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Old 03-01-2005, 01:45 PM   #4
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Re: SD Question - Pizza Parlor Attack

In my opinion, combat is only partially an architectural matter. Often this point is so relevant that if all the other elements are in place, or more in place for you than for your adversary, you can actually gain victory though your tactical architecture may be totally absent or lacking in sophistication. The other matters of combat range from the purely physical (e.g. a strong/tough physique), to the psychological (e.g. the capacity to accept the reality of violence), to that that is in between (e.g. the capacity to access one's cultivated skills).

The video seems to leave the matter of tactical architecture moot -- since the victim pretty much made no attempt at arming himself either offensively or defensively. This brings up then the other, perhaps always more significant, elements. One can, and perhaps should, talk about the fact that the victim had himself in a place where apathetic people abound (which speaks to the relevance of picking one's battlefields and/or relating one's state of preparedness to one's environment). However, I think the main catalyst for what was allowed to occur was that the victim failed at two things: a) He denied his own instincts and thus denied the reality he was about to face (i.e. human on human violence); and b) He stuck to cultural convention when human on human violence is a subversion of all culture. Allow me to explain.

In the first case, at some level, the victim understood that the large male that entered the room last was set for aggression -- just as any skilled observer could also easily note. His body language, his lack of verbal language, his late arrival plus his lack of attempt or will to be filled in on what was occurring, etc., all spoke to the fact that this man was set for violence. We can see recognition of all of this on the part of the victim when he stopped confronting the woman that had just struck him because the man in question had closed distance toward him (the victim). This is a very common mistake in self-defense situations: denial of one's own premonitions that violence is about to occur. As a viewer, we can note the victim's denial of the situation he was now facing when he looks down again at his phone -- in the psychological attempt to return to a previous stage in the scenario that just occurred (when he was not so confronting the threat of actual violence). Unfortunately for him, this cue also worked to tell the assaulter that he had his opening, that he was dealing with someone that in all likelihood did not want to fight and thus would not fight back (which is a concern that all predators -- animal and human -- have and look to solve in one way or another). Tactically, looking down at that moment, also made the assaulter's strike the only strike that cannot be countered: The strike that cannot be seen.

You can see the assaulter still being concerned with the predatorial consideration of risking self-harm in the fact that his first strike is more of a "feeling out" of the victim -- like how a shark tests prey reactions with initial bites. For this reason, the victim actually had the chance to reconsider his situation -- to come to possess an understanding that was more accurate in its interpretations. Realizing now that he can no longer delude himself, that he is indeed in the midst of violence, the victim attempts to flee -- which is not a bad option concerning the size of the assaulter, the number of assaulters (here there were at least two), the fact that he (the victim) is already having to play tactical catch-up, and how non-conducive the environment (small, no allies, etc.) is toward launching a successful counter attack. However, when he flees, he restricts himself to the tenets of culture (i.e. men don't hit women) and thus incapacitates himself to move the woman out of the way when she is blocking the door and preventing him from escaping.

In my opinion, outside of the overall lifestyle choices that are certainly relevant, it is these two points at which had the victim acted to the contrary his chances of not being assaulted (or assaulted to such a degree) would have greatly increased. Had he trusted and accepted his first premonition that violence was indeed upon him, and thus not dropped his head (giving the predator the "ok" and the opening to attack), etc., and/or had he freed himself from cultural convention (which is what one must always do in all matters of assault), and thus pushed that woman out of the way so that he could escape, the end result would have probably been much different.

My perspective,

David M. Valadez
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