A very wise person taught me something many years ago.

It takes two people to have an argument.

Well duh! That seems simple enough, doesn’t it?

That was my first introduction to anger management over 30 years ago and I’ve used the technique a lot.

When emotions become too intense for coherent thought…walk away. It sounds logical and simple. Especially for adults. Because we ARE grownups aren’t we? We have self control and self discipline. We can walk away when negativity and hurtful words start flying. We can think before we speak, measure our words carefully. Think about the impact of our words before they reach the ears of the person we are in conflict with.

But it doesn’t always work that way, does it?

Walking away and taking the time to digest what is happening, looking at the situation from the other person’s perspective is a valuable tool. But what if you can’t walk away? Have you ever tried to walk away from a fight, only to be pursued with demands to continue the argument? Emotions escalate and words and actions become become vicious and hurtful.

Both parties must learn the tools to navigate anger.

I’ve learned that as we develop relationships, our behavior becomes a dance. Each partner learns their moves; eventually the patterns become very predictable. Those patterns can be positive and constructive or negative and hurtful. The relationship can become toxic and may be irreparable.

I believe that there is much more to the definition of self defense than learning physical skills to ward off an unknown attacker. Anger Management is self defense. Pure and simple. Learning how to control our anger can help prevent heart attack and strokes. Anger is the root of domestic violence and the abuse of children. Bullies are male and female; children and adults, and they use anger to get their way.

Anger is something we all have to face. Anger can irretrievably damage relationships at home, at school and in the workplace. I’ve received certification as an Anger Management Educator because I believe that martial arts instructors must teach anger management alongside the physical techniques of their art, to arm their students with the mental, emotional, and physical skills they need to safely navigate the world as it is today.

As we teach the tools to deal with anger this testing cycle, I’ll be posting blogs to keep you up to date on our progress.

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