Very good discussion here. Every response has merit. On one side, we have a need to practice VSD skills. On the other side is a scenario that no one wants to participate in. A dilemma no doubt.
In any dojo scenario, whether it be self-defense or VSD, there can be no actual recreation of the adrenaline dump that will occur when we are confronted for real. Nevertheless, we still practice anyway. There is no alternative unless you wish to pick a fight every night in a different bar.
When a dojo mate attacks in the dojo and uses a harder than necessary round kick to a leg, why is this regarded as a different philosophy than if he yelled some obscenity my way? When being physical with another karateka we want that person to be their best and pressure us with attacks that are as near real as we can get them. I do not assume that this person is really that aggressive towards me but there is always some thought in the back of your mind that he might enjoy the slight pain that he has inflicted upon his partner.
It would be the same thing with VSD. It is hard to imagine that anybody could say vile things to another person and not mean what they say. To push the right buttons while sparring one works on the areas left defenseless while blocking. To push the right buttons to provoke a fight with words, one will also target the defenseless areas. Using racial or sexist slurs are without a doubt the easiest way to push someone’s buttons.
If I was arguing with someone over a parking space in the supermarket parking lot, I would insult the manners of the person who blatantly disregarded common courtesy by cutting in front of me while I was patiently waiting for the space. I can call him all kinds of names pertaining to the situation such as “you are an ignorant bastard for taking that space while I was waiting for it”, or something like this, “what are you doing cutting in front of me while I was signaling to turn into this space, did you see me here or are your eyes glued on to your head?” Of course, the second phrase is a facetious question designed to intimidate or aggravate him. I would try to push some button that would make him see that I was wronged and by doing so, it would make him seem like an uncaring person. I am looking for an apology here at least. What we are actually trying to get the other person to do is get back in their car and get it out of my space. Will that happen? No way. The other person has the space and you do not. Therefore, you need to punish that person with vulgarities designed to get him to either lose it or apologize for being so ignorant. However, if the other person was of a different race, I could be tempted to use a racial slur to provoke that person into physical retaliation. The racial comment has no merit in the actual confrontation other than to push buttons. By using these racial slurs I would not be diffusing the situation, I would be escalating it, to further punish him for being so rude.
What one says about another cannot hurt that person’s emotion unless there is either some truth to the statement or there is a deep bias associated with the statement. If someone calls me a “wop” or “ginny” because of my Italian decent, It may not provoke me into a fight because I am not offended by that terminology. Others hate those words and will immediately attack you if you used those words.
If I was in a dojo and there were three guys slinging insults my way, I would not get personally offended if the insults were related to the situation. Whenever we are confronted, there is usually an underlying cause for the confrontation. If there is rape or robbery involved then the verbal exchange will be about those topics. If there is parking space involved the verbal exchange should not has sexual or monetary overtones.
The big problem with VSD scenarios is that the people who are enacting the scenario will not stick to the situation. They will use racial and sexist slurs and remarks trying to push ALL the buttons instead of the right buttons. There should not be any words said that would completely stun anybody unless there are known facts about the individual that are allowed to be used in the scenario.
While enacting a scenario if it was known that I had a divorce and it was also known that my wife was cheating on me and that caused the divorce, any implications of a cheating wife or my sexual satisfaction of my wife would be out of bounds. Using known facts while enacting causes animosity among dojo mates while attempting VSD scenarios.
Just as the bunkai is planned (and we adhere to certain rules) so should the VSD scenario, to avoid this type of animosity and still be able to face your dojo mates after the scenario is ended.
Planning these scenarios is time consuming. Content has to be determined and all possible outcomes have to be predicted.
I will attempt to construct some VSD situations for scenarios. If anyone is willing to help, it would be appreciated.