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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 1998 1:44 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
In following the crime reports from the neighborhood where I work, I've noticed that more than half of the assaults/attempted assaults involved the use of a knife.

In Eugene Sockut's book (and elsewhere), I've read that an opponent with a knife can effectively cover the distance of 16 feet to reach a defender before the latter can draw his/her gun, aim and fire.

If one carries a weapon, than it's important to test out the minimal defensive space one needs to get out the weapon in face of a rushing attacker.

Even if one doesn't carry a weapon, it's important to consider what is a workable "defensive space" for you to maintain.

I used to maintain around eight to ten feet in unfamiliar surroundings, in the evening when there are less people around and less reasons for people to be near me since there is so much more space, and when my antenna is up around certain people. From reading and practice, I feel like I need to increase "defensive space" though it my not be realistic in a city environment.

Just curious about the radius of others' perimeters.

david


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 1998 2:15 pm 
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In Jim Maloney's video tape covering knife fighting and basic defense techniques, he began the seminar by showing how much space a knife weilding assailant can cover before someone with a gun can respond.

If memory is correct, I believe the distance was more than 20 paces. The student had a marking pen and was able to "cut" the other student before that person could get his gun out and fired.

Knowing this, how does one maintain a "safe" space while trying to live a normal life?

I remember a while back, someone with a knife would simply walk by people on the street, sticking them with his knife. In some cases, the individuals were not even aware that they were stabbed! Although such random acts of violence is rare, it points out the advantage an attacker has over an unsuspecting victim, regardless of that person's training.


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 1998 6:59 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
Sensei,

On one hand, I agree that you cannot fully defend against a determined attacker who picks his/her time and place. On the other, I do think you can do a lot to minimize being a victim in "random" situations with a mugger type or a "deranged" person that you were describing.

One tactic is to keep abreast of what's happening in the community. Usually, a mugger and his/her compatriots operate with a certain m.o. and will continue to do so until caught. Reading the crime reports, you know a specific criminal is on the loose by the fairly consistent descriptions and m.o. Take precautions that will foil the m.o. A while back, a mugger would follow people from the bank, on pay day, until they got to isolated part of the community and mug them. So simple solutions would have been to not go on the bank on pay day; do not go home through a relatively isolated route; travel with one or more people; and if traveling alone detour to some of the local stores and check out if someone is "tagging along".

Back when I got married, some of the roving gangs were hitting Chinese wedding banguets on a regular basis. This was lucative because Chinese tradition includes people giving good luck, red envelops (with cash) to the married couple, the bride wearing ALL the traditonal Chinese jewelry (gold/jades/gems) bestowed on her by family members, and the other women also wearing their family jewelry. Knowing what was happening, we hired two cops to guard the door and the five hundred guests (we both have big families). We did this despite the fact several of our guests, relatives and friends, were/are cops. A gang interested in robbing the ceremony would have to think twice seeing uniformed arm guards at the door. The police detail costed alot of money but we rather be safe.

Everything else aside, the bulk of effective self-defense is accomplished by awareness and defensive spacing. In the past several years, I have had about three staff mugged in the area around our work place. In talking to them, all three freely allowed people to get within their defensive spacing. How did it happen. One was day-dreaming while the others chose to ignore the warning signals they picked up on the attackers. With all the stuff that goes on around where I work, I have yet to have an attempted attack on me, though I sensed being "probed". Part of this may be due to my vagabond look (I hardly ever dress up). But, a large part is that I am mostly aware, and I get very "edgy" when someone closes in on my defensive space. I always look and make eye contact when I hear someone coming up from behind. Now, that I probably jinxed myself... I'll go knock on some wood.

david


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 1998 3:43 am 
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The knife problem described here as it relates to 'spacing' is very real and not readily understood ! Jim Maloney and I trained extensively on this at the lethal force institute with a variety of scenarios ! Again keep in mind that a knifing or an attack by someone determined to hurt you is almost indefensible ! If you are lucky enough to see the knife and it is at 21 ft away while coming at you , an average person will close that distance in about 1.5 seconds ..not enough time to pull a gun ..fire and stop ! So the movie cliché ' Hey stupid ..you brought a knife to a gunfight'
Is totally deceiving ! Some punks on drugs won't even back down from a gun in their face but will give you an empty stare while moving in !

Never train to disarm or control the person with the knife …you are facing deadly threat and you must go for 'kill shots' while protecting your vital zones as you get knifed ..and knifed/ cut you will ! Here is where sanchin is king !

As to 'defensive space' David is correct …most of us don't think much about it ! Women especially are at risk , since some of them are very alluring in a natural way …the primal 'scent of a woman ' which can trigger basic instincts in perverted minds !

I have seen this UN-safe space described as " the hole " or 'kill zone' …the area around you about two arms length or 6 ft or so…you are very vulnerable to armed/unarmed attack in this zone ! However it is unrealistic to maintain this distance or longer in our daily lives ! But as David says , if you practice awareness you will develop intuition when ' certain' people invade your space ,and you will make automatic adjustments on distance !

Go on auto scan …such as when you are in a public place ..open air concert etc. You will always notice the weirdoes , the unwashed , the vacant stares …watch how some of the homeless, themselves, scan for the easy approach ..how they move in closer to the intended target sensing a weakness ! Don't assume the homeless to be a harmless person …. They are very good at reading people …they have knifed many an unsuspecting gent who got taken in by their con games ! Some read compassion for weakness and will stalk you up and down the street …once I had to kick one in the gut and put him down hard because I could not get rid of him ! Be nice to strangers , but if your antenna picks up on something just leave the individual in the dust without a further word ! The more you say ..the more you acknowledge anyone pestering you ..the more you feel sorry …the more polite your response ..the deeper you are digging your grave ! You must develop a mind force that can project and dissuade at a primal level !

Like David says ..most people / assailants ..want something first from you …the 'probe' the interview …the bump ! Last week while shopping for books at the Border Café , I saw a man stalk a woman in one of the isles by getting close to her space looking for books .. I could see him twitching his nostrils at the smell of her perfume …and when she did not move away ..he must have sensed she wanted to be approached ..and said something very innocent to start the conversation ! The woman was visibly startled , as she had not notice him behind her ,she blushed , stammered and moved on to the next isle ! Very interesting observation of body language as well !

Van Canna


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 1998 6:38 am 
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Location: Florida
David, Van & All:

I too agree that awareness of space is a crucial tool in self defense. Women, especially need to be aware(not paranoid) of the world around them. It's crucial to notice people and their behavior and response. Too often we blitz out into the white zone of distractedness. Always be aware!

Once a stranger/stalker/oddity has been sighted and they are clearly headed towards you, consider the following:

* At a certain distance you should make eye contact and briefly visually scan the person from head to toe. This conveys a lack of fear and all the dynamics covered in this forum before. It also helps you recognize this person after any encounter, as well as tip you off to real trouble.(Guy has a coat on in summer, is looking around, etc.)

* As they draw nearer make a comment that acknowledges you know the person is headed your way -

* As they draw nearer, make sure you are in a ready stance - relaxed, but ready, because he probably just wants directions, but if not you're not caught with your feet crossed at the ankles!

* At about 12-15 feet, make sure your hands are at least at waist level in any manner comfortable.

* At 8-10 feet, draw your hands up and in front, chest high in a comfortable, manner. Pick at a button, etc.

* Any closer and make sure the hands are near the face - scratch your ear or hair, etc.

Of course, if possible, expand the space by easing away or sidling near a post, tree, etc.

These are just ideas to hedge the odds if an attack does occur.


JohnC


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 1998 12:35 am 
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Posts: 2075
Location: Boston, MA
The incident Van sensei posted reminded me of a staff member who had a run in with panhandler a couple of years ago. The staff person is actually a pretty big guy, around 6 feet tall and around two hundred pounds. He was at the Christies Market on Tremont and Stuart, near Wang Center, after work. Anyone down that way in the evening will know the number of panhandlers there targeting the theatre going crowd. Anyway, he came out of Christies and began to light his pipe. As he was doing this, a panhandler came right up to him to ask him for money. He said, he didn't have any for the guy. The guy got belligerent and in the staff person's face. The staff person went to push the panhandler away. The panhandler, a smaller person, immediately unleashed several punches which dropped the staff person and took off. The staff person had a black eye, blurred vision and headache for several days. He was lucky.

The mistakes: Not paying attention and thus allowing the invasion of his defensive space. Two, when he took action, he should have taken decisive, aggressive action.

david


P.S. George sensei, sometimes lady luck plays a part of with crazy people. I had and incident when I was a teenage student at Hancock St. After a tough workout on a hot evening, Cookie and I went downstairs to the ice cream shop to get some refreshments before heading home. I came out of the shop and was busily licking away at a cone when I heard a commotion coming my way. I looked up just in time to see this enormous woman barreling in on me, screaming, "GET OUT OF MY WAY!" I caught just that brief glimpse before I was hit in the face with a stream of RAID insecticide. I dropped the cone, wiped frantically at my eyes, turned and hit her with a hard roundhouse kick to the upper arm area. (I SWEAR... This was the first and only time I ever hit a woman with pure intention.) She sort of fell sideways, dropped her insecticide can and a full handbag of assorted vials of pills and other things. She jumped up and came after us (At some point, Cookie entered into the picture). Having vented my anger, I really didn't want to fight with her, nor did Cookie. We started running around a park car with her chasing us. All the while, Cookie was in his toughest voice saying, "Don't mess with us! Don't mess with us! We'll hurt you!" It was actually quite a funny scene.

She finally gave up. She picked up her belongings and went her way down Cambridge St. Cookie and I headed up over Hancock St. towards Chinatown. When we got to the Commons, there were several police cars driving around inside the park area with flashing lights and search beams on. One of the police cars pulled over to us and the officer asked whether we have seen a woman fitting the description of the person we just had an encounter with. Being street kids, Cookie and I quickly looked at each other and said almost in unison, "No." I asked the cop why they were looking for her. The cop said the woman went into the laundromat, on the corner of Joy/Cambridge (the other corner of the block, under the dojo) and stabbed somebody. She then went up Joy St, heading in the same direction we were, and stabbed another person. The cop said the woman may be in the Commons and told us to be careful. Cookie and I didn't say anything and we continued on our way to Chinatown. We both thought, "Sh_t!! We made her flip out!", and were afraid to say anything to the cop.



[This message has been edited by david (edited 09-28-98).]


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 1998 11:06 pm 
Hello David.

There sure are myths about what you can do to defend against a knife and a gun aren't there. The one time someone lunged at me with a knife the distance started at about ten feet. I barely had time to recognize what was happening and parry the foolish thing away. Ten feet, sixteen feet, that is really no distance at all. Boy, you gotta walk around with a hair-brain-trigger, always ready to draw a weapon in the flinch of an instant to make something like that work at 16 feet.

Allen


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 1998 12:40 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
Hi Allen:

I suspect "parrying" or blocking is all most of us can hope to do to meet an unprovoked attack.

Regarding a "hair trigger" response, I do know a few people who walk around with their hands on a weapon in their jacket pocket, especially during certain parts of the day and in uncertain territory. They practice getting it out quick. Can they get it out fast enough in an attack? Depends... doesn't it?

david


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 1998 1:04 am 
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
A friend of mine belongs to a sportsman club where they have a couple of gun ranges. I go there with him about once every two months for target practice. One of the drills he faithfully practices is rapid fire. He can get his snub nosed 45 out of its holster and fire 6 shots into a target that is about 15 feet away, in a few seconds!


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 1998 2:57 am 
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David,

The jacket pocket carry ,i.e., both hands inside slash pockets , one hand on the gun concealed within …[but please no finger on the trigger ….place index finger alongside the trigger guard… Fully extended ….] is a time tested effective method of concealed carry ! It is effective because the gun can be fired from the pocket in the body of the assailant at close range without the need of taking it out first ! BUT it depends on the type of weapon in your pocket ! Semi-autos are out-- as the slide retracts back to eject a spent casing and chamber a new round [ you train to always fire two center mass shots ] which will most likely cause a jam catching on the inside folds of the pocket !

“snubbies “ [ 2 inch barrel revolvers ] are best since the cylinder rotates and there is no ejection ! However a snub-nose .38 special with an external spur hammer which can be cocked for single action fire along with double action fire , is dangerous since the retreating hammer [ which moves back and forward with each shot ..single or double action …] can snag on pocket lining etc. ---also the hammer can get cocked in your pocket when you least expect it for the same reason-- putting yourself at grave risk of shooting yourself or your buddy !

But there is an answer …it is called the “ centennial “ by Smith and Wesson , a light weight -2 inch “snub” with a shrouded hammer and no sharp edges ..firing double action only with a trigger pull of about 12 lb. which is as “stress proof” as it can be under the chemical cocktail , since it requires a very determined effort to fire .. light trigger pull guns are a liability because of the tendency to go off on you when you revert back to ‘ finger on the trigger ‘ under stress !

So this is the “perfect” pocket gun which allows you to strike like a rattler providing the attacker with the best surprise of his miserable life ! The only drawback [ only kidding ] is that most likely your jacket pocket will be set on fire by the shots . I think it adds to the effect ! That is my favorite gun when I travel into very hostile territory during some of my investigations !

Van


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 1998 10:58 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
Hi Allen:

I wrote previously,

>>Regarding a "hair trigger" response, I do know a few people who walk around with their hands on a weapon in their jacket pocket, especially during certain parts of the day and in uncertain territory. They practice getting it out quick. Can they get it out fast enough in an attack? Depends... doesn't it?<<

I sound a little "flip" with that last sentence though I didn't mean to. What I meant to imply is that the effectiveness of our self-defense response depends a great deal on how we practice, our mindset and the skill and mindset of the attacker. How dilligent our practice and the extent we are willing to go to defend, i.e. maintaining awareness, keeping one's defensive spacing, the level of aggressiveness and the use (or nonuse) of weapons in our defensive response to a given situation, go to the "heart" of our individual mindset.

Thus, I am sure that some of my friends, Van sensei, and George sensei's friend can utilize a pocket weapon far more effectively than I can.

david

[This message has been edited by david (edited 09-30-98).]


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 1998 2:54 am 
Hello David.

Your response didn't sound flip to me. When I read it I said "Yup. Uh uh, it really depends."

When I was younger and in some states (licensed, of course) I carried a .45 in the small of my back and a .380 inside my right ankle. Problem with the little one was that it had a top eject and the hot casings always hit me smack in the middle of my forehead. I never gave too much thought to quick-drawing but was taught at a handgun school in Indiana to rapid-fire three shots, two to the body and one to the head, just boom-boom-boom. Recently I heard or read that someone is or some groups are teaching two to the body then one to the groin. This seems to go against the grain as the natural movement of the barrel is "up" due to recoil. Have you heard anything about this so-called "new and improved" method, David?

Allen


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 1998 11:44 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
Allen,

Honestly, the last time I shot a handgun, a 357 magnum, the only person at risk was me. I took "head shots" in the sense that the recoil hit me in the head -- twice.

I only recently started to dwell into my own feelings about weapons through my practice of stick and knife fighting.

david


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 1998 1:39 am 
Hello David.

Until about ten years ago I had been around firearms all my life since I was 4 but haven't touched a firearm in years either -- nor do I own any anymore. I used to derive much enjoyment out of them but with kids around the house I figured owning them (weapons, that is) was too risky, even under lock and key. I wish I had as much respect for weapons when I was younger as I think I do today. But what are you going to do? Have a metal detector on every street corner and in every parking lot to dissuade illegal usage thereof?

You mentioned that in your neighborhood most of the crimes committed with weapons were committed with knives. Well the bad guys will get away with it, but a decent person who carries a knife, even for utility reasons, will end up getting in trouble. It is so twisted, the way our laws work sometimes: The freeing of the guilty and the punishing of the innocent.

I went to town using the T earlier this week and though about self-defense in the subway during rush hour. You can't run if you elect to do so, but to carry a weapon on the subway is scary at best. Even a knife when the railcar abruptly changes speed as it often does can cause the knife to insert into an innocent bystander.

I dunno, David. There was a time in my life when I loved guns and knives but no longer, maybe because I see things now I didn't when I was younger. You can't change the world, only survive in it.

Allen


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 Post subject: Defensive Spacing
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 1998 5:10 am 
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In today’s paper you will see a reported incident where a state trooper was assaulted by a motorist who tried to take his gun away , and almost did ! Three truckers stopped to help and it took the truckers and the cop , four of them , to barely contain the individual who was ‘acting like a caged animal out of control’ !

The “motorist “ had four outstanding warrants on him , including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon , home invasion , mistreatment of a dog and a horse !

As I have said , the reality is much different than your self fabricated fantasies about your powerful knock down karate and other similar- touted systems of doom or incapacitation ! !

Now I already hear the arguments : well you got to know where to hit him …should have put him in some arm lock …should have known where the pressure points are ! Should have kicked him in the leg , should have moved him around with the eyes without touching him !

Reminds me of the guy on the highway a few years ago who got shot 15 times in the chest and legs with a handgun by the police but still kept coming , taking the gun out of the cop’s hand and pumping the last two shots from the magazine and chamber into the cop’s head killing him ! Well that’s an isolated incident , right ? Most other confrontations , especially the ones you will come up against , will not be that bad and you will have no problem at all !!!

One of my most powerful students out of the seventies [ he had kicks that would fell a horse] was assaulted by a drunk whom he kicked repeatedly and viciously , the last spinning back kick square in the solar plexus and a pack of Marlboro cigarettes flying up in the air four feet ! The drunk kept getting up chasing him all the way up and down the street telling my student to kick him again and again , and to just lay down and die when tired of kicking , because he was going to kill him with his bare hands ! Well my student did not know how to kick him ‘just right ‘ RIGHT ??


Van Canna


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