When you look at all this, do you see a poster full of chairs, or do you see an arsenal of pain-dishers?
- Agressive people:
- For people you don’t know:
- People like to hear you say “I’m sorry”
- If you do it right, it’s really easy to diffuse a lot of ugly situations. This is probably one of the best ways to diffuse a one time situation against the occasional agressive person. Especially useful in the streets. Give your agressor a chance to “save face”– say you’re sorry, and prevent a fistfight.
- For people you DO know:
- WIth people you run into often, saying “sorry” when you’re not at fault is not good to get into a habit of doing. If they are constantly tipping the scales and you constantly give in, that’s not good.
- The sooner you set abusive people straight, the better.
- It might be necessary to ‘teach them a lesson’ but again: remember, people are very prideful. If you try and teach them a lesson, one or both of two things will happen.
- (A) They will fear you, to the point of submission
- Which may be good in the short run, but in the long run this has negative effects on your relationship with that person because that person might only be temporarily submitting but with the intention of future vengeance (which means another confrontation in the long run)
- (B) They will resist more, and the confrontation will just escalate until one of you can dominate the other into submission to satisfy the (A) option.
- You want them to agree with you, not simply be dominated by your will. There’s a fine line between submission and agreement. It all has to do with pride and a sense of free will. Play on that. You can often get the same results with a bit of smooth talking.
- Your objective should be to returns the ‘energy of the system’ to zero, which is the way it should be. Be a “karma killer”– don’t invest any bad mojo if you don’t have to.
- People have different analytical abilities. Some people are plain stupid.
- Nevermind that you have a black belt. If they don’t know that, or if they don’t know what a black belt is, or underestimate your ability, they don’t know what kind of harm they can put themselves in by tangling with you.
- Remember– the point is to arrive at a non-violent resolution. Part of that means recognizing that not all neutralization techniques, such as holding your ground and showing no fear, have the same effect on all people.
- If you hold your ground and show no fear, not everyone understands that as you being solidly confident in your ability to physically protect yourself. Some people take this as outright defiance, and this might actually escalate the situation.
- Of course, on the fly in a potentially dangerous situation, processing your analysis is very difficult because you have very limited time to make descisions.
- Rule of thumb: always be alert, and try to keep a minimum safe distance from which you have enough space to react and protect yourself. This is very important. Potential threats are two dimensional; that is to say, space and time. If you are short on distance, there’s not much you can do unless you’re
used to those sorts of hostile situations. Shortening your reaction time or is not something you can do on command easily, nor is it something you want to muck around with. You’re not Jet Li– you’re not going to stand chin to chin with someone and just ‘concentrate’ so when they throw the first move out, you’re going to break their arm. No– when you are short on time, you compensate by increasing the distance. That artificially inserts a time gap between action and result. By increasing your distance between you and your agressor, you increase the amount of time you have to react.
- Be conscious of your agressor’s body language.
- Be conscious of your own body language. If you give off signals without knowing it, you might escalate things.
- It is when you KNOW what YOU want to do that you shorten the distance and attack. Shortening the distance, or bridging the gap, isn’t just about the physical space– it’s about shortening the amount of time between you and your agressor so that you, in your decided state of mind, will attempt to press an advantage by taking mental initiative and putting him on the deffensive. When you close in on your agressor, you MUST be ready to attack. Otherwise, there is no reason to be getting close. Your opponent’s reaction time doesn’t increase when you get closer– in fact, he gets sloppier. What that usually translates to is that any attacks that he does when you pressure him in this way are going to to be random– that means, among other possibilities, that he might not even be able to protect himself and may simply be reflexively trying to strike you. When someone doesn’t think about their own safety, that’s when they have the potential to hurt other people the most: thus goes the saying, cornering an animal can get YOU hurt.
- Bottom line– keep your distance, give yourself time. This is being deffensive. Maintain your space and your time by moving around. Put obstacles between you and your agressor so that you further insert lags into his actions.
- But don’t put a dinner table between you if he’s really hostile. That’s like saying “Oh, so you don’t like me? My, look at this all this glass and cutlery!”
- If you DO close the distance, do your job and get back out. Close range and short time make for messy faces.
… I think everyone should get into at least a few friendly fights– it’s a very important experience, I think, to know what it feels like to get hurt. It’s also useful to know what it feels like to be ‘stressed out’. A lot of people who I see get punched in the face for the first time really freeze up; the punch doesn’t jolt their brains into altertness of the threat, but instead has the negative effect of whoring all their brain’s attention to the pain itself. This is generally bad. It’s only in movies that the first punch is the only punch. Well, I guess it can be– but that’s usually only the case if the first punch put you down, and they’ve switched to kicking you in the ribs.
For all those folks who thought highschool at RWA was a picnic of elitists and nerds, let me point out that in the bathrooms, nevermind the school uniforms or the good grades– those nerds still were human, and they still got into fights.
And i think this is general idea– that people need to get more familiar with their bodies reactions. I’m not a kung fu grandmaster or anything, but a simple example is that I haven’t tripped and hurt myself in years. Why? Nothing fancy. When I do trip, I always regain my balance or break my fall in a worst case scenario. If I roll on my ankle, my body goes limp so I don’t break my joint. Things like that. Small little things that, if it were something else, i’d be hearing the next day about a broken nose or a fractured wrist.
The broken nose thing is a true story– though I really can’t beleive how someone would fall forward from tripping and land flat on their face. (I mean, where are your arms dude? Tied behind your back?)
Anyway. The reason for the poster with the chairs at top of this post is because yesterday, I broke a chair on someone, professional wrestling style. I was coming up a downtown sidestreet when, in front of my eyes maybe a dozen yards away, a middle aged woman had her boutique bag swipped, grab and run style. The guy who grabbed the stuff was running in my direction down a mostly empty sidewalk, bowling past pedestrians.
What did I do? I stepped to the side as if to get out of his way cowering, reached over, grabbed a wooden chair then spun around. The timing was almost perfect and I caught him in the chest. It’s not quite like movies where chair breaks into a thousand bits– I did, however, end up with the back of the chair in my hands with the butt-supporting and legs part broken clean off.
The dude flew into a parked car, dropped the bag, but scrambled to his feet and kept on running.
Horray for me! I saved the day!
…or not. In his fall or in my whacking or in hims slamming into the car, he had apaprently broken the content’s of the lady’s bag. It was from the Linen Chest, which is to say, a place that sells crystal and china. (I hope you kept your bill)
The lady had a foreign accent but didn’t sound to pleased with how I handled the situation.
I didn’t stick around to file a police report or anything, it seemed like a waste of time and the lady didn’t speak enough english for me to understand if she wanted to speak to the police anyhow.
The lady never had a chance on her own, might I add. I think she might have hurt her ankle trying to grab her bag back because she was walking kinda funny in her heels. She’s one of those sorts that’s dressing a bit too flashy for her age and is overly made up with expensive clothing. Now, express yourself– sure. But you know, if I was the theif, you’d be damn well I’d chose her. Her entire body language, the lack of alertness in her eyes, the sorta sense that she had just been violated by the ‘lower classes’, that’s all the kind of ‘living in her own world’ unawareness that makes someone a prime target for things like this. While the theif is the one who instigated the crime, this lady did nothing to prevent it in the first place.
If I was a 40 year old lady I might see things different of course. And I make no claims as to knowing how she was raised or taught. I am just commenting on the results– she was almost robbed, and she couldn’t even display a shred of grattitude, regardless of whether or not some of her dishes may have gotten broken (i didn’t stay around to check).
If I were her I’d at least be happy that the punk who just tried to rob me got whacked by a chair. I mean, come on! How luck are you lady??
(I also kinda hurt my left shoulder a bit, I think I might’ve slightly pulled something during the impact)
I didn’t chase after the guy of course. I mean, what’s the point, he was running away, no sense in endangering myself for a stupid boutique bag, which he’s already dropped. Even if it’s been revealed i’m pretty handy with a bistro chair, i’m not jackie chan.
well, at the very least, I wasn’t wearing a jacket that I’d normally wear and I was wearing sunglasses and it was one of those rare days that I was wearing a baseball cap. I don’t think that the guy I whacked got a good look at me, no more than I got a good look at him (who was also, coincidentally, wearing sunglasses and a hat) so it’s probably still probably relatively safe to walk around there so long as I don’t wear the same clothes.
Anyway, I digress. The point of this post isn’t to tell you what a badass I am. I already know how badass I am when I want to be. (heh)
My point is that, all things considered, people should really get their heads out of the clouds. There are certain basic things like an awareness of their surroundings or basic physical practice that could save you a lot of grief. One of my mom’s coworkers was the victim of a grab-and-run once, and simply from the act of a the purse snatching, she had her rotator cuff torn and her ankle sprained because she didn’t see it coming at all. And yet, another one of my mom’s coworkers DID see the a grab-and-snatcher a moment before, and she broke some nails off in his face. Some helpful passers by intervened in her case and though this is an exceptional happy ending, the perp was beaten to the ground and picked up by authorities minutes later.
It’s all fine for us to get caught up in passions of our intellects. I myself like to do a lot of writing I guess, I do a fair amount of reading. I enjoy movies, video games, comics, and all that. But the physical world ill not be denied, no matter how broad our scopes of minds– we need to ground our experiences in reality. That means having some basic connection with our bodies and the space around us.
The mind may be our wings, and our passions the meat on the bird that flaps those wings, but the body in itself is the fortress for that metaphor. A fortress that exists, perhaps in peace on most days– but you have to remember that it is, nonetheless, there to protect your existance. It is, in fact, in some sense, your existence. Dream! Of course, Dream! But don’t forget– it’s all over, like the real world versus the Matrix, if your body takes a hit.
It is hardly bad advice that all of us be more aware of what’s hapening in the physical world.
Preparation for these sorts of events doesn’t mean that you will come out on top all the time. It just increases your chances of getting favorable results.
Like all things in life– it’s seldom that we can get something right on. Usually, most of our efforts are to rig the game so that it’s less possible for us to lose.
… which, in retrospect, as I mentioned, is exactly why that particular lady was targetted. Because the theif was chosing prey that looked easiest. He was rigging the game.
Initiative has a lot to do with it– someone like that has the advantage. Which just goes to say all the more that you need to work consciously on developing a mindset even a level up from that, otherwise, you really have no chance of containing the situation.