Do maiming and killing only work in SD?

Discussion in 'Security and Bouncers' started by Joab, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Joab

    Joab 2nd Black Belt

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    That is, when faced with an attacker who intends to do you serious bodily harm, are the only techniques that work in such a self defense emergency those that kill, maim or knock out your attacker? When an attacker is "keyed up" with adrenaline flowing through his body very fast do pain compliance techniques fail? In the case of someone who has suffered a lot of personal pain all his life through being abused all his life essentially immuned to a defense that merely causes pain? And in the case of somebody who is on serious drugs is that especially true?

    That is the contention of a former self defense teacher of mine who is well regarded in the field. His resume is very impressive. In general, I've tended to go along with his arguements, as distasteful as I find them, as he seemed to know what he was doing, and his decades long teaching of law enforcement personnel seemed to indicate somebody who knew what he was talking about. Still, it is only one opinion, and in every field there are experts with differing opinions, differing interpretations.

    My personal experience with serious self defense is very limited. I was attacked by somebody on serious drugs once and found solid kicks to the testicles didn't slow him down at all, he acted like he hadn't even been kicked. Of course a kick in the knee that broke his leg would have certainly worked, no matter if he felt any pain or not.

    So the question, primarily to those who have been atttacked in a very serious way in a very serious self defense situation is whether or not there are alternative ways to defend yourself without killing, maiming or knocking out your attacker?
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  2. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    It's not that simple.

    You must be prepared to meet real violence with real violence -- but you absolutely can and should be ready to use less force, for legal and moral reasons. The best way to deal with an attack is to avoid it in the first place; this obviously doesn't mean killing or maiming every potential attacker! If you've screwed up, and found yourself in a bad situation -- you may be able to talk your way out of it. If that doesn't work, you need to escalate in response to the attack... but you can control and use tactics and targets that don't do serious harm, unless they turn out to be insufficient.

    Think of the movie Roadhouse. At one point, a huge fight is brewing, and Swayze's Dalton character seems like he's giving in, right? Gonna go down... let's just take it outside. And as soon as the guy is outside -- Dalton locks the door! What was the goal? Getting the ******* out of the bar, and not getting anyone hurt.

    What you can't do is start with a mindset of submission and holding unless you are both very skilled AND willing to accept that you will probably get hurt. And you can't mistake "points" for being enough to stop a fight.
     
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  3. Joab

    Joab 2nd Black Belt

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    Well, your likely to get hurt regardless of what you do according to the self defense teacher. What kind of mindset should you have if "submission and holding" is not the right mindset? I work as a security officer, according to my post orders, the only use of force allowed is restraining, obvious butt covering by the security company should they get sued.
     
  4. wushuguy

    wushuguy Purple Belt

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    maiming or killing isn't always necessary. take a look at the police force. they do a good job to restrain people without maiming them.

    a good self defense class should show you how to control, what places can provide extreme painful discomfort without permanent damage, restrict the motion of an attacker, AND how to be able to walk or run away from the situation safely either before during or after using some self-defense skills. I always hate when some one says they're doing self defense when they apply a wrist lock and stop because they don't know what to do next...

    also taking a look at the situation you're in, requires different levels of aggression and response. For example, if a bully were trying to pick on you, you shouldn't break his arms, that's too extreme, on the other hand, if one looks juiced up on some kind of mind altering drugs, foaming at the mouth and rushing at you, probably you will want to apply something different than a wrist lock or verbal de-escalation techniques...

    Also don't take self-defense as one should do X in Y situation, there's too many variables, but the more you practice different principles and understand when and how to apply them, you'll be more successful to apply the "right" technique in a spontaneous situation.
     
  5. kaizasosei

    kaizasosei Master Black Belt

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    Strategically speaking, the more the attackers, the more this is true. To be able to do damage is important. Of course stunning can work, jointlocks can work. To take someone down without hurting them is a sign of ability. Even a powerfull and shocking kiai, brilliant.

    Aikido moves, chinna tricks can take someone down before they can say kawabanga, that is the moves have an exponential effect as they come on. But if a tough strong opponent knows what you are about to do having good reactions, the locks will not work either. So to damage and to hit is the best. And if you are so powerfull, then probably noone would attack in the first place. They attack because they think they can get you. Even a strong strike is often not enough to take someone out and one most tough fighters even go so far as to have combos that don't stop untill the opponent is down.

    Basically, it boils down to defeating the spirit of the attacker. Yes, people can take alot when they're pissed. Almost to the point of making them seem invincible to an average ma. That is why concentration of power and knowledge of physics and anatomy are important. Then one can have more freedom to destroy a body like a curse or protect it.


    j
     
  6. Draven

    Draven Green Belt

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    Yes, there are none lethal techniques that do work, an RNC is not "lethal" until you hold it "too long" after the person has gone unconscious. Now my only question is "Do I care?" I'm not trying to be rectum here but hey its an important thing to consider & often something ignored by "law abiding" SD instructors.

    If I'm faced with a stoned punk with a "kitchen-bowie-psycho-killer knife" is my primary concern a) Living, b) Keeping my Wallet or c) His Rights as a Living Creature? Personnally, I'm going straight to living...

    Personally, I think use of force (or at least the way use of force is commonly taught) is a joke; waiting on someone to reach a higher level of violence first is counter productive to safety & even living. Fighting is simple mathematics & economics; get there with the most force in the least amount of time. Some people don't respond well to pain compliance, some don't. Thgose who don't either by experience or by conditioning know that in some cases they have to suffer through something to gain the advantage.

    Myself, I ALWAYS tell people to reverse the use of force ladder; start off with the intent to Kill someone and then slide down into less destructive levels of violence.

    As a hypothetical example;
    Lets say I'm walking out to my car at the Mall Parking Lot & some guys is setting on the car. My first thought is "be mentally prepared to end it out right whatever it turns out to be." As I approach my car & say "Hey buddy you mind not sitting on my car..." I am still prepared to draw my Glock and shoot him in the face, but I don't have to because he appologizes & I found out hes only sitting on my car because he slipped into a pot hole in parking lot & his nurse girlfriend I can't see is checking out his ankle.

    Now in the example; I had started off at "kill, cripple & maim," I initiated contact with said intent (i.e. prepared to draw a weapon & fire), I went down from intention to use lethal force, to using verbal warnings to casual interaction. Being ready to use lethal force doesn't mean you have to use it as a solution to every problem. More so, you also need to consider the types of violence you need to defend yourself from;
    Social Violence; fighting using threats to prove dominance, basic Alpha Male BS...
    Criminal Violence; violence intended to get something from you, money, compliance or what have you...
    Combative Violence; violence intended to kill you, such as warfare (military or gangland take you're pick)...
     
  7. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    As a security officer, with a few exceptions, you're only going to use force to protect yourself or someone else from immediate physical attack. Your overall job is generally deterrence, detection, and reporting. Many stores don't even want their loss prevention people to go hands-on with someone, because the liability far outweighs the cost of the theft.

    If you are in a position where you find yourself using force, you're going to be expected to scale your response appropriately to the threat and circumstances. I suspect your SOPs are even more restrictive than you describe in this one sentence; you probably aren't supposed to use force at all unless you have no other option.

    Self defense and restraining someone for arrest/detention are really two different things. Balance and shifting between the two is a necessary skill for security and law enforcement; you can find yourself having to shift back and forth between the two multiple times in a single encounter. Note that I didn't say that the only way to defend yourself is to maim or kill, only that your mindset must be prepared to escalate and meet violence appropriately. Locking on a submission/detention mindset for too long is a good way to get hurt; recall the video recently discussed here where an officer was so locked on containing and handcuffing a bad guy that he missed opportunities to step back, and either escalate force or get help -- or both.
     
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  8. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    I'm going to go back to the original post here. Joab, you're probably not going to like this.

     
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  9. JWLuiza

    JWLuiza Black Belt

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    What Chris said.
     
  10. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Seeing that you posted this question in this area, I'm assuming you're asking this question from a security officer/bouncer point of view? If so, here are my .02. The idea, IMO, is to protect the establishment and ensure the safety of the patrons. Security officers and bouncers are not LEOs, and as JKS stated, in many cases, they're a simple deterrant, and due to liability, many stores/bars don't want them to physically engage with a problem person.

    As far as what techniques to use....use whats best suited for the situation you're facing. Someone simply mouthing off at you, in the bar, who is obviously drunk, and takes a swing at you, well, there are locks, and chokes that would work just fine. Again, the idea isn't to stand there and trade shots with the guy, but instead, remove him from the bar. Should you break the guys nose, and arm in 2 different places? No, probably not.

    As its been said, I think you're looking for some magical response...there isn't any. Train hard and be sure to have a variety of options to fall back on. If your only option is to kill someone, well......
     
  11. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    Better know your own states laws concerning "self-defense". Assault is generally the threat (real or implied) to do violence. Assault to do great bodily harm is what you would get charged with putting an armbar on somebody if THIER belief is that you are going to break the arm. You have now raised the situation to deadly force and that person can now kill you to prevent that injury. Rear Naked Choke? Deadly Force Assault in Michigan. Again, you just upped the ante. That is why MANY self defense instructors don't teach those options.

    As to the original posting. Think of a bell curve and apply it to human response to pain. On the right hand side is a high tolerance to pain and on the left side is very low tolerance to pain. The majority of people (around 90%) are going to be in the middle area of that. 5% of the population is going to have almost no tolerance to pain. The remaining 5% is going to have no feeling to pain or a very high tolerance to it.

    When you throw in drugs, alcohol and adrenaline. It is going to skew the numbers to the right of tolerance. But, even taking into account that pain compliance is a good derterent for the majority of people out there. The people who you would need to maim or kill is a small percentage of people you would run into. We train for the worst case scenario, but SHOULD have in a built in "use of force" to deal with all levels of force and how to end it quickly and safely if we need to.

    I was just talking last night about my shortest fight. A person who was trying to pick a fight with me and trying to talk him down wasn't working. He took a swing with a right roundhouse to my head and I hit him in the bicep and stopped it. He then tried the same thing with his left. I again struck his bicep. I then hit him with a double heel palm push and told him I didn't want any trouble and to leave. At that point, he got the point and left the area. Did I need to hurt him more than that? Nope, is every situation going to be like that? Nope. Just an example, that not every fight is a life or death fight and not every fight is one you can get out of without force.
     
  12. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    JKS makes good comments.

    I would only add that you asked about pain compliance. There are holds that are not pain compliance but are structure based. They control the person and not based upon pain but upon physics.

    As a bouncer or security many times you are at a worse case postiion, where officers have understood levels of threat response and training to go with, what is accepted for the civilian (* Non police - I do not like the term but many use it and understand it in this context *) population.

    If the violoence level is very great thinking Submission or Hold even based upon structure may not and most likely will not. Many times you have to defend yourself from the threat with violence of your own, and then work on controlling the situation.

    Not trying to put words into JKS's mouth. So, take what I said as what I said.
     
  13. Draven

    Draven Green Belt

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    I am very much against SD instructors quoting the law; a) its "proporting to have the authority" of an officer of the court (those who have passed the State Bar & are licensed to practice law) which is a felony in some states & b) as someone who is not a lawyer it is not my job to quote the law to anyone; as I can then be held responsible for their actions legally for following my advise. Instead I say check out your own local laws yourself or consult a lawyer; legal advise is their job.

    Simply put I'm not a lawyer; I've beaten them in court representing myself in law suits but, I am not licensed by the state bar to practive law and that includes giving legal advise. As an instructor of self-defense I give my students the advise I feel will save their lives in the immidiate situation. LEOs don't wiegh your reponse to a situation & not arrest, they look for "probable cause" to arrest you & let the courts decide. My job is to make sure you live long enough to see a court date & I don't care about "legal options" because they don't matter if you're dead...

    Yes but thats were types of violence comes in at, that was more social violence to "dominate" the others around him. Thats a whole different situation from criminal or combative violence and a good example of the most common kind of violence. Criminal & Combative violence can over lap; muder is the end goal of combat & a crime after all; the individual needs to be taught that as well.
     
  14. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Your instructor uses very extreme examples to make his point. The guy keyed up on drugs or who has been so abused that pain just doesn't phase him the same way that it would a normal person.

    The truth is that these are the exceptions rather than the rule, and yes, even then there are nonlethal/nonmaiming/non-KO techniques that can be used. Frankly, effecting escape is your best option. Put him on the ground and start increasing distance.

    Most people are attacked by someone that they know, at least statistically. Exercise of common sense regarding where you go and who you associate with, job obligations not withstanding, go a long way.

    Verbal deescalation skills also can effectively solve a lot of problems.

    Now, if all else fails or there is no other option, then one should be prepared to use the killing or crippling blow.

    Daniel
     
  15. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    Then you are doing a huge diservice to your students. If you re-read my post I said to know your local laws. I didn't say interpret them for them. I know MANY instructors who bring in an attorney to their class (or LEO's) to talk about what the laws are and more importantly what ordinances are in effect and how the local DA (or Prosecuting Attorney) views those laws.

    You're right, it is a cop's job to look at PC and either make an arrest (or submit an arrest warrant later). That is why "self-defense" is a LEGAL defense (excuse). It's going to mean you are charged with the offense. Cops don't have "immunity" to make the legal decision, that is the job of the courts. They gather statements and evidence and turn it over to the Pros. Office. The Pros. Office DOES have immunity from civil liability for not issuing when a crime has been commited.

    As to your last statement, again, if you feel it is your job to protect your students to make it to their court date, you are still missing the boat. They need to be aware of ALL the consequences to their decisions when using force and need to have all the options available. The criminal assault you keep talking about is very rare for the average student unless they are putting themselves in that environment/situation. They are much more likely to be in a situation that doesn't call for that level of force.

    If all you teach them is a hammer, then all problems look like a nail.

    Working in law enforcement/corrections for 13 years, as well as being a defensive tactics instructor for the department, most of what I see taught by MA instructors for self-defense is going to get their student arrested because the background is never given WHEN to use those tactics and everything is the worst case scenario.
     
  16. Draven

    Draven Green Belt

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    I realize you never said interpet the law, but again you have to go back to where its up to the LEO and/or Prosecutor to interpet the law. Even then a lawyer's advise doesn't matter under the judge & jury decide...

    I never said all I teach is fighting I also apply various aspect of psychology, I have a degree & experience of applying psychology, so I am qualified to teach it. I see a basic knowledge of the natural law of human behavior to be more an issue then the artifical laws of a social structure which various from town to town & state to state...

    Fact is I'm not a lawyer & I won't give legal advise because its NOT MY JOB & I can get charged for doing so. Everyone can get charged for doing so & in my own state LEOs will neither inform you of any laws or give legal advice because that is the duty of lawyers, why they have to pass a State Bar exam & why the state codes are published in books in the liberary. I teach fighting techniques, breaking contact, evasion, laymen's psychology dealing with threat assessments & reacting violence. Beyond that the only legal advise I can legally give someone is "ask a lawyer..." My state simply does not allow me to legally give out advise without having passed a Bar Examination...

    Well that explains allot, you're hung up on the "law" because you happen to be involvement with it. I'm more involved in dealing with types of violence, basic human psychology & natural social interactions then what laws are on the books. I apply when to use the tactics based on what the "opponent projects" toward you. What is legal to do and what is sensible to do are many times different things.

    Here is an example; basic conflict reaction theory...
    All conflict begins with a threat display called posturing, from posturing both members of the conflict have 3 reactions; retreat (often used to regroup mentally or physically), submission or fight. These are both instinctual reactions & conscious reactions. Freeze does not exist in sociology even though allot of SD instructors use it; freezing is caused by a conflicting signals between instinct reaction & conditioned reaction.

    Now conflict interaction theory isn't all of it or enough so I can throw in some other aspects of psychology (no need to get into Frued, Jung or Skinner for an SD student) dealing with de-escalation theory (which only works on stress based violence) and a few other principles.

    As a further example; the best fight I never got into...
    I was backing out of a parking space at McDonalds and while try to squeeze past the SUV who was trying to squeeze into the drive through line ahead of some other people I hit another idiot who decided to try to follow the SUV.

    As I get out the car & being only 5'5" the other guys starts yelling and says he's "gonna [explenative] kick my [explenative] ***." (clearly posturing) So I respond by telling him calmly "Look I can either stomp your fat [explenative] *** into a [explenative] jello-mold or we can act like [explenative] adults and settle this responsibly."

    While I could have used the fact that he was about a foot taller & 80lbs to 100lbs heavier & had threaten me with violence, I'm sure I could have taken a tire iron to his knee cap and been "legally" justified. I could have not said a word and hit him because I had a legitimate "fear of harm" from his "threat of violence." Instead I just applied those theories; no hammer just brains
    1. I made a counter-posture to show that I was neither cowed nor a victim...
    2. I gave my "attacker" an "out" to save face by offering to act like responsible adults...
    3. I was prepared mentally & physically to do violence but also descalated the situation by appologizing & offering to lower my threat posture first...
    4. I presented an attitude of confidense & control by speaking my intentions in calm, clear & level voice...

    Incedently, before we exchanged insurance info all the idiot did was call 911 and report that I hit him. The operator told him that a) 911 was emergencies the a fender bender wasn't an emergency unless someone was hurt & b) that LEOs don't respond to accidents on private property & McDonalds was private property.
     
  17. KenpoTex

    KenpoTex Senior Master

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    My take on the subject of "what works" when dealing with a serious threat can be summed up by a statement made by a highly competent (and very "experienced") instructor I've had the privilege of training with: (I'm paraphrasing since I don't remember his exact words)

    "Methods that will reliably and consistently stop the threat of death or serious physical injury do themselves have a high probability of inflicting death or serious physical injury...that's just the way it works."
     
  18. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    Always glad to meet another psych guy. Only got my bachelor's in psych and was going to go back, but then I got a job with the local Sheriff's dept working in the jail (houses around 600) and fell in love with the work and then went back later to get my LE certification.

    I understand your position, just don't fully agree with it. Telling someone what the law is and showing them the resources to do their own leg work isn't the same as giving legal advice. I completely agree with the conflict resolution part that you teach. I use the fight/flight/freeze and appease with classes, but explain that the "freeze" part isn't a natural response like you pointed out as defined in the animal kingdom. But, I have seen people "freeze" because they just shut down and the brain has no program to run to handle the situation.

    Again, an understanding of the law in your situation would better help. You stated that you could have hit him without warning because you were in fear. Depends on the state. In some states you have the "duty to retreat" so why not just get back into your car? When you go to court you can bet that the attorney's are going to turn that around on you that you WANTED the confrontation and that you were trained (civil liability is only tipping the scales in your favor) and took advantage of their client to hurt him.

    If you don't feel comfortable with the legal aspect then bring in an attorney like alot of instructors do to explain the law and go over situations like that and what you can do. Also, explain that you have to do what you have to do sometimes and can't worry about "legal duty" in those situations. In today's society, a fight isn't over when the physical confrontation ends, it ends when it is finally over and there is no criminal charges or civil suits. If you are professing to teach "self-defense" then you need to teach everything that encompasses or just say you teach "fighting" or you teach "conflict resolution".
     
  19. Joab

    Joab 2nd Black Belt

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    There seems to be some confusion regarding the context of my question. I'm not really asking the question in the narrow context of working as a security officer I'm asking it more in the context of a defense against a very serious assault. That assault may happen during work as a security officer or it may happen outside of that context. The question really is do techniques that don't involve killing, maiming or knocking out an attacker who is engaged in a very serious assault against you (ie he is trying to kill, rape, or beat the holy crapola out of you or a combination of the two or more) work.

    I think less drastic responses to such an attack than killing or maiming or knocking out an attacker might work in any given situation provided you are an expert, I'm certainly far from being an expert in any martial art. Thanks for your responses.
     
  20. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Once things get past verbal deescalation, your options are limited. Incapacitation, either through knock out or a crippling blow are not bad options here, and if an attacker is bound and determined enough, and if you have no other means of escape, I suppose killing is not out of the question.

    The only non lethal and non-crippling/maiming or non KO option is to effect escape. Put him on the ground and increase distance. Alternatively, you can grapple him and submit him, but then the question is what are you going to do with him now that you have him at a point where you have him physically restrained? You cannot hold onto him indefinitely and you probably need both of your hands to maintain your hold, so dialing 911 is not an option at this point, so all that you can do from there is to yell for help. The way I see it, one of five things can happen from here:

    1. Help arrives and the situation is resolved.
    2. He escapes your hold and resumes the attack. Highly likely if you attempt to keep him held for a prolonged length of time.
    3. He escapes your hold and decides to find an easier target and runs away. Highly unlikely.
    4. You injure him and he is either incapacitated or dead.
    5. You cause him enough pain to make him cease struggling, from which point you throw him or put him on the ground and you escape and call the police.

    All of this is assuming an unarmed attacker.

    Daniel
     

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