Well its been awhile since something like that happened

Woodbutcher

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You handled it perfectly. I would have probably cried and begged him not to pave the street with my butt.

You really only had 3 options:

1 (choice) : Stand your ground and be prepaired. Its the route you took and probably the best.

2: Beat him until he stands there swaying helplessly from side to side, where as the store clerk would have said at that time "Finish Him!" From there you eather pull his head off (complete with spinal column) or shoot him with a freeze-ball and shatter him into a million pieces. Both are challenging combo's, but do-able none the less.
 
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Xue Sheng

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2: Beat him until he stands there swaying helplessly from side to side, where as the store clerk would have said at that time "Finish Him!" From there you eather pull his head off (complete with spinal column) or shoot him with a freeze-ball and shatter him into a million pieces. Both are challenging combo's, but do-able none the less.

:lol:
 

Bill Mattocks

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You handled it perfectly. I would have probably cried and begged him not to pave the street with my butt.

You really only had 3 options:

1 (choice) : Stand your ground and be prepaired. Its the route you took and probably the best.

2: Beat him until he stands there swaying helplessly from side to side, where as the store clerk would have said at that time "Finish Him!" From there you eather pull his head off (complete with spinal column) or shoot him with a freeze-ball and shatter him into a million pieces. Both are challenging combo's, but do-able none the less.

I'm only counting 2 options in the above...unless you count the 'crying and begging' part as the first option...:)

I am not sure why confrontation of any kind had to be an option. If a thug steps to me and gets all up in my grill, it seems to me that the first responsibility of self-defense is to try to avoid having to use it. I fully realize that every situation is different, but I don't know why refusing to 'match gazes' with the guy and simply stepping aside, backwards, or otherwise removing myself from the conflict would not be preferable to engaging in a stare-down contest.

It may be that a protagonist is not going to allow me to remove myself from the situation, and if that is the case, well then that's what MA training is for. But until tried, it seems like the 'least force' option to me.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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I would say that each situation is uniquely different. In one instance by moving aside and avoiding eye contact it might bring out the predator in the other person and walla it is on. In another situation maybe not and everything is perfect. I have known people that if you made eye contact with them in a situation like this that they would probably go off and try to knife you or worse. (actually one of them did and is now.... well a ward of the state) It is important to read the situation as it unfolds and take the actions that are best to that situation as they will all be a little different.
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In this instance what Xue did worked and that is all that matters at this point!
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Woodbutcher

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Your right! I forgot option 3.

3) Take a slow drag off a cigerette and tell him, "I'm a carrier monkey for black eyes. I don't get them, I give them." Then blow a smoke ring in his face. What could possibley go wrong?!
 
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I'm only counting 2 options in the above...unless you count the 'crying and begging' part as the first option...:)

I am not sure why confrontation of any kind had to be an option. If a thug steps to me and gets all up in my grill, it seems to me that the first responsibility of self-defense is to try to avoid having to use it. I fully realize that every situation is different, but I don't know why refusing to 'match gazes' with the guy and simply stepping aside, backwards, or otherwise removing myself from the conflict would not be preferable to engaging in a stare-down contest.

It may be that a protagonist is not going to allow me to remove myself from the situation, and if that is the case, well then that's what MA training is for. But until tried, it seems like the 'least force' option to me.

If it helps you I had no where to go. A table with large tea pot full of hot tea was behind me the cooler full of soda was to my left and a booth was to my right and he was directly in front of me. I was not blocking any exit for this gentleman since the door was easily accessible to him. I am terribly sorry if you do not agree with occurred or what I did but as I said I had no actual thought while it was occurring. I suppose I could have gone for soup and a sandwich and not been in the restaurant at all and avoided it completely but I went there and it happened... that is all.
 

myusername

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I'm only counting 2 options in the above...unless you count the 'crying and begging' part as the first option...:)

I am not sure why confrontation of any kind had to be an option. If a thug steps to me and gets all up in my grill, it seems to me that the first responsibility of self-defense is to try to avoid having to use it. I fully realize that every situation is different, but I don't know why refusing to 'match gazes' with the guy and simply stepping aside, backwards, or otherwise removing myself from the conflict would not be preferable to engaging in a stare-down contest.

It may be that a protagonist is not going to allow me to remove myself from the situation, and if that is the case, well then that's what MA training is for. But until tried, it seems like the 'least force' option to me.

I can really see what you are saying here Bill, I really can. Meeting and holding an angry persons gaze could be sign that you want to fight. However, be careful of looking too submissive in these situations. Avoiding prolonged eye contact is always a good way to avoid starting unnecessary conflict, however in this situation the conflict had already begun and what Xue did next was a form of posturing and as such was a valid next step in the attempt of de-esculating a fight.

The guy in Xue's situation was clearly a bully. He was probably making an assessment all of the time. Perhaps he did not strike the person behind the counter because that person was difficult to reach due to the counter acting as a barrier. Xue did not have such a barrier and the would be attacker was right in Xue's face with Xue's back against a wall. The guy obviously felt strong and confident enough to attack Xue but by meeting the mans gaze and looking calm and unfazed Xue probably forced this guy to rethink his initial assumption. The guy backed down and walked away. If Xue had responded differently or had looked away who knows what would have happened.

For the record my training would have told me that I needed to create space so I would have probably pushed the guy back and put up a fence. I would have tried to verbally diffuse the situation that I would have inevitably have esculated by my push whilst keeping my guard up. I may have employed posturing at this point if I felt my verbal skills were not working (still maintaining my fence). Who knows how this would have turned out? In this situation I may have ended up in the police cells instead of the assailant! Xue's trained response worked perfectly, no one got hurt and the right person was picked up by the police, therefore was without doubt the right thing to do.
 

Bill Mattocks

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If it helps you I had no where to go. A table with large tea pot full of hot tea was behind me the cooler full of soda was to my left and a booth was to my right and he was directly in front of me. I was not blocking any exit for this gentleman since the door was easily accessible to him. I am terribly sorry if you do not agree with occurred or what I did but as I said I had no actual thought while it was occurring. I suppose I could have gone for soup and a sandwich and not been in the restaurant at all and avoided it completely but I went there and it happened... that is all.

I apologize if I gave you the impression that I did not agree with your actions. I tried to state that a) I wasn't there and therefore was in no position to judge and b) every situation is indeed different.

I fully understand your situation now, and it certainly does seem that you had no other options; I would not have attempted to chastise you in any case.

As I've said in a couple other threads, I'm a complete newcomer to the martial arts. On the other hand, I'm not a newcomer to personal conflict. I have unfortunately met far too many people (including a pair of combative siblings) who said something along the lines of, "He/she challenged me, so I had to respond." If self-defense is the goal, I respectfully submit that responding to a challenge is not the way to maximize one's own safety and general well-being; if it is possible to avoid it.

I was thrilled and pleased when I recently read in Gichin Funakoshi's book, "Karate-Do: My Way of Life," that he was upset with himself when he addressed a street mugging by defending himself by force. He chastised himself that the 'karate way' would have been to use his considerable skill to avoid the confrontation entirely. That meshed completely with observations I've made in my own life - that conflict almost always requires two willing participants. His further statement that when two karate experts fight, life and death are indeed in the balance was also a sobering thought.
 

Raynac

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Haha glad it was you and not me, I think It would have been even more intimidating if he sunk down the 9 inches required to be nose to nose with me.

lol he likely wouldn't pick on me though, ive been told by many people i look like a 12-14 year old (much to my dismay... although i can get cheaper movie tickets) and he seems like he was trying to look tough. people trying to look tough dont beat up 12-14 years olds, its just not cool.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I can really see what you are saying here Bill, I really can. Meeting and holding an angry persons gaze could be sign that you want to fight. However, be careful of looking too submissive in these situations.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and as I've said, I mean no disrespect and certainly am not second-guessing. I thought that the general discussion offered the opportunity to explore some of the concepts I am more comfortable with than I am with martial arts. I fully accept that every situation is unique and must be evaluated and responded to in the way that the person involved feels is best, and that they are most comfortable with. In any case, the situation was resolved without violence and that's always a win, it's hard to complain about that!

Let me throw a couple of thoughts out there, make of them what you will. Nothing to do with the original post - just using it as a jumping-off point.

In the West, our basic training is based upon our experiences growing up. Most of us begin to socialize and interact with non-family members when we begin to attend school. For boys especially, pecking orders are established early and enforced with vigor, and in many ways, they are not very different from herd or pack mentality in animals. For such a situation, 'self-defense' and 'defending one's place in the tribe' are the same thing. A challenge to one's place in the pecking order is a real threat to safety, and it must be dealt with, by violence if necessary.

As we mature, we leave most of the trappings of childhood behind, and we don't generally have 'pecking orders' in our daily lives and interactions. But many of us retain the training we received - we perceive challenges, insults, and the like as threats to our safety and we sometimes respond to them as such. So when we are challenged, we bristle, we puff up, we step up, we 'man up'. Martial arts training teaches us to avoid fighting if we can but to be prepared to defend ourselves if we cannot - does it teach us to avoid putting ourselves in situations where we might have to defend ourselves?

From a purely self-defense point of view, I would suppose the best way to avoid a punch is to not have one thrown at all. Any confrontation can escalate, but a non-confrontation cannot. One may not be given the opportunity to retreat or de-escalate a situation, and that is regrettable but it is what self-defense is about if it comes to that.

Speaking only for myself, if I can end a confrontation before it begins by saying "I'm sorry, you're right, my bad, excuse me, gomen nasai," etc, and then stepping out of the way of a bully, a thug, or a guy having a very bad day - I will. It is humiliating, it is bowing and scraping, it ain't manly, but if it stops the fist from being thrown, it is the best block I know. So it is usually my first response. Others may cast aspersions on the size of my man-janglies based on that, but I'll still have them intact, and that's kind of important to me.
 

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Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and as I've said, I mean no disrespect and certainly am not second-guessing. I thought that the general discussion offered the opportunity to explore some of the concepts I am more comfortable with than I am with martial arts. I fully accept that every situation is unique and must be evaluated and responded to in the way that the person involved feels is best, and that they are most comfortable with. In any case, the situation was resolved without violence and that's always a win, it's hard to complain about that!

Let me throw a couple of thoughts out there, make of them what you will. Nothing to do with the original post - just using it as a jumping-off point.

In the West, our basic training is based upon our experiences growing up. Most of us begin to socialize and interact with non-family members when we begin to attend school. For boys especially, pecking orders are established early and enforced with vigor, and in many ways, they are not very different from herd or pack mentality in animals. For such a situation, 'self-defense' and 'defending one's place in the tribe' are the same thing. A challenge to one's place in the pecking order is a real threat to safety, and it must be dealt with, by violence if necessary.

As we mature, we leave most of the trappings of childhood behind, and we don't generally have 'pecking orders' in our daily lives and interactions. But many of us retain the training we received - we perceive challenges, insults, and the like as threats to our safety and we sometimes respond to them as such. So when we are challenged, we bristle, we puff up, we step up, we 'man up'. Martial arts training teaches us to avoid fighting if we can but to be prepared to defend ourselves if we cannot - does it teach us to avoid putting ourselves in situations where we might have to defend ourselves?

From a purely self-defense point of view, I would suppose the best way to avoid a punch is to not have one thrown at all. Any confrontation can escalate, but a non-confrontation cannot. One may not be given the opportunity to retreat or de-escalate a situation, and that is regrettable but it is what self-defense is about if it comes to that.

Speaking only for myself, if I can end a confrontation before it begins by saying "I'm sorry, you're right, my bad, excuse me, gomen nasai," etc, and then stepping out of the way of a bully, a thug, or a guy having a very bad day - I will. It is humiliating, it is bowing and scraping, it ain't manly, but if it stops the fist from being thrown, it is the best block I know. So it is usually my first response. Others may cast aspersions on the size of my man-janglies based on that, but I'll still have them intact, and that's kind of important to me.

Lovely post and lovely attitude. I fully agree as this is my attitude to life also. Ego gets people hurt or killed. Swallowing my pride has helped myself and my friends out of situations in the past. Perhaps this is down to my being trained as a mental health nurse as I have developed very strong verbal de-esculation skills and have worked in environments where any form of posturing would be unprofessional and untherapeutic. I will often apologise and I will often validate their feelings by saying things like "If I was in your situation I would be pissed off with me too and I am very sorry that I have upset you etc etc"

However, to be effective when verbally de-esculating somebody I need to be able to speak confidently and calmly. This can be very difficult when I am scared or angry and have adrenaline surging through my veins. It took me a fair few situations before I got to the stage where I can speak without my voice sounding full of trembling anxiety. It is also difficult to be eloquent when my brain has switched to fight or flight mode as the tendancy is for me to fall back on one word sentences! It is practice that has enabled me to overcome this instinct.

With this in mind verbal de-esculation isn't for everyone. It is hard and takes practice to get right. It might work but it can also go badly wrong and get people hurt. If your voice betrays your anxieties it can feed the would be attack. There are also times when it is completely inappropriate such as when your back is against a wall or violence seems inevitable.

My main initial failing that my current instructors are gradually conditioning out of me is that I always felt that I could talk my way out of any situation. It is ok on the ward because I have a whole staff team that will come running when I pull my alarm but in the street there is no such luxury. It is always a tool I can use but I must be able to recognise when it is inappropriate and is wasting precious time and leaving me vulnerable.

However, I believe from your posts that you and me are singing from the same hymn sheet. As staying in a conflict situation and posturing because your ego wont let you leave is very different than being in a situation where posturing is necessary for survival. Ego is dangerous and fighting because your ego wont let you back down is just fighting and has nothing to do with self defence.
 

Touch Of Death

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I had a minor confrontation with a complete stranger today, very minor actually. I went into a local takeout place to get lunch and there was 62 inch African American gentleman arguing with the 5 foot tall asian woman behind the counter. Something about how dare she ask him if he was going to buy anything and he could stand there as long as he wanted and then saying she was only asking him that to impress all of the white people in the place and that if he wanted he could kick all their asses. Where upon he jump back and acted like he was going to hit her. She backed up and handed the phone to her coworker and I believe it is at that point they called the police. He did not hit her he stopped in posture; I believe his intent was to scare not assault. He then turns around and starts walking out and guess who he picks to get in their face.me. He asks me if he was rightis this his country or not.I told him it was his country and then he asked was I right about the rest of it or not. I told him I was really was not listening I was ordering food.

At this point he decided to get right in my face about nose to nose and said well hows a white man going to learn if he doesnt listen We stood there staring at each other for a second or so when he backed up turned and walked away and said I was just saying and I watched him all the way out the door. It was at this point I realized I was likely staring at him with the same look my Sanda teacher has when training and my Xingyiquan Sifu had while standing in Santi Shi.

Heck I guess all that stance training paid off for something after all, I was using my MA training and not one single move had to be made :)

Anyway no violence insured and when I left the local PD already had him.
I'm no legalese expert, but he did intend assault, but not battery.
Sean
 

Andy Moynihan

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On the subject of "locked eyes" :

The position has been put forth that holding the wrong person's gaze too long could set them off as it would be considered a man-to-man "challenge" based on ego I have an extra trick that's worked for me before:

Stare instead at the bridge of the nose. the line of sight is still similar enough that it's almost imperceptible and plays all kinds of nice havoc with people trying to get "inside your eyes".

Not to go all space hippie on you, but, If the eyes are "the windows to the soul" and the measure of willpower or whether or not one is afraid, what do you think happens to someone trying to give a hard stare into someone's eyes he's trying to cow and there's NOTHING THERE........what happens to that person's resolve when he wants to swell his ego and here's a person who has not only not brought his ego to the confrontation but to all psychological appearances hasn't even brought his HUMANITY.

You laugh, and it sounds hokey, but it works.
 
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Xue Sheng

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I apologize if I gave you the impression that I did not agree with your actions. I tried to state that a) I wasn't there and therefore was in no position to judge and b) every situation is indeed different.

I fully understand your situation now, and it certainly does seem that you had no other options; I would not have attempted to chastise you in any case.

As I've said in a couple other threads, I'm a complete newcomer to the martial arts. On the other hand, I'm not a newcomer to personal conflict. I have unfortunately met far too many people (including a pair of combative siblings) who said something along the lines of, "He/she challenged me, so I had to respond." If self-defense is the goal, I respectfully submit that responding to a challenge is not the way to maximize one's own safety and general well-being; if it is possible to avoid it.

I was thrilled and pleased when I recently read in Gichin Funakoshi's book, "Karate-Do: My Way of Life," that he was upset with himself when he addressed a street mugging by defending himself by force. He chastised himself that the 'karate way' would have been to use his considerable skill to avoid the confrontation entirely. That meshed completely with observations I've made in my own life - that conflict almost always requires two willing participants. His further statement that when two karate experts fight, life and death are indeed in the balance was also a sobering thought.

No apology necessary.

My first style was jujitsu many many years ago (think dinosaurs :) ) and my sensei drilled it into us that if you can run....run, because a fight is a very serious thing and if you are lucky, at best, you will have to live with the consequences. And I have, except for one time as a teenager that I regret, always held to and agreed with this.

Speaking only for myself, if I can end a confrontation before it begins by saying "I'm sorry, you're right, my bad, excuse me, gomen nasai," etc, and then stepping out of the way of a bully, a thug, or a guy having a very bad day - I will. It is humiliating, it is bowing and scraping, it ain't manly, but if it stops the fist from being thrown, it is the best block I know. So it is usually my first response. Others may cast aspersions on the size of my man-janglies based on that, but I'll still have them intact, and that's kind of important to me.

For the record...been there done that :)
 

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well done xs, i'm glad it all ended well.

regarding begging vs staring...it not only depends on the individual situation, but also on the individual person involved. it comes down to what you have to lose & if you are willing to lose it. ultimately though, it's something that you'll only determine when the time comes.

jf
 

jks9199

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Perhaps it's my profession... but I have a problem with an attitude of "I'm going to submit before a fight happens in order to avoid the fight unless there's no time..."

It's a prey mentality. The rabbit only fights the fox when it's cornered. People aren't prey. Our eyes are forward set; we're built to be predators. In fact, despite being weaker, having fewer (and less effective) natural weapons, we've become apex predators through the use of our intelligence.

I'm not suggesting that there's never a time to back down -- but that routinely doing so isn't right, either. It's interesting that Ghandi and others who championed non-violence didn't do so by meekly getting out of the way; they did so by not fighting. The line is fine -- but key. Xue in this instance didn't fight -- and didn't submit, and thus won.

One day last week, I stopped off in a convenience store in my jurisdiction. My assignment is a plainclothes assignment, not a uniformed gig. As I walk in, I notice that the group at the cashier's stand are involved in some mild horseplay/banter... at first glance. A man is leaning over a woman... Well, as I got up to the register with my soda in hand -- he was still leaning on her. And her expression and body language wasn't suggesting that she was comfortable, either. When I asked her if she was comfortable, she said "Not really." I exposed my badge, and asked the man to stand up, saying "Sir, do me a favor, and stand up." He did so -- and began to complain and say I had no business talking to him that way, that he knew who I was, and I should respect my elders... and so on. The woman used the opportunity to leave. And the guy kept backing up as he complained. I didn't say another word... The only "force" I used was my presence, as an official. Had I given in, or argued, or anything else -- the situation would have gotten worse. (He doesn't know that he came within about 15 or 20 seconds and a few more words of being arrested for disorderly conduct -- and possibly even assault.)

Nonviolence isn't the same as surrender.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Perhaps it's my profession... but I have a problem with an attitude of "I'm going to submit before a fight happens in order to avoid the fight unless there's no time..."

I worked in law enforcement too. I'm sorry you have a problem with my attitude, but you and other law enforcement officers would deal with a lot less bar fights if more people had my attitude - in my opinion.

Imagine - a cop - saying "I don't like your non-combative attitude!" Isn't it generally the other way around? (grin)

It's a prey mentality. The rabbit only fights the fox when it's cornered. People aren't prey. Our eyes are forward set; we're built to be predators. In fact, despite being weaker, having fewer (and less effective) natural weapons, we've become apex predators through the use of our intelligence.
We are neither prey nor predators, we are human beings living in society. We have the intellect to know how to protect ourselves without using violence. I would only assert that it is smarter to use our brains first, before resorting to violence - if it is possible in any given circumstance.

I'm not suggesting that there's never a time to back down -- but that routinely doing so isn't right, either. It's interesting that Ghandi and others who championed non-violence didn't do so by meekly getting out of the way; they did so by not fighting. The line is fine -- but key. Xue in this instance didn't fight -- and didn't submit, and thus won.
Ghandi was fighting a war, and he intentionally put himself into confrontations that he knew would result in he and his followers being beaten and arrested, which is what happened. He used this as jui-jitsu against the British, turning their strengths to weakness and leveraging his own non-violent determination to build public support for himself. If he merely wished non-violence, he would have meekly submitted to British authority, but that was not his goal.

Xue is fighting no war - is he?

One day last week, I stopped off in a convenience store in my jurisdiction. My assignment is a plainclothes assignment, not a uniformed gig. As I walk in, I notice that the group at the cashier's stand are involved in some mild horseplay/banter... at first glance. A man is leaning over a woman... Well, as I got up to the register with my soda in hand -- he was still leaning on her. And her expression and body language wasn't suggesting that she was comfortable, either. When I asked her if she was comfortable, she said "Not really." I exposed my badge, and asked the man to stand up, saying "Sir, do me a favor, and stand up." He did so -- and began to complain and say I had no business talking to him that way, that he knew who I was, and I should respect my elders... and so on. The woman used the opportunity to leave. And the guy kept backing up as he complained. I didn't say another word... The only "force" I used was my presence, as an official. Had I given in, or argued, or anything else -- the situation would have gotten worse. (He doesn't know that he came within about 15 or 20 seconds and a few more words of being arrested for disorderly conduct -- and possibly even assault.)
You were doing your sworn duty, is that not correct? You have a duty to society, which overrides your duty to protect your own safety at all costs. For this, I commend you, and you have my respect and gratitude.

Nonviolence isn't the same as surrender.
And violence isn't the same as victory.

I continue to believe that the best block there is for a punch or a kick is the one that prevents them from being thrown in the first place. Self-defense, to me, is pre-emptive. If I have to fight, there is a chance I might get hurt. If I don't have to fight, I won't get hurt.
 
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