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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2000 3:00 pm 
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Location: Huntsville, Arkansas, USA
April 18, 2000

It was very kind of Tony Blauer to take time to participate in our discussion; I'm most grateful.

If I understand his posts correctly, he has two concerns. First, that someone might rely on verbal self-defense skills in a situation for which physical self-defense is the appropriate medium. Second, that my terms and rules and formalisms will persuade someone to ignore intuition when intuition is critical.

I am sure that everyone reading Sensei Blauer's messages will give them the respectful attention they deserve and will recognize their importance without any need for prompting from me.


Suzette


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2000 2:16 am 
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NIce summation Maurice.

ANd after reading the post I realized there were two constants in every incident: you and the venue. The simplest thing would have been to change the venue... :-)

But seriously, I liked how you ended your post. And on the subject of Phase 2 the Defuse, we have a maxim:

"Those who talk can usually be persuaded to walk."

But when push comes to shove, you had better be able to be your own bodyguard.

Tony www.tonyblauer.com


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2000 2:34 am 
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Suzette:

Thanks for your recomendation to your readers.

FOr the record, I would like to say that my 'rant' was not directed towards you or your expertise. As the thread contained a lot of references about my system, I was drawn to post. I actually chose not to be technical or define or clear up some technical points as this is not my forum.

I am extremely passionate about what I do. As I stated in my post, many of my students actually fight for their lives. I'm not so sure many people in this industry realize the responsibilty that can carry.

Though my intention is not to be elitist, many of the tactics I see in training and many of the 'real' fights I have seen on film reveal behaviorally inconsistencies that often cause pain,injury and at times death to a real human [and its generally the good-guy!]

My responsiblity is to help people's 'response-ability'.

My post was merely philosophically generated and I have learned and chosen to be deliberately direct as it can force introspection [as I stated I would in the first paragraph]and shock the conscience and integrity into weighing & considering a new angle.

After all, a realization is sudden and lasting, and though, PC 'sugar coating' may cause someone to realize something, but that clearly infers a passage of time, and time is not a commodity we should waste, especially when it comes to self-defense skill & confidence.

Tony Blauer


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:57 am 
Thinking about this thread got me thinking to a fairly tumultuous year in my life. Three incidents came to mind that are relevant.

Incident # 1

I was barely sixteen, kind of gormless, and basically harmless. It was summer, and life was pretty good. I was at a dance/concert watching a great band--one of my favourites at the time. They were pretty big regional stars in the Canadian west, and travelled with an elaborate light show and stage presentation.

There I was, standing in front of the stage fascinated by the show and trying to pick up stage moves to steal for my own band. It was loud, lights were flashing, and my attention was completely focussed on the stage. Big mistake.

I didn't even see him walk in front of me. He was someone I once knew--years before we shared a ride to band practice, we both even played the same instument--trumpet, as it happened. He stopped in front of me, and as I dropped my eyes from the stage , he nailed me with a palm heel to the nose. By the time I ealized what had happened, he had disappeared into the crowd. I still have the deviated septum he left me .

Incident #2

It is about six months later. It is the same place. I am there with friends and, as usual, we are walking around the perimeter -- counter-clockwise as was the custom in thos days. In the center of the floor a large crowd was dancing.

As we strolled, a thuggish looking guy walked up and stopped in front of me. By now I was used to threats and intimidation--being out of the mainstream was an education in itself--and I knew he was out for blood. I didn't know who he was.

He started the interview. The first thing he did was accuse me of trying to steal his girlfriend. He was wrong, I was going out with his girlfriend's best friend, it was my best friend who was stealing his girlfriend.

In this time and place there was a ritual for most young males wanting to fight. Iknew this and I didn't want to fight.

HIM: "Look at the way you're dressed and your hair. You should be ashamed to look like that."

ME: "Yeah. You know, my parents say the same thing."


HIM: "I used to work for your father and he's a real sonuvabitch."

ME:" Yeah, I used to work for him, and I really hated it."

HIM: "Well, your mother's a whore."

ME(wide eyed and kind of gormless and stupid looking): "Really, I didn't know that. That's really a drag."

This went on for a while. I was very careful not to let myself be sarcastic. He was getting frustrated because things weren't going according to the script, and he wasn't sure whether I was a dolt or was pulling his leg (this was the dangerous part, since he could get violent if he thought I was making fun of him).

Finally, he said: " Well, I'll let you go this time. But you better not let me see you here any more or I'm going to kill you."

ME: "Thanks. I'll leave right away."

Of course I didn't leave, (I didn't mind playing the fool, but there was no way I was going to let anyone tell me what to do. My friend and I continued walking around the dance floor, and laughing at what an idiot he was. After one circuit we came back to where the thug was standing. We expected the repressed violence to erupt and were sg ourselves for a fight. when we got to him, he averted his eyes. Every time we made a circuit, he looked away. I figured he was so confused by the interview, not being sure who was doing what to whom, that he didn't want to do it again.

Incident #3

Later that same year. I was no longer going out with the same girl. However her boy friend had a big hate on for me because he thought I was staeling her away from him. I was at the same venue with my new girlfriend dancing on a Saturday night. It was a slow night and we were the only ones on the floor--almost the only ones in the whole place--slow dancing and having a very nice time.

I had been training--sort of like The Karate Kid-- out of a Karate book from the library.

So the guy walks up to us. I saw him coming from across the floor and was prepared for a little verbal altercation. When he got to us, he shoved my girlfriend out of the way. My reaction was faster than my thoughts. I hit him on the shoulder with a palm heel (the technique I had been studying). The leverage was right -- his upper body went back, his legs came forward, and he seemed to hang in the iar for a moment before he slammed himself onto the floor. By the time he realized what had happened, the off-duty cop who was working that night picked him out and tossed him out the back door into the alley. The rule was that if you got caught fighting you were barred fron the club for the night--this was particularly satisfying since the jerk worked at the club.

What is the point of this litle trip down memory lane?

In incident #1 I learned the first rule: always be aware of your surroundings. If you want to bliss out, do it at home.

Incident #2 If there is an "interview" you can talk your way out of it if a) you know the local culture, and b) you keep control of the conversation without letting the other guy know that's what you're doing. In other words, know the rules of the game and use them to your advantage. Be prepared to act if the situation gets out of hand.

Incident #3 As in all of these situations, know what is really going on. "Zen is the direct perception of reality" If words are not going work, act instantly and decisively. What you practice is what you'll do.

In other words: Detect, Defuse, Defend.

Thanks for your patience,

maurice

------------------
maurice richard libby
toronto/moose jaw
ICQ9474685
Ronin at large


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:37 am 
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(1)

I'm certain that everyone reading this thread (and especially those who have been following the other threads on this VSD forum) understands that there is a difference between life-or-death confrontations, and confrontations that may be annoying, even distressing, even violent, but are not life-threatening. For the majority of people in this country, the potentially lethal confrontations are rare, while the others are far too common; obviously that may not be true for individuals in occupations that regularly involve them in physically violent situations. Even in law enforcement, however, it's worth remembering that far more law enforcement professionals die of heart attacks than of physical violence, and that a major cause of heart attacks is chronic exposure to hostile language.

If I were facing life-threatening violence myself, on the street or anywhere else, I would rely on my verbal self-defense skills, no matter how inadequate they might appear to physical martial artists -- because I _have_ no physical self-defense skills, and I couldn't possibly flee fast enough to avoid a conflict. There are hundreds of thousands of people for whom that is true, some of whom may visit this website and read the material in the VSD Forum, even if they don't choose to post to it. In my opinion, their chances of avoiding injury are better if they know how to use language to deal with dangerous encounters; that way, at least they have _some_ defense available to them. Without VSD information, they are all too likely to say things that make matters worse and guarantee trouble.

(2)

Now I'd like to address the question of whether VSD systems can be characterized as "fight-by-the-numbers" systems, by analogy with paint-by-the-numbers art materials. (I'll leave Neurolinguistic Programming and Jungian MA out of this; they're not my field of expertise.) A fight-by-the-numbers method would not _be_ a system; it would be a list. It would give you lists of things to say in particular situations, with no information about the body language that would go with them. As in: " "Ten things to say to violent patients in the ER." "Ten things first responders can say to angry family members." "Ten things law enforcement officers can say to out-of-control bystanders at the scene of an accident." And so on. Lists like that (which I constantly see pinned up on bulletin boards and published in professional journals, as well as in books about verbal abuse), and all alleged rules of the form "When someone says X to you, say Y," are not just inadequate. They are DANGEROUS.

I apologize for shouting at you; it's that important, however. There are a multitude of ways to say every English sentence, each way set to a different tune and accompanied by different postures and gestures and facial expressions, each carrying a different _emotional_ message. Written language doesn't provide enough information about that nonverbal communication to be helpful. Even if someone were to practice the "ten things to say" with a VSD expert, out loud, until they had the tunes and other body language memorized and could recite them exactly the way the expert suggested, the expert can't be with the student in every encounter to provide interpretation for the infinite array of things that may be said _to_ the student.

The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense (GAVSD) is not a list; it is a system. I do provide suggested things to say in various situations, certainly, but the sequences I teach are _patterns_. My students learn the principles upon which the patterns are constructed; they are presented with examples that illustrate the patterns; and they learn how to extrapolate from my examples to the language interactions in which they find themselves. That is not a fight-by-the-numbers method.

There is a basic and inherent difference between all the physical martial arts and any valid VSD system. When you learn a physical martial art, you start from scratch. The stances ,the forms, the moves, all have to be learned. Many are extremely counter-intuitive. Many (perhaps most) require years of dedicated study and practice. VSD systems, however, are based on language -- and language is a radically different kind of knowledge. Every normal child, by about the age of five, has a flawless grammar of his or her native language (composed of terms and principles and rules) stored in his or her longterm memory. [Children are so highly skilled at acquiring the grammars of languages that they can do it with two or more languages at once, even with no lessons of any kind -- something that is impossible for adults.] The GAVSD system doesn't have to start from scratch, because it uses the grammar in longterm memory as the foundation upon which to base verbal self-defense. Every beginning student already has that foundation, which is so completely internalized that it does not have to be either learned or practiced. Furthermore, where language is concerned, that internal mental grammar _is_ intuition. Relying upon it _is_ trusting your intuition; the two things are equivalent.

For this reason -- and _only_ for this reason -- any adequate verbal self-defense system can be taught far more quickly and far more easily than a physical martial art. If that were not true -- if I had not been able to rely upon the fact that every native speaker of English is already equipped with that foundation -- I would never have agreed to moderate this written-language forum for six months. I would have said, "No way. First I have to have every one of those people as students, face to face, for at least a year; _then_ we might try a VSD forum."

The formal statements made in GAVSD (in that brief overview I posted for you, for example, on in my books) are nothing more than devices for indexing the information in your mental grammar so that you can use it deliberately, consciously, and strategically.

If any of this is not clear to you, please ask me about it; I'll be glad to answer any question you may have, to the best of my ability.

Suzette


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2000 12:24 am 
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Hi Suzette,

Enjoying this thread very much!

In your research have you addressed the effects of the “chemical cocktail” on the ability to articulate and intonate GAVSD’s language patterns?

Intuition will tell us there is a difference between a run of the mill office, family’s altercation and raw stand up aggression, the so called “woofing stage” designed to push your “hot buttons” and or make you choke and go into denial. When we perceive precursory language as a clue to immediately precede an act of physical violence, our biochemical reaction will carry into the articulation [or lack thereof] and intonation of an appropriate verbal response.

In my studies, debriefings, and experiences I found it to be very difficult to stay in rational control, because as Peyton Quinn points out, the predator’s interview is designed to both test you and deny you such control.

Peyton Quinn writes:

<<People do choke up. But until they physically experience that, until they feel their knees shake, until they realize they can’t talk, it’s not real to them and therefore it’s not a real problem in real world self defense>>

And De Becker writes that alarming words cause people to go into a defensive psychological posture because of the uncertainty of perceived risk which stuns and distracts.

In addition, there is a very good chance that the “victim’s voice” may crack or waver under the emotional pressure thus emboldening the criminal to attack by successful “interview”!

Lethal force experts write that under an extreme “chemical dump” mental ability, rational thought, and verbal, skills can become degraded.

Goleman writes that at these moments the rational mind is swamped by the emotional, people in that state are not able to respond with clear headedness, find it hard to organize their thinking, and fall back on primitive reactions.

Ant thoughts on how we would overcome this?

Regards,

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

[This message has been edited by Van Canna (edited April 21, 2000).]


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2000 1:14 pm 
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wow- take a few days off and look at the confrontation (oops- conversation) you miss.

i would have to say that the majority of confrontations i encounter fall into the category defined by mr. blauer as occurring in "mutual" relationships. i don't ordinarily encounter the fists and guns variety, but verbal attack is very real in my world.

gavsd is not communication "by numbers" but , for me, a thoughful retraining of my poor habits which often lead me into confrontation and not peaceful resolution. now that i have studied the techniques, i am changing my habits and can often quite naturally use language which calms and solves, rather than ignites and prevents resolutions. thus, my intuition used to lead me to make things worse. with gavsd, i am retraining my intuition.

a word about the importance of intonation and inflection in communication. in my job i work with disabled kids and adults, who sometimes use electronic communicators to "talk." 10 years ago, the devices supplied only a robotic voice, which listeners would insist they "couldn't understand." this was because the voice lacked inflection or emphasis. without the intonation patterns, the human brain actually has trouble assigning _meaning_ to a mesage. therefore i suspect it's not possible to overemphasize it's importance in a communication sequence.

dr. elgin has done a good job illustrating the use of her principles on this thread. that speaks for itself.

yona


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2000 7:17 pm 
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The teachings of Suzette are exceptional and very useful to program for use in the confrontational settings that Tony Blauer discusses. But he also prepares his student for the worst. That is not to say that such language patterns have no chance in an impending violent confrontation, for some people it may work and then again for some it may not!

I think it is fair to say that lots of us have more of an interest to develop workable verbal techniques that will withstand the test of the “chemical dump”!

Matt Thomas, of “ Model Mugging” fame, states:

<<<No response or anything you say should be more than five words; in an adrenaline state, people are usually unable to remember more than five syllables.>>>

In the context of men abusing, intimidating, controlling, assaulting women, as an example, the most frightening approach is the “garbage mouth” __ extreme vulgarity combined with the threat of force __” Hey bitch…I’m going to F** you, Slut you know you want it, __ you F***
C***” And the list goes on.

Forgive me for the shock factor of this post, but such is the reality of the ugliness out there.

Such profanity directed at a woman by an aggressor, is a most horrifying sound and quite debilitating/devastating, physically and emotionally, and it can be for some men as well.

Then, Matt Thomas, points to rape victims indicating that the most paralyzing “garbage mouth” was the demented “sweet talk” _____ “ Hey, mama, I think I’m in love” before launching the attack.

How is a woman to contend with the paralyzing fear that such language engenders by objectifying them, reducing the woman to her body parts, underlying the message that she was put on earth for his pleasure?

And how about the most perverse, psychological verbal attack ___the rapist’s lament, his moan, which has been documented to get the aggressors, a momentary, reflexive sympathy from their victims?

My question in all this is how to train “verbally” to overcome these primal fears?


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

[This message has been edited by Van Canna (edited April 22, 2000).]


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2000 1:01 pm 
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Suzette: I wanted to thank you for your website and the information you provided. One point in particular caught my attention:


Your view that abusive language tolerated in kids leads to abusive physical behavior.

I recall you encouraged kids to watch "Washington Week in Review" as an example of how adults can and should comport themselves when they disagree.

Quite so. In fact I'd rather have kids watch gruesome war footage than Judge Judy, Jerry Springer,and the 1,001 shouting and interrupting matches that pass for editorials or daytime TV entertainment.

It does seem self-evident that a society which encourages mean spiritedness in the media sets a course for mean spiritedness in the young.

That good manners and politeness make for a better neighborhood than one created by the glorification of lower class bullying is not a new thought--Confucius made it the cornerstone of his system of good government 1500 years ago-- Pity it's been forgotten.

(Or that bromides about 'family values'--a euphemism for censoring those who disagree with one's point of view--have taken over the spotlight).

As to adults who suffer insulting fools gladly, well that's another and perhaps more pathetic problem, but it'll keep for now. I'd rather use this space to comment on the more urgent and potentially lethal situations which Sensei Van Canna posted .

I don't have 'The Answer' but I offer two suggestions:

1. It does seem that among Mc Young , Quinn and other authors (Suzette included) there is an agreement that "self-righteous indignation" is , to put it mildly , counterproductive...

2. Perhaps a valid CCW and a good working knowledge of firearms and the law might alleviate some of the "choking" in these highly dangerous situations. Knowing one has an easy reach to a .45 might tend to make one a bit more relaxed, and, not so paradoxically, the use of force might not be needed as one's 'verbal skills' can come into play with more confidence...

10th dan Aikido masters may not need such a back up, as the force (or farce) is with them but for the rest of the mortals may I sugest contacting your local PD department to enquire about any available courses in women's self-defense?

For any who may consider this a tiresome expenditure of energy compared to a 'dance aerobics' program at your local health spa, please look up the history of how and why "Model Mugging" was founded in the first place. . .

My two cents.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2000 9:22 pm 
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[I'm posting early this week because I have commitments all day Saturday.]

In 1997 I published a book (with John Wiley & Sons) called _How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable_. I'd like to try to start trying to answer some of the questions that have been posed in the last few messages by quoting from that book. The book has a chapter on detachment -- which is what the questions have been about. How can you stay _detached_ from the confrontational situation so that you don't lose control, don't panic, don't find yourself betrayed by a voice that trembles, and so on?

On page 44: "Detachment is almost impossible to fake: it has to be real. When people undergo what Daniel Goleman calls 'an emotional hijacking' -- when a sequence of language sets off an alarm in the amygdala (the area of the brain that's always on guard for that purpose) before it can get to the thinking part -- they don't have enough control even to try to pretend. Detachment can only be present when there is no highly emotional response to provoke the hijacking. It may seem to you that a neutral response to hostile language is impossible. Understanding _why_ people turn to hostile speech is the key; for the most part, this is something that people _mis_understand."

I then go on to discuss the types of people who use hostile language. They fall into fou groups:

1. People who are unaware that there's any other way to deal with conflict.

We see a lot more of this today than we did when I was a child, because so many people now grow up in homes where both parents work, nobody's ever home to sit down and have conversations, and the only talk the children are exposed to is (a) what they see and hear on television -- where the meanest mouth always gets all the applause, and (b) the talk of other children who are in the same situation.


2. People who have a high need for excitement.

These are the people who like to do sky-diving and bungee-jumping and so on; they don't feel really comfortable unless they're getting adrenalin rushes. If no other dangerous activity is available, they know they can get a rush from the way their adrenalin kicks in during verbal fights with other people. Their goal is to get that rush.


3. People who are desperate for human attention.

The need for attention from other human beings is a very strong drive, much like the drive for food or sex. Some people have grown up to adulthood without ever learning any other way to get that attention except to be a bully, pick fights, and be obnoxious. They're like little kids who'd rather be spanked than ignored. They've learned that verbal abuse _works_ -- that people who wouldn't give them the time of day if they were pleasant will, if verbally attacked, treat them to half an hour or more of intense personal attention.


4. Sadists -- people who enjoy causing pain in other people, including the pain they can cause with words.


I don't have time or space here to go much farther with this, but I can at least begin. I'll have to over-simplify; I trust you to understand that. So....

The first thing to remember is that there's no reason to be afraid of the first three types. They're not dangerous unless you reward them for their efforts by cooperating with them, taking the bait they throw at you, following their scripts, and playing their games. _The vast majority of people who use hostile language and verbal violence are in these three groups._

The second thing to remember is that sadists -- the fourth type -- are very rare. Sadism is an illness; you don't run into it every day, or even every month. Being very wary with sadists is a demonstration of good sense; often, being genuinely afraid of them is good sense.

The third thing to remember is that if there is a sadist among the people you know and interact with regularly -- your boss, your spouse, your relative, your close friend, your doctor, whatever -- you'll almost certainly KNOW that person is a sadist. The sadistic behavior will be something you observe all the time, and it's unlikely to be confined to language. That person needs expert medical help; that's a separate problem, and one I'm not qualified to deal with.

_Most_ of the verbally abusive people in your life are going to fall into groups 1-3 above. When you know and understand that fact, when you understand what is happening, you won't have to struggle to resist the "chemical cocktail" and the "emotional hijacking," because your alarms won't go off when these people start using their mouths at you. You react to them the way you'd react to a tiny child screaming "I HATE you!"; you know they're not a threat. If you're confident of your own language skills, you may find these people annoying, but they won't scare you. And that means that you'll be able to use your skills without having them diminished by a panic reaction.

The fourth thing to remember is that danger from a sadist is ordinarily going to come from a stranger -- from someone you don't know. It means that the vast majority of the verbal confrontations you face are going to come from people in groups 1-3.

I'm not going to try to take up the question of how you deal with the sadist who comes at you out of nowhere now, nor the question of how you protect yourself against the sadist who is part of your circle of associates or intimates -- this post is already very long. But keeping what I've said here in mind should at least begin setting things straight. Most of the panic reaction that interferes with your use of your verbal self-defense skills comes from assuming that _all_ verbal attacks coming at you are coming from sadists.

Just to be sure there's no confusion: I'm not talking here about life-or-death confrontations; I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't take those very seriously; I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't be ready to use your physical defense skills in such situations; I'm not suggesting that you should ignore it when your gut feeling is that you're in serious physical danger. Not at all. I'm trying to establish a knowledge base for you, anchored in your own native language competency, for use when the conflict is entirely verbal.

Suzette


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2000 2:15 am 
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Although I'm very interested in what Suzette will say about this, I would like to ask Billy:

What kind of training do you receive for your job? Do you carry a weapon of any kind?
If you were involved with training people for your job, what would you tell them regarding security issues.



------------------
GEM


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2000 1:29 pm 
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Mr. Mattson,

I received no training for this job. I had only a pistol during the above confrontation.

I'm not sure what you mean about "security". Personal self defense, or institutional security? What level of security? It ranges from "shoot on site" to more passive means. Its a broad topic.

In terms of "verbal self defense" I'm not sure what I would teach folks.... I don't think I have a command of the subject.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2000 6:16 pm 
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BillY:

I was wondering how a company could give someone a gun, tell them to make everyone sign-in and not train them what to do if someone decided NOT to sign-in!

I guess decisions would have to be made based on what you are guarding.

I visited an Israeli company in New York a few years back. The security there was very strict and the guards well trained. There is no doubt in my mind that they would shoot someone who broke into the entrance.

They do not practice Verbal Self Defense!

I guess my point focuses on that indefinable point where talk ends and action begins. I sense that security guards find themselves making this decision quite often. Without training though, I wonder how the guard determines what to do.




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GEM


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2000 8:41 pm 
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Mr. Mattson,

I thought that might be what you meant, but was'nt sure. The company did not issue me the weapon I had, which I neglected to mention was concealed. They did however give me written permission to carry it on thier property, at my request - strictly a personal choice based on the venue, it was a "rough" area.

You want to focus on when talking stops and action begins. That was exactly my point also. The reason I did not stop this individual from entering was based in fear and confusion on my part, quite honestly. I was standing there in shock at what had occured, wondering "why did he react like that?" Also, I knew he was no real threat to security, I did know him as a frequent "guest". It was really more of a matter of principle. I just wonder how I could have handled it better, or recognized his personality type sooner. I also wonder if he did attack me, if I would have stood there like a punching bag, or fought back.

You bring up a good point about training. It varies from organization to organization, some being "top-notch" and others non existant.

As Van-Sensei has pointed out above it is often the nature of the language used in the interview that has the effect of shocking us, and that is what happened to me, I think. And that is what I thought was relevant about my story.

As far as security people not practicing verbal self defense, I don't know. I think everybody practices this in every profession or social endeavor, some better than others I guess. I think in situations where you have authority, and are likley to get challenged it helps to have some verbal skills to go along with the physical. "Detect, Defuse, and Defend". Sometimes words can defuse, and other times it is a mistake to try.

Just my opinion, for what its worth. Len Testa has some experience here, maybe he will comment.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2000 12:05 am 
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Suzette makes an interesting point about “detachment”!

And knowledge about the various types of “actors” propelling hostile language at you, is very useful at keeping the “chemical cocktail” at bay, police are very good at it because of specialized training, and more important, because of the “inoculation” they receive in their handling of routine confrontational situations.

But for most of us, it will boil down to a primitive response, a feeling of outrage or fear that we cannot seem to control, a sense of “emotional violation” __within__ a confusing state of mind hard to pin down in spite of your “knowing better”! We will “shut down” in humiliation and anger, even if subliminally, especially if others are present, more so if friends or family witness the hostility __ “ how could you have let him talk to you that way!” they may think or say, or we may think they are thinking or saying.

Hostile language will also awaken low self esteem and vulnerabilities, an emotional pinning, a sense of shame, guilt or self blame that may have roots, for some of us, in a bruised and injured childhood underlying dormant in our psyche.

These “primal stirrings” will be present regardless of our “rational” knowledge, and usually the “body alarm reactions” rear their ugly heads instinctively with flushing and palpitations.

Thus the tongue-tying, stammering, and confusion Billy-B reported!

No easy answers in my opinion.


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Van Canna


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