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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2001 1:20 pm 
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I struggle with the thought that verbal self defense alone will work when someone, who has targeted you to vent their anger, decides that nothing you say will deter his physical abuse.

While teaching someone to react by verbal defense, one should not forget to instruct the student to be always aware of an attack. This is nothing new to us. You should be prepared to follow up an attack with hopefully a successful block and counterattack. However, after this counterattack occurs, it is possible to follow up with another round of verbal defense.

It might sound something like this:

Intimidator: “Why don’t you say you’re sorry for bumping into me?”

Accused: “Are you talking to me?”

I: “Of course I’m talking to you jerk, you think that you own the street? People like you with no thought for others, should be pummeled.”

A: “Are you threatening me?”

I: “If you don’t apologize for being so rude I will have to teach you a lesson.”

A: “Wait a minute here, I did not bump into you, I was not even aware that I had”

I: “You calling me a liar?”

A: “I did not say that.”

I: (Throws punch at A’s head)

A: (Blocks with soto uke, pulls attacker down and performs elbow strike to the back of the head)

I: (falls down, but gets up furious) “You SOB, I will kick your *%#.”

A: (backing a good distance away) “If you try to attack me again, you will not get up this time. Stay where you are and do not make any move toward me. I am sure that we can resolve this non violently.”

This scenario can go many ways now. If the Intimidator decides that he will not listen to any more talk and attacks, the accused will need to be more persuasive (physically) to make sure the attacker does not get up a second time. If the Intimidator was stunned by the counterattack, the accused should be ready to continue the verbal defense. If the Intimidator tries a second attack and the results are the same as the first assault, it should be plainly obvious to the attacker that he will not be able to back up his threat. The accused should be able to persuade the Intimidator to give up the attack.

Unfortunately, the attacker is no longer able think rationally. Rage and revenge may dominate his thoughts. Nevertheless, we as experts must make every attempt to try to talk. If the attacker tries a third time, then I believe in the “three strikes and you are out” rule. You may have to permanently stop the attacker with physical defense.

How many would be so tolerant?

How many would (forgive me for using this word)fear for their safety and beat the attacker unconscious the first time?


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Len Testa


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2001 12:00 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
Len,

VSD to physical to VSD probably is applicable to situations where you know the attacker and/or are constrained by one's situation.

I have only done this at work -- subduing rowdy participants with only enough force until they cooled down or are removed/restrained. BTW, these are the situations where jujutsu/aikido locks and such are really useful.

I think in a street scenario, one should simply nullify the threat and get out of there. No need to engage any further verbally once the person's attack is stopped. If you wait around, he may get back up with a weapon, realizing that he can't take you without an "equalizer." Or, he may have confederates who finally noticed or arrived at the scene. Either way, if you stick around, you may be forced into a deadly force level.

The situation you described actually happened to me several years back. (I posted this a couple of years back.) In the Christmas rush, I turned a corner and bumped into someone. I knocked his beeper from his hand and sent it flying. He whirled around, took an aggressive stance and said, "WHAT THE PHUCK!" I simply said, "Sorry." He was still standing there in an aggressive mode. With my hands open and facing him, I walked towards his beeper, sunk with my knees and picked up the beeper, all the while looking at him. I handed the beeper to him with a reach and he had to take it with a reach (basically keeping the appropriate distance -- "largo mano" in FMA parlance where only the weapons/hands can touch each other. I said, "sorry, man.", and backed out of there. I really felt the less verbal stuff out of my mouth, besides a few words of apology, the better. I didn't want to convey aggressiveness or weakness, but just to acknowledge my fault in bumping him.

david


[This message has been edited by david (edited January 18, 2001).]


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2001 6:59 pm 
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I think in a street scenario, one should simply nullify the threat and get out of there. No need to engage any further verbally once the person's attack is stopped. If you wait around, he may get back up with a weapon, realizing that he can't take you without an "equalizer." Or, he may have confederates who finally noticed or arrived at the scene. Either way, if you stick around, you may be forced into a deadly force level.

Good point David.

Let’s expand further about this street scenario…
What if you were with your wife or children and you cannot get out of there?
If you did not use enough force to stop him the fist time, would you try to begin verbal self-defense again? How many times must you knock someone down before he gets the message that you are not to be messed with?

I am against lethal force unless it is absolutely necessary. If my attacker was alone and I felt his size was not intimidating, after the initial attack I would again try a verbal defense. There is a fine line here though. One has to determine whether or not when gets up he will attack again, if you let him up of course. I definitely like the restraint methods. If I had someone restrained, I believe he would listen to what I say about not attacking me again. At least until I could direct whomever is with me to safety.

This brings up the subject about combining Uechi-ryu and grappling/restraining moves.
In my dojo, I do not stop a jiyu kumite when one or both students go to the ground, unless an injury occurs while doing so.

I like to practice scenarios where one will still try to talk after the physical confrontation begins because if an attacker is a co-worker, friend, sibling, classmate, etc. I think I owe him that much.


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Len Testa


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