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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 1998 4:38 am 
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Okay folks, next topic...

Reading one of the recent threads on Canna Sensei's forum about bullies got me thinking (no good can come of that...) about what one's obligation is (if, indeed, one exists) to 'stick up for' those around us who are being victimized.

Some questions just to get us started:

1) Do we have specific obligations above and beyond those of any other 'citizen' because of our (theoretically) greater abilities in the realm of physical combat?

2) What would cause you, as an individual, to involve yourself in a situation involving people unknown to you?

3) Would you (Do you) have different standards for getting involved physically? Verbally? What particular strategies to you tend to use?

4) What dilemmas have you, personally faced in this realm?

Well, that should get things started, anyway. BTW, let's please not turn this into a gripe session about the legal risks one takes when assisting others, unless this has been a major factor of your personal debate within yourself. *That* topic could be posted on the "Law" forum at some other time.

Also, no offense to anyone, but please, no posturing along the lines of "I get involved whenever someone is being victimized, regardless of the circumstances, and the personal danger to myself" unless this is truly the case for you...

greg


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 1998 11:09 am 
1) Do we have specific obligations above and beyond those of any other 'citizen' because of our (theoretically) greater abilities in the realm of physical combat?

No!

2) What would cause you, as an individual, to involve yourself in a situation involving people unknown to you?

Greg, it would have to be a spur of the moment action begun without thinking.

3) Would you (Do you) have different standards for getting involved physically? Verbally? What particular strategies to you tend to use?

My pre-fight strategy has always been to try to verbally [attempt to] diffuse the situation first.

4) What dilemmas have you, personally faced in this realm?

I can remember only one time, and that was in grade school. I physically presented myself as a human shield between a ‘bully’ and someone else as the bully was in the pushing and swearing mode. Don’t remember if a fight ensued. I recognized both parties but knew neither.

As a teen, I used to get excited watching others fight and wanted to jump in a few times, but never did (What if they both stopped fighting each other and turned on me?).

As a young adult I remember being next to arguments starting at night clubs: boy/girl, boy/boy, groups/groups, groups/single person, but always distanced myself at the first smell of trouble. This was before my martial arts days but I think martial arts training would have enabled me grab my beer and leave the scene sooner.

Allen

[This message has been edited by moulton (edited 12-12-98).]


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 1998 1:04 pm 
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Greg,

>>1) Do we have specific obligations above and beyond those of any other
'citizen' because of our (theoretically) greater abilities in the realm
of physical combat?<<

Our training doesn't automatically make us more "ethical", more likely to help, more able to help than playing baseball would. Those inclined will benefit from the training. Those who are not, well... even having gun will not make them anymore ready and willing to help.

>>2) What would cause you, as an individual, to involve yourself in a
situation involving people unknown to you?<<

Generally when I think someone (especially someone weaker) is being "victimized". (I leave it to you to figure out whether I am "posturing".)

>>3) Would you (Do you) have different standards for getting involved
physically? Verbally? What particular strategies to you tend to use?<<

It would seem that the situation dictates the strategy/response doesn't it?

>>4) What dilemmas have you, personally faced in this realm?<<

We should get together for supper sometime.

>>Also, no offense to anyone, but please, no posturing along the lines of
"I get involved whenever someone is being victimized, regardless of the
circumstances, and the personal danger to myself" unless this is truly
the case for you...<<

"Mindsetting" is to be clear about when you will take action against someone. That "when" includes ethical considerations, perhaps physical parameters, the type(s) of situations, etc. I guess one can make multiple qualifications about "If this, then that; that, then this." etc, etc. I tend to think if you make too many distinctions, you'll just end up waffling and not taking any action. Like the physical techniques, I think one should keep it as simple and general as possible.

david


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 1998 1:30 pm 
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Location: Evansville, IN, USA
Hmmm ... I wonder what thread & post you are talking about. Image

An excellent subject Greg, one which I truly enjoy.

>1) Do we have specific obligations above and >beyond those of any other 'citizen' because >of our (theoretically) greater abilities in >the realm of physical combat?

No, especially in the realm of physical combat. In Canada, and maybe the States, there is a law whereby any trained lifeguard must attempt to save a drowning person regardless as to whether they are currently employed as a lifeguard or not. Simply put, their skills when acheived lawfully place an obligation on them by law. I know of no nation, city, province, state, etc that has a similar law for martial artists.

However, again in Canada, my policeman buddy told me once that it is against the law to refuse to aid a policeman if he requests your help in dealing with any situation. So, what does this mean? Well, as a community we have in place in our culture to some degree (I mean North American culture here, not just Canadian) the expectation of helping each other out. It is our tradition that to some degree has been lost. Why?

The sad fact is that the large portion of society are spiritless. Blame it on whatever you like, but it does seem to be the sad fact. As martial artists I believe we have awakened the sleeping strength of spirit, and we have a choice to make. Do nothing, or do something. I choose as a single person to try to make things better. Hopefully, if I live life openly and strongly people will see the strength of that and want it too. As they acheive their own inner strength hopefully they will do the right thing as well. I am not trying to change the whole world alone ... rather I believe that inside everybody is the spark of raw goodness (it is why even the most "evil" people ... the ones we expect nothing good from sometimes perform the oddest acts of mercy, kindness and charity), and perhaps by being good I can help other along their journey to be good too. Just one mans hope.

>2) What would cause you, as an individual,to >involve yourself in a situation involving >people unknown to you?

I would have to know alot about the rightness and wrongness of the two (or more) sides. Also, I see little need to get myself uselessly killed. Martyrs are just dumb guys who get revered. For the most part, in a violent confrontation I would tend to stay out of it and call the police. In a non-violent situation I try to help people out whenever I can.

>3) Would you (Do you) have different >standards for getting involved physically? >Verbally? What particular strategies to you >tend to use?

See above. Avoidance. Again, I don't think martial artists have an obligation to fight the wars of society, but to use our inner strength to live good strong lives.

>4) What dilemmas have you, personally faced >in this realm?

In my younger days, more than a few ... and definitely more than I am proud of.

Of late, very few if any ... I can't think of any fights in the past 2 years involving any strangers ... in fact, I don't think I have been in a street fight since Jan. 1997.
But I still hate litterers (sp?) and have confronted a couple.

I hope this makes my view of the martial way clear or at least partially understood. As I stated in Van's forum. This isn't an attempt to impose my views or attitudes on anybody. We all have our own choices to make, and each persons choice has a certain degree of "rightness" just as my choices certainly have a certain degree of "wrongness". The important thing is that to be able to look into the mirror and be confident and happy with the image there. By living my life this way, or at least trying, I have never looked in the mirror in disgust (in fact, that is what helped me grow up from my younger days to my slightly older days ... when I looked in the mirror I didn't appreciate the violence that had taken a hold of my life, so I rejected it (I wish it had of been that easy a struggle)).

Osu!
Jason


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 1998 2:47 pm 
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My view on this type of thing is that I will NOT let someone attack me or mine without defending myself. As far as the situation with other people, what I've done is NOT be the first one to step up particularly if someone else is there who SHOULD be doing the defending (like the person's husband, boyfriend or friends and relatives, a nearby security guard or cop.) What I do is keep an eye on the situation while inconspicuously looking for help, and I usually can get the attention of a cop or security or bouncer, and tip them off without being directly involved. Once the authority figure comes around, things usually take a dip, and then I LEAVE.

I have gotten involved in cases that usually involve a woman being beat up, threatened, or followed by a man--these are the only ones I've seen to date, haven't seen a man being robbed or attacked by multiple attackers yet, so I don't know what I'd do then. The strategy I mentioned in the above paragraph is done pre-escalation, where I get someone involved who SHOULD be doing the de-escalation. One time a woman, who I could tell was afraid of ME, asked me to walk with her because she was being followed by a guy on the train who I'm sure she was even MORE afraid of (and dude did look like a major psycho if you looked in his eyes, but from his appearance he'd seem quite normal). I figured since she took that big of a chance with a stranger she wasn't kidding, so I escorted her to the next stop, took her right up to a cop and said rather loudly something to the effect of "you should talk to him about this so he can help you", then dipped back into the crowd and LEFT. I got off at a different stop than normal and looked around to be sure that I wasn't being followed in case it was a setup. Another time I got directly involved: a guy was threatening everyone, threatened a woman, intimidated her boyfriend, and she gave the look of "You SHOULD be doing something". I called him over to me and we went at it. I merely defended until he wore himself out. After a while, when he was huffing and puffing and I hadn't even broken a sweat. Instead of putting my foot in his solar plexus I told him he needed to leave and rallied the rest of the group behind me and we all told him to buzz off. He ran off.

Point: I guess I'm like some of the others who won't jump all in at every drop, but won't stand by and just let someone be taken advantage of, victimized, or beaten to death. But, I ALSO MAKE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE PAID TO PROTECT US DO THEIR JOB. And finally, I will cover my buttocks in the end. Doesn't quite fit in with my warrior fantasizes of beating up fifteen people without getting a scratch, but hey, it works, so I won't change it until I find a better way!!!

Cecil


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 1998 1:43 am 
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What is being discussed here is very serious business with lots of potential adverse consequences for the person who decides to intervene in violent crimes ! Every seemingly innocuous , run of the mill confrontation , carries the potential for escalating violence , especially during intervention ! At worst , you will be killed or maimed ; at best you will be drawn into a quagmire of criminal and civil liability , especially when it comes to light you are a martial artist, or carry a knife or a gun !

"Strong on defense" indicates that the death of good Samaritans from intervening in violent crimes , is becoming an alarming statistic![ man intervenes in neighborhood dispute , becomes the target of a shouting match which worsens because he is now taking offense , and is then shot to death by the "sudden handgun"]

Yet he outlines some basic rules of intervention , if you must, as follows:

1] Keep your distance [ don't approach the assailant and victim]

2] keep them in sight [ Let them know you are there , if the assailant tries to drag the victim away stay with him , follow him with your car ]

3] keep the pressure on [ yell fire , point at them so passerby's can see what's happening ; use and show a cell phone ]

4] create a distraction , smash a window nearby , use your car to collide with a store window to set off alarms , honking the horn after the alarm goes off , noise will create a control problem for the crook !

My opinion ? Easier said than done ! When the time comes you will not be able to think , you will do something stupid , you will get beat up or knifed or shot , you will be accused by the DA of escalating the situation or looking for an excuse to see if your karate works in a real fight ; if you carry a gun and pull it out , you will be crucified , then sued and even the victim you were trying to rescue , will turn against you !

Impossible , you say? Come down to my office and take a look at some investigative files !!

What's the bottom line ? If you must intervene [ and never intervene in domestic violence …never >> never get between a husband and his wife ] then memorize the first three rules above :

Keep your distance , keep them in sight, keep the pressure on !

Van


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 1998 8:43 am 
Hello Van.

I feel the best way to intervene is to reach into your pocket for the phone and punch-in 911 when you see something happening (but do this discretely out of sight else run the risk of surely becoming a victim too).

Allen


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 1998 4:37 pm 
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Mr. Canna wrote:

"...you will be crucified , then sued and even the victim you were trying to rescue , will turn against you !

Impossible , you say? Come down to my office and take a look at some investigative files !!"

Okay. In fact, with my cynicism (my wife calls me Mr. Cynical, even though I am one of those types that is willing to 'try, try, again', so I consider myself a person who hopes for the best but plans for the worst) I am 100% inclined to believe you on this though I haven't seen it YET. But I do have another question:

WHY??

Why in the world does someone who has just been saved from a beating or WORSE
(like in "Deliverance") turn on the rescuer??? I'd be eternally grateful to anyone who saved my life or the life of a loved one from being taken, even if it meant the life of the attacker. (In fact, a loved one of mine was in danger once, the crazy criminal did get killed when he foolishly tried to attack two armed DC cops, they saved my loved one, and I WAS HAPPY. Our priest tried to make me feel bad about the loss of life, but I told him (I was 15 at the time) I was just too happy that the person I loved did not get hurt, and that there was one less dangerous person in the world!! My mother (rest her soul) always told me when I was growing up that I "expect people to make too much sense, and they DON'T". Really, we humans do not.

Is it some last minute sense of morality or pacifistism?? Even in the face of brutal, cruel, dehumanizing, life threating danger?

Why in the world would you turn on your rescuer and sue him/her, judge her/him, etc???

I just don't get it.

Cecil


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 1998 11:11 pm 
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Cecil,

I know how you feel ! The answer is easy >> Money -money-money ! People would kill their own mothers for money !

If a victim survives an attack but is badly injured and ends up with substantial wage loss, atrocious medical bills and no insurance ; the first thing her /his mouthpiece [ lawyer] will do is to look for deep pockets ! The criminal has no money , but you may have , or you may carry personal liability insurance ! So you will get sued on allegations that but for your negligent intervention [ count the ways ] the victim might have survived or the attack would not have escalated or taken the turn that it did , resulting in the serious injury ! You will not believe the transformation of the person you "saved" ! From grateful kisses to outright lies of your conduct during the intervention !

The human factor is the most insidious enemy there is in this world !

Van


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