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 Post subject: Where does it start?
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 1999 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 61
Location: dartmouth, ns canada
Where does self defense start? This was a question I had to ask myself the other day.

A couple of times a week I take our company's deposit to the bank. I always do this during business hours, but lately I have started to feel uncomfortable when I go there. Our bank is in a rough area of town, and its reputation is deserved.

There have been a couple of times when there were people outside the bank that I have taken a firmer grip on the deposit, and readied myself for any trouble that may arise. There never seems to be any police around, funny how that is. I have been asked for money there numerous times.

One time a man went so far as to approach when I was entering my car. I had the door open and was about to sit down and close it when he put himself in a position so I could not close it. I don't remember exactly what he said, but I obviously did not sit down, I told him I could not help him, and to move out of the way. He did so after no hesitation. I am not a small woman, I am 5'10, 145 lbs. Don't get me wrong, I do understand that my size would not make a difference to a desperate person, just reporting all the facts here.

I did not feel any chemical cocktail until he left and I was driving away. As Gary Khoury mentioned in another thread, I made the decision long ago that I would do whatever necessary to defend myself, friends, and family.

That was the only time someone invaded my personal space at the bank. I rationalized it off, because it was the only time. I think that happened in the fall. I like the staff and service at the bank, and it is the fastest to get to from work, so I did not want to switch.

Until something else happened last week. I was leaving the store beside that bank after making my deposit, and a man about my size stepped into my path. I don't know if my facial expression changed or my body language or my eyes, but he saw something. I didn't prepare to do anything, but all senses went on alert. He took a step back away from me and waved his hands in front of him. He said "no trouble, no trouble, I just need some money for the bus". I told him I had no change, and he moved out of my path, and I proceeded to my car.

Now that scared me more than the first guy. I mean, something tipped him off not to be pushy with me. And that made me realize that if it was someone else, the situation could easily escalate. That is when I asked myself where self defense starts? Why am I putting myself in a situation where I, or someone else can get hurt? For convenience? Is it worth it?

So back to the bank I went, and talked to my account manager. Of course, the staff there has the same problem. She said that the police tell them to call them for a 20' escort to their car if they work after dark! I will keep my account there, but make my deposits at other branches.

I guess it starts here. Better safe than sorry.

Natalie


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 Post subject: Where does it start?
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 1999 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 405
Location: Tewksbury, MA USA
Hi Nat!

You wrote:

"I like the staff and service at the bank, and it is the fastest to get to from work, so I did not want to switch."

And I respond:

This type of thinking can get you killed.

Then you wrote:

Why am I putting myself in a situation where I, or someone else can get hurt? For convenience? Is it worth it?

And I respond:

No, it is not.

Nothing is more important than your own personal safety. As human beings we have the rational capabilities to make decisions that can protect us (like going to another bank, not dating that loser and getting home SOBER at a reasonable hour).

As I often tell my students: If you get raped or beaten in the outskirts of Boston while drunk, alone and in an unfamiliar neighborhood, do not complain about America's violent society or the "unfairness of it all"! Instead, ask yourself what the hell you were doing there in the first place!

Stay safe, Nat. You're a good person. Find another bank.

Respectfully,

Gary


------------------
Gary J. Khoury
http://www.uechi-ryu.com/khoury


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 Post subject: Where does it start?
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 1999 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 30122
Hi Natalie ,

Welcome back !

You wrote "A couple of times a week I take our company's deposit to the bank."

Comments: It should be no comfort to you to know the many cases I handle of hold ups and killings of company employees in such instances ! Your company is trying to save money by placing you in jeopardy instead of arranging for an armored service to make deposits ! Your management people are stupid and unconscionable and I bet that their liability/workers compensation /crime coverage carrier don't know of this practice or they would up the premiums or cancel the policies ! Speak up to management , and if the stupid morons won't listen , tell them to go to hell and get another job !

You wrote "I did not feel any chemical cocktail until he left and I was driving
away."

Comments : chemical cocktail / body alarm reactions are proportionate in manifestation to the level of threat perceived ! The victim , at times , cannot even tell the difference as the changes are so subtle !

< but he saw something. I didn't
prepare to do anything, but all senses went on alert. He took a step
back away from me and waved his hands in front of him. He said "no
trouble, no trouble, I just need some money for the bus".>

You projected a certain resolve by body language and most likely a cold " Stare" !! You have been following these pages for a while and , although you may not realize it , you have been programmed subliminally in many ways ! It's like Watching the expression on Margaret Choi's face change from a pleasant smile to a brooding determined scowl when she "crosses arms " in kumite with someone ! It is beautiful to see that ; even more rewarding when she softens up after the workout with friendly hugs and kisses ! Sort of " the beauty and the beast " of mindset ! { Margaret is a twenty year Uechi veteran , formidable godan and presently a student at Gary's dojo}

< Why am I putting
myself in a situation where I, or someone else can get hurt? For
convenience? Is it worth it? >

No it is not worth it ! Think smart ! The answer is not to" find another bank " , The answer is you don't make deposits at all , period ! Have your cheap skate company hire a service , for a few bucks ! Your husband must be very happy ? About this ?

Stop making deposits NOW !




------------------
Van Canna


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 Post subject: Where does it start?
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 1999 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 61
Location: dartmouth, ns canada
Dear Gary-San-

Thank you for your kind words. I will not be going to that bank anymore at all. For any reason. And since I reported it to them, they are working on the problem. I agree with you 100%, we are all responsible for our personal safety, I cannot believe I waited so long before I took action on this. It just took that second episode to make me see it.
PS-enjoy the tourny this weekend, wish I could make it.


Dear Van-San-

I enjoyed reading your reply. Your passion never fails to move me.

Today I laughed like a crazy person because of this quote-

"Your management people are stupid and unconscionable and I bet that their liability/workers compensation /crime coverage carrier don't know of this practice or they would up the premiums or cancel the policies ! Speak up to management , and if the stupid morons won't listen , tell them to go to hell and get another job !"

I had to stop working to reply to this right away. Because, ... um, uh, well,... I am the bad management! And I could not contain my mirth! It's me, I'm the one who wants to cut corners! Save money, more profit, oh yes, oh yes!
This is a small (8 people) family business, and I am the accounting and administration dept. And I have been making the deposits for 10 years or more, probably since I was 18. But I think you do have a point, and I will check into armoured service pickups. In the meantime, I will find a branch in a safer area of the city, and continue to conceal the deposit until I am at the teller booth. If you told me some of the stories you know, I would probably never want to go near a bank again.

"You projected a certain resolve by body language and most likely a cold " Stare" !!"

That must be it. I was not aware of any change, but he definitely saw something that made him step away.

I did have the pleasure of not only meeting Margaret, but watching her perform some exceptional kata in Bermuda.

Thank you for your concern and advice.

Yours truly,
Nat

[This message has been edited by natalie lane (edited 05-19-99).]


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 Post subject: Where does it start?
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 1999 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 01, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 244
Location: Marblehead, MA USA
Natalie,
"..I made the decision long ago that I would do whatever necessary to defend myself, friends and family." It looks like you are defending the money first.
The people I see making deposits are either under 25 or part owners (family) of the business including myself. I try to go to the busiest branch around 11 AM. Although I'm taking more and more plastic, these thieves look at a deposit bag and assume there is a million dollars cash in it.
I heartily agree with Gary about folks speaking of the "unfairness of it all" when they have put themselves in harms way.


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 Post subject: Where does it start?
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 1999 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 30122
Hi Natalie,

Too funny ! Now you can laugh when you look at yourself in the mirror !

Do not make any more deposits by yourself or I will tell you some of the horror stories that will keep you up all night !

------------------
Van Canna


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 Post subject: Where does it start?
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 1999 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 61
Location: dartmouth, ns canada
Am I concerned with keeping the money safe? I don’t think so, I would not fight a simple thief who wanted it. It is almost entirely cheques, which could be replaced with a few phone calls. Would I defend myself against someone who I felt was threatening my person? You bet! Have I thought about these issues? YES! YES! So do I consider this primary stage “self defense”? YES!

“That is when I asked myself where self defense starts. Why am I putting myself in a situation where I, or someone else can get hurt? For convenience? Is it worth it?”
These were rhetorical questions.

I had already resolved the bank issue when I made this post. My account will remain there, but I will not go there anymore. My deposits will be made at a much safer branch, during busy hours, and I do not walk anywhere with an obvious deposit. I am getting the impression that my post was not clear enough.

I started this thread to wonder at what point self preservation starts.

Does it start with the first physical action or reaction? The first parry or attack? No, I don’t think so. It starts when you keep yourself out of harms way. I think it begins when you are aware of yourself and your surroundings.

Peace and Respect,
Natalie

ps to Van-San: okay, I expect to hear some stories when we meet. Are you coming to the Canadian summer camp? I will be there.


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 Post subject: Where does it start?
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 1999 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 30122
Hi Natalie ,

You are totally right that self preservation starts in trying to keep yourself out of harms way ! That is the first rule ! Street smarts , alertness , awareness and foreseeability are a by-product of relaxed caution [condition yellow] which is easier said than done !

The thing that most martial artists will always have problems understanding , due to the ridiculous brainwashing of their 'lineage senseis' is that no matter how 'tough' they think they are , how big and strong, how many stripes on their belts, how many weapons they carry i.e., gun/knife , if they are taken by surprise or by superior tactics from a street wise punk or punks , all their supposed skills / weapons will be suddenly preempted ! Also careless body language will convey easy targeting for sudden assault ! Verbal assault alone will freeze them in their tracks for precious moments while they are shot or slashed/ stabbed in a split second !

But in the real world , surprise will come despite our awareness and foreseeability , as the dregs of humanity are very resourceful !

The noted Jeff Cooper writes that man fights with his mind , his hands and his weapons being a simple extension of his will ! Mr. Cooper as a deadly force instructor and veteran of gunfights and 'stare down' confrontations with terrorists is entirely correct when he says that what will insure your survival is not so much as your skills , real or imagined, { say goodbye to all the crap about different styles , seminars of techniques of doom etc.} , but "a state of mind " composed of awareness, anticipation , concentration and coolness even in anger !

He writes that in the suddenness of an attack man's initial reaction will be a startle reflex and astonishment , with fear closely following on their heels ! " since he cannot anticipate specifically he must anticipate generally" {Cooper}

To anticipate generally a man must train into a mind state in which the sudden awareness of a peril does not enervate him . It is not " Oh my God I am in a fight !" but " I knew this might happen and I am prepared to do something about it "

He tells that there will be a sudden sinking sensation in the pit of the stomach , with the antidote for this hollow feeling being anger and a wrathful simple direct response !

He recalls an episode of a car pursuit by terrorists , and after the initial astonishment and quick understanding this was a life or death situation , his principal emotional state was one of cold concentrated rage ! And it worked , the eye remained clear and their hand steady !

This type of mindset conditioning is more valuable than a hundred Bull S*** seminars and style hopping and cross training ad infinitum !

Looking forward to the Canadian camp , but I am not sure You want to hear some heart wrenching stories about holdups and killings of people set up during bank deposits ! Not sure I want to tell you those things !


------------------
Van Canna


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