Out of the blue..

Discussion in 'War Stories' started by dan.h, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. dan.h

    dan.h Yellow Belt

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    I've never taken any self-defence or martial arts but planning to take Wing Chun this Sept.. anyways.. Yesterday after work, I crossed the street and was starting to walk to my car. This is a safe area of town with nothing but business people and church people around here. This guy walked up to me with that "i need to be slapped" smirk on his face and was staring right into my eyes about an inch away. This was kinda creepy so I kept walking and he immediately threw his drink on me. I turned around with a confused look and he starts yelling "you got a problem, man?!". He was obviously looking to fight.

    What would you guys seriously do in this situation? He wasnt' a street bum, fairly well dressed, clean and a couple inches shorter then me (6'5" ish). Maybe he was hoping i'd swing first, yell assult and sue me? I have NO idea what to do if this happens again after work today.
     
  2. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    When I was out jogging, I had a guy spit on me as I ran past. I turned around and gave my best "What the ****, man!". He ignored me, and kept on his way. I shrugged my shoulders and kept running. Who knows, he may have been mentally ill, or looking for trouble. Unless someone attacks you, your best bet is usually to walk.
     
  3. Nolerama

    Nolerama Master Black Belt

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    I'd say walk, too. Who knows what might be the cause of his angst. He could have gotten fired that day and wanted to take it out on someone... He could also be getting ready to go on a killing spree.

    On the other hand this guy could also be from a culture where direct eye contact shouldn't be matched. Who knows?

    The fact is that unless you know why he's acting as an aggressor to you, banging with the guy won't really do much to handle the situation without some cop getting called in and the both of you getting slapped with disturbing the peace/ assault and battery/ drunken assault?/etc.

    Ever think about calmly asking him what his problem is? You could have dated/dumped his sister in the past or something like that. It might be scary, but calm verbal confrontation does a lot to diffuse a situation.

    Step back far enough to be able to react in case he goes after you. Square your feet. Hold your hands up and open, palms toward him, in a show that you mean no aggression. Calmly state your situation and question his actions in a respectful manner.

    Something like this happened to me once. It turned out as a case of mistaken identity. Everything was fine. Now and then we go and get a beer after work. You never know.

    Good luck in your MA training.
     
  4. dan.h

    dan.h Yellow Belt

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    Thanks for the great replies, guys! Certainly gives me something more to think about. Does your MA training actually help you in these real world situations? I know if anything it will probably give you confidence. I'm not sure if I should take MA or just general self-defense. I don't want to be a 6'7" pushover if things ever escalate and i'm forced to defend myself.
     
  5. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Its OK to assume "Meth-head" or the like. If you can get away, do it. If you can't then you need to fight. I've had friends die whom went with the attacker when commanded. I wouldn't recomend compliying too much.
    Sean
     
  6. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    Hard to ascertain what you mean by "well dressed", because that could mean coat and tie or polo shirt and a nice pair of slacks to clean jeans and a nice button up short sleeve shirt. But all persons when they have made that first move like that are considered combatants.
    Either way, your initial assessment may be on the money that it was some jerk-weed looking for a fight. I'd have to think twice taking on a fella your size. I'm a mere 5-10" on a good day and I'd have to have a serious serious problem before I take on someone who's that much bigger than me. Even someone who is 5-11"
    It's a mentality that I still find difficult to understand though I've run up on it many times in my life. For no apparent reason I looked like the guy the other one wanted to beat up. Maybe to take their mad out on? I dunno.
    Walking away and if you got one, using your cell phone to call 911 right then and there as you're walking. Basically throwing his drink on you, spitting on you or even touching you with finger when you didn't ask for it or did anything to warrant such action is an assault on you. Petty true, but by the law it's assault. You'd been in the right to defend yourself had he pursued the matter further to your "inaction".
    On that I'd turned my awareness level up to red and looked around for his pals (if any) because sometimes that's a distraction away from someone else wanting to get the jump on you.
    You can calmly verbally parry with the guy, "why did you do that?" more importantly try for "who are you and why did you do that?" because he might be stupid enough to give you his name (even if it's just a first name) you got something to give to the police other than "some guy"... (know how many there are of them out there?) should it become an elevated situation... and go from there, if your cell phone has the feature, surreptitiously take his picture with your cell camera, now you got a positive ID. But yeah, ironic as it may seem, walking away is the honorable thing to do. Honor for you because you didn't stoop to his level.
    Heighten your awareness of who is around you from now on so that you won't get caught unawares. Expect the unexpected. But don't be in fear or paranoia. You've a much a right to be there as anyone else.

    Good luck on your Wing Chun studies.
     
  7. dan.h

    dan.h Yellow Belt

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    Thanks for the great reply, MA-Caver. There's quite a few very harmless bums around our city, so compared to them he was well dressed in a nice pair of slacks and a polo shirt. It has heightened my sense of awareness now. When this happened, I did immediately look around for any of his buddies but saw none. I know it's probably stupid but I did feel like much less of a man when I just turned around and walked away. I also didn't want the young girl and Church people to see anything if it did become something.

    Btw... nice caving pics! I'm wanting to take up caving this summer. Hopefully I'm not too big for it. ;-)
     
  8. AIKIKENJITSU

    AIKIKENJITSU Yellow Belt

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    I am a mere 5'2" and I have to agree with MA-Caver, for the most part. But I have three black belts under my belt and if someone spit in my face, or threw a drink, I probably would give him one very fast slap across the face and I probably would get away with it. I thought he was going to attack me and the strike was reflex. The police wouldn't do anything to me. After all they get split on too. There's a line you have to draw somewhere in the future where you refuse to keep getting "spit" on by people with problems.
    Bottom line, it's how you think and feel, it's a personal choice.
     
  9. Brad Dunne

    Brad Dunne Brown Belt

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    Hmmm!.........6'7 and 6'5...........Ah Ha! I got it. OK, now think back. Was this the guy you rejected when he went to hoop for a lay up? :rofl:

    I just could'nt resist........;)
     
  10. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    He approached you eyeball to eyeball about an inch away from your face? What would I do?

    Nobody violates my space like that. Besides, he's committed ASSAULT in most places by violating your personal space aggressively and putting you in IMMEDIATE APPREHENSION FOR YOUR PERSONAL SAFETY!

    I'd have driven my head in to his nose and a knee as hard as I could in to his pelvic triangle and saw where the evening was going to take us.

    But that's just me. You have to draw your own lines that may not be crossed. My line is that NOBODY aggressively invades my space with consequences and repercussions. It's a default response, so it's not something I think 'Am I going to hit him'......it's just GOING to happen! Then i'm getting the hell out of there QUICK before he recovers. ;)
     
  11. astrobiologist

    astrobiologist Brown Belt

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    I like all the replies so far... I agree that we all have lines that we won't cross. I've trained long and hard and can defend myself if I must.

    Nolerama and MA-Caver both have good ideas on this issue... Analyzing a situation is very important. Knowing how to handle yourself and how to properly diffuse a situation also helps. Then, when it comes down to it and there's a need, knowing how to drop some idiot is pretty helpful, too.

    I like Nolerama's suggestion for a defensive stance. When threatened, I assume a similar stance. I stay calm and soft, but have my feet rooted and my knees bent. My feet aren't squared off, but are pretty close to it. I keep both hands up, open, and palms facing the aggressor. If someone sees open hands, they think "this person doesn't want to fight". But, if they still choose to attack, your hands are immediately ready to work (trap, block/check, strike, fake, etc.).

    Good luck with your Wing Chun training. I think you'll see that Wing Chun has a lot to offer for someone with an issue like yours. Train hard, have fun, and never let yourself become "the bad guy".
     
  12. Darksoul

    Darksoul Brown Belt

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    -I just wanted to add, seeing a lot of this centered around situational awareness, that it is okay to walk away towards more people, or a more public place should you not be in one, cause if the guy followed you, it would certainly draw attention that he is being aggressive, as far as law enforcement is concerned. So heading towards the Church right there that you mentioned would've worked just fine. Make people aware, and maybe they'll do something, at the very least, act as witnesses.

    Andrew
     
  13. GBlues

    GBlues Purple Belt

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    I think this should be said on the matter also. That a drink being thrown at someone can be and is a very effective distraction tool, leading up to either being pummeled or pummeling someone else. It's a classic streetfighters move in my opinion. I've used the same tactic against bigger stronger opponents when I knew I was going to have to fight. Throw a drink, or pretty much anything in his face, and his eyes and body will instinctively react to the threat of something coming at his face. Hands pop up to ward off the percieved danger and instead it's your foot in his groin, or his foot in your groin. Something to be aware of. It's dirty but when your 5'2" you do whatever it takes to push the odds in your favor. :) Anyways, I always try to walk away from a fight. Always. So no shame in that. Just like pops always told me, " IF you know you have to fight, don't wait get it on." That's my 2 cents worth.
     
  14. GBlues

    GBlues Purple Belt

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    :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  15. sidecarr

    sidecarr White Belt

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    Im a big guy like you 6'6" when I was much younger and 185lbs I used to get guys trying to fight me all the time ( see how tough I am I beat up the big guy ) unfortanatly for them I would let them make the first move 99% of the time they would back down when they saw I wasnt ,the rest of the time they usually ended up on the ground in a joint lock (trained in hapkido at that time) now im 275lbs (not fat just in good shape ) people dont mess with me anymore , this guy may have seen you were bigger then him and he wanted to prove something , I probably would have done the same thing you did ,you dont want to hurt someone but you also want to make it back to my family at night , you never know if the guy was armed or not so dont let it get you down , you could have been hurt real bad if he had a knife or gun ,or he may have sued you if you messed him up . I could see somebody useing my training against me , a lot of the different martial arts places wont say their training you in an art anymore because of legal issues they say their training you in self defense, seems like the criminals have more rights then the rest of us especaly the police , if they dont follow the rules they get crusified, while the criminals get a slap on the wrist then sue the city and the officer
     
  16. searcher

    searcher Senior Master

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    1.) Call 911
    2.) File assault charges
    3.) Testify in court
    4.) Watch bailiff drag him off to jail


    No matter what his intent, it is assault and he can be prosecuted for it.
     
  17. dan.h

    dan.h Yellow Belt

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    Wow! Must say I'm very impressed with the quantity AND quality of answers and help I've received in this thread. Thanks to all of you for that! :) I feel a lot better about the situation and confident that I'll handle it effectively if it comes my way again. When I'm finished my current classes at Uni in April, I'm going to join Krav Maga and possibly after studying that self-defence I'll go into Wing Chun. Those two seem very interesting and practical.

    Once again, thanks guys.
     
  18. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    I don't know how useful this is but ...

    My preferred approach is a spiritual one. Someone who does that is clearly suffering and I prefer to view him with compassion. Same as if a 4yo ran up and slapped my knee yelling "I hate you!!" None of which is to say that keeping myself safe isn't an option, but there's no reason to meet him in his psychological zone.

    A few years ago I dropped off several boxes at a soup kitchen. As I closed up my truck bed, a very agitated older woman approached me and harangued me for several minutes about how I was doing wrong, I knew what I was doing, everybody knew what I was doing and I'd better stop ... at first I wondered what could be so scandalous about feeding the hungry? When she concluded with "You'd best leave my family alone!!" I figured it out. She was in unimaginable pain and fear living in a reality like that, and there was no way I could reach her in there anyway. So I dropped my voice and relaxed my form, and said "I don't know what I've done to upset you, but whatever it is, I'm sorry." I offered her a granola bar, which she swiped from me and stomped off in a huff. On some level, all beings respond to compassion.

    So he throws a drink in your face? Go home and take a shower. On some level he may learn something from your taking the high road. If he pursues his chosen approach, there's nothing wrong with protecting yourself. But you can do that with compassion too, minimizing harm as you can.
     

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