Black Belt Magazine as well as other national and local periodicals.

​My own thoughts are that being safe is a product of the melding of spirit, mind, and body, what the Japanese call Shin Gi Tai.  More than a theoretical concept, Shin Gi Tai is expressed in western psychological terms as "flow" or "optimal experience" (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi).  According to Csikszentmihalyi,  the state of "flow" is characterized by a "sense that one's skills are adequate to cope with the challenges at hand...Concentration is so intense that there is no attention left over to think about anything irrelevant, or to worry about problems."  (Flow, p. 71)  What remains is the intuitive self, aware of and responding to the environment, prepared to deal with the threats within it.  The traditional martial arts concept of Shin Gi Tai, Csikszentmihalyi's concept of "flow," and Gavin DeBecker's emphasis on trusting intuition in the The Gift of Fear are intertwined and nearly indistinguishable in practice.  All describe a way of freeing oneself from the conscious mind and accessing what De Becker calls "the wild brain," leaving behind the "logic brain," which has "strict boundaries and laws it has to obey...the wild brain will do whatever it takes."

​Bradley Wells