Verbal Self-Defense Techniques for Scenario Training

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Verbal Self-Defense Techniques for Scenario Training

Postby LenTesta » Tue Nov 28, 2000 2:57 pm

Do you believe this statement?

There are many experts who know how to solve conflicts by using VSD techniques. Most of us who study the Martial ways are not so quick to recognize and administer these techniques because we are steered into a confrontation by the nature of our practicing.

If you believe this statement, do you think that VSD scenario training should be practiced in a dojo?

If you do not believe that this statement is accurate, why not?

We can list the methods of VSD techniques, just as we can list the exercises and basic movements for Karate study. We could name this method. Originally I thought we might call it the VSD Contingency Plan. Then after further consideration, I believe IMHO that VSD should be the first line of defense and the physical or violent methods that we study and practice repeatedly in the dojo, should be called the Martial Contingency Plan.

If more dojo taught this way, would we be losing our respect as "warriors"? Are we looked upon by non martial art studying society as "fighters", or confrontation experts. If we want to be deemed as the later, we should have a VSD Kihon and specific related scenarios to add to the curriculum of our dojo. The formation of these scenarios will be a lot of work. I can not do it alone. Input from experts (experienced talkers such as litigators, psycologists etc.) need not be required but will help.

Rory, tried to initiate this type of training in the VSD Kihon thread that he started. So the process has already begun, but has not been finalized. I would like to be able to list some specific techniques and scenarios that can be practiced in the dojo.

Lets start with "listening".



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Verbal Self-Defense Techniques for Scenario Training

Postby dmsdc » Thu Nov 30, 2000 5:00 am

This isn't on listening but...

My teacher taught me one kihon-type excercise to use in my kids' class.

I have the kids stand with their hands in front of them and say:

"Stop it. Leave me alone. Quit bothering me."

Then I have them say it louder.
Then I have them say it to each other.
Then I play "bully"

I ask them for their milk money, their gameboy, their pencil.

I tell them to refuse nicely until I'm being to pushy for them, then they should try any of the above combination of words.

I like having them practice talking with their hands in front of them becuase that way they define more space for themselves should things turn ugly.

Then I usually follow this excercise by affirming to them that they have a right to refuse other people, they should feel comfortable saying "no" both politely and pointedly and how important it is to try and get help from an adult as soon as the situation becomes unmanagable to them.

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Verbal Self-Defense Techniques for Scenario Training

Postby LenTesta » Thu Nov 30, 2000 3:49 pm

Dana,
That sounds like a very good drill.

I practice VSD techniques and drills with my junior (6-13 year old) students as well.
*note...read the Juniors and VSD thread on this forum*

However, during the adult classes I only speak to the students about VSD. No scenario training is practiced yet until I can get a VSD kihon initiated.

Most dojo have many drills for all types of physical activity and try to fit in as many as they can in the alloted time. Very rarely is time set aside for VSD scenario training.

Why is this so?

Do we have an obligation as experts in self-defense to at least try VSD first?

As martial arts instructors, we teach physical self-defense with drills. Why do we ignor VSD drills?

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Postby dmsdc » Thu Nov 30, 2000 9:12 pm

I would wager that has a bit to do with not studying to be a monk.

When monks studied martials arts they studied philosophy and medicine as well.

Philosophy is a version of VSD.
Meditation coupled with philosophy gives you listening skills and a paradigm to hold and place the different things you might hear.

So an insult is held differently if my philosophy is that insults reveal only the nature of the person making them and cannot affect my perception of my own character. (blah, blah - stuff like that)

So in a way, the ideology of this type of religious education defines social boundries. It also gives a vocabulary to use and guidance on how to maintain those boundries.

I think what a lot of people are faced with today is that they're not training to be monks. So they simply don't have the vocabulary readily at hand to defend their boundries.

Martial, in it's true sense, means "to resolve conflict." Is "teaching self-defense" and "teaching to resolve conflict" the same thing?

If so, then obviously we would teach conflict-resolution in more than just a physical modality. So why aren't we?

Maybe because it's not part of the dan-test requirements. But that can't be the only reason.

Sanchin asks us to resolve conflict in ourselves.

Kumite represents ending a conflict with another using physical means.

Can you imagine a Seisan Bunkai where when the person attacks, the uke blocks and says "Wait a minute, why are you punching me? I'd like to understand what you are angry about."

Dana

[This message has been edited by dmsdc (edited November 30, 2000).]
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Verbal Self-Defense Techniques for Scenario Training

Postby LenTesta » Fri Dec 01, 2000 4:16 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Martial, in it's true sense, means, "to resolve conflict." Is "teaching self-defense" and "teaching to resolve conflict" the same thing?

If so, then obviously we would teach conflict-resolution in more than just a physical modality. So why aren't we?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, why aren't we?

In any dojo, students train for many reasons.

I have a Prospective Student Information Form that I make potential students fill out before I interview them. On the bottom of the form is a checklist of "benefits that they wish to receive from karate training". The list:
<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Discipline
<LI>Confidence
<LI>Self-esteem
<LI>Courage
<LI>Self Defense
<LI>Learning an art
<LI>Weight Loss
<LI>Exercise
<LI>Weapons Study
<LI>Aerobics
<LI>Developing stretch and agility
<LI>Tournament Competition
<LI>Demonstration Team
<LI>Cardio Karate or Tai Bo
<LI>Kick Boxing
<LI>Women Only Classes
<LI>Attaining a Black Belt
<LI>Becoming an Instructor </UL>

It is amazing what benefits some people, who never studied karate, check off.
Mostly all check:
Confidence, Courage, Self-Esteem, and Self-defense. And all the parents check off Discipline for their children.

If people want verbal conflict resolution, they will not seek out a karate academy, because it is very rare that it would be part of the curriculum.

I am considering adding Conflict resolution to the list. It will be intriguing to see how many will check this.

I believe karate dojos can effectively teach verbal confrontation resolution because if the VSD fails, by having the back up of physical self-defense knowledge, they will still be confident of their ability to defend oneself.

How would you feel if your Sensei were to announce that Verbal Self Defense will become the first part of your training?


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Verbal Self-Defense Techniques for Scenario Training

Postby gmattson » Fri Dec 01, 2000 6:39 pm

Steve DiOrio developed a great program for children called "Virtue over Violence". He teaches it at camp every year.

Best,
George

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Verbal Self-Defense Techniques for Scenario Training

Postby Allen M. » Sat Dec 02, 2000 1:59 am

Scenario training. Hmmm... One would need to get absolutely vulgar, insulting, and abrasive, even to the point of enjoying it. Definitely is not a system for making and maintaining friendships.
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Postby RA Miller » Sat Dec 02, 2000 7:35 am

We need to be aware that we are talking about two different things, or two different stages of conflict.

Preventing physical violence requires certain VSD skills- active listening, assertiveness, "on-track" skills, brain freezers, command presence, compassion (whether really felt or not).

Then there is the other level. To quote Allen:

"... One would need to get absolutely vulgar, insulting, and abrasive, even to the point of enjoying it. "

The point of this training is to inure oneself to the chemical cocktail to the point that any action taken, physical or verbal, is under your control and part of your plan. It is important training, not just for VSD- even a physical attacker will try to crush your will with "emotional hijacking" (thanks for the phrase, Van)but for all phases of self-defense.

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Verbal Self-Defense Techniques for Scenario Training

Postby LenTesta » Mon Dec 04, 2000 4:07 pm

Rory:
I agree.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>by Allen
One would need to get absolutely vulgar, insulting, and abrasive, even to the point of enjoying it. Definitely is not a system for making and maintaining friendships.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

What about physical defense? Someone has to be the aggressor. Some enjoy that part of self-defense also. It is just as debilitating to be punched and kicked by an aggressive attacker in a karate school as it is to be verbally assaulted by another student. The physical aggressor is still friendly with the defender after the sparring is over. Why is it that we are afraid of the verbal onslaught, more than the physical?


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Postby dmsdc » Mon Dec 04, 2000 9:15 pm

I think we find it more difficult to belive that someone is really just role playing when really strong language is being used.

Besides, in order to do it right you really have to let your darker side out in order to be convincing. Lots of people aren't comfortable letting that part of themselves show.

I mean...do that mean you practice general insults in one workout, gender and racial insults in another, sexual insults in a third?

I think it would really have to be broken down step by step that way in order for there to be any level of comfort for the people involved.

That way you could identify which type of insult you are most reactive to and thus need to be more prepared for.

I, for example, would be completely unmoved by an insult directed at my mother. Whereas I might become enraged at an insult about my...height. Image
(insert all your short people jokes here)

How do police & mental health workers train for these situations? Do they do scenarios?

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Postby Panther » Mon Dec 04, 2000 10:20 pm

Part of the problem with using the complete and necessary vulgarities needed to accomplish the goal, is that these things are very disturbing to the defender and even though the training will help the defender get beyond it, very often it gets "taken personally" and the attacker ends up being a hated person.

I know... Many years ago, I gave special self-defense classes for women and in order to get them used to what they would face, I even practiced, ummmm, "toilet mouth". Women who I had smiled and joked with before, during and after previous classes in unison saw me as a monster and loathed me! Image It wasn't until we modified things and started some different ways to end the classes that they started viewing me as "human" again.

More later... if anyone is interested.
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Postby gmattson » Tue Dec 05, 2000 12:14 am

Panther: I've heard the same thing about how the 'badguy' is viewed following the mock verbal insult barrage.

Best to bring in an outsider who does his thing and sneaks off to another part of the world! Also lends an even greater sense of realist.

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Postby Allen M. » Tue Dec 05, 2000 3:55 am

Panther, That's exactly what I meant in my previous post.

George, Get some street people in from the combat zone.
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Postby RA Miller » Tue Dec 05, 2000 5:29 am

Len-

"It is just as debilitating to be punched and kicked by an aggressive attacker in a karate school as it is to be verbally assaulted by another student. The physical aggressor is still friendly with the defender after the sparring is over. Why is it that we are afraid of the verbal onslaught, more than the physical?"

At a guess? Because our self-image, our beliefs about our values are based on words, not actions. Because some one who attacks us sees us as an object, not a person and we can convince ourselves that that is their failure; but someone who insults us is evaluating us as worthless human beings. To rephrase the question why will people willingly die for words like honor and patriotism? Because words are very powerful, and some would rather die by one definition than live by another.

The adverse reaction to the verbal abuse simulation is very common. It can damage relationships because, especially if you do it well, most people can't believe that other people can really fake that well. They believe there must be a grain of truth.

We do train that way for LEO's, Dana, but we have a psychological bolthole. Civilians trying the emotional assault are working from their imagination or memory- bringing up the whole kernel of truth thing. For us, we're imitating or even mocking bad guys who we all know. We can use the words or the mannerisms (which we are much more inured to anyway) and the deputies will, after the class, laugh and try to guess who we were imitating.

Which brings up a possible way for instructors to avoid the after effects. What if they announced that they were about to enact a real situation that had happened to them and emotionally choked at the time. In effect sharing a bad experience so that all, students and teachers could work through the emotions together. Hmmm. That has promise.

Rory (Who sometimes finds it much harder to teach civilians than cops)
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Postby LenTesta » Tue Dec 05, 2000 2:54 pm

Why is it that people can easily turn on this darker side when confronting a loved one or friend, but when it is necessary to teach by scenario, they downplay the role? I try this with the juniors in my class and they are giggling and fidgeting while they are trying to act out the scenarios. Of course, this is not preparing them for the “real” thing, but at least it gets them pointed in the right direction. They are children after all.

Practicing to insult someone is an art as surely as practicing to pull your techniques while sparring with a beginner is. It takes a certain type of individual to detach himself or herself from the friend, co-student, and teacher mentality.

Unless the attacker can completely irritate the defender, the drill will not work. You need to experience the horror of the attack and the adrenaline rush that comes along with it.

Would I segregate any workouts? Probably not. It is not easy to predict what types of insults a person would get irate at hearing. When trying to insult someone, an attacker will usually begin with something physical in nature such as stature, a physical defect, or even the way the person is clothed. If these do not work, they will move on to issues that are more sensitive. Race, ethnicity, and sex until they know that they have found one that will push the defender to the limit of their tolerance.

Dana stated: <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
I think it would really have to be broken down step by step that way in order for there to be any level of comfort for the people involved. That way you could identify which type of insult you are most reactive to and thus need to be more prepared for. I, for example, would be completely unmoved by an insult directed at my mother. Whereas I might become enraged at an insult about my...height.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>by Panther.
Part of the problem with using the complete and necessary vulgarities needed to accomplish the goal, is that these things are very disturbing to the defender and even though the training will help the defender get beyond it, very often it gets "taken personally" and the attacker ends up being a hated person.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Why is this so? I know that when I am practicing anything, it is a drill only, no matter what is done during the practice. If someone was trying to provoke me into a fight, and was using vulgar language, it matters who this person is, because anybody can easily use the same words as anybody else would use. If the person was an immediate relative, then I would be astonished to hear some types of language because I would wonder if there was any truth or if the person really meant what they were saying. It must be stated up front that the defender should not take any insults personally when practicing verbal scenarios

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> By GEM.
Best to bring in an outsider who does his thing and sneaks off to another part of the world! Also lends an even greater sense of realist.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
This would be the best bet but, where do you find such an expert? Tony Blauer and his PDR Team are experts in this type of training but they are not always readily available, and they are strangers. It is most common for someone you associate with, like a co-worker, who will initiate a verbal confrontation. So why not another student.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> By Rory.
Which brings up a possible way for instructors to avoid the after effects. What if they announced that they were about to enact a real situation that had happened to them and emotionally choked at the time. In effect sharing a bad experience so that all, students and teachers could work through the emotions together. Hmmm. That has promise.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
This is a good way to start. Have students remember their most embarrassing verbal confrontation, and write down the words that irritate them the most. They must be trained (by hearing them again in scenario drills) to ingor these “triggers” no matter who invokes them. The person who is the aggressor will know these words, and will use them. The defender now knows that the attacker is only using words that irritate the defender because the defender has let the attacker know what they are. Very much, like a prearranged kumite, only with words.While performing scenarios like this, there must be a stop word used by the defender if the situation gets out of control. The defender could use this previously stated word if they can no longer take the verbal barrage. After the scenario is over there must be a rational discussion of the drill between the two who performed it to ease the feelings that may have built up during the drill. We should start putting together some scenarios (kihons) that we can use. Everybody has a certain trigger word or words that will set them off. We can list some of these and make it known to the attacker that these are the words that we dislike the most. Hearing them over and over again in a prearranged drill will help us to become impervious to them in real life.




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[This message has been edited by LenTesta (edited December 05, 2000).]
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