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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2000 3:21 pm 
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
I received this interesting e-mail this morning. gem

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>This is a fascinating stream of discourse to find on a martial arts discussion group. Might a humble mental health practitioner suggest that what is really being requested here - a sure fire, pain free way to win verbal contests - is impossible .

No martial artist of any repute would expect to be able to solve a physical confrontation only with a strong projection of personality. Sometimes one has to engage in physical combat. When that ultimate eventuality unfortunately happens it is wise not to expect a pain free, sure fire method of winning here either. There is always a cost to any form of combat. To minimise that cost it is wise to have made a personal prior investment in at least one established form of physical self defense.

To minimise the cost of verbal combat a parallel requirement of investment in systematic skills exists - one just has to know where best to look. One looks for unarmed fighting skills in one of the many martial arts. One looks for skills in swordsmanship in kendo or fencing or similar blade focused system. Might I suggest that one starts looking for verbal skills in the psychological literature on straight (and devious) verbal assertion skills.

Verbal Violence (now unfortunately hard to find), by the late Virginia Satir, is the best commencement book I know to enable people to recognise and respond to verbal combat.

Vince M.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2000 3:32 pm 
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I don't recall anyone on this forum saying that verbal self defense can replace the physical kind. My feeling is that all martial artist should be familiar with alternatives to physical self defense methods as a first line of defense.

We often talk about 'cross training' on these forums. Verbal self defense should be part of what we study, along with our root system, ground fighting and weapon familiarity.


------------------
GEM


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2000 4:55 pm 
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Location: Huntsville, Arkansas, USA
Since the original message comes from a mental health professional, I think it's best for me to post a distinction here. The goal of therapy is to change people. The goal of the verbal self-defense system I teach is not to change people but to change their environment -- specifically, their language environment.

Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D.(linguistics)


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