Toughest application for training?

Discussion in 'Security and Bouncers' started by Kreth, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. Kreth

    Kreth Grandmaster

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    Personally, I think bouncing/security/doorman positions, whatever the local flavor, are among the toughest scenarios for applying your training.
    First let me say that I've worked off and on as a bouncer for over a decade, but not in what some of you would call a rough neighborhood. The worst I've had to deal with was broken beer bottles and pool sticks, no guns or knives. A few of my friends have had to deal with knives, though, so maybe I've just been lucky.
    Anyway, back to my original point... I think that bouncing can be tough for a martial artist, in that you have to have the temperament to always keep in mind the interests of your employer, as well as protecting yourself and the bar patrons. Sure, the profession does attract the type who see it as an excuse to "whoop a little ***," but in reality, you really need to keep your head in some pretty intense and fast-changing situations.
    Opinions?
     
  2. MarkBarlow

    MarkBarlow Purple Belt

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    I agree completely. As a bouncer or doorman, I regularly had to fight but was restricted in my responses by the knowledge that I was not immune from legal retaliation and that my employer would only back me so far. Whether I was dealing with a baseball bat, pool stick, bottle or knife, I could not injure the attacker to the degree I would if it were a purely personal matter. On the other hand, I learned that I didn't need to cripple someone to protect myself.

    While I'd never recommend bouncing as part of anyone's training, it was good for me. I know that I'm a better martial artist because of the experience.
     
  3. Bobby135

    Bobby135 Orange Belt

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    I am happy to say that I have not had anything more than a punch thrown at me. I feel that you learn more of what works than what is choreographed. Realizing that some simple resistance will make it so that you cannot apply certain techniques is helpful.
     
  4. Kreth

    Kreth Grandmaster

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    Good point. I know a few guys who got caught up in the moment and forgot that their authority (what little they have) ends at the door. Subsequently, they ran afoul of the cops or lawyers. I'm not sure which is worse... :p
     
  5. Adept

    Adept Master Black Belt

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    I pretty much agree.

    Having said that, surely all we bouncers know where the camera coverage ends, and which rooms/hallways don't have cameras. And surely we've all made an effort to befriend the local constabulary, so that when we tell them a patron fell over, they can be confident we are telling them the truth?

    Not that we'd ever make use of that...

    ;)
     
  6. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Since I was only a bouncer for one glorious evening, just enough to tell me I never want to do that again I really can't comment on it beyond it makes sense to me.

    Being ex-security for hospitals, colleges and the state I full agree, particularly at the state level. It is a very grey area when you work for the state and are not an LEO. You lack certain protections and yet you are liable if you do not respond.

    And at hospitals, or at lest one of them I worked at, you are up against people that are making policy for restraint that have never had to do it and they literally add things like someone needs to have a pillow handy to catch the persons head to prevent them form getting hurt when they hit the floor.

    There have been many occasions in my past career where I had to NOT do what I was thinking... and a few I did do exactly what I was thinking because it was required (me or them, them or the staff kind of things) and luckily I got away with it.

    But I was also lucky to never have had to deal with a displayed Gun or knife, the occasional flying trashcan (ever see one of those little stainless steel trash cans in an ER, they fly well) or the swinging heavy object but not a displayed knife or gun, threatened yes, displayed no.


     
  7. Kreth

    Kreth Grandmaster

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    Most bars around here don't have cameras. If they do, they're aimed at the cash register. :lol:
    As for tricks, one of the most effective I found for settling down an out-of-control customer that you're escorting out was to simply "let" them run into a few things.

    I was on pretty good terms with the cops. They knew that when I called for help, it wasn't going to be a waste of their time, so I could count on them showing up quick.
     
  8. Adept

    Adept Master Black Belt

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    Heck, thats why we're called bouncers, right? Cause we're gonna bounce their heads of that table, then that wall, then the bar, then that door, and finally off the pavement...

    :D
     
  9. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    There's always "John Gilbey's" test for martial arts students...

    Take the guy to the nastiest roughest bar in town. It has to have been shut down by the authorities at least two or three times for brawling in the last year. Have him walk in and loudly insult a) the Flag b) Football c) the United States Army and Marine Corps. He has to get out without performing sexual favors or laying a hand on anyone.

    If he can do that...

    :bow:
     
  10. Nolerama

    Nolerama Master Black Belt

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    I've worked as a doorman/bouncer for four years and at times found myself in some pretty hairy situations. However, most of the conflicts are resolved verbally and logically, before any more punches are thrown. A calming voice, an active effort to de-escalate the situation, the right positioning are all preferable to the old "throw them out on their face" concept of a bouncer.

    I also found that issuing ultimatums don't work. When someone has to leave, you say that they are leaving. Calmly. That works almost all of the time.

    I also leave my ego at home. This is a service job and drunk people can be rude and obnoxious. They'll even bait you into a conflict. There is more to life than the bar scene, and once you get that, it shows.

    As far as training goes, I think that, while training, you keep in mind that most confrontations aren't going to be on soft mats, or a bouncy ring. It's going to be on concrete and broken glass and slippery spilled beer.

    Striking someone as a bouncer in the US has to be justified just like any other fight on the street; as an act of self defense. Usually, I'm breaking something up, not going toe-to-toe with someone. So good clinch and ground work are all that I've used. So knocking someone out? Nah.

    Establishments want these people back. At least the first few times anyway. The house wants these people to go in, pay a $20 cover, and run up a $300 bar tab in three hours. They will be back, and knowing their second time around that you mean business in a respectful way goes a long way to not seeing crap like that happen ever again.
     
  11. Imminent

    Imminent Yellow Belt

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    I spent almost three decades involved in various levels of security starting at 16 on the door of a really seedy bar where my first night saw one stabbing and an OD where we wheeled the stiff out with the fit still stuck in her neck and the stabbing took place when her friends fought over who got the rest of the junk that was left in the fit. I worked up through the years to running door in several mega-capacity clubs (from 7500-15000 capacity) and spent several years doing VIP work in adult entertainment facilities before moving on to Executive Protection and Corporate Security provision in high risk areas. Bouncing is tough if the bar has no really established policies and the staff aren't on the same page. Good verbal and non-verbal cueing and rigorous procedural developemnt save alot of time and trouble when an altercation occurs and if your policies and procedures are documented for each incident, the police become a far better ally because they can point to your past record and how you deal with things as a matter of course. I developed and taught a course for this and had good success reducing the number of incidents and their severity. The gentleman who said to leave the ego behind was exactly right, its just business, you don't know the guy insulting you so as long as it isn't a viable utterance of intent to cause death then forget them, will you know them in 5 years?, 5 minutes? The dicerning issues are dealing with criminal asocial violence rather than anti-social violence and knowing how to legally offer a viable defence when called upon.
     
  12. Sagat

    Sagat Yellow Belt

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    Good verbal skills are essential. As previously mentioned, being able to de-escalate any given situation is very important, also having a VERY long fuse. I train Muay Thai, going on 5 years now.

    I work security in a shopping centre, we often have fights and physical confrontations in which I have to really hold myself back, due to the fact that I, myself can cause a severe amount of damage in such a short time. Unlike a street fight, I have to stick around after, so everything I do must be justified.

    Also alot of these situations occur on camera, so my physical mannerisms must be seen as non-threatening and prove that I'm trying to de-escalate the situation. Having trained in a little bit of submission wrestling gets me by as far as dealing with Joe-blow on the street cause I can't simply knock the guy out, even if he does swing at me.

    Having a conditioned chin though, I can afford to bury my chin, and cop one on the shoulder - thus I have been assaulted and using reasonable and proportionate force, I can throw one back ;-]

    The hardest part would be having to put up with people talking sh$t. In casual, I rarely have people get smart to me and when they do, they are usually quick to back down, but as soon as I'm wearing a uniform, I'm seen as a form of authority, and people want to rebel. Certain phrases really set me off though, any threats to stab usally have nasty consequences.

    This is not something I try to control either, I believe I have fairly good instincts, having been in sh$t situations in the past, therefore I can tell if the threat is genuine. Regardless though, bare minimum they will receive a strong talking to. That way, they know NEVER to threaten me with that action again.

    Having said that, despite how gay it sounds, a good rep [strong but fair] can change people's attitudes towards you for the better, provided the word gets around.
     
  13. MarkBarlow

    MarkBarlow Purple Belt

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    There is a lot to be said for that. The old quote, "Power perceived is power achieved" often works for bouncers. If the word gets out that you're death on two legs (whether you are or not), a lot of folks will choose to avoid finding out. On the other hand, some drunks love a challenge.

    All in all, I'll take a reputation for being tough over actually having to prove it any day.
     
  14. Drac

    Drac Sr. Grandmaster

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    I worked at one club that would not use the term Bouncer, we were called Floorwalkers..A rose by any other name yadda, yadda, yadda...
     
  15. zDom

    zDom Senior Master

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    I worked at a bar as "head of security" (i.e. boss bouncer) for, oh, I guess it was about 4 months tops. The bar ended up closing down is why the job ended.

    My (small) staff and I NEVER had to do any violence.

    The ONLY person I had to physically restrain was a drunk girl who was "getting into it" with another drunk girl. Truth was, I think she was just being dramatic because she wanted me to wrap my arms around her :rolleyes:

    Interesting note: I had to "eject" one very dangerous man from the bar after he "got into it" (verbal) with his girlfriend and the manager told me to make him leave. It was the very same guy who, several years previous, had broken my jaw with the tire tool (me against him and his brother and buddy) before I started martial arts.

    By being polite, respectful and firm, I was able to get him to leave left without incident :)

    Perhaps I didn't "have any trouble" because it is a small town and most people knew who I was and what my .. ahh.. "hobby" was, but I like to tell myself it was because my GOAL was to be polite, nice and get people to behave or leave without incident — not to try out stuff and beat people up ;)

    (Yea, I know.... sounds a little too much like a movie I'm sure we've all watched..)

    Then again, it was a short stint and maybe I was just lucky.
     
  16. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    I agree.
     
  17. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    If he or she agrees to that he/she has already flunked for stupidity above and beyond reason!! ( where I live, in the that bar, you may very well get shot! knifed! and bludgeoned for that kind of stupidity!) you will if you survive, be arrested, arraigned, and prosecuted I am sure.
     

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