Would you help?

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by Supra Vijai, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. Supra Vijai

    Supra Vijai Black Belt

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    I'd like to preface this post by saying this may not be the best area for this but it's open to all to answer.

    Recently, within our school we've had a few emails come out about street predators and assaults that have occurred which in turn have sparked off several discussions about real world violence.

    One of the recent emails covered an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about a home invasion involving a professional middle aged couple who were unprepared for this type of event (as many are!). In a nutshell, two men broke into a house in the inner suburbs and attacked the boyfriend, threatened the lady mentioned in the article and destroyed furniture and windows etc. The lady ran out of the house, half naked, to try get help from her neighbors but no one would even answer her cries for help (they turned their lights off) - except for some ex cons fresh out of prison in a halfway house up the street who heard her, ran in and chased away the assailants.

    This email in particular got me thinking and to be honest, regardless of any training or ego, if I saw a fight break out or heard some disturbance, I don't know if I would get involved. I'd certainly call the police and/or alert someone nearby but stepping in physically? That's a whole other question and one I don't know the answer to. I don't know if that makes me a weaker person or even a "bad" person but given that I live in a quiet, sleepy little suburb with very little violent crime, it's certainly not something I've ever given much thought to, until now...

    I'd love to hear some thoughts from those more experienced either with training or simply the ways of the world. When does being a good samaritan turn into being a "hero" (read: idiot)? What would go through your mind in this situation: would you worry about family, your own safety or only about helping the person in need? Finally, what would you have done if you were the neighbours?
     
  2. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    It depends. Honestly, Id be cautious to risk My Life over it. Id call the Police, but actually get involved?
    No thanks. Not gonna risk My Life unless They start causing general mayhem. And thatd mostly be to nip them in the bud.

    Im putting that a bit bluntly, but Im not gonna lie here.
    Id be more likely to help someone if they were being accosted in the street, whilst I was in the same street.
     
  3. Haakon

    Haakon Blue Belt

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    I don't know if I'd get involved if I saw a fight or disturbance, it would depend on so many variables I couldn't say yes/no. There is no way I could refuse to help a woman screaming for help running down the street. The people who hid behind their doors and turned off the lights should be ashamed, I couldn't live with myself.

    How ironic that it was the ex-cons who ran to help while the supposedly good people locked her out and hid.
     
  4. Supra Vijai

    Supra Vijai Black Belt

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    I agree with your sentiments but just a quick question about this point: what constitutes "nip them in the bud"? As in, practically speaking I don't quite understand how one would do that without becoming involved per se...

    Again, agreed. I just don't know what level of help I'd offer in that same situation and find that's a moral/philosophical dilemna for me... As for putting it bluntly, it was a rather confronting question I think so no other way to answer it :)

    So very true! Without going into too many details, this email was regarding a discussion about understanding the typical street predator mindset and intimidation tactics and how the same people middle class society muttered under their breaths about and held in low esteem were really the only ones that understood these things and came forward; which is what got me thinking about what I would do given my own relative naivety and inexperience with such situations
     
  5. Razor

    Razor Green Belt

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    Personally I think it depends very much upon the situation. I would be very cautious about going into an enclosed space (if entering at all), particularly without knowing any details of what was happening or who the people were. Other than that, I think on the street I would at least say something if somebody was being attacked in some way. I have heard horror stories of people walking past while women have been being raped in side streets and not doing anything. Frankly I don't know how true these stories are, but I can't imagine people having that level of indifference.

    Recently I was walking back from a party in the East End of London with two friends and we encountered two people who seemed to have run out into the middle of the street and one had his hand on the other's neck and was behaving aggressively towards him. We thought we should probably do something, so my friend just asked casually "Are you guys alright?" or something like that. We went up to them and talked to them for a while and they seemed okay, just a bit drunk and were messing around (they seemed to be friends). In that situation, I was quite happy to intervene in what looked like it was about to turn in to an altercation; there were 3 of us and 2 of them though. I doubt my reaction would have been the same if it was just me, especially as they were not actually fighting as such.
     
  6. Burnse

    Burnse Yellow Belt

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    This is going to paint me as an official Idiot but I have responded to odd noises in the night, car alarms ect. by heading towards the noise. Middle of the night I heard what I thought was a woman's scream so I took an umbrella and trawled the block to see if I could locate it. (Never did find the source.) It's the same mentality I have when I see a lone small child and check for their adult. I don't think about it, I just do it. Problem is I have never gotten to the part where the danger has been genuine. My only experience with a hostile situation where I could have intervened I did exactly what the people in the houses did. I hid, before it even started. Unable to leave without my group I eventually emerged fighting the flight instinct and ended up hovering at the edge of the action. I succumbed to the bystander effect like so many others, and these weren't some randoms strangers, these were my friends who were being assaulted.
    So sure, I get the Hero complex once in a while but when it looks like the danger is going to be focused all on me, instinct takes over and self-preservation kicks in. Would I go to help? Yes. What I'd do when I got there is another question entirely.
    I can't blame those people for locking themselves in and turning off the lights. It's self-preservation. Hypothetically speaking, I'd probably have done the same thing. But I'd have let the woman inside, then locked the door. No point in two people being assaulted.
     
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  7. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    How close are we talking when the term "neighbours" is used here? I for one would certainly go out and help my neighbours if anything happened and I expect the same would be true of them too. Sometimes all it takes for an altercation to defuse, rather than explode, is for a bit of solidarity between neighbours.

    Obviously we're talking about something far more serious in the OP's incident but there is no way that I would lock out one of my neighbours in trouble.
     
  8. simplewc101

    simplewc101 Yellow Belt

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    Always help those weaker than yourself who are in need of help.

    "when does being a good Samaritan turn into being an idiot?" Very good question. You turn from being a good Samaritan into an idiot when you don't have the proper knowledge and ability to effectively do good in the situation.
    In this case it sounds like you need a phone call to the cops, proper training with a gun, and the ability to be authoritative to get the attackers to cease and desist. Or a lot of bravery if you are going to forgo the firearm.
     
  9. Haakon

    Haakon Blue Belt

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    I wouldn't say you're an idiot. If anything I'd bet many people who have 'first responder' jobs would have a similar attitude.
     
  10. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Im saying that if They started causing general mayhem, like, randomly beating up cars and smashing the windows of houses, Id intervene before They got to mine. Even if it was to just keep them busy in a shouting contest whilst the Police found their way over.
     
  11. Kinghercules

    Kinghercules Blue Belt

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    What do you train in?
    Kendo?

    Why do you train?

    Im just wonderin because if you have the ability to step in and stop somethin from goin wrong why not?

    I would say so.
     
  12. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    The one time I did intervene, I was with a group and it was in defense of a bartender. She was trying to get someone to leave, we helped persuade him. Just talking. A 22 year old girl should not have to deal with a 40-something year old big guy threatening physical harm because she won't give him her cell phone number by herself.

    We all knew it wouldn't get close to physical and there was no real danger, but I don't think there's very many people who wouldn't try and help out in that situation.
     
  13. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I've intervened a number of times over the years in situations where someone was in danger of getting hurt. Fortunately it never got to the point where I had to fight. Generally I was able to physically block off the aggressor(s) from the intended victim and either verbally de-escalate things or just distract them long enough for the other party to get to safety.

    In retrospect, I think I did some things well in handling the situations but I probably benefited from luck as much as from skill or good judgment.
     
  14. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Id call 911............Oh wait
     
  15. Supra Vijai

    Supra Vijai Black Belt

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    Why such disdain for Kendo? I'm not a Kendoka myself and while I won't argue that it is a combat art, it definitely has many merits. I'd say any Kendoka who trains seriously would have brilliant speed and reflexes and while they may not be cutting correctly with a sword, if they were to pick up a stick on the street for instance and perform those strikes with power, they would still cause serious injury.

    Why do I train what exactly? Why do I train traditional martial arts? For the discipline that comes from committing to/sticking with training, the interest in culture and history, the desire to expand myself as a person - and let's face it, I'm not running off to join in any battles in Ancient Japan (my DeLorean is in the shop for a service); it's exercise and a great social activity where I've made some great friends with similar interests. If I tried to use my art as it is in a street fight, I would be killed or end up as one of Youtube's many horror stories and be laughed at for years to come

    Why do I train the modern self defence component of our classes? Simple. So I can get home safe. Not so I can go looking for fights, not so I can get myself hurt, killed or arrested and not so that one day I can finally wear my batman costume for realsies rather than just to comic book conventions.

    I have no issues stepping in to help someone if it is in my power but the cost is something I would need to assess. Are my bills paid or am I leaving debts behind? How many people depend on my wellbeing and safety for their own needs based on my relationship with them? What will happen to my dogs? That said I have intervened before when close friends were threatened. Would I do it for a total stranger who wasn't at my door asking for help when the odds are stacked against me? No idea. Won't know till it happens and I hope I don't have to find out.

    Cool, that's something I'll have to work on myself then
     
  16. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    Fyi, this was not a "Good Samaritan" story as in that parable the Levite was left beaten in the road when the Samaritan passed. There were no muggers. They had gone. :)

    For what it is worth, I applaud the actions of these people who intervened. I do not know if there is any logic in it though?

    The question you ask yourself is, do I endanger myself for someone that is -in its most pared terms- ultimately nothing to me?

    Assessing that situation, if you are physically capable of tackling a team of potentially armed burglars close quarters, if you can further can generate sufficient reserve or composure to stave off the surge of epinephrine and utilise what you know, if you can then extract sufficient logical motivation to enter such a situation and potentially BECOME the aggressor yourself -from a legal point of view-, and being certain you are not concerned that those burglars will -whether apprehended or not- return to take some revenge upon you or your kin, and moreover knowing tha you have nobody on earth who would really miss you if you were unsuccessful in your chivalry, then yes it is definitely a good idea to intervene.

    If you do not intervene those people may be hurt. You will not, nor will those who may care about you or to whom you must care for.

    :)
     
  17. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Getting physically involved....probably not. Reason being, is that if I were to physically involve myself, one or both of the parties involved, could suddenly decide to turn on me. Instead, I'd rather call the police and give as much info as possible. And yes FWIW, there've been many times when I've called.

    If someone was banging on my door, would I let them in? Most likely. Now, this could turn ugly, if the person thats chasing after them, now starts kicking in my door. I certainly can't see me shutting off the lights.
     
  18. billc

    billc Grandmaster

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    As to wether to intervene or not, George Zimmerman could not be reached for comment. His attorney's will get back to you.
     
  19. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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  20. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    True enough, I've had a rough weekend, my aughter was rushed into hospital Saturday with a life threatening condition none of us knew about, started simply as a pain and swelling in the right side of her face, it got worse until she was sobbing with pain and the swelling was spreading over her face, even her eyelid was closing. To start with the docs didn't know what it was, infection in sinus, cellulitus etc she couldn't keep any meds down either then they spotted a small dental abcess on the scans (she hadn't had toothache), she had emergency op to remove tooth and was on a drip with antibiotics and pain killers. It's horrible watching your children suffer, absolutely gut wrenching... then this guy posts on here about his 'heroics' his martial arts antics and how wise, humble he is etc and tbh I want to throw up.
    she's out of hosptial today, the eye specialists has looked at her eyes and said they are ok, all the rest checks out ok now too but it seems a man died of this a couple of months ago, he thought he had earache no dental pain either. My daughter had a little chip on the tooth, a little sensitivity but no pain and the other docs had checked her teeth no pain etc. It's been a scary time. Really scary, not made up scary, crawl in a corner and cry scary so false and made up heroics aren't going to wash with me today I'm afraid. I'm not in the mood for 'how great am I'123
     

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