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Old 09-11-2015, 12:39 PM   #1
kewms
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Don't be the bad guy

Found this on the web today. It seemed apropos of all the "practical self-defense" threads we see around here.

http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/preattack.html

Best self defense technique? Don't be there. Which, sometimes, means realizing that no, aikido (or any other art) does not make you an action movie star, and acting accordingly.

Katherine
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Old 09-11-2015, 02:54 PM   #2
Dan Richards
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Marc MacYoung's entire site, and all those little "hubs" of articles, should be absolute required reading for anyone involved in anything resembling "self defense."

And his articles should be part of frequent conversations in the dojo among students and instructors.

I can think of no better authority on modern self-defense in daily life than MacYoung.

His entire Legal Hub of articles pairs nicely with the article you linked, Katherine.

http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/legal.html

Dan Richards
Latham Eclectic
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Old 09-11-2015, 04:12 PM   #3
kewms
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Absolutely agree. I'm not sure I've read his entire site, but I've read large chunks of it over the years. Definitely required reading.

Katherine
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:26 PM   #4
Michael Hackett
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Reading the autobiographies of he and his wife make me want to question the entire background, BUT what he has to say about the reality of self-defense and the ramifications of use of force are spot on. His point about how most dojo don't provide the legal context of self-defense is truly important as well. After decades in law enforcement I can say that his advice has great value and is worth considering. He knows what he's talking about.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 09-12-2015, 01:28 AM   #5
JW
 
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

I've been in situations that had the emotions discussed in the article. I am sure I have a lot more reading to do (Meditations on Violence has been on my list for a while, and thanks for the reference to this site).

But before that, just for discussion forum sake:

There's something here I get and something I don't get. I get the "don't be an a-hole" sentiment, and I get that often these things aren't worth fighting over. So, that means, just don't do the monkey dance, and instead get out of the situation.

But, there's this other feeling I don't get. Let's say someone is a Bad Guy, bully, etc. He does or says racist or sexist things for example, probably directed at you. Or threatens your life with his 2-ton truck because he thinks cyclists are stupid and should get lost. Or he throws trash at you.
The monkey says don't take this lying down (thinking of yourself), and don't condone or encourage it (thinking of others down the line).
So then what?

I don't need to get into a fight because I think someone is an a-hole, but sometimes there is something at work in the aggressor's behavior that seems bigger and more worth standing up for yourself about.

Last edited by JW : 09-12-2015 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 09-12-2015, 05:40 AM   #6
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Anyone watch that Compton movie? I hated every minute of it, but watched it all the same as it was kind of educational to me. Almost every conversation in the movie is a confrontation. Egos abound in every scene. How can any one be such an idiot 100% of the time? Are people really like that in the inner cities of America. Surely not. It's just a movie, right?

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Old 09-12-2015, 07:59 AM   #7
Cliff Judge
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
Anyone watch that Compton movie? I hated every minute of it,
Me too, could never get into that west coast hip-hop.
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:30 AM   #8
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Many discussions with MacYoung ...
Agree with most of his stuff ... highly recommend ...
Situational awareness and prevention more important than after the fact skills ...
Self-awareness/reflection/realization a must ...

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:32 AM   #9
Janet Rosen
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

(sigh) happened with me in the middle just a couple of weeks ago. At the feed store, a few of us, various individual and family folks playing with or petting the kitties in large cages from a local rescue org up for adoption.
A guy says sort of loudly, "why do they charge so much when you can get a cat for just a few bucks at the shelter?"
Two of us - women - both of us with friendly tones, start to explain that the shelter is county, has a county budget, and HAS to try to deal with a mass of cats, while the rescue is spending purely donated money to foster, treat, etc a limited selection of adoptable cats...he immediately takes offense at the mere fact of women disagreeing with him and gruffily dismisses it and walks off mumbling.
OK. No big deal.
Except hubby of the other woman decides Women Have Been Offended and the offender MUST see the error of his way.
So I'm stuck de-escalating Mr. Married Monkey Brain while hustling the offender off (no big deal, man, just go...) while his totally embarrassed wife just does ineffectual Offended Wife pleading.
Sheesh.
Lest anybody think I'm targeting men here....I know some women who have remarkable ability to go into monkey brain at imagined slights....it truly is a universal trait....

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:49 AM   #10
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

If you guys are going down this route you need to add the works of Rory Miller to your reading list, along with Dave Grossman and Peyton Quinn. It's good to see people discussing self protection, the cultivation thereof, before a situation degenerates to the physical. As I have said before, in military terms physical self defense represents three levels of weapons failure. In civilian terms they are, loss of awareness, inability to avoid, and inability to de-escalate.
Perhaps for those who go this route the final step is escape, or be prepared to explain your actions. Sitting with your back to the wall is good awareness, unless of course the only exit is at the other end. ;-)

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:26 PM   #11
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
(sigh) happened with me in the middle just a couple of weeks ago. At the feed store, a few of us, various individual and family folks playing with or petting the kitties in large cages from a local rescue org up for adoption.
A guy says sort of loudly, "why do they charge so much when you can get a cat for just a few bucks at the shelter?"
Two of us - women - both of us with friendly tones, start to explain that the shelter is county, has a county budget, and HAS to try to deal with a mass of cats, while the rescue is spending purely donated money to foster, treat, etc a limited selection of adoptable cats...he immediately takes offense at the mere fact of women disagreeing with him and gruffily dismisses it and walks off mumbling.
OK. No big deal.
Except hubby of the other woman decides Women Have Been Offended and the offender MUST see the error of his way.
So I'm stuck de-escalating Mr. Married Monkey Brain while hustling the offender off (no big deal, man, just go...) while his totally embarrassed wife just does ineffectual Offended Wife pleading.
Sheesh.
Lest anybody think I'm targeting men here....I know some women who have remarkable ability to go into monkey brain at imagined slights....it truly is a universal trait....
Reflecting back what I am hearing as I read here...it sounds victimy. The first (sigh) and ("So, I am stuck de-escalating...) It sounds like you think you have no choice in the matter. We always have a choice.

Internal language is very important. You made decisions to act a certain way.

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Old 09-12-2015, 12:34 PM   #12
kewms
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
But, there's this other feeling I don't get. Let's say someone is a Bad Guy, bully, etc. He does or says racist or sexist things for example, probably directed at you. Or threatens your life with his 2-ton truck because he thinks cyclists are stupid and should get lost. Or he throws trash at you.
The monkey says don't take this lying down (thinking of yourself), and don't condone or encourage it (thinking of others down the line).
So then what?

I don't need to get into a fight because I think someone is an a-hole, but sometimes there is something at work in the aggressor's behavior that seems bigger and more worth standing up for yourself about.
A couple of things. First, it's still a "fight" or an "assault," rather than "self-defense" if you punch him in the mouth for being a jerk. Which means you are still bringing just as much legal jeopardy down upon your head. Jerks are citizens, too, and I'll bet he looks and acts like the most innocent choir boy you've ever seen by the time a jury sees him.

Second, think of the "bodyguard" metaphor. I don't remember if it was this article or elsewhere, but MacYoung points out that the bodyguard's job is not to beat up the guy who insulted his protectee. It is to keep the protectee safe. Period. End of mission. The applicability of this is obvious if you're with someone else, but even if you're not, you are your own protectee. Your job is to get yourself home in one piece, not to right the wrongs of the world.

Which is not to say you should cringe and cower in the face of bullying. Maybe this fight is worth having. Maybe he's crossed the line from a threat display to a real physical attack, in which case it really is self-defense. Just be aware of the risks -- legal and physical -- that you are running if you decide *not* to walk away.

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 09-12-2015 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:37 PM   #13
kewms
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
Anyone watch that Compton movie? I hated every minute of it, but watched it all the same as it was kind of educational to me. Almost every conversation in the movie is a confrontation. Egos abound in every scene. How can any one be such an idiot 100% of the time? Are people really like that in the inner cities of America. Surely not. It's just a movie, right?
Forget inner cities, look at your average business meeting. The posturing may be a little more subtle, but it's still there.

I'd recommend reading anything by Ta-Nehisi Coates. He's an amazing writer, who grew up in a rough part of Baltimore and has written very eloquently about what that's like.

Katherine
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Old 09-12-2015, 02:00 PM   #14
rugwithlegs
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Reflecting back what I am hearing as I read here...it sounds victimy. The first (sigh) and ("So, I am stuck de-escalating...) It sounds like you think you have no choice in the matter. We always have a choice.

Internal language is very important. You made decisions to act a certain way.
Hm. It is no fun, nor heroic, nor well received when cooler heads need to prevail and by default I find myself stepping up. Yes, it would be easier if I didn't give a crap about the outcome - I'd feel no obligation to prevent stupid people with volatile moods from being stupid, like over reacting to rude comments. It is frustrating and boring to keep the peace and babysit the idiots who are going to be grumpy about me babysitting.

The choice is to leave the world a little better minute by minute in a dozen tiny little ways, or to watch the situation go completely stupid, maybe watch the blood being spilled knowing I could stop it. It becomes a sense of responsibility.

It's the social interaction version of wiping poop and vomit off a combative drug addict patient. I'll take pride that they are cleaner, but I will be irritated too.
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Old 09-12-2015, 02:12 PM   #15
Janet Rosen
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Reflecting back what I am hearing as I read here...it sounds victimy. The first (sigh) and ("So, I am stuck de-escalating...) It sounds like you think you have no choice in the matter. We always have a choice.

Internal language is very important. You made decisions to act a certain way.
DID YOU ACTUALLY READ THE STORY?
Of course I chose to step in actively de-escalate.
That is what I do.
I am not a victim. I am a person expressing exasperation.
Please do not "language police" me especially if you cannot accurately interpret.

Last edited by Janet Rosen : 09-12-2015 at 02:13 PM. Reason: accuracy

Janet Rosen
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:55 PM   #16
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Just telling you how I heard it. And no you did not HAVE to do what you chose to do. We always have a choice. You could have let the couple deal with their own dynamic.

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Old 09-12-2015, 05:46 PM   #17
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Quote:
John Hillson wrote: View Post
Hm. It is no fun, nor heroic, nor well received when cooler heads need to prevail and by default I find myself stepping up. Yes, it would be easier if I didn't give a crap about the outcome - I'd feel no obligation to prevent stupid people with volatile moods from being stupid, like over reacting to rude comments. It is frustrating and boring to keep the peace and babysit the idiots who are going to be grumpy about me babysitting.

The choice is to leave the world a little better minute by minute in a dozen tiny little ways, or to watch the situation go completely stupid, maybe watch the blood being spilled knowing I could stop it. It becomes a sense of responsibility.

It's the social interaction version of wiping poop and vomit off a combative drug addict patient. I'll take pride that they are cleaner, but I will be irritated too.
That is the difference between being loving or not. Some people can do the wiping and come from a place of love.(Myself not included) Would not that be the highest form of training?

This view can be a bit shallow and self righteous if we think we always know what it best. Being in the moment and fully tuned in to what is happening affords no judgement.

Getting involved in the conflicts of others can be very dangerous and maybe not the least bit appreciated by any of the parties.

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Old 09-12-2015, 10:56 PM   #18
rugwithlegs
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
That is the difference between being loving or not. Some people can do the wiping and come from a place of love.(Myself not included) Would not that be the highest form of training?

This view can be a bit shallow and self righteous if we think we always know what it best. Being in the moment and fully tuned in to what is happening affords no judgement.

Getting involved in the conflicts of others can be very dangerous and maybe not the least bit appreciated by any of the parties.
I do agree with most of this. Wipe a new born babies bottom, no problem feeling the love. Adult man overdoses again and is trying to throw feces at me for helping him survive - well, it is my job to help but I'll draw the line and probably restrain him. Cause it is dangerous.

Do I always know what is right? No. Sometimes all I have is my job description and my duty.

Being fully in the moment and fully tuned in to what is happening affords no judgement - I guess from a health care professional/former corrections background, being fully alert still allows/demands assessment, evaluation, objectives/goals. The best possible outcome for everyone involved doesn't always just happen and sometimes guidance/intervention is required. My wife would agree with you when she teaches randori; I still start students off with "Where is the door? Where is the second attacker?" If there is no room for judgement, then the success or failure of an intervention cannot be evaluated and a mistaken assessment is not open for debate. The only feedback or situational debrief possible is "be more attuned with the moment." I like to give more concrete help even though this is always good advice, and I think analysis is still part of being attuned.

Again, if I didn't care, easy to do.
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:04 AM   #19
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

This 'Don't be the bad guy' seems to me is easily used as excuse for not being the good guy.

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Old 09-13-2015, 09:45 AM   #20
kewms
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
This 'Don't be the bad guy' seems to me is easily used as excuse for not being the good guy.
That might be true, IF there were large numbers of innocent victims needing rescue.

Out in the real world, though, the majority of violence doesn't fit that pattern. (Especially the majority of violence that a private citizen is likely to encounter. Domestic violence tends to take place behind closed doors.)

And even if it did, does "being the good guy" mean chastising the bad guy? Or does it mean getting the innocent victim to safety? The two objectives are not the same and require different strategies.

Katherine
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:01 PM   #21
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
That might be true, IF there were large numbers of innocent victims needing rescue.
One victim one could have helped but didn't is enough. You know, the old "Think globally, act locally"

Quote:
Out in the real world, though, the majority of violence doesn't fit that pattern. (Especially the majority of violence that a private citizen is likely to encounter. Domestic violence tends to take place behind closed doors.)
And around closed eyes and ears.

Quote:
And even if it did, does "being the good guy" mean chastising the bad guy? Or does it mean getting the innocent victim to safety? The two objectives are not the same and require different strategies.
Well, it depends on the circunstances. Sometimes is time to deescalate, sometimes is time to avoid and sometimes is time to engage. If one has only the tools for one of these, there will be situations where failure to do what is right will be the most probable result.

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Old 09-13-2015, 01:11 PM   #22
kewms
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Discerning "what is right" is not so easy. Nor is doing "what is right," even if your judgment is accurate and you have the tools available.

Wanting to save the world is a noble impulse. It can also be an extremely destructive one.

Katherine
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:17 PM   #23
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Discerning "what is right" is not so easy. Nor is doing "what is right," even if your judgment is accurate and you have the tools available.
Easy? Who wants things to be easy?

Quote:
Wanting to save the world is a noble impulse. It can also be an extremely destructive one.
And ultimately futile. The Sun is expected to turn into a red giant in about 5 billion years.

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Old 09-13-2015, 03:03 PM   #24
kewms
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Easy? Who wants things to be easy?
We all do.

We want to be able to tell who the bad guys and the good guys are.

We want the bad guy to be easy to dispatch, either by chasing him away or knocking him unconscious. And we want him to have no legal or extra-legal recourse after the fact.

We want the good guy to be unharmed, physically or psychologically, to appreciate our efforts, and to live happily ever after thanks to our intervention.

We want our own skills to be up to the task, and to move on with our lives afterward, with no negative legal, extra-legal, social, or psychological repercussions.

And the whole point of the link that I posted is that in real world encounters we are likely to fail to achieve pretty much every one of those wants.

Katherine
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:20 PM   #25
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Don't be the bad guy

And because of all that Katherine mentioned, being mindful in every circumstance in important as is thinking before hand about what we are willing to physically fight for and what is not worth getting hurt over.

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