tim-larkin-injuryIn a violent conflict, the ONLY thing that means anything is causing an injury. Causing trauma puts you in control.

That is why injury is the most fundamental and important concept in violence. It is the common thread woven through the fabric of every violent encounter. To be successful in violent conflict, you need to focus entirely on causing injury: any technique, tactic, and/or tool you use needs to achieve this single goal. Anything that does not directly cause trauma is useless to you.

When you look at the vast breadth of people’s experiences from war, prison violence, street crime and terrorism, it seems like nothing but raw chaos. How could there possibly be one simple solution for surviving all of these different scenarios?

The answer lies in looking at what they have in common instead of looking at each situation independently. One simple fact keeps coming up: In violence, there is always one person doing the injuring (e.g., stomping, stabbing, shooting), and one person getting injured. And the one doing the injuring is typically the one who gets to walk away.

The only thing that changes anything in violent conflict is injury.

It doesn’t matter who’s involved: professional or criminal, soldier or civilian. It doesn’t matter what tools are used: fists and boots, sticks and knives, firearms and explosives.

The person doing the violence (the person causing injury) is the one who prevails. The person having violence done to them (the person getting injured) is the one who fails.

Whether it’s a ruptured eye, a blown-out knee, or a bullet in the brain, the final arbiter of success in violence is injury. You must start with the desired result (injury) and make sure all of your efforts get you there.

This is the difference between training to focus on results rather than focusing on methods. A method, whether it’s a specific ‘style’ or technique or tool, is a solution in search of a problem; methods are often developed in a vacuum, apart from the realities of violence. The question must always be asked: “What is the goal? What is the desired result?”

When evaluating any technique or tool you have to ask, “Where is the injury?” If there is none, or if it’s merely insinuated, reject that approach. It is useless to you.

Violence begins and ends with injury.

You have to start with the goal and work outward from there.


Tim Larkin

Self-Protection Expert & Founder of Target Focus Training
Author of When Violence Is The Answer

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