Monday, September 29, 2014

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Muhammad Ali X Earnie Shavers (Sept 29, 1977)

37 years ago on this date of Sept 29 in the year of 1977 ... Muhammad Ali X Earnie Shavers in NYC. After 15 rounds, Ali wins and retains the World Heavyweight Title with a Unanamious Decision. It was Ali’s final victory in a World Heavyweight Championship fight.


Copied and pasted from Wiki:

Shavers, fought Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden on September 29, 1977. Ali nicknamed Shavers "The Acorn" because of his shaved bald head, unlike early appearances. The fight was shown in prime time broadcast television by NBC, which rarely did prime time fights (ABC tended to get the Ali fights) and had the judges' scoring announced after each round to help avoid any controversial decision. Ali's cornerman Angelo Dundee had a crony (Baltimore matchmaker Eddie Hrica) in the dressing room watching the broadcast, and would get signals from his friend on the scoring. In the second round, Shavers hurt Ali badly with an overhand right. Ali exaggerated his motions enough that it seemed he might be play acting and Shavers hesitated. On the scorecard they exchanged rounds. Ali won the fifth decisively. to win the fight Ali had to survive the last three rounds. Shavers, whose stamina was suspect before the fight, came alive in the 13th round. In the 14th, he battered Ali about the ring. Before the 15th, (according to the story by Sports Illustrated's great boxing writer Pat Putnam) "Ali was on very wobbly legs."

Realizing Ali needed to last three more minutes, Dundee told him, "You don't look so good. You better go out and take this round." In a furious final round, the two men tagged each other, but Ali closed strongly, nearly dropping Shavers in the last 20 seconds. He won a unanimous decision. The next day, Garden Match Maker Teddy Brenner encouraged Ali to retire by stating the Garden would never make another offer to host an Ali fight. Brenner also thought that Shavers deserved the nod against Ali. The fight made the cover of Sports Illustrated, with "ALI'S DESPERATE HOUR" featuring a photograph of Shavers scoring with an overhand right. Fight doctor Ferdie Pacheco also urged to Ali to retire after noting the damage Ali had absorbed against Shavers. Ali later said Shavers was the hardest puncher he ever faced, famously stating "Earnie hit me so hard, it shook my kinfolk back in Africa" although Ali had previously used this amusing punch line in reference to various other hard hitting opponents.







Full Fight






Highlights






Muhammad Ali on Earnie Shavers with Phil Donohue








For more info, please check out: 



For other Muhammad Ali-related posts:



"Gracie Torrance - my experience training there" by jkd_guy

Excerpted from Underground's BJJGround:


Thanks to "12", I was able to get a free month of training at Gracie Torrance. (but due to work, only went to about 6 classes)
One of the instructor's there is actually 12's son. Only had 1 class with him, but he was a cool, funny guy who knew his stuff.

First off, a basic intro on the curriculum of the school.

There are 4 types of classes:

  • Gracie Combatives (beginner class/gi only)
  • Master Cycle (blue and up)
  • Bully Proof (kids class)
  • Women Empowered (women’s class)

As a white belt, I only attended the Gracie Combatives class.
The curriculum is broken down into 23 lessons/classes.
Each class contains 2 moves:

  • Standup move – such as getting the clinch, a takedown, etc
  • Ground move – either a submission move (armbar, armericana) or a positional move (passing guard, mount escape)

I've been to a number of different BJJ schools throughout the US, such as Renzo's, place in Atlanta, etc...

All those schools had the same format - one hour class:
  • 10 minute of warmups - situps, shrimping, jumping jacks, etc...
  • sometimes they have 5 minutes of takedown practice
  • technique 1 - work with partner on it
  • technique 2 - work with partner on it
  • last 20-30 minutes of rolling

Gracie Torrance was a different format:
  • 15 minutes of practice of previous class (half on standup move, half on ground move)
  • Then Everyone lines up against the wall
  • Then the instructor goes over move 1, and then asks everyone who has taken the class before to step forward.
  • He then tells the people who stepped forward to pick someone still standing against the wall as their partner for the class
  • Everyone does move 1
  • Instructor then goes over move 2 (ground move)
  • Everyone does it – instructor gives a variation on the move (i.e. mount escape if someone is holding your collar, then if the guy has his arm around your head, etc…)
  • After everyone does move 2, that’s about the end of the class (one hour)

After you attend X number (I don’t remember the number) of the beginner class, then you can attend the Friday beginner class, which (I believe) starts to chain together the moves, rather than doing each move in a silo.

So its pretty similar to other BJJ places, except no rolling.
That’s done in the Master Cycle class.

That difference is the biggest difference and I think most ppl will be split in their feelings on it.
Some people will think: “This SUCKS, I want to ROLL!!”
Other might be like: “Cool, I can learn my moves without someone going crazy trying to submit me”

In my opinion, I think their format is better for a total newbie - how often does a beginner who only knows 2 moves has a worthless rolling session where he's just a training dummy.
Their method allows someone to train for a month or two before they go to the Friday class and start chaining the moves together, then after 6 months or so, once they have done all the classes/moves 3 times or more, they start rolling.

As for the people there, everyone I met was very nice and friendly.
In the class, there is an instructor and an assistant instructor, but then there were one or two high belt people walking around to give pointers.

No egos, other schools I went to, there were a bit more egos, a bit more “I want to crush you” while rolling and even while drilling (not everyone at those schools, one or two folks)

Overall it’s a school I definitely would like to attend, but unfortunately due to work I cannot sign a year contract, and the monthly price without a contract is too high for me.

But I do recommend others go, they have a trial membership - free 10 day trial and they give you a gi. If you sign up after the 10 days, you keep the gi, otherwise you return the gi and thats it.




12 posted:

that about sums it up,thank you for giving it a try.have a nice day




jkd_guy posted:

One thing I forgot to mention, every month they print out the schedule for the month.
i.e.
9/15 class is class #5
9/16 - class 6
9/17 - class 7.....this way you know exactly what will be taught that day if you want to review before class, or if you miss class you know what they covered that day, etc...




Friday, September 26, 2014

"How Did You Die?" by Edmund Vance Cooke

From time to time, I come across a poem that is inspirational and powerful. I've included links at the bottom of this page to other poems I've posted in the past.

Today, I'm posting Edmund Vance Cooke's poem for your knowledge/enjoyment/inspiration. I recently read this poem in Col. Jeff Cooper's "Quoth the Raven - Seventeen Points to Ponder".

Enjoy!




Edmund Vance Cooke was born on June 5th 1866, in Port Denver, Ontario, Canada. His first job after leaving school was in a Sewing Machine Factory. In 1893 he left that job to earn a living as a poet, writer, and public speaker. He published his first book of poems, A Patch of Pansies in 1894 and went on to publish a further 15 books of poetry and several books for children. He married Lilith Castleberry in 1898 and they had five children. He became a broadcaster on station, WWJ in Detroit broadcasting his poems live to thousands of listeners. Cooke died in Cleveland, Ohio on December 18th 1932.







How Did You Die?
by Edmund Vance Cooke

Did you tackle the trouble that came your way
    With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
    With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce,
    Or trouble is what you make it.
And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
    But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that?
    Come up with a smiling face.
It's nothing against you to fall down flat,
    But to lie there–that's the disgrace.
The harder you're thrown, why the harder you bounce;
    Be proud of your blackened eye.
It isn't the fact that your licked that counts;
    Its how did you fight and why?

And though you be done to death, what then?
    If you battled the best you could;
If you played your part in the world of men,
    Why the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
    And whether he's slow or spry,
It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
    But only how did you die?



Please check out these other posts on Poetry:


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Manong Dan Inosanto Interview on PG Edgar Sulite (Free Voice/Spring 1997)

Stickgrappler's Note: Punong Guro Edgar Sulite would've been 57 today. He died at 39 years of age 5 months before his 40th Birthday.

It is also the 33rd Anniversary of Lameco Eskrima today. The system was created on Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite's Birthday, September 25, 1981.

With Guro David Gould's gracious permission, I'm reposting this from his Lameco Eskrima Orehenal Facebook Group in honor of PG Sulite's birthday today.





Photo credit: Lameco Eskrima Orehenal Facebook


Guro Dan Inosanto Interview (Spring 1997):

I first met Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite on August 14, 1989, at Indian Creek, Tennessee during a Kali Pekiti-Tirsia Training Camp conducted by Grandmaster Leo T. Gaje Jr. Both Punong Guro Sulite and myself were long time students of Grandmaster Gaje. Punong Guro Sulite and I both taught a portion of this camp along with Grandmaster Gaje. It was at this time that I received my first (of many to come) private lessons in the Art of Lameco Eskrima.

A few months after the camp ended Punong Guro Sulite relocated to the Los Angeles area from the Philippines. Upon his arrival in Los Angeles I began my private training with him and since that time have been a continuous student in the Lameco Eskrima System.

I have taken great pleasure in watching Punong Guro Sulite and his Art of Lameco Eskrima continue to grow and excel in the area of the Filipino Martial Arts. In my opinion, Punong Guro Sulite`s system of Lameco Eskrima has one of the most practical and highly developed progressions of teaching and training.

Lameco Eskrima takes a student from “A“ to “Z” in such an organized and enjoyable progression that both training and learning is fun and practical. The Lameco Eskrima methods and progressions enable a student to learn both quickly and efficiently what will work and what is applicable in a multitude of combative situations. I credit the outstanding contribution that Lameco Eskrima has added to the martial arts community, to the vision, talent, creativity and unparalleled devotion and dedication of Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite.

I remember the early years of Lameco Eskrima. Punong Guro Sulite always credited, with love and respect, the great talents and valuable training he had received from the Grandmasters of the Philippines. Punong Guro Sulite always gave credit to the Grandmasters of the Philippines who had trained him and always gave proper respect and acknowledgement to the techniques, drills, methods and material that was developed by those men in which he used to form the core of the Lameco Eskrima System.

What was unique about Punong Guro Sulite was the manner in which he was able to combine, practically and efficiently the knowledge he had received from the Philippines. Upon his arrival to the U.S. Lameco Eskrima`s: “Laban-laro” had a sequence of only twelve (12). Punong Guro Sulite worked constantly to add, modify and develop his immeasurable body of Filipino martial art material until it had reached the highest level of practicality and value to his students.

Punong Guro Sulite always stressed the importance of “drilling” the basics- over and over again.

Guro Dan Inosanto interview (1997) published by the “Free Voice” which was the official Newsletter for the Inosanto Academy




Other PG Edgar Sulite-related posts, please check out:






For more information, please check out:



Lameco Eskrima Goals: Edgar G. Sulite (1995)

Stickgrappler's Note: Punong Guro Edgar Sulite would've been 57 today. He died at 39 years of age 5 months before his 40th Birthday.

It is also the 33rd Anniversary of Lameco Eskrima today. The system was created on Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite's Birthday, September 25, 1981.

With Guro David Gould's gracious permission, I'm reposting this from his Lameco Eskrima Orehenal Facebook Group in honor of PG Sulite's birthday today. It is an article from the Vortex Newsletter which was the official medium through which PG Edgar Sulite would communicate with his Students and his Lameco Eskrima Association. In each issue PG Sulite would write several Articles regarding training in Lameco Eskrima.








Lameco Eskrima Goals: Edgar G. Sulite (1995)

It is my true goal and the goal of the Lameco Eskrima International Association to promote goodwill to mankind throughout the world. Regardless of race, nationality, and language, that all must be treated equal in order to encourage brotherhood, not only in the Filipino Martial Arts but regarding other Martial Arts as well.

Pride and the feeling of superiority over another has no place in the heart of a true Lameco Eskrima practitioner, nor does the feeling of inferiority.

A true Lameco Eskrima practitioner must be: humble, courteous, helpful, kind and polite. A true Lameco Eskrima practitioner does not criticize the people, systems and styles of other Martial Arts Schools.

A person who does not have the above qualities do not have a place in the Lameco Eskrima Brotherhood.

As the leader of this prestigious association, it will reflect upon me, any and all good or bad actions which my students may do. If you do something that will uplift or mar the association, it will reflect on me as your head instructor and the whole Lameco Eskrima International Association as well.

A question which you need to ask of yourself daily: How did you represent the association outside your class? “Encourage your friend and he will become your brother, always dig for reasons to applaud; never scratch for excuses to gossip, when you are tempted to criticize - bite your tongue - when you move to praise - shout from your roof.”

If you have this character within yourself then you will be making friends, not enemies.

If you honestly feel that within yourself that you do not have this character yet go home and swing your Garote for 24 hours a day until you become a refined person that the Lameco Eskrima International Association will be proud of.

Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite
(circa 1995 At the Vortex volume 4 number 1)



Other PG Edgar Sulite-related posts, please check out:






For more information, please check out:



Focus on training: Edgar G. Sulite (1993)

Stickgrappler's Note: Punong Guro Edgar Sulite would've been 57 today. He died at 39 years of age 5 months before his 40th Birthday.

It is also the 33rd Anniversary of Lameco Eskrima today. The system was created on Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite's Birthday, September 25, 1981.

With Guro David Gould's gracious permission, I'm reposting this from his Lameco Eskrima Orehenal Facebook Group in honor of PG Sulite's birthday today. It is an article from the Vortex Newsletter which was the official medium through which PG Edgar Sulite would communicate with his Students and his Lameco Eskrima Association. In each issue PG Sulite would write several Articles regarding training in Lameco Eskrima.





Focus on training: Edgar G. Sulite (1993) 





Nowadays, Martial Arts students are being bombarded with countless techniques from different martial arts systems from all around the world. Today the study and promotion of Martial Arts has been revolutionized through movies, television, magazines, books, videos, Martial Arts schools and seminars.

When I was still a student back in the Philippines, I still remember how difficult it was for me to find a Martial Arts Teacher. Finding one does not necessarily mean that they were willing to accept me as a student nor teach me. They would be reluctant because I do not belong to their family and that their system was exclusively taught to their clan. Being an outsider, my request to become a student would be declined. Luckily, I managed to convince them of my sincerity and dedication and I was able to study under different famous Masters.

During my studies, I noticed that some of my Masters were very generous in teaching me techniques while others were very stingy and would refuse to go beyond what they thought was enough for my level of skill and experience. Strangely enough, the teachers at that time that I considered stingy were the teachers that I now hold dear to my heart. For as a result of their keeping a tight rein on my training and progress, I have been able to thoroughly understand and Master their system. Whereas my teachers who generously overwhelmed me with techniques and demonstrations I found to have inadvertently missed giving me the true foundations and “secrets” of their art. These gaps I would later be able to fill as I devoted time, effort, and discipline in mastering and understanding each of the techniques they have unselfishly passed on to me.

A novice, a beginner in Martial Arts is considered to be in darkness for his mind is not yet aware of the possibilities he has to protect and defend himself and his loved ones. Once he commences his study, then he begins to understand his true potential and lethal capabilities. Knowledge is power – but little knowledge can be extremely dangerous. We should always strive to be thorough in our learning, for the advantage any technique or skill gives also has hidden disadvantages that must also be learned.

Techniques represent knowledge; and each technique learned is like a ray of light that adds clarity and vision to what used to be unknown, strange and formidable. Every technique that one learns and understands reduces the darkness within us. Eskrimador, how bright is your light? Can you see clearly and far? Or are you happy with just focussing a small beam on the path where your foot is about to set on? Be honest and evaluate yourself. Consider the numerous and probably countless techniques you have learned. Which and how many of them do you consider most important and essential to you? So vital that you have the confidence that these techniques and skills are yours, a part of your repertoire and armor, ready to face any challenge or attack.

Do you feel that you are enveloped in a protective, bright aura of confidence in your techniques and skills? Or is it a narrow beam of light that can track only one thing at a time and unsteadily at that? If you have the slightest doubt – then you have neither understood nor mastered the techniques you rely on. You have lost the brightness of the flame that was passed on to you for you have not devoted time and effort to feed the demanding flame of dedication and discipline necessary to turn your knowledge into formidable weapons. We have likened training to the forging of a blade, for that is what it takes to create a perfect technique, a lethal and sharp weapon, a combat ready warrior.

The secrets to understanding techniques are:
1)- Visualization (Dakip-dawa)- To practice defense, you have to see the attack coming. The fury and aggressiveness of the attack must be present, for that is the reality of combat. Similarly, any attack must be practiced with the proper mind-set. All movements must be with intention and realism. You must defend aggressively and skillfully overcome and subdue your opponent.

2)- Master each technique thoroughly - Devote a major part of your practice session to learning a specific technique. Learn each technique ambidextrously. You’ll never know when you might get hurt and may have to depend on your other hand. Practice each technique a thousand times until it becomes a part of you. Learn its secrets, its advantages, and pitfalls. Embrace it until it becomes a part of your makeup and will come out by itself to defend and protect you. Let the bright light of confidence and skill envelop you protectively and confidently.

Lameco Eskrimador, how bright is the light of confidence around you? If it is but a small beam don`t you think its time to feed that flickering flame?

Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite
(circa 1993 At the Vortex volume 2 number 3).



Other PG Edgar Sulite-related posts, please check out:






For more information, please check out:



THE WISDOM OF ... Col. Jeff Cooper (May 10, 1920 – September 25, 2006)

Photo credit:  http://jeffcooperfoundation.org


Col Jeff Cooper passed away 8 yrs ago on this date. This entry will serve a dual purpose: an "In Memory Of" as well as "The Wisdom of..."


First a little about Col. Jeff Cooper:

John Dean "Jeff" Cooper was recognized as the father of what is commonly known as the Modern Technique of handgun shooting, and one of the 20th century's foremost international experts on the use and history of small arms.

Cooper was commissioned into the United States Marine Corps prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. During World War II he served in the Pacific on the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), and then was recalled to active duty for the Korean War, resigning his commission as Lieutenant Colonel in 1956. He received a bachelor's degree in political science from Stanford University and, in the mid-1960s, a master's degree in history from the University of California, Riverside.

In 1976, Cooper founded the American Pistol Institute (API) in Paulden, Arizona (later the Gunsite Training Center). Cooper began teaching shotgun and rifle classes to law enforcement and military personnel as well as civilians and did on-site training for individuals and groups from around the world.

Since 1947 he published 20 books, over 500 magazine articles and columns, about a dozen videos, and numerous forwards to other author's books.

Cooper died at his home on the afternoon of Monday, September 25, 2006 at the age of 86.


Enjoy these quotes/writings by Col. Jeff Cooper!




Remember the first rule of gunfighting ... have a gun.




A smart man only believes half of what he hears, a wise man knows which half.




A free man must not be told how to think, either by the government or by social activists. He may certainly be shown the right way, but he must not accept being forced into it.




This preoccupation with equality is another symptom of the degeneracy of The Age of the Common Man. In the first place it is an illusion, since men are not created equal, except in the political sense. Everyone is better or worse than someone else in a particular example of his capacities, and pretending that this is not so is simply silly. Excellence, not mediocrity, should be everyone’s goal, and it is hard to think of anything, from gardening to crossword puzzles, at which someone may not excel.




Heroism is never futile, for it is a thing of the soul, demonstrating that man is more than just another animal. This is a truth that needs emphasis in the dingy modern era, when the race’s most basic values are under attack. Honor is, at last, all we can take with us.




You must remember that with the rifle it is not how far away the shot was, but how close you were able to get. I have been shooting seriously since my late teens, and I have taken just six long shots that I remember. (By long shots I mean shots 300 meters or over.) I do not mean to set myself up as an example, but I need to point out that if one is forced to take a long shot, he owes himself an explanation. "There was no way I could get any closer."





As time passes we discover that there are a good many readers who have not been to school and who are puzzled by our reference to "The Mozambique Drill."

I added The Mozambique Drill to the modern doctrine after hearing of an experience of a student of mine up in Mozambique when that country was abandoned. My friend was involved in the fighting that took place around the airport of Laurenco Marquez. At one point, Mike turned a corner was confronted by a terrorist carrying an AK47. The man was advancing toward him at a walk at a range of perhaps 10 paces. Mike, who was a good shot, came up with his P35 and planted two satisfactory hits, one on each side of the wishbone. He expected his adversary to drop, but nothing happened, and the man continued to close the range. At this point, our boy quite sensibly opted to go for the head and tried to do so, but he was a little bit upset by this time and mashed slightly on the trigger, catching the terrorist precisely between the collar bones and severing his spinal cord. This stopped the fight.

Upon analysis, it seemed to me that the pistolero should be accustomed to the idea of placing two shots amidships as fast as he can and then being prepared to change his point of aim if this achieves no results. Two shots amidships can be placed very quickly and very reliably and they will nearly always stop the fight providing a major-caliber pistol is used and the subject is not wearing body armor. However, simply chanting "two in the body, one in the head" oversimplifies matters, since it takes considerably longer to be absolutely sure of a head shot than it does to be quite sure of two shots in the thorax. The problem for the shooter is to change his pace, going just as fast as he can with his first pair, then, pausing to observe results or lack thereof, he must slow down and shoot precisely. This is not easy to do. The beginner tends to fire all three shots at the same speed, which is either too slow for the body shots or too fast for the head shot. This change of pace calls for concentration and coordination which can only be developed through practice.

Mike Rouseau was later killed in action in the Rhodesian War. May he rest in peace!





Col. Jeff Cooper's Principles of Personal Defense:

  • Alertness
  • Decisiveness
  • Aggressiveness
  • Speed
  • Coolness (and, if firearms are used, Precision)
  • Ruthlessness
  • Surprise





The everlasting problem for the shooter remains gunhandling. Of the three elements of shooting skill - marksmanship, gunhandling, and mind-set - it is gunhandling which gives us the most trouble. The way people handled their weapons at the SHOT Show was enough to make one's blood run cold, and many of these people are presumably "experts" in the firearms field. It would seem that while a great many shooters understand the four basic rules of safe gunhandling, they seem to think that the rules only apply on the range when under supervision. I have tried for decades to impress upon people the fact that the four rules are immutable and ever present. They apply at all times and in all circumstances. Somebody asked me what they were the other day (somewhat to my dismay), so for the purposes of those who came in late let me put them forth again now.

RULE 1
ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

The only exception to this occurs when one has a weapon in his hands and he has personally unloaded it for checking. As soon as he puts it down, Rule 1 applies again.

RULE 2
NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO DESTROY

You may not wish to destroy it, but you must be clear in your mind that you are quite ready to if you let that muzzle cover the target. To allow a firearm to point at another human being is a deadly threat, and should always be treated as such.

RULE 3
KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER TIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

This we call the Golden Rule because its violation is responsible for about 80 percent of the firearms disasters we read about.

RULE 4
BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

You never shoot at anything until you have positively identified it. You never fire at a shadow, or a sound, or a suspected presence. You shoot only when you know absolutely what you are shooting at and what is beyond it.





Having invented my own personal color code for individual response to personal danger, I like to feel that I ought to know just what it implies. This is, of course, not obligatory. I may have designed the code, but nobody is obliged to observe it as I declared it. Still I wish people who wish to use it would use it as designed, rather than as improvised after the fact. Specifically, I would like to insist that my own four-stage color code refers to decisions to take deadly action, rather than a degree of danger. As I have designed it, the color code designates that psychological condition which enables you to take action which is very unusual in your experience and which may result in lethal violence. A reasonably well-adjusted human being finds it very difficult to take lethal action against another human being. It is so difficult that it may prevent him from saving his own life. I have described it, taught it and written it up several times, and I am satisfied that it works as I have created it. It has on several occasions saved the life of the individual who had used it correctly. Put as simply as possible, the color code runs White, Yellow, Orange, and Red. It does not need amplification, but it does cover the subject in hand completely.

  • In White you are unprepared and unready to take lethal action. If you are attacked in White you will probably die unless your adversary is totally inept.
  • In Yellow you bring yourself to the understanding that your life may be in danger and that you may have to do something about it.
  • In Orange you have determined upon a specific adversary and are prepared to take action which may result in his death, but you are not in a lethal mode.
  • In Red you are in a lethal mode and will shoot if circumstances warrant.
  • That is putting it as quickly as possible, and we can go into it further at your convenience.





Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands.




The will to survive is not as important as the will to prevail ... the answer to criminal aggression is retaliation.




For more information, please check:





For other entries in my "The Wisdom of ..." series, please check out:




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Final part of Drew Guest - De-escalation: Victory Without Violence

Stickgrappler's note: If you didn't read the previous part of this article, please read it here:





Most martial arts instructors preach that what the student learns in the dojo is only to be used in self-defence and that violence should be avoided. It’s a sound philosophy, but how many instructors actually teach the verbal skills and body-language tricks needed to really accomplish this in the face of an aggressor with bad intentions? Here, in the fourth and final instalment of this series, Bushi Dojo’s Drew Guest the verbal intricacies of a violent confrontation.




Last issue we looked closely at apathy, intuition and body language. Let's continue by looking at some other things we can do to prepare ourselves for dealing with aggressors. Some of the following tactics and suggestions will lend themselves more effectively to particular approaches and/or type of aggressor, while others are universal.

Listening

It is important to actually listen to what the aggressor is saying. If we don't listen then we risk misunderstanding the true nature of the problem. Often an aggressor, particularly an ‘end of tether' aggressor, will believe that no-one is listening to them. If you don't show that you are listening then you inadvertently confirm that belief and further add to their frustration.

Don't just listen, use active listening techniques: repeat and rephrase what the aggressor has said to show that you do understand. Don't be afraid to let the aggressor talk. Often they want someone to talk to, not someone to talk ‘at' them. Appear interested and show that interest in your body language. Lean slightly forward maybe with your head tilted slightly so it shows you are listening intently. Use appropriate eye contact so that the aggressor can see he has your attention, but don't stare and maintain your awareness. You can use open questions to encourage the aggressor to continue talking. The more energy dispersed by talking and venting, the less likely the built-up energy will be released as physical violence.

Your body language should be open, but not so much as to leave you open to attack. Give the aggressor plenty of room; crowding is one of the leading contributions to frustration and aggression in humans. Try not to make premature judgments or assume what the aggressor is going to say. Instead, wait until they have finished so that you are sure you have the full story.

It's equally import to understand the message, not just what is said. An aggressive person will often use abusive and hurtful language; don't fall into the trap of becoming too focused on the words. Try to identify the presupposition of what is being said. A presupposition is the underlying meaning of an utterance. For example, if the aggressor approaches you asking, ‘What are you looking at, mate?', he is not really asking you a question; he is accusing you of an indiscretion.

Common Ground

We tend not to abuse those with whom we share a common link and whom we believe are similar to us. Psychologically, similarity is a major influence on our attractiveness to others.

This tactic is very similar to what Gavin de Becker refers to as ‘Forced Teaming'. Basically, we attempt to highlight either real or perceived commonalities between ourselves and the aggressor. Simply mentioning obvious similarities in appearance, attitude or circumstances can do this. Exchanging names has a duel effect of re-humanising the victim and increases the level of the relationship. It is much easier to abuse a total stranger, but simply knowing their name closes the psychological distance between two people. Try to encourage or lead the aggressor to a discussion on some commonality.

You are trying to establish yourself as a friend, a team-mate or at least an ally. For example, if the guy is wearing a footy jumper, you can highlight your mutual like for the team, or how you wish you still played the game. It doesn't matter that you may not like the team, what is important is that he believes you do. And when dealing with an aggressive person, what they believe is the important issue.

Options and alternatives

An ‘end of tether' aggressor will often feel that they are out of options; this is may be why they have turned to aggression in the first place. By providing options you allow the aggressor to see that all is not lost and that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. Start by defining an abstract, overall goal, and this will often be a solution to the problem or a way to find the solution. Next, highlight some intermediate goals to help the aggressor see a way through the tunnel. Just simply pointing out options can return the aggressor to a more rational state of mind. Let's look at a similar concept called ‘loopholing'.



Loopholing

Loopholing is providing and allowing an aggressor to get out of the aggressive action while still maintaining respect or saving face. Apologising is a simple loophole, even if you are innocent. The aggressor can then return to his friends and announce that he made you apologise. Most often, a predatory aggressor is simply after a boost to his ego or to look good in front of his peers. Simply feed his ego and he will be less likely to get physical. Most people don't want to fight so provide them with a means to win without resorting to violence.

Another example is to offer to buy the guy a drink, or provide some other gesture of respect or compensation. These are simply small insignificant gestures to avoid violence; the cost of a beer is a lot less then the cost of medical treatment and the associated time off work. Loopholing doesn't have to be submissive but if using an assertive loophole then ensure you don't disrespect or shame the aggressor, especially in front of an audience.

Grandpa's stories

This is one of my favourite techniques and it can be very effective in arresting the momentum of the aggressor. The idea is to simply waffle on non-stop, drift off on tangents, and provide so much irrelevant information that the aggressor actually gets bored and finds his own excuse to leave. You can talk about anything and everything; describe some fictitious domestic situation, whinge about your job, the economy, the good ol' days, and so forth. The trick is to start at a relevant topic, then lead the aggressor into your story and then waffle like grandpa used to.

An audience

If you are dealing with an aggressor or a situation that has the potential to become aggressive (for example, firing an employee, asking a patron to leave a club) then try to remove any audience. The aggressor will feel pressure from the belief that the audience is laughing at them or ridiculing them, they will be pressured just as if they are performing in a spotlight on stage. They will feel embarrassment and will often use aggression to regulate the emotion, preferring the empowering sensations of anger and aggression to the debilitating sensations of fear, guilt and embarrassment. Often a predatory aggressor is performing for his friends, so if you are in a position of authority take him aside and set the rules straight. This prevents embarrassment, which can quickly escalate into physical violence.

Of course, while removing the audience is a good idea, you should not do this if it means isolating yourself and the aggressor. Remember, your number one rule is to maintain your own safety so, if possible, know where help is and have it nearby. Either arrange for help to come to you, or for the means for you to get to help. Planning and strategy are vital elements in controlling potentially aggressive people and volatile situations.

Practice

Like any aspect of the martial arts and self-protection, de-escalation has to be practised. This is quite simple and can be fun. Obvious scenario training that includes the behavioural pre-fight stages of a confrontation lends itself well to practising de-escalation. Realistic scenarios, including simulated emotion, can help bridge the gap between applying skill in training to using it in the real world and this holds equally true for de-escalation.

Another more specific training tool is to have verbal sparring matches. One person tries to escalate whilst the other de-escalates. This training method isolates the verbal part of the confrontation, allowing one to develop the ability to know what to say under pressure. This is a simple isolation drill, just like those used for the physical techniques of martial arts.

Take virtually any training method for a physical skill and simply adapt it to de-escalation: instead of throwing combos of punches, throw combos of de-escalation techniques; drill specific techniques, drill defences for specific attacks, especially the common attacks. Observe real arguments and confrontations (safely, of course) and identify the tactics and techniques used. This is just like studying fight footage in MMA or kickboxing.

I won't lie to you; it is probably more satisfying to train the physical aspect of combat, but the importance of the non-physical behavioural components cannot be overstated. If you control the behavioural element of the fight, then you control the fight.

Conclusion

If the art of de-escalation was an iceberg then the pages of this article would be the proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg'. There are so many tactics and techniques that we could fill a book. In fact, many authors have done just that. The Gentle Art of Self-Defence by Suzette Haden Elgin, Surviving Aggressive People by Shawn Smith and Verbal Judo by George Thompson are only three that come highly recommended and provide a good foundation for learning the art of de-escalation - the true art of fighting without fighting. Hopefully these articles have provided you with an adequate introduction to some of the theories.



Drew Guest has been studying martial arts and self-protection for over 24 years. He has a teaching rank in Muay Thai and holds grades in other systems including Zen Do Kai, Senshido, judo, Australian Freestyle taekwondo and boxing.


Copied from http://www.blitzmag.net/self-defence/202-de-escalation-victory-without-violence-part-3




For other parts of this article, please check:






NOTE: Posted In Memory of Drew Guest. As posted on the Senshido International Forum Drew Guest was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma in early June 2011. Drew Guest passed away September 24, 2011.

Part 3 of Drew Guest's De-escalation: Victory Without Violence

Stickgrappler's note: If you didn't read the previous part of this article, please read it here:





Most martial arts instructors preach that what the student learns in the dojo is only to be used in self-defence and that violence should be avoided. It’s a sound philosophy, but how many instructors actually teach the verbal skills and body language tricks needed to really accomplish this in the face of an aggressor with bad intentions? Here, in the third installment of this series, Bushi Dojo’s Drew Guest covers the important elements in defusing conflict.

All images by James Steer
Last issue we looked at the two main types of aggressor (the predator and the desperate or ‘end-of-tether' aggressor) and the different behavioural approaches (assertive, submissive and passive/neutral) for dealing with them. Let's continue by looking at some other things we can do to prepare ourselves for dealing with aggressors. Some of the following tactics and suggestions will lend themselves more effectively to particular approaches and/or type of aggressor, while others are universal.

Acceptance

Apathy and denial can get you killed. Thousands of victims thought, ‘It could never happen to me', only to have themselves proven wrong, sometimes with devastating consequences. This is apathy - our natural defence mechanism against fear. We distance ourselves from our fears of being attacked by reassuring ourselves that it only happens to other people. Some people are less likely to experience a violent encounter than others, but no-one can ever be completely immune to the possibility. The simple and empowering counter against apathy is accepting that you could be a victim of an attack or aggression. Don't get paranoid; just acknowledge that it is possible. Statistically there is a much higher chance that you will experience aggression rather than physical violence, but aggression can escalate to violence very easily, especially if you handle it the wrong way. One of the most dangerous things to do when facing aggression is to deny it is happening or be trapped in asking ‘how/why is this happening to me?' If you find yourself asking ‘why me?' or thinking ‘this can't be happening', you must stop and acknowledge that it's happening - and it's happening now. You will only find solutions by thinking about what to do, not by worrying why it is happening.

The first step is to recognise when you're in a potentially violent situation. Most of the time this will be pretty obvious but in some cases, such as with a predatory aggressor, it may be hidden in the initial interaction. The predatory aggressor will often use the ‘interview stage' of an attack to test and manipulate their victim prior to utilising aggression. (For an in-depth look at the stages of an attack, see my 2007 article ‘Attack By Numbers' online at www.blitzmag.net) Recognise when the warning signs mentioned earlier are in play. The earlier you recognise them, the easier the de-escalation and, thus, the avoidance of violence.

Intuition

Our senses detect a huge amount of stimuli all the time. We have perception and selection processes that filter out most of the stimuli so that only those of interest or importance get relayed to our consciousness. The other stimuli not filtered are still sensed, it's just that they are perceived only at a subconscious level. This forms the basis of one popular explanation of how intuition works: the ‘gut feeling' that you get is a response to something perceived in the subconscious. Intuition is always a response to something and is usually a warning of some sort.

Thousands of victims of violence have said that they felt something wasn't quite right before they were attacked. Do not ignore these warning signals; they have evolved in us from the time our species began and are a part of our natural protection system. Regardless of how or what you think intuition is, it does exist and it exists to warn you of danger. When you feel intuitive signs, stop and ask what it could be. It's better to take a little time to do this than to ignore it and potentially lose considerably more than a few seconds in your day.




Breathing

Before anything, take a deep breath. This accomplishes a couple of things. It will calm you and acts as a system reset. It's always an advantage to start from a calm, centred position when dealing with aggression. It provides you with room to move and makes it harder for the aggressor to manipulate your own level of aggression. Keeping your own level of aggression at a relatively low level acts as an anchor for your adversary's aggression. It is psychologically difficult to raise the level of aggression when faced with a comparatively lower level; basically, the aggressor doesn't need to raise the aggression level as they are already at a significantly higher (and by their perception, superior) level of aggression. As a rule, you should always try to maintain a level of aggression lower than that of the aggressor.

The other benefit of breathing deep is that it supplies the brain with a decent dose of oxygen. Our brain must work quickly during the de-escalation attempt and providing it with oxygen will enable it to perform at its best under pressure. Your cognitive ability may already be, or could soon be, impaired due to the processes involved in the Acute Stress Response, better known as the fight-or-flight response. We want all the help we can get, so take a breath and feed the brain.

Body language

It's well known that body language and non-verbal cues account for between 80 and 90 per cent of human communication. A huge amount of information gets transmitted via your gestures, gaze, posture, facial expressions and the tone and volume of your voice. The words themselves only account for about seven or eight per cent of communication. Your physical actions, posture and gaze are the first things that a predator reads in the selection process of an attack.

Regardless of what tactics or strategy you use, when dealing with an aggressive threat, you must match it with congruent body language - i.e. it must support, not contradict, your words. For example, if I'm trying to convince the aggressor that I don't want to fight, then standing in a fighting stance with my fists up won't be congruent to that message. See the photo on the following page to see what I mean. Simply ensure your outward appearance and gestures match the type of approach you choose. If you take on a submissive role, then ensure your body language reflects this.

Particularly take notice of your facial expression. The basic human emotions of happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise and disgust all have distinctive facial expressions. Research (e.g. Ekman, 1994) supports the idea that facial expression is innate and universal across cultures. Facial expressions are the most dominant form of emotional expression in humans, and even cross to similar expressions in animals. Others judge your emotional state by interpreting your facial expressions; often this is done automatically and at a subconscious level.

Faked body language and facial expressions are not as effective as spontaneous or real expression, so you will need to practise. Jump in front of a mirror and practise your stance, posture and facial expressions. If you decide on an aggressive approach, then use the appropriate angry expression and body language; if you choose a submissive approach, then use the expression and body language of fear.

Goals & plans

Your first goal should be the maintenance of your own safety, second would be the safety of others, and even loved ones. Most of us would consider our loved ones' safety as more important than our own, as I do. However, you cannot protect your loved ones if you're taken out of the picture, thus the importance of maintaining your own relative safety as priority. Anyone who has flown on a commercial airline would have heard the safety instructions: they always ask that you secure your own facemask, etc. prior to assisting anyone else, even your children. Lifesavers and emergency workers will always maintain their own safety over that of those they rescue. After all, who would rescue you if the rescuer were injured? The same idea applies when facing an aggressive person. This doesn't mean you will step aside so you don't get injured if a guy is trying to hit your wife, but it does mean you will do all you can to stop the situation escalating to violence in the first place. And if that doesn't work, in the scenario above for example, you may tactically be smarter to step aside momentarily if you're not the focus of the attacker's rage, so you can attack from the side or behind to stop the threat.

On that note, there are quite a few examples of people stepping in to help a stranger who's getting bashed by multiple attackers, only to be fatally injured themselves. Tactically, calling the police from a safe distance, then yelling at the attackers that the police are on their way, would be a better first response before stepping into the fray.

Your personal safety is obviously the major goal; other goals contribute to bringing about that safety. Your goals can vary depending on the situation. You may choose a goal that provides solutions to the aggressor and help return them to a normal level of rationality. It may be to remove yourself from the situation, or maybe to remove the aggressor from your environment. Regardless of what the goals or sub-goals are, you must decide on them early. It's fine to have a general plan to achieve the goal, but you have to be flexible in that plan. Rarely will an aggressive confrontation go according to your plan; the nature of aggression is that it can be influenced by countless variables. In self-protection, there is always an exception (or more) to every rule. Even the information in this article cannot be taken as absolute or guaranteed.

The big advantage to working towards a goal is that it helps you remain calm and keep you thinking and working in a positive direction.

Take control

Try to take control of the interaction by guiding the aggressor along a path of your own choosing. Establish boundaries, set a flexible plan and steer the interaction in that direction. Use the other tactics I've mentioned to control the situation. Physically, put yourself in the most advantageous position, preferably with yourself between the aggressor and an escape route. Try to avoid being stuck in a position where the aggressor blocks the exit. Don't be drawn into a fight and don't allow yourself to be intimidated by threatening and abusive language.

Decide on your approach and take control early - the earlier, the better. Even if you choose a submissive approach, it's your choice so you are controlling the interaction. To the aggressor it seems that he is in control, but it is really you working towards your own goal, whether that be to give his ego what it wants so he can walk away believing he's the alpha male, or give him a false sense of domination so you can surprise him with a pre-emptive attack as he closes in.

Next issue, we'll look at some specific verbal and physical ways to respond to certain things an aggressor will commonly do or say.




Drew Guest has been studying martial arts and self-protection for over 24 years. He has a teaching rank in Muay Thai and holds grades in other systems including Zen Do Kai, Senshido, judo, Australian Freestyle taekwondo, GymGari freestyle and boxing.




For other parts of this article, please check:






NOTE: Posted In Memory of Drew Guest. As posted on the Senshido International Forum Drew Guest was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma in early June 2011. Drew Guest passed away September 24, 2011.

Drew Guest's De-escalation: Victory Without Violence Part 2

Stickgrappler's note: If you didn't read the previous part of this article, please read it here:





In almost every dojo, dojang and kwoon across the globe, it is preached that what the student learns there is only to be used in self-defence and violence should be avoided. It’s probably the most common mantra heard in the martial arts and most of us would agree with this philosophy, but how do you avoid violence in a practical sense? Here, in the second part of a series by Bushi Dojo’s Drew Guest, we learn about the different types of aggressors and the best way to deal with them.



Two Types of Aggressors

You’re most likely to face violence from the ‘predatory aggressor’ or the ‘desperate aggressor’, who is simply at the end of his tether.

The predatory aggressor uses aggression as a tool to obtain something or to achieve a goal. The most common of these types of aggressors are the bullies. These people use aggression to feed their need to exert power over another. They are usually attempting to fill some aspect of themselves they are lacking; it may be they lack power themselves. These are the typical “What you looking at?” thugs. They are masters at manipulating victims so they can ‘justifiably’ escalate the level of aggression. Other predatory aggressors use aggression as a tool of compliance to commit crime. The mugger will often use aggression to overwhelm the victim and induce fear, as does the rapist, but a rapist also uses it as a means to exert and feel power over the victim (the real purpose for the assault).

Warning signs of a predatory aggressor, from Surviving Aggressive People by S T Smith:
  • Testing rituals
  • Foot-in-door tactic
  • Invading personal space and boundaries
  • Exploiting sympathyand guilt
  • Intimidation andexploiting fear
  • Discounting ‘no’ with persistence
  • Talking too much
  • Contradiction between words and body language

Other warning/survival signs, from the book The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker, are:
  • Forced teaming
  • Loan-sharking
  • Giving too many details
  • Making unsolicited promises
  • Typecasting

The end-of-tether aggressor (also known as the desperate aggressor), on the other hand, uses aggression as a last resort. They see no other option and have most likely exhausted numerous other options in an attempt to solve the problem. They tend to be pessimistic and don’t want to listen. Due to the highly charged state of emotions, they will be hypersensitive and hyper-vigilant, and they will have little concern for consequences. The end of tether aggressor resorts to the use of aggression in an attempt to regain control. These people aren’t criminals but simply stressed-out individuals who have come to the end of their tether. Road rage, for example, is often committed by normal people who have just snapped. In these cases, the perceived wrong against them is just the final straw and is usually unrelated to the true cause of the aggression.

Warning signs of a desperate aggressor, from Surviving Aggressive People by S T Smith:

Visible adrenaline and fight-or-flight effects. These include changes in breathing, shaking, unstable voice, flushed face, etc.

  • Agitation
  • Uncharacteristic or poor judgement
  • Paranoia and defensiveness
  • Extreme pessimism
  • Nervous confusion
  • Withdrawal
  • Hurtful language and threats

Whether predatory or desperate, the five don’ts of de-escalation — Threaten, Argue, Challenge, Order, Shame — or TACOS rules (see Blitz Vol. 23 No. 8) can always be applied to avoid escalating the situation. The difference is that with the predatory aggressor, TACOS is used to counter their attempts to manipulate and escalate, while with end-of-tether aggressors, we are avoiding accidental or misinterpreted escalation. When faced with aggression, having familiarity with TACOS will go a long way towards ensuring your safety, regardless of which type of aggressor or aggression you face. the different approaches

The aggressive approach:

I personally don’t like this method. Aggression feeds aggression and it takes a certain kind of person to pull it off. In my experience, the people who really need self-protection don’t have the required confidence or inclination to safely use this tactic. It is also the approach with the least flexibility and the greatest risk. That being said, it can work for the right person.

The goal with this approach is to be more aggressive and intimidating than the aggressor. Ultimately you will attempt to elicit the fight-or-flight response (or an adrenaline dump) in your aggressor. Hopefully they will interpret this as fear, thinking they’ve bitten off more then they can chew, and back down. This approach is essentially a bluff, but with all bluffs you must be prepared to have it called. The problem is if it doesn’t work, you will usually have a bigger problem and more aggression aimed at you.

Be honest with yourself as to whether you can pull off this approach. Do you have the skills to back it up? If it fails, you most assuredly will need to use them. The aggressive approach can work, but there is no going back once you take that path, so choose it wisely. This approach works best when your opponent only makes a half-hearted or uncommitted attack.

The assertive approach:

The difference between being assertive and being aggressive is that when you are being assertive you are standing up for your rights while respecting other people’s rights. Being aggressive is standing up for your rights with no regard for the rights of any other person. Assertiveness is an ideal approach for when you have to stand your ground. The obvious examples are those involved in the security industry or law-enforcement, such as door staff, police officers and the like. However, this approach can also be used by teachers, store managers and supervisors, bus drivers, government workers — in fact, any position where you have to follow set policies and procedures or you are in a position of authority. That being said, it’s an option open to virtually anyone.

This approach involves remaining calm and in control. You should use clear and specific language, with complete sentences and direct statements. Use co-operative, and empathetic language. Try to avoid ‘you’ statements, as they tend to come across as blaming or accusing. This often leads to the other person becoming defensive, which may block a calm rational discussion. Instead try to use ‘I’ statements, as this allows you to own the statement and keeps lines for communication open. If someone is talking, they are not hitting.

This should be backed up by appropriate eye contact and body language. Your posture should be direct, open, relaxed and attentive. Your stance should be passive and non-violent. You can take full use of the ‘fence’ (hands raised, palms out) and it doesn’t need to be hidden, but be sure not to make it aggressive. Avoid ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ and constant head-nodding. Use minimal and appropriate touch and provide responsive expressions.

The idea is to project a vibe of confidence and control. You establish your boundary and you enforce it, but in a polite, calm manner. Ideally your level of aggression should always be below that of your opponent. This has two effects: firstly, it gives you room to move if you do have to raise the level of aggression (it’s always easier to increase your aggression then it is to lower it); secondly, it has an anchoring effect on the other person’s level of aggression. The lower your level of aggression, the lower the other person needs to have his.

The submissive approach:

This approach involves submitting and complying with the demands of the aggressor to prevent escalation to physical violence. This has good and bad aspects. On one hand it often prevents physical violence, as you are giving the attacker what he wants; on the other hand, it does nothing to deter future attacks and establishes you as an easy target. It involves giving up your boundaries and your rights. Psychologically, this approach can be quite dysfunctional; often after the event the victim will go through a stage of regret and depression. They may see their action as cowardly, chastising themselves for not fighting back. This can have quite a detrimental effect on everyday life as the feelings of inadequacy and the damaged self-esteem affect performance and relationships across other areas of life (e.g. with family or at work).

The submissive approach can work — and often does. You have to decide if being submissive outweighs the consequences of an alternative action. This approach is best used in street crime such as a mugging, where the aggressor is after material possessions. I have a saying; “There is nothing in my wallet that is worth more than holding my wife again”. I don’t recommend this approach for bullying situations; in these cases submission only reinforces the bullying behaviour. It may work for a single-instance bully such as the pub thug, where you allow the guy to get an ego boost by putting you down; in a sense this is a type of robbery, where he steals a bit of ego from you to boost his own.

You have to decide whether this approach is appropriate for the situation, and that will depend on the situation, circumstances, environment, the aggressor, yourself and a plethora of other variables. Trust your instincts. If you feel this is the time to be compliant, then go with your gut.

You should avoid eye contact and gaze downward, but this doesn’t mean you take your eyes off the aggressor. Instead, just keep your gaze below his face — the chest is ideal. You’ll want to project a sense of fear or at least portray that image. Try to appear to be shrinking away from the aggressor. Practise this again in front of a mirror so that it looks genuine.

The passive approach:

The above approaches (submissive and aggressive) are extremes; the passive approach is a broader and more flexible approach. It acts as a complement to the other approaches (except for the aggressive approach). You can be passive and assertive and you can be passive and submissive; you can even be just passive, but it is a bit contradictory to be both passive and aggressive at the same time. Once you enter aggression, you leave passiveness behind.

The key to the passive approach is its flexibility. Think of passiveness as being the part of a scale anchored by full assertiveness at one end, and full submissiveness at the other end. Generally you will start in the middle, which is passive-neutral or just passive. From this point you can move one way or the other, and back again, depending on how the situation unfolds.

The passive stance:

The passive stance is also known as the ‘non-threatening’, ‘non-violent’ posture, the ‘de-escalation stance’ and the ‘negotiation stance’. It is one of the most useful concepts in self-protection. Essentially, the passive stance involves standing with your hands raised, palms open and facing your aggressor, so as not to appear like a fighting guard. Your feet should be neutral or with one slightly forward of the other, in a position that will offer you balance and manoeuvrability but not look like you’re ‘ready to go’.

It is important not to think of the passive stance as a fixed stance. It should be adapted to suit your purpose; subtle changes can change it from neutral to more assertive or more submissive. The stance forms a part of your body language and should come across as natural. It provides a platform to negotiate from, while simultaneously providing an efficient base to reflexively respond to a sudden attack, or from which to launch your own pre-emptive strike. It naturally incorporates the ‘fence’ concept developed by Geoff Thompson, and provides a physical and psychological barrier between you and the aggressor. This barrier also acts as a distance-maker and measurer. The stance tends to have a calming affect on the aggressor. Even if it has little effect, it won’t contribute to escalation — and that means we’re still a step closer to our goal of de-escalation.



Drew Guest has been studying martial arts and self-protection for over 24 years. He has a teaching rank in Muay Thai and holds grades in other systems including Zen Do Kai, Senshido, judo, Australian Freestyle taekwondo, GymGari freestyle and boxing.


Copied from http://www.blitzmag.net/self-defence/102-de-escalation-victory-without-violence-part-2




For other parts of this article, please check:






NOTE: Posted In Memory of Drew Guest. As posted on the Senshido International Forum Drew Guest was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma in early June 2011. Drew Guest passed away September 24, 2011.

Drew Guest - De-escalation: Victory Without Violence Part 1

In almost every dojo, dojang and kwoon across the globe, it is preached that what the student learns there is only to be used in self-defence and violence should be avoided. It’s probably the most common mantra heard in the martial arts and most of us would agree with this philosophy, but how do you avoid violence in a practical sense? Here, in the first part of a series by Bushi Dojo’s Drew Guest, we learn the golden rules of de-escalating conflict.

All images by James Steer
How do you stop a heated argument turning physical?

It is often recommended to avoid violence, but seldom are methods and tactics provided other than the old fallback line of ‘just walk away'.

Unfortunately, as honourable as the concept of just walking away from a fight is, the nature of violence is such that simply walking away is not always a safe option. You will often need to create an opportunity for yourself to walk away. In fact, walking away should not be seen as just a rule, it should be seen as an end goal. How do we achieve this goal safely? By using the art of de-escalation: the true art of fighting without fighting.

De-escalation refers to reducing the level of intensity or danger of a situation that involves human conflict, and thus the potential for physical violence to erupt. For self-protection, we are particularly concerned with the reduction of the level of aggression, thus reducing the chance of resulting violence. For a situation to turn physically violent it first has to escalate; that is, the level of aggression has to rise. Anyone who has witnessed a real fight start from scratch will have seen this escalation process. The typical scenario will start with one person verbally attacking the other; either by accusation, insult, or threat. The second person will then respond with a greater verbal attack. It goes back and forth until one of the combatants pushes the other and so on, until fists start flying. This is only a general example but it should conjure a familiar image to those who have witnessed real-world violence, especially on the street or in a pub/nightclub atmosphere.

There are, of course, other kinds of physical violence such as muggings, rape, etc. but even these require some sort of escalation to become violent (in the physical sense). Most people require a reason or a justification to cause injury to another. The exception are those small number of people who are actual sociopaths (actual as opposed to potential; many who display antisocial behaviour are not actual sociopaths but are simply showing sociopathic tendencies). Professional predators often use escalation tactics to produce a behaviour in their victim too, which they can then justify taking the next step of physical violence.
Even in a self-defence situation where there is no option other than to fight back, you are still responsible for whatever injury you might inflict on your adversary. It may be justifiable to use force but you are responsible for the reasonable use of that force in the eyes of the law. This, along with the risk of injury to yourself and your companions, should be ample incentive to take the route of de-escalation rather than see conflict as a chance to test your physical mettle. Let's have a look at these mistakes by introducing you to golden rules of ‘TACOS'. TACOS is an anagram for the five absolute don'ts of de-escalation, which are based on Richard Dimitri's Senshido system's golden rules of de-escalation:

If your goal is to de-escalate then do not: threaten the aggressor argue or contradict the aggressor challenge the aggressor order or command the aggressor Shame or disrespect the aggressor.




Any one of these things can, and likely will, lead to an escalation in the aggressor's level of aggression.
Do not threaten the aggressor. For example don't give the assailant an ultimatum. This gives the aggressor what he wants, a reason to strike the victim. When faced with a threat, people will either fight or flee. Fleeing isn't going to be an option for the aggressor - he wants to fight. Even if he didn't, he can't be seen by is peers as fleeing; he is most likely trying to prove something to himself or his friends. Try to avoid saying anything that resembles ‘if you do/don't, I will'.

Do not argue with the aggressor. Avoid directly contradicting what the aggressor is saying or accusing you of. This is exactly the response the aggressor is after, now he could accuse the victim of the greater crime of calling him a liar. Even if the aggressor isn't specifically looking to escalate the situation, telling him he is wrong is something an aggressive person doesn't want to hear - no-one does, but for someone who already has a raised level of aggression, it simply results in more aggression. Once aggression takes hold, rationality tends to diminish. Disagreeing is taken as an insult that the aggressor then feels they need to defend, usually by applying more aggression.

Do not challenge the aggressor. Our scenario doesn't have an example of challenging, but a challenge is where the victim dares the aggressor to carry out a threat or to do some other act. For example, if you utter the phrase, "what are you going to do about it", you are, in essence, challenging the aggressor. A challenge can be issued in other ways as well, such as the stare-down, a come-on gesture or finger-pointing. Remember, body language is responsible for between 80 to 90 per cent of the communication process. Your gestures, posture and expressions can communicate a challenge as well; indeed all the TACOS errors can be expressed without words (more on body language later).

Do not order or command the aggressor. It's one of the most common mistakes made by all inexperienced de-escalators and is often made by the more experienced as well. That's because it is so natural to tell someone who is being aggressive to "calm down", or to "relax", and almost every time the aggressor will respond with "I AM calm, don't tell me to calm down!" or something similar and usually a little more colourful. No one wants to be told they are out of control, but that is exactly what you are telling the aggressor when you issue the command to calm down. Not only that, salt is rubbed into the wound because he has to be ordered to do it.

Do not shame or disrespect the aggressor: As tempting as it is, try not to call the aggressor names, put down, insult or imply that he is lacking or less worthy in any way. Chances are he is lacking in self-confidence and probably his self-respect is waning as well, this is why he is being aggressive towards you. A predatory aggressor, like a bully is trying to boost his own ego. Someone using aggression out of desperation will have already failed to solve the problem in other ways; he already has a diminished sense of worth. Regardless of the reason for their aggression, shaming the aggressor will only inflame the situation.

TACOS are simply things to NOT do if de-escalation of aggression is your goal. If you reverse the application, you can see how predatory aggressors utilise TACOS to escalate aggression through rising levels of verbal attack to their end goal of visiting physical violence on their victim.

So what should we do? One simple tactic, once you understand the rules of behaviour represented by the term TACOS, is to do the exact opposite, without compromising yourself and your beliefs.

In the next issue of Blitz, we'll cover the tactics and strategy of de-escalation in greater depth.




Drew Guest has been studying the martial arts and real-world self-protection for over 24 years. He has a teaching rank in the street- effective, sporting art of Muay Thai. He holds grades in other systems, including Zen Do Kai, Senshido, judo, Australian Freestyle taekwondo, GymGari freestyle and boxing.


Copied from http://www.blitzmag.net/self-defence/199-de-escalation-victory-without-violence




For other parts of this article, please check:





NOTE: Posted In Memory of Drew Guest. As posted on the Senshido International Forum Drew Guest was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma in early June 2011. Drew Guest passed away September 24, 2011.

ShareThis

 
back to top
Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillion Steps