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daniel loughlin 01-17-2007 01:18 PM

intimidation
 
what is the best action to take if someone is deliberately trying to intimidatte you eg staring etc
and is defiinitiely looking for trouble
and how can you help stop yourself becoming intimidated by them
cheers :ai: :ki: :do:

Mark Gibbons 01-17-2007 01:42 PM

Re: intimidation
 
Quite seriously. If you can, don't be there. I've changed walking routes to avoid gang/drug dealer territory for instance. Assuming you have a specific situation in mind do you really have to be where this person is?

I don't think you'll find a best action. Too much depends on the situation and penalties. How bad is it if you are intimidated? What happens if you are not intimidated and the situation escalates to violence? How crazy are the would be intimidaters? Finding something you can live with is normally the best you can do.

Humor sometimes helps.
Traveling with friends can work.
Just not understanding what someone wants when they try to start something can be quite effective.
Be very polite.

You probably have thought of a number of options, trust your instincts and your brain.

Luck,
Mark

daniel loughlin 01-17-2007 01:50 PM

Re: intimidation
 
yeah have definitly thought thesse options through and aplied probably all of them but sometimes even though being able to walk away still doesnt feel good if intimidation is allowed
for instance had some trouble with some other people and was with my friends
when one of them who was just looking for a fight offered myself and two of my friends into the toilets (i laughed at first)
ha but then had to restain my friend as he was quite drunk and i always try to avoid conflict
however it was only thanks to one of the troublemakers friends stopping them that no fighting occured
i suppose the main thing i dont like is the feeling it gives you almost like being bullied how to overcome this feeling

ChristianBoddum 01-17-2007 02:10 PM

Re: intimidation
 
mind over feelings - you must walk this path , or someones gonna get you !

My ears have heard many things that I didn't allow to go to heart, and at some distance of it
, it was clear that it was the only right way to go around it.

daniel loughlin 01-17-2007 02:20 PM

Re: intimidation
 
couldnt agree more but can this attitude sometimes lead to violence if you ignore them

SeiserL 01-17-2007 04:46 PM

Re: intimidation
 
IMHO, acknowledge them with a friendly nod and smile, relax, breathe, and control your internal fear based fantasies. Intimidation works because it elicits this internal response and it doesn't work if you don't go into fantasy-land.

xuzen 01-17-2007 09:34 PM

Re: intimidation
 
Quote:

Daniel Loughlin wrote:
what is the best action to take if someone is deliberately trying to intimidatte you eg staring etc
and is defiinitiely looking for trouble
and how can you help stop yourself becoming intimidated by them
cheers :ai: :ki: :do:

Be aware of his action. Identify escape routes, look at your surrounding. Be impersonal and un-emotional about it. Maintain your composure, bearing and posture. In an unfazed manner, retreat tactically to a more secure location.

Boon.

Mike Grant 01-18-2007 06:58 AM

Re: intimidation
 
Quote:

Daniel Loughlin wrote:
what is the best action to take if someone is deliberately trying to intimidatte you eg staring etc
and is defiinitiely looking for trouble
and how can you help stop yourself becoming intimidated by them
cheers :ai: :ki: :do:

Get your retaliation in first.

I can't imagine O Sensei (in his prime) doing anything else.

SeiserL 01-18-2007 07:49 AM

Re: intimidation
 
I love this old story:

Bandits were roaming the countryside. Everyone was afraid and went into hiding. Except one man who went about his day. When cornered by the bandits, they ask if he knew who they were. he said yes, he knew. The leader said, "Do you know I can run you through without flinching?" The man replied, "Do you know i can be run through without flinching?" The bandits left.

One of you must be afraid. Get off the line (don't take it personally), and let it be them.

IMHO, O'Sensei didn't have to be intimidated because of his skill, fearless.

ian 01-18-2007 09:21 AM

Re: intimidation
 
from Chuang Tzu (rephrased),
"When a fisherman is out on the lake in his own vessel, and he bumps into an empty boat, he will consider it an accident and think nothing of it. However if there is another man in that boat he will become irrate and shout abusively, believing it to be the fault of the other man. A pure man becomes like an empty boat."

Goes something like that anyway. Basically, alot of fights between young males is about ego and intimidation (basically trying to impress potential mates or increase their position in a hierarchy). It is difficult to second guess someones intensions (some people are just annoyed for something you've done, where an apology is useful, others want to fight and will see an apology as a sign of fear). Break out of the whole aggressive loop. If there is a problem, just be honest, rational but neither defensive nor aggressive. Be prepared to do ANYTHING and thus have no fear of a fight, nor any desire for one. This will help you to choose the appropriate action.

On a more practical level, ignore eye contact (unless you want a fight), but don't shy away - just get on with what you are doing. Interestingly with many animals, often strong males will make eye contact which may be a precursor to a fight. However, a child can make prolonged eye contact with a adult male and the male will just ignore it (because it isn't even considered a threat).

Thus, if you wish to break eye contact without looking weak a) don't feel weak! b) realise its just superficial bull-shit c) just get on with what your doing d)

Yawning can be a reaction, but often that is seen as threatening behaviour (yawning may derive from a display of teeth (main weapons) in some primate situations).

As an aside, I'm a big believer that acceptance of death and defeat is essential to a fuller understanding of martial arts. Basically, you have to do what is appropriate when the time requires it. Pretty much anyone can kill anyone else (Takeda wouldn't let people he didn't trust within 3 yard of him).

As far as pre-emptive strikes go. I am all for them, but you need to make a judgement on whether you feel that a physical confrontation will actually occur. As you say, if you know they are definately looking for trouble (and it has to be with you), go for it. However, a word of caution: I once pre-emptively struck someone in the eye with my finger and it it looked to really have damaged them. It completely enraged them, and I actually felt weakened by the guilt which resulted me getting a bit of a pounding (not sure if I permanently damaged their eye; there was blood coming out of it).

A better technique is to have a buddy looking out for you - if the aggressor approaches, your buddy sneaks around the back and chokes them out (then its over in a matter of seconds and the aggressor won't even know what happened!) - I've tried this very succesfully twice.

P.S. I'd agree with previous post saying trust your instincts as well. What many people don't realise is that a real fight starts with a difficult and rapid assessment of the situation with limited information; that's why I would never be arrogant enough to judge someone else's response to a potential attack. Most of all, don't kick yourself afterwards (I don't, and I may have blinded someone and got a kicking, all at the same time ;) )

P.P.S. if this is regular intimidation by the same person, I'd actually go for an all out attack - just the effort you put into it may help to curb the situation in future.

shadowedge 01-22-2007 11:07 PM

Re: intimidation
 
My sensei taught me this:

When people try to intimidate you, the usually throw out negative Ki through their eyes. You, must ignore this by not allowing that negative Ki to enter your system. While at the same time, do not let your guard down, for as long as they are not within a dangerously close range, they can't do anything to you.

Don't forget the old Samurai principle ~ "Munen Mushin"


:)

Adam Alexander 01-26-2007 12:15 PM

Re: intimidation
 
Quote:

Daniel Loughlin wrote:
what is the best action to take if someone is deliberately trying to intimidatte you eg staring etc
and is defiinitiely looking for trouble
and how can you help stop yourself becoming intimidated by them
cheers :ai: :ki: :do:

What can you do? When someone's like that, they're just looking for someone to drag down. Do you want to be a hood-rat who let's his eye off the prize because some loser is baiting you?

I found that the more I trained, the less people were able to intimidate me and the less I cared about them trying to do so. The more confident I became in my abilities, the less I felt the need to defend them.

I think that if I were in your shoes I'd acknowledge to myself that I was afraid and that it's okay to be afraid. Acknowledge that the person who's trying to intimidate you may very well be better than you...at whatever. I found doing that is amazingly freeing.

Now, if you're like me, you can walk past the stares with a friendly smile...not smart-ass smile...friendly smile with a hello.

I think for helping with the fear, you can also think about what you're afraid of happening. Then, train for it. I have found that to make me feel good also.


It wasn't long ago that I'd say you should fight him and I'd give a list of 'macho' reasons that you 'must' do so. If you want to be scum, have at it. Believe me, this guy will get his. There's plenty of idiots like myself who at some point in our lives need to drag each other down to learn a lesson. Spare yourself the loss.

Adam Alexander 01-26-2007 12:39 PM

Re: intimidation
 
Edit expired.

Just to make sense of what I wrote, what I meant was that after you acknowledge the fear, if you're like me, you're then able to smile in a friendly way.

However, I have had the experience over the last year where a person felt that my indifference was the green light to push me further. If they're calling you names, they response is "Yeah, that's true. What do you care?" If they say they'll get physical, the response is,"I hope not, I'd hate to lose a fight. Plus, whether I win or not, no one ever walks away from a fight without getting hit in the face."

Just my experience, but stuff like that seems to make people think.

Rod Yabut 01-26-2007 05:07 PM

Re: intimidation
 
On the few occassions that this has happened to me, I did what Lynn just mentioned. Nod and smile...chances are they will at least nod back. IF they don't acknowledge this, then I would take Mark's advice - don't be there!

Freerefill 01-27-2007 10:28 AM

Re: intimidation
 
This makes me think of something that happened just last night. After I had removed myself from the situation, I attempted to play it back with applied aikido, but I found myself at an utter loss.

Note that this entire thing happens online.

A friend of mine whom I chat with off and on and have known for about 2 years invited me to a Yahoo conference with a group of his. Apparently, he's part of an online "group" that gets together and chats now and then. If they do more than that, I can't say. Things went well at first. Most of the people were very kind and invitive. As the evening wore on, the people chatting started taking back a bit of alcohol. Among those was a guy named Alex who apparently knows a great deal about all the sleazy tricks one can do with Yahoo, including but not limited to hacking into your computer and activating your webcam without your knowledge. This put me on edge but I trusted my friend who brought me there because of what happened 2 years ago. My friend and I, plus a deal of our other friends, were in a situation with a similar person (on Yahoo) and it broke us apart. So with that trust, I stayed there and eventually forgot my fear.

That is, until the alcohol started kicking in. He verbally threatened one of the females in the club to get on her microphone and talk, because he liked the sound of her voice. When she didn't comply, he loaded up a program he has that lags a persons computer and attacked her with it. When she still didn't comply, he loaded it up again and told her that he was. When she finally did start speaking, the repressed resentment was very apparent. That was too much for me. I left without a word.

There were many things I would have liked to say to that guy, but I was afraid that he would damage my computer. And even if I had said things, he was intoxicated. Having dealt with drunk people on a regular basis I can tell you that they simply do NOT listen to reason or logic. So, he was an online drunk with the power to intimidate and threaten.

What would one do in this situation, especially in regards to aikido? I felt that leaving would get me safely out of harms way, but I had a great deal of trouble sleeping that night because I didn't vocalize my concerns or do anything to help the lady he was picking on. I feel bad that I just up and left. At the moment I didn't see what else I could do without getting myself burned, and I still can't.

Mark Uttech 01-28-2007 04:25 AM

Re: intimidation
 
The cyberworld is just like a Pub/tavern. Use the same discretion you would in a regular Pub/tavern. A basic rule is to avoid troubled places, and more than that, to avoid them all after 10 pm.

In gassho

Mark

statisticool 01-31-2007 04:29 AM

Re: intimidation
 
Quote:

Daniel Loughlin wrote:
what is the best action to take if someone is deliberately trying to intimidatte you eg staring etc
and is defiinitiely looking for trouble
and how can you help stop yourself becoming intimidated by them
cheers :ai: :ki: :do:

Just think of how silly someone really is if they try to intimidate you by staring at you. Maybe next they'll beat their own chests and give out a primal howl.

Neil Mick 01-31-2007 01:17 PM

Re: intimidation
 
Quote:

Daniel Loughlin wrote:
what is the best action to take if someone is deliberately trying to intimidatte you eg staring etc
and is defiinitiely looking for trouble
and how can you help stop yourself becoming intimidated by them
cheers :ai: :ki: :do:

Laugh at their attempt. Worked for me in a pub, once.

George S. Ledyard 02-02-2007 09:05 AM

Re: intimidation
 
Quote:

Neil Mick wrote:
Laugh at their attempt. Worked for me in a pub, once.

Actually, you need to match your response to the actegory of the aggression taking place.

Much violent behavior comes under the heading of "affective" violent behavior. It is the typical aggression between members of the same species. It is characterized by high emotional content and a lot of "dsiplay". This type of encounter can be handled by the strategies being mentioned above.

But another type of agressive behavior is the "predatory" type of aggression. All this "conflict resolution" stuff doesn't work on this type of agressive individual. Predatory violence is characterized by very low emotional content, virtually no display. The predator is looking for prey. The only form of conflict resolution is to not be prey. Much of the standard "giving in to get your way" conflict resolution technique is inappropriate with an individual of this type. They see it as indicating weakness and you just look better as a victim to them.

The good news is that most of the "intimidation" stuff you are talking about is a form of display. It is part of the "affective" aggressive bahavior pattern. If you don't mind not being the Alpha Dog, you can usually use the standard conflict resolution techniques on someone like this.

True predators are quite interesting. Unlike regular people who get fairly agitated when they decide to attack, thereby giving off quite few pre-attack indicators, the predator actually gets calmer when he decides to attack.Their heart beats can actually slow down and they have no emotional content to what they do (except what they choose to put on as an act). They are extremely dangerous.

Peyton Quinn has several books about self defense which deal extensively with real world violent interactions I highly recommend his work. He worked as a bouncer in a couple of Atlantic City biker bars and has survived a couple of knife attacks himself. Quite an interesting fellow. Did Aikido with Toyoda Sensei years ago along with an eclectic mix of other arts.

I remember talking to him about his background and he said he laughed when he heard folks say that Aikido didn't work... "it's amazing how well iriminage works when you bounce the guy's head off the bar." A bit "earthy" for many Aikido folks but if you are interested in real world self defense he has quite a lot to offer, especially on the topiv of threat recognition.

jimbaker 02-02-2007 10:18 AM

Re: intimidation
 
I can't recall where I heard this:

A woman was taking a Japanese Shihan's seminar somewhere in the USA. She heard him say, "Aikido should be done with arrogance!". It was a bit shocking to her, but, as it was his seminar, she decided to give it a try. It worked wonderfully. Her techniques started to flow. She felt really in charge and everything went great. After the class, she went to her Sensei and told him about her breakthrough. He looked at her and said, "He said that Aikido should be done with elegance.".

As for tactics to deal with intimidation, you can always try the Cyrano method. You not only agree with them, you expand on the attack. Sort of like completely going with the attack. Kind of like Aikido. Exactly like Aikido.

Jim Baker

mriehle 02-07-2007 04:39 PM

Re: intimidation
 
Quote:

George S. Ledyard wrote:
Actually, you need to match your response to the actegory of the aggression taking place.

Much violent behavior comes under the heading of "affective" violent behavior.

But another type of agressive behavior is the "predatory" type of aggression.

I like this distinction. A lot.

I've mostly encountered "affective" stuff and I'm happy about that. I've come to believe that when it becomes physical in those circumstances it's as much about my reaction as their aggression.

And bringing it to an end is usually about removing the motivation.

Edward 02-20-2007 12:36 AM

Re: intimidation
 
I'm quite small at 5' 7" and have used the following line successfully a few times: You're obviously bigger and stronger than me, what do you have to gain by fighting with me. If you beat me, people will say you attacked a weaker guy, and if I accidentally beat you, you will be disgraced. It allowed me to avoid fights without completely loosing face.

Luc X Saroufim 03-05-2007 06:59 AM

Re: intimidation
 
i'd like to share my opinion on this not because i'm a skilled martial artist but because i was a human punching bag from the 3rd grade to my senior year in high school. still though, i picked up some useful strategies.

- If someone's staring you down, don't look away and ignore it: it's the #1 sign of fear. "oh i wish you would just stop looking at me," is what you're telling them. someone else here mentioned looking confident, and they're right: look back at them, nod with a blank, confident look on your face, maintain posture, and walk straight ahead without looking down. don't be a tough guy, just be a guy that's proud to be who he is.

- if they taunt you, or call for your attention, don't ignore it: again, it's a sign of weakness. look straight at them and say something like, "sorry, gotta go" or something along those lines. my point is that as long as you say something back to them, you show them that you're not afraid, but you're not being aggressive either. just say anything, as long as it's innocent, and say it with confidence.

of course, this is all high school theatrics. if i was in a sketchy area, and someone looked at me, i wouldn't dare look back. i'd rather look weak than be dead.

i passed a group of guys up in Boston that ended up mugging me. it was my fault; i shouldn't have looked down and ignored them. i would've gotten a good look at their faces, which would discourage them from attacking me, and i showed weakness which would only encourage them more.

Tony Wagstaffe 03-15-2007 04:50 AM

Re: intimidation
 
Working as I do as a cabbie we generally have to take the subserviant role... that is be kind, considerate and sensitive to the customers requirements. That is ok ..... until you meet an impatient driver on the course or the end of the journey who has become road raged because you have had to stop in an unavoidably inconveniant place to help an invalid customer in a wheelchair from the taxi to their front door and sometimes into the house if the weather is bad.
I face this situation on a regular basis.... usually the driver is male and aggressive and always abusive with ranting and raving about what they are going to do with you physically! My usual response is to smile nod and agree with everything they say and if actually verbally threatened with physical violence... I look them straight in the eye and respond with "Well I'm not stopping you govenor":) or say "I suppose your Father was a Carpenter wasn't he!" The 99.9% response is they just sometimes laugh deflate and wait. On the rare occasions that a driver has got out to try it on.... I intercepted with "I wouldn't do that If I were you govenor" the response every time time was "oh yeh and what the f***k are you gonna do about it".... my response was to stay still and calm as I could (feeling the adrenalin rush) said nothing but keep looking straight at them with a neutral attitude, hands at chudan, palms out.... the puffing of shoulders, quick movements, bearing of teeth and the usual hand gestures, aggressive pointing was the physical intimidation that something is about to happen.... that is the time I intercepted with an attack!... shomen ate or gyaku gamae ate sufficed beautifully as this puts them straight on their backsides, winded, with the minimum risk of injury. I always managed a strangled apology (your voice goes all thick) and said that they really didn't give me much choice. Either they were too deflated or too winded to do anything as the surprise of being "taken out" leaves them totally bewilderd!
That's when I have made my escape drove out of the way of harm, stopped and recovered from the shakes (the adrenalin dump) and immediately reported it to the police! So far no come backs! Similar scenarios have happened to me on three occasions in my 21 years as a cabbie. So they are rare.... thank goodness!
Now on the other hand at night when young punters are partially drunk, drunk or high on whatever obnoxius drug they have imbued are sometimes rude or aggressive or just being totally outrageous 'cause they haven't scored a leg over for the night! Usually they are eating and slopping a big fat kebab all over the place. This meets with a wry smile and impassive attitude. The doors are already locked so they can't get in.... unless they behave, wrap up their grub and do not give me a hard time, pay their fare! Either that or take a walk! ....they always do one or the other....
I sometimes think of writing a book on "The life of a cabbie that does aikido". Strange combination don't you think?:crazy: :eek:

Budd 03-15-2007 09:05 AM

Re: intimidation
 
Thanks for sharing that, Tony. That is most definitely a book I would buy.

Ledyard Sensei, your description echoes the experiences I had bouncing and working in residential treatment facilities. In restraint situations in either case, the blustery folks that made a big production prior to us going hands on were often giving warning signs that enabled us (especially when there were multiple staff present) to essentially 'get ready' and choose our takedown spots.

The 'predators' as you describe, were much scarier in that they didn't always have the same 'tells' or visible points of escalation. They were much more likely to go from zero to full bore in a quicker period.


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