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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2002 8:56 am 
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Okay Mr. Testa, Brett might not have been interested in your ideas on how to have avoided a physical confrontation with verbal self-defense, but I'm listening.

[This message has been edited by Uechij (edited February 19, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2002 8:44 pm 
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Mr. Testa,

Excellent advice! I guess in this instance it is not how you say it but rather what you say. Based on my own personal experiences, I would have probably reacted similiarly. Although I agree that most situations like this can be difused with words, I'm not so sure that I would advocate letting someone throw the first punch at me. I do agree that you should be sure that this is going to lead to a physical confrontation before striking. Once that has been confirmed, I think the element of suprise is a much safer path. Usually, but not to say you can't deescalate the situation, when an attacker is up in your face with flailing arms and finger pointing, he is about 2 seconds away from lashing out.

The excerpt that cecil posted is a tough one. Yes, I do believe that his training proably influenced his reaction to a degree. Self defense and fighting are violent but I personally believe that this violence can be a good thing when used for self-preservation, no matter what logic the author of that article uses to argue with. The world is simplily not that black and white.

[This message has been edited by Uechij (edited February 20, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2002 5:34 am 
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Hello Uechij.

Thanks for posting this new topic on the Verbal Self Defense forum.

Forgive me Brett, if we discuss your situation without you being involved.
There is no disrespect for your actions; I just feel that physical violence could have been avoided.

Many martial artists would rather discuss physical defense and leave the verbal defense issues to the weaker few who would rather not get physical. I welcome yours and anyone else’s comments on this topic.

I am sure that Brett justified his response to get physical with his tormentor because he tried VSD and he thought it failed.

Lets take another look at Brett’s altercation.

I highlighted some areas where we can discuss if VSD was used effectively or not at all.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> By Brett
While leaving the restroom 4 of these protesters cornered my friend and I telling us we should not support a racist state. These guys were invading our/my personal space and I gave ground with my hands up peacefully. They continued to close in while being obnoxious for the "cause". I lost my cool an told them I am a resident and it is my and their heritage and should stay on the memorial. (( I know not a good move but like I said I lost it))

This comment made them want n in the face confrontation. While they focused on me my friend went in search of the highway patrol man on duty. He knew I could handle it until he returned with help. The middle guy started poking me in the chest with his finger, I let that pass waiting for the help to arrive. The third time told him to stop loud enough for others who seemed not to see at least hear. He didn't. I justifiably had an excuse at that point to defend myself. I then blocked his pointing hand to open his center and center punched the wind out of him, grabbed the lepels of his jacket with both hands and dropped back spinning into shiko dachi and slammed him into the wall behind me. Luckily for me the HP was approaching and heard me tell him to stop and saw the responce and my reaction.
{snip}
Also other than loosing my cool and getting verbal what else could I have done?
Normally I would have just avoided it all but the agressiveness started the chemical cocktail to flow and could be the reason I did react that way. I feel guilty.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

In another forum, Cecil posts a topic called Violence. Here is an excerpt from that post. Again I highlight words for discussion:
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> By Cecil
"Many people seem surprised when I tell them that by training in karate they become violent people. They usually claim that they are studying karate to perfect their characters, exercise, meet people, or learn "how not to fight." In my opinion, these are all quaint masks for the truth: Karate is not the best exercise, character builder, social life, sport, nor is it a good way to avoid fighting. "<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So how does this quote by Cecil fit into the VSD mindset? Cecil states that he feels that there is no VSD mindset for karatekas.

However, Brett thought that he had tried VSD first.

Lets go back to the first statement in his quote that I put in bold-faced type.

First rule of VSD is to never lose your cool. Being rational in the face of adversity is an art in it itself. Immediately upon seeing this group approach, Brett became agitated. He already had preconceived bad feelings about the nature of this group's activities. When the group approached him, it became personal at that point. To top it off, a bigger person was now in his face and pushing his finger in his chest. It is hard to remain cool when someone is in your face and within striking distance. This should have never happened. He was agitated before the group came into contact with him. When they confronted him he made his feelings about their reasons for being there known to the group. He didn't have to say anything. Just by losing his cool, the group knew that he was not supportive.

The next text that I italicized is where the VSD failed though. He should have warned the guy the first time he pushed his finger in his chest. Using words like, "I understand your feelings about your cause, but I will not tolerate you pushing me with your finger. Please don’t do that again or I will not stand here and listen to any more of your concerns." This phrase uses a polite word…. Please, and makes no physical threat of retaliation. The guy would have realized that if he stopped being aggressive, Brett might listen to what he had to say. Wasn’t that the reason that they confronted Brett in the first place? To make him listen to what they had to say. If they wanted to hurt him, there would have been no finger pushing. They would have just jumped him. Waiting for the third attack (pushing of his finger into Brett's chest) to give his warning is like telling someone to throw the first punch to make it appear to witnesses that the other person attacked, thereby justifying his use of physical self defense.

The question Brett posted: Other than loosing my cool and getting verbal what else could I have done?

When one method fails, have a back up plan. His back up plan was to attack this guy and get out of there because his VSD failed. Why did his VSD fail? Because he does not practice scenarios with VSD. Most of the time we martial artists give a valiant attempt at VSD and then revert to the method that we feel comfortable with the most (phsical0 because that is where 99.9% of our practice has been. VSD scenario training must never include an attack even if it is considered to be defense. The only way a VSD scenario should lead to physical is if the institutor was to attack first. Not just a finger push. An actual attack such as a punch, kick or a grab.

Now that you know where I am leading this topic Uechij, how would you have responded?
Also, what do you think about the statement that Cecil made? Do you think that kind of attitude triggered this aggression/defensive retaliation by Brett?

I welcome any other comments about this situation as well. What would you have said to avoid this confrontation?


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Len


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2002 8:17 am 
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Len,

I’m in a quandary with my response to this one.

Up front, you are right in your evaluation.

My problem with agreeing, is the actual physical contact made by the attacker. It seems to me, once physical contact has been made, the attacker has crossed the line. I realize a finger poke is by no means an attempt at a punch, kick or weapon attack; but, what is the nature of the contact? Is the attacker being just plain stupid or is he/she testing the waters with the intention of going further? This is an unknown and I won’t say I have the answer; however, isn’t unwanted contact by a person considered ‘simple assault’?

To muddy the waters even more; imagining myself in the same situation, with the confrontation being between strangers, I think the tension would be a lot higher than at the favorite watering hole among inebriated friends.

Thoughts, anyone?

nick


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2002 2:44 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
To muddy the waters even more; imagining myself in the same situation, with the confrontation being between strangers, I think the tension would be a lot higher than at the favorite watering hole among inebriated friends.


VSD can be a double-edged sword.

There is emotional highkacking to be considered, which brings insidious inner and outer reactions, there are facial, and voice signals that don’t always bring the desired effects on words, in fact, may make things worse.

Then there is your inner conflict you will be facing subliminally, during, but more pointedly, after the event, which may call into question your “manhood”.

This is the worst to deal with, as you can be second-guessing yourself for the rest of your life.

I have investigated many situations in the work place, as an example, where trying to defuse, and appease or even accomodate, an angry or aggressive fellow employee, and following up with a discussion of the problem with management has sent the message to all concerned that the VSD employee [you]was “scared” _ some of you may have experienced this first hand.

When that perception hits home, it can create havoc in a man’s mind that can trigger unbelievable violence either at the moment, shortly thereafter or later when the mental “gnawing” highjacks you into “proving” yourself.

This is not to vilify VSD, as any consequence flowing from it is preferable to the initial hotheaded response in many ways. But it is a skill all unto itself..Mostly emotional.

As Lenny said, it requires much scenario training and mental preparation.

Also VSD,sending the wrong signals, in response to a probing “woof” can spell disaster.

A double-edged sword.


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

[This message has been edited by Van Canna (edited February 21, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2002 3:24 am 
No offence to anyone, but why let things come to boil.

Poke with a finger, jab with a fist, threaten,throw a kick, when do you respond?

Many an A hole has landed on the floor when I've decided to poke them in the throat with a pair of fingers.

Unless your there you just can't make the call on when the trigger is pulled. Once the the comitment to engage is made it must be decisive.

I go off as soon as I perceive the situation is going from verbal to physical.

Some times there is no out,at least one you can live with.

You make you decisions and live with them. It's great when you can walk away as well.

Laird


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2002 3:37 am 
To make him listen to what they had to say.
____________________________________________

Key phrase here Len! Btw I'm a Fan of VSD but have never commented before.There's always some good stuff here.

Today I've got to disagree,however you present some excellent verbal skills that have not fallen on deaf ears. But some times you must engage,in this case I would have.

Nobody has the right to force you to listen understand or express an opinion. So if they force there position,it's assault. Get out of my face or get down. Some times you've got to dance,and it's always nice to lead.

Laird


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2002 4:16 am 
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Having been in similar situations, my response to the woofer is usaully to agree with he says or just be non-commital(ok, whatever dude)Even if I totally feel the oppsite way. If the guys continues to advance I might take a step back or two at max.

All this is to make him feel he is winning,
therefore he feels good, and I am not looking for trouble. Feeling superior now he should have nothing to prove. If not, and continues to advance I would tell him. stay back or keep your distance,in a firm but calm voice.

But no please, makes you sound like a Wimp,bullies have no respect for Wimps, and wimps become punching bags.
If he continues advancing, attack at will unless you want to get sucker punched? Action beats reaction and that's a fact Jack!

Take it from someone who has been mugged by three dudes at the same time. DON'T let them close the gap, because then it is too late.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2002 10:17 pm 
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My only thoguths at this time have to do with the friend who was able to disengage and get the troopers attention.

There was the non-confrontation solution.


I was not there. I am glad it worked out well for the member.

I wil re read the post, but I do not recall the cues that triggered a "rear guard' action.

------------------
The good days are like the bad days.....only better.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2002 3:00 am 
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Troll Under the Bridge is right the friend getting the Trooper, was the best path. I even used it myself in a bar before, I just asked the bouncer to keep an eye on the dude.

Another bar scenario, I am dancing with a woman in the middle of a dance floor. When big guy with an attitude tells me get the F*** out of his way. I do it while thinking his what's problem.? Much later I am in the parking lot after closing, doing some heavy necking. When Mr. Attitude shows up, saying I neeeded to get a hotel room. As he is approaching me he pulls a folded wad of bills
and is asking if I need money for the hotel.
Realizing he trying to close the gap, to sucker punch and overwelm me. I walked away from him keeping my eyes on him the whole time and said nothing. Except to the girl to get in her car and take off. While I walked to my car, trying to project to him I knew what he was trying to do, and was taking counter measures. If the crap would hit the fan, he would have been facing a fully serrated Spyderco Endura, all he said was "see you around".

For some wannabe. bad ass, G-Thug he needed a serious upgrade in transportion. A 15 year old dull white station wagon does not cut it Image

[This message has been edited by Scorpius711 (edited February 24, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2002 6:48 pm 
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Today I've got to disagree,however you present some excellent verbal skills that have not fallen on deaf ears. But some times you must engage,in this case I would have.

Nobody has the right to force you to listen understand or express an opinion. So if they force there position,it's assault. Get out of my face or get down. Some times you've got to dance,and it's always nice to lead.


Think about the reason that this group was here. They were not muggers and thieves.

I'll agree that they were overly agreesive. Most people would have done exactly what Brett did. However, most people do not take Martial Arts.

If I was confronted by this group in another location, I would not have let the guy get close enough to poke a finger in my chest.

The situation, as I undersdtand it, was supposed to be a peacful rally. Granted the group that confronted Brett made a very unwise decision. But there was no way for them to know that Brett was a Martial Artist. If they knew, they would not have forced their thoughts upon him.

Too bad they made a bad judgement in who to harass.

I wouldnt have responded the way Brett did though. If I had taken any action after the third poke, it would have been an arm break such as what we practice in Uechi-ryu's Seiryu Kata. At least I would have used a defensive manuveur instead of any potentially liable offensive techniques.

I tell my Junior students this all the time.
If someone is pushing and bullying you around and the VSD doesnt work, use a strong Uechi-ryu arm break or really strong block and continue it to an arm bar hold.
No one will fault you for hurting someone with a defensive technique.


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Len


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2002 10:51 pm 
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Well, here's my 2 cent's worth.

In a confrontation where there are protestors present, like in the incident that this thread started on, there is a VSD technique that works most often that no one has bothered to mention.

Agree with the guy.

Hear him out, scratch your chin thoughtfully and say - "you know, I think I see your point. Thanks!" and offer him your hand, with a grin.

Even if you disagree, you are outnumbered and the situation could get terminally dicey. Why worry over what a protester is yelling about? His protest at a highway rest stop isn't going to change anything. Legislative action is the only thing that will in this instance.

This is not "wimping out," but making what amounts to a verbal tactical withdrawal. In fact, by using the precise words above, one isn't even fibbing.

He did see the guy's point - he just didn't agree with it. Saying "I see your point, thanks!" and offering a handshake, the whole situation goes away.

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 1:54 am 
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Mr. Testa,

You make some good points, but I have a problem with these two:

Quote: "Think about the reason that this group was here. They were not muggers and thieves."

How do we know that they weren't just using this rally as an oppurtunity to beat people down. They pretend like they are there for the cause and who would really know the difference? No skin off their back, if they ran into trouble and needed some help, there
were plenty of disciples around just waiting for an excuse to help their fellow brother.

Quote: "At least I would have used a defensive manuveur instead of any potentially liable offensive techniques."

I'm not a lawyer but from my understanding anything that is considered an excessive reaction by the courts, like breaking the guys arm for poking a finger, can be considered potentially liable.

This is turning into a good thread.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 5:51 am 
"Think About The Reason They Were There"?

Anyone remember the recent protests in Seattle,Quebec .......

Not all protesters are peaceful.

Yes we strive not to engage, to resolve the situation is the ideal. Four people in my face,one closing, making contact,sorry this is a no brainer.

I'd rather take my chances in court instead of gambling on the street. Being legally wrong is far better than being dead wrong.

Lee your agreement idea is great!

Just my take on it

Laird


[This message has been edited by uglyelk (edited February 26, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:02 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>How do we know that they weren't just using this rally as an oppurtunity to beat people down. They pretend like they are there for the cause and who would really know the difference? No skin off their back, if they ran into trouble and needed some help, there
were plenty of disciples around just waiting for an excuse to help their fellow brother.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yes not all protestors are peaceful.
However, if they were really trying to beat people down I think this VSD statement by Lee would be a good way to find out.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>
Agree with the guy.

Hear him out, scratch your chin thoughtfully and say - "you know, I think I see your point. Thanks!" and offer him your hand, with a grin.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
I'm not a lawyer but from my understanding anything that is considered an excessive reaction by the courts, like breaking the guys arm for poking a finger, can be considered potentially liable.


Slammming him into a wall is not?

I would say, "Your honor, I just tried to grab his arm with my arms to stop him from poking me. It was the best deffensive tactic that I could think of at the time. I am sure that if I grabbed him and slammed him into a wall he would have been hurt much more."

Of course the previous statement would only need to be said if the statement that Lee donated to our discussion failed to de-escallate the situation.

I like your way of thinking Lee. Too many people let ego get in the way of rational thought. So what if someone is trying to tell you about their cause on something you do not believe in.

It is better to agree with them and walk away rather than face a judge who might even be sympathetic to their cause!

Of course if I had given the speech that Lee came up with and they still harassed me and wanted to be physical...then that discussion belongs in the Realities Forum!

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Len


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