Martial Arts and Self Defence

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
By the way, this is the kind of thing I tend to think of as 'self-defence' and also the kind of thing that judo or similar can help a LOT with:

Hamilton man accused of assaulting Air Canada flight attendant

There is a lot more of this kind of unarmed 'road rage' kind of stuff than many appreciate, and some people are killed by it - beaten to death! A trained martial artist is much less likely to get beaten to death or badly hurt.
 

jef

I am a student of strength.
Certified Instructor
Sometimes posturing and threats work, and in my mind, it's a way of showing the bully that he had better not attack you - it actually can de-escalate things by scaring the bully off, or if you pull knives or other weapons out - this can help too if it's truly needed, HOPEFULLY NOT THOUGH.
I am a bit off, as I am spending way more time on the beach than on the computer at the moment... :)
I mostly agree.
For my case, I think the main benefit of my martial art training, the reality checks I mentionned, and overall my "fitness" is that I know what I can and cannot do. It allows me to stay calm in situation going in the bad direction. Potential agressors start to second guess that it might not be such a good idea to go into a fight, and I could more often than not de-escalate conflictual situations.

That said, I have never been in life-threatening situations. It is a completely different game, and there is no way I can predict how I would react. When it comes to these, I just listen to what people who have been in these situations say (the commandos I mentionned, or dc), and hope I do not have to figure out for myself.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
Sometimes posturing and threats work, and in my mind, it's a way of showing the bully that he had better not attack you - it actually can de-escalate things by scaring the bully off, or if you pull knives or other weapons out - this can help too if it's truly needed, HOPEFULLY NOT THOUGH.
One of the tips my first MA instructor gave me (for a developing situation - opponent is working themselves up to strike) was to just stop talking and NOT look them in the eye. Focus instead on the intersection of their throat and collarbone.
This does a bunch of stuff for you:

- removes the psychological reaction to looking at an angry, yelling face and makes it a lot easier to control your breathing.
- gives you better peripheral view, and much better pickup of any shoulder movement, movement of hands toward the beltline/pockets.
- reduces the effect their words might have on setting up an opening (@dc verbal misdirection prior to sucker-punch).
- let's them know you are probably trained, view them as a target, are no longer interested in what they are saying only what they are doing, and are ready to react.
- eliminates the possibility of a trained or experienced fighter using eye focus to misdirect you.

I've used this several times as an adult and I believe it did have a positive influence in some tense situations.

As to pre-emptively displaying a weapon that would be a tough call. The only "weapon" I would advocate displaying with the least likelihood of it blowing up in your face is pepper spray (in the US). Anyone who's been dosed with it will not want to get hit with it again unless they are seriously motivated. And anyone who hasn't been dosed and continues to close...since it is not technically a weapon, the legal threshold is much lower for use compared to deadly force.
 

miraculish

Double-Digit Post Count
There is a lot more of this kind of unarmed 'road rage' kind of stuff than many appreciate, and some people are killed by it - beaten to death! A trained martial artist is much less likely to get beaten to death or badly hurt.
I've noticed that when it comes to mindset, martial arts disciplines and self-defense classes don't adequately confront the fact that you're more likely to be injured or killed by someone you know - and that is a *very* different set of thoughts to deal with in an emergency situation. Someone who is well-prepared to defend themselves against a stranger may be unable to react against someone they know because of the shock, trying to figure out the amount of damage they're willing to do to this person, and the sheer horror of hurting a person you know.

It's just a different set of reactions that people really ought to prepare for - to the extent that you actually can - and it doesn't seem to be addressed nearly as often as the chance of being randomly attacked on the street.
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
Another thing is that a lot of threats and defeated by people posturing back or by some kind of grappling or fighting - the deaths are the most extreme cases.

Living in a bad neighbourhood for a decade, I had my share of "events" which I'll say next to nothing about here as it's in public, but I'll tell you I can't remember how many times I had to call the police!

Although some guys have done some pretty violent things, in a way, the most offensive things to me were the gas-fraud guys trying to force their way into my house after moving to the suburbs.
 

miraculish

Double-Digit Post Count
Another thing is that a lot of threats and defeated by people posturing back or by some kind of grappling or fighting - the deaths are the most extreme cases.
Yeah, I only know three people where an incident resulted in death, and two of those were premeditated murders. One of the victims followed her training (both her parents were cops) and tried to survive, and at least she died around people instead of out in the hills.

But compared to the many, many instances of violence I have seen, heard of, or experienced, three is a small number. So wrapping your head around meeting possibly non-lethal violence (but who ever really knows) from someone you know with your best shot at lethal violence can be the thing that makes you unable to react. My ex-girlfriend and I took aikido for awhile to learn methods that would hopefully be easier to act on without freezing with the weight of that decision - and the first time a stranger accosted her, she panicked, tried doing two things at once instead of just a release, and broke the guy's arm.
Served him right, honestly, and she reacted the best she could, and hopefully it will not cause her to freeze in the future, but she struggled with it for awhile.

So yeah, I'm wandering a bit now, but in short...training those automatic responses for what you can do *and are willing to do* is important, or you may end up less able to defend yourself than an untrained person who's less aware of how fragile people are.
 

dc

More than 300 posts
One of the tips my first MA instructor gave me (for a developing situation - opponent is working themselves up to strike) was to just stop talking and NOT look them in the eye. Focus instead on the intersection of their throat and collarbone.
I'd just hit him, or ask him how his mum's going then hit him:). I use to watch their hands, if a situation was getting tense & I can't see their hands (in pockets, behind back etc) I'd start to get worried, situations I've been in often got tense without aggressive behaviour.
Inexperienced people tend to work themselves up to strike, I found it better to take them out before they get there. Back in the day if I was going to hurt you I'd try & make sure you didn't know what was coming, no posturing, no aggression usually a smile & "how you going?" Then bang.
 

dc

More than 300 posts
It allows me to stay calm in situation going in the bad direction
This is so important, it allows you to make better decisions about the situation. Hard to train for though, comes easier with experience.
 

dc

More than 300 posts
Someone who is well-prepared to defend themselves against a stranger may be unable to react against someone they know because of the shock, trying to figure out the amount of damage they're willing to do to this person, and the sheer horror of hurting a person you know.
I thought differently to most people, if you're trying to hurt me I don't care how well I know you, you're getting taken out. Difference with me is I had a childhood were violence would be regularly inflicted on me by a family member, so I had no problems returning the favour when I got older.
 

dc

More than 300 posts
Living in a bad neighbourhood for a decade, I had my share of "events" which I'll say next to nothing about here as it's in public, but I'll tell you I can't remember how many times I had to call the police!
I've been 8yrs out of my old life now & I still have trouble wrapping my head around the fact I can call the police. I can't explain the relief of now being able to go, hang on a minute I'll just call the police. I spent a large chunk of my life avoiding them at all costs. I even have a friend who's an officer now.
 

dc

More than 300 posts
and the first time a stranger accosted her, she panicked, tried doing two things at once instead of just a release, and broke the guy's arm.
Served him right, honestly, and she reacted the best she could, and hopefully it will not cause her to freeze in the future, but she struggled with it for awhile.
She shouldn't struggle with it, the result could've been much worse for her. Males who accost women usually do it for one reason, tell her next time break both arms.........& a leg.........or two.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
I'd just hit him, or ask him how his mum's going then hit him:). I use to watch their hands, if a situation was getting tense & I can't see their hands (in pockets, behind back etc) I'd start to get worried, situations I've been in often got tense without aggressive behaviour.
Inexperienced people tend to work themselves up to strike, I found it better to take them out before they get there. Back in the day if I was going to hurt you I'd try & make sure you didn't know what was coming, no posturing, no aggression usually a smile & "how you going?" Then bang.
100%.
As I've gotten older and better acquainted with legal BS, if I was spooked enough to have to use this strategy again I'd probably pre-empt and just coldcock the fella. When in doubt it does seem to have a positive effect...

I've been bumrushed enough that a big smile from a stranger puts me immediately on edge :)

"Beware of strangers bearing gifts".
 
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Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
I've been 8yrs out of my old life now & I still have trouble wrapping my head around the fact I can call the police. I can't explain the relief of now being able to go, hang on a minute I'll just call the police. I spent a large chunk of my life avoiding them at all costs. I even have a friend who's an officer now.
You can probably see how important it is to have police! Without them half of us would be dead and the other half lamed!
 
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