Fundamental pillars of self-defense?

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Brian King, May 22, 2015.

  1. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    @elder999, @RTKDCMB, @Buka, @Brian King, @drop bear, @oftheherd1, @Xue Sheng, @pgsmith
    I am grateful for your discussion and courtesy about what is moral and what is right or justified. I think it is our beliefs that differ and that is perfectly fine and as it should be though by way of expedient so this part of the conversation does not detract from the over all direction I would suggest a hypothetical if you are ok??

    Imagine you are attacked or set upon and at that moment it feel like your physical integrity or perhaps your life is at risk.. you have been stabbed although in shock you have yet to feel it.. you can see blood.. it is your blood.. your attacker has a screwdriver.. you do not know what this is about or what has happened.. you do not merit or deserve this. By their eyes and their face it cannot be more clear they have an intent to damage you or kill you.. At that moment do you care much what harm you do to that person as you do what is necessary to end the attack? By their unprovoked violent reaction have they relinquished their right to any compassion or care on your part? What do you feel towards your attacker at this moment? What do you feel for your attacker at that moment? Hate? Anger? Nothing at all? where is the compassion?

    by some circumstance.. I do not know what that could be for you and but hypothetically yes? by some circumstance your attacker that has stabbed you is your loved one.. one who you would otherwise care greatly for.. What do you feel for your attacker in this case? is any thing different about how you would apportion physical pain on them to defend your self? If so, can you say what is your moral justification for that difference? Thank you Jx
     
  2. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    You know, Jenna-some people have a hard time with these "imaginary" scenarios.....none of us could actually say with any certainty what we'd actually do in such a situation-the unprovoked violence of a loved one might be so shocking that we froze, and let them stab us repeatedly. As for the rest of your rather philosophical question-for myself-what I "feel" in that moment is far less relevant than what I'd do, which is defend myself to the best of my ability.

    It's likely that I have no time for compassion while I'm bleeding, and, if I do wind up killing my loved one? Well, likely I'd mourn the next morning when I woke up, and for the rest of my life-but you have to be alive to do that. Maybe compassion would come in the form of having spared them the pain of killing a loved one by taking it on myself, but I think my actions in the moment would be no different than if a stranger had perpetrated such an act
     
  3. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    I can see that that would be the case.. it is not imaginary for me.. I dealt with both and was not happy with how it went either case.. it is why I am asking.. thank you
     
  4. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    "Happy." has nothing to do with it, like "deserved" (see, @Steve ? Those things are "not relevant.")

    Sorry that you had to go through that.

    To be "happy" or "unhappy" you've got to be alive. Unscathed? Maybe not, in any outcome of that sort of scenario.
     
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  5. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay let's try to get back on topic:

    Fundamental Pillars of Defense

    A while back I posted a video by one of our members tgace on threat indicators:



    This video shows threat indicators that happen in a pre-conflict stage. (pre-conflict, conflict, post conflict)
    These threat indicators shown in the video are unconscious indicators meaning that we as humans do them
    without thinking.

    What would be some conscious threat indicators in the pre-conflict stage?
     
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  6. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Great post Brian, thanks for posting that. It is also amazing to me that the first thing I thought of was my days in Hospital security in a hospital with mental health and detox units. Saw a lot of those, only the looking at target was generally the door in those cases.

    I would have to agree that situational awareness is most definitely one of the Fundamental Pillars of Defense because there are occasions when you are aware, of all you see in that video, that you can disrupt it to de-escalate and avoid a confrontation all together
     
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  7. RTKDCMB

    RTKDCMB Senior Master

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    Not as much as I care about how much harm will be done to me.

    Pretty much. If my life is in danger my main concern is in my survival.

    I doubt I would feel anything in the moment, but then without being in that moment I can not know for sure. As for compassion for my attacker, compassion is for those who deserve it, not someone trying to kill me.

    If a loved one is trying to stab me to death then I am not feeling the love.

    Morals don't really enter into it, you have to be alive to have morals, survival comes first.
     
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  8. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    @elder999, I appreciate your persistence -I choose to take from that that I am worth replying to even if it is not actually the reason :)- and but also for your patience and lastly for your courtesy thank you. And oh do not be too sorry because few of us are spared from harsh situations and I know that to be true of you also.. for me the harshest situations are a gift when I am open enough to receive the inherent lesson within. Thank you again, Jx.

    @RTKDCMB, Thank you for your honesty and straightforwardness in what you have replied. I am not trying to change your mind.. for what would be the point.. I only seek to understand a situation through the eyes of some one else and you have helped with that by your clarity and consistency and so thank you again Jx.
     
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  9. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I think prioritizing training time appropriately is another fundamental pillar of self defense, because we all have only 24 hours in a day, and we have many things that compete for our time.

    There's a model for training that I find useful. When you look at training time, you have to consider the time you have available relative to the seriousness of the risk of incomplete or poor training. There's stuff we do all the time, that we do passably well because of that, and we don't need to spend much training time on those things. There's stuff that is very unlikely, and has a low consequence of failure to train. We don't need to spend much time on that. In the typical self defense arena -- I don't really worry to much about defenses against a sniper 5000 yds out... It's not likely to happen (and, truthfully, there's just not much I can do if one targets me!). Secret Service worries about that a lot more in protecting the President... Nor am I investing my training time on defending from an attacking toddler... There's not much concern that the attack will do me harm if I don't succeed in stopping it. Most of my training effort in self defense is spent on things that are possibly going to happen, if not often, and that have a significant impact if I fail to successfully defend myself. Some of my time is spent on the stuff that is significantly unlikely, but has a major impact if I fail to do it properly.

    How do I figure out what fits where? I look at what goes on where I am. I look at police records, at news coverage (hint: if it makes news, it's probably not real common), and so on.
     
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  10. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    The civil law (reasonable force) and how to manage conflicts within. If not, it is not self self-defense, in a strict way.
    In a broad sense we can add prevention, health, a decent lifestyle...
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
  11. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    In a nutshell, this remains my opinion.

    We can play the "what if" game all day long, but as I said above, you can't learn everything, and if the goal is to learn practical self defense, then one should focus on self defense situations that one might actually encounter.

    Brian, your position is clear. Truly, I thought we were having a discussion, but if you feel lectured to, that's my fault and I apologize.

    You mention that I seem to have waffled on the physical component piece. To try and explain, the pervasive message in this thread and in any others, such as the current thread "Self Defense?" suggests to me that the least important component to self defense training is the martial arts/fighting part. And the same criteria for validating the training in these skills is anecdotal evidence that they worked. I provided an example in this thread of a person who had no fighting skills, but was fit and strong, and that worked. Can we then conclude that training for the American Ninja Warrior competition is as effective as TKD or BJJ or shotokan karate for self defense training? Maybe so. It stands up to your "students use the skills for protection" test. So, yeah, I do think that for many people, physical skills are optional. Or at the very least, they're not essential. And what you guys say in conjunction with actual, statistical data, does nothing to change my mind.
     
  12. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    Like many things, this conversation hinges on folks having a common definition. Some people define "self defense training" as some variant of Martial Arts training, while others look at it as a more comprehensive issue involving everything from home security to firearms training....

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
     
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  13. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Often as not, it's the same people saying both. Get's pretty hard to hit that moving target from one thread to the next.
     
  14. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Steve,

    It seems to me that you are taking it to an extreme side. Stating that physical skills should be optional. A side that almost no one would advocate. Instead, a well rounded approach would include awareness, avoidance, de-escalation training, etc. and physical skills. Then one would be prepared to deal with what could possibly come their way. Unfortunately, if someone does not have physical personal protection skills and they need them then they are probably going to have a big problem. Image a woman who is in a situation with an acquaintance and that acquaintance decides that they will rape her. If de-escalation and or her verbal skills fail and she has not had any training or confidence in her physical skill sets she may do nothing or be ineffective. The exact same could be said for a man as well. If we look at the NEJM study that you liked, it had a physical skill component to it's training as well as awareness, avoidance, de-escalation, etc. It was a short course but well rounded. Even then at the end it mentioned that if the students wanted further physical skill sets to continue training with the instructor.

    This world is unfortunately full of violence. The chance that it happens to you is small if you use your common sense but it is still there and it can still happen. To advocate not having physical skill sets to deal with a potential problem seems problematic on many levels. Physical personal protection skills can easily be seen as the "least important" part of self-defense that is, until you need them. Then they are of course the most important. They are also the most difficult to achieve competency in as well. Hence why people who wish to have skill sets to deal with violence should train.
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I understand, Brian. Do you take issue with the quote below?

    Can you explain to me how what I said above is functionally different than what is said below?
    And is it too much of a stretch to take from the above two passages, mine and jks9199's, that practical self defense for some people might not need any (or at least very limited) martial training? Or that for my demographic, what martial training I do receive would be fundamentally different than for a college coed? Or that, based upon the significant body of opinions voiced in this thread and others like it, that even in programs where martial skills are taught, all of the "other stuff" you mentioned earlier would be the primary focus?

    The coed, assualt training mentioned earlier in the thread contained about 17% martial training and 83% everything else. Did that seem out of sync to you? Didn't to me, and it didn't seem to undermine the efficacy of the program or diminish the positive results. My impression is that most self defense programs are mostly martial training. Seems backwards to me, considering the balance between time and actual risk.
     
  16. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey Steve,

    We can agree absolutely that the non-physical skills are extremely important and need to be taught well for a comprehensive personal protection program. I would say that in a personal protection program geared towards college age women that the 17% to 83% is somewhat off but doable. Given that most of them will not have the time or inclination to train long term a short but comprehensive program is definitely a plus for what they need. Provided it has awareness, avoidance, de-escalation, threat indicators, etc. and of course a physical personal protection component. Where many programs fail is that they gloss over the non-physical components of protection and that is a shame. However, there are programs that do not gloss over this and have well rounded comprehensive approach as tgace mentioned above.

    Jks9199 and I are in complete agreement about prioritization of your training. He, I am sure like I would agree that prioritizing your training and working on things that have a potential to happen are excellent measures of your time. Yet, I think we would both agree that having a strong physical component to your personal protection in this prioritizing is important!

    We are actually blessed in this country because any one of us can look at crime data reports and see what has happened through the years. This can give any one of us a clear picture of possibilities and how to plan, strategize our training to fit our needs. We can see that many crimes could have been avoided by taking precautionary measures and that violence also can happen and from the reports it happened here and here and here. A lot can be learned from the efforts of our LEO's and their compilation of data.
     
  17. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    If you've got students for 12 hours, you really must focus on situational awareness and avoidance as the primary goal. There simply isn't time to provide more than the most rudimentary and cursory physical training.
    If you've got them for 12 months, or 12 years, then you can focus on the physical.
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Do you question the results of the study for that 12 hour self defense course suggesting that it helped to significantly reduce the number of successful assaults?

    Can you point to any actual data that even implies that a person who takes a martial art is less likely to be robbed or assaulted?

    The issue I have is what appears to me to be a tenuous leap from, this seems helpful to this IS helpful. This makes me feel safer to this makes me safer.

    I'm looking at crime stats for the entire metropolitan area of seattle, found on the FBI.gov website, for 2013. Discounting any consideration of high risk behaviors, and just going off of raw stats, it looks like there is a violent crime rate (murder/nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) of 323.5 per 100,000 people. Even were I to engage in high risk behavior, say I am a homeless, mentally ill, self medicating drug addict, my chances of being murdered are 2.2 out of 100,000 (or 2.2/1000th of a percent). My chances of being robbered are 112 per 100,000 (1/10th of a percent).

    There were a total of 78 murder/nonnegligent manslaughters in total for Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Renton, Auburn, Lakewood and Redmond. I live in Kent/Covington, where there were a total of 2. I don't believe it's a stretch to assume that most of these 78 murders were people who were involved in things they shouldn't have been or engaging in high risk behaviors. Gangs, drugs. Some were police officers killed in the line of duty (which is very sad!) But when we get down to the nitty gritty, how many of the 78 homocides were innocent people just doing their thing, minding their business, not getting drunk in bars, or high or living on the streets or participating in gang activities? I expect no more than a handful, and of the ones I recall from the news, were almost always random shootings.

    Once again, I'm not suggesting that it's a bad idea to learn how to physically defend oneself. But, I have concluded that it's more about feeling safer than being safer, and that there are many OTHER things that will actually make you safer than learning martial skills. All that other stuff, coupled with common sense and maybe a gun, a personal tase, pepper spray orsomething like that. I know some will think, "Yeah, but Steve... even if it's 10 people, isn't that enough?" And the answer is sure. Of course... IF we had any evidence that martial ability is the key difference. Based upon this thread and others like it, my opinion is that it's very unlikely that martial arts training is going to be the difference. Could it happen? Sure. But it's more about the feeling of security than the reality of security.

    And again, just to be clear, it's all about context. Some people live or work in areas where there is higher risk. For some, the NATURE of the risk is different. And so, for some, it makes sense to learn martial arts training along with other stuff. Cops, bouncers, etc... makes perfect sense.

    But violence is not everywhere. Most people live their entire lives free of violence.
     
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  19. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Do you think the training would have been more effective after 12 months or 12 years of martial arts training? I don't get that impression. I think that more training could be helpful, but you'd need to teach the right stuff that is connected to actual risk. Maybe physical training is a part of that equation, but I dont believe that it's the missing component.
     
  20. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey Steve,

    I do not question the results of the study and feel that the particular study in question had a lot of the qualities that make up a good personal protection program. Teaching people awareness, avoidance, de-escalation techniques, simple common sense and physical skill sets will make them more conscious of dangerous behavior, situations, etc. as well as more confident in their physical skill which will also in turn make them a harder target and in general less likely to be attacked. That is great! ;)

    Actually, if we look at the crime reports and data compiled we will find that violence does indeed happen everywhere. You name a locale and I can probably find violence that happened there. Depending of course on the place and or time and or activities it may be negligible to non-existent or it may be a much, much higher percentage. There is a disconnect here in that I see firearms, tasers, pepper spray as tools for the modern martial practitioner and person looking for self-defense skills. Ones to be practiced and trained just as one would also train an empty hand skill set or a de-escalation skill set. Then again I believe in as tgace put it being comprehensive. Including them as well as home security, dog, etc.


    In regards to violence, we regularly see a news report either internet or paper or tv of someone who trained and utilized their skill.

    Just like this one closer to you:
    Aikido Used To Foil Robbery MartialTalk.Com - Friendly Martial Arts Forum Community

    or this one:
    Martial Artists Foil Jewelry Store Heist CBS Los Angeles

    or here:
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/11/miced-martial-arts-fighters-foil-robbery.html

    or here:
    Woman Killed Would-Be Rapist in Self-Defense - ABC News

    there are a lot more those took about 2 seconds to find...

    I can also find lots of links of regular everyday people killed who may or may not have fought back but I know you understand that this can be done and you can easily do it yourself.

    A comprehensive program for personal protection will have all the items I have said before again and again. Awarenss, avoidance, de-escalation, threat predictors, common sense, etc. plus a physical component.

    However, I will posit a question to you. If a woman on a college campus finds herself in a dangerous situation with a potential rapist without the ability to leave wouldn't you want her to have had some physical skill training?
    I would and a few students of mine in the past were able to extricate themselves because of their training.

    Here are some statistics for college rape and rape in general:
    Rape Statistics Statistic Brain

    One In Four USA

    Campus sexual assault - Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

    All of the above statistics are of course very, very underreported and on the first page it said up to 95%. (please think about that before we every down play violence) What happens on College campuses is a tragedy as often even if reported the College or University will do every thing they can to bury the issue. (see this VICE report though just preview please watch the full episode on HBO:

    As to violence to women in general. Before we again talk about how it happens and treat it as a small statistic it is estimated that 1 in 4 women will be assaulted whether physically or attempted rape, etc. That is 25% which is a pretty high number and why this is such an important topic. It is also probably way underestimating based on people not reporting a vast majority of rapes. Personally, In my own close familial group it is over 50% that have been assaulted. Fortunately, with no lasting damage. (thank god)

    With all the high profile rapes in India. Women are training more and more:
    After Delhi Rape Women Turn to Martial Arts - India Real Time - WSJ
    From High School, to College and on. They are turning to martial arts for skills both physical and mental.

    The real point is that violence does happen. I am not a fear oriented person and would not advise anyone to go around believing that some one is out to get them or it is going to happen. I personally live in a really nice area pretty free from violence but... it could still happen. Good common sense and taking prudent steps should work most of the time. Yet if you need to defend yourself you really are going to want those skills.123
     

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