Eye Gouge Psychology - Soldier's Story on TV

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Slindsay, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    So a couple of weeks ago I was watching a documentary about British soldiers in Iraq, I actually started watching half way in when this story was running so I have missed some of the details, one part however stuck very clearly in my mind.

    A soldier is on screen talking, he'd describing clearing houses out in Iraq whilst fighting insurgents, I gather he's already shot one in the head at close range and has become separated from his group when he literally runs into an Iraqi fighter, they both fall to the floor grappling and punching each other in the face/neck/groin/wherever they can reach.

    The soldier tries to clear his sidearm in the midst of the fight but as he's trying to bring it to bear it gets knocked out of his hands/he abandons it as he can't get the shot off, he manages to roll atop his opponent and stuns him with a flurry of blows as the Iraqi fighter tries to reach up and claw at his face, the soldier knocks aside the other guys arms and puts his thumbs into his opponents eyes.

    Heres the bit that made me take note though, the British soldier says he couldn't bring himself to finish the job off, his hands simply won't dig in to the other mans eyes. The soldier talks, looking a bit distressed, about the feel of the eye's under his thumbs and the fact that he simply couldn't bring himself to do it. At his point the Iraqi manages to roll the soldier off him, as he's being rolled over the soldier manages to clear his knife or the Iraqis, not sure which, and stabs the guy in the back with it, he stabs the insurgent several more times including getting him in the neck and groin IIRC and rolls on top whilst doing this but as he tries to stand up the Insurgent bites him in the crotch, the Brit proceeds to ram the knife up under the base of the guys jaw into his brain, killing him.

    The soldier then goes on to retrieve his rifle and kill at least one more insurgent in the close range firefight. I think he got a medal for what he did but not sure what.

    So why couldn't he bring himself to gouge the eyes out? He's in a fight for his life, has already killed a man and goes on to kill another and has tried to kill his opponent with strikes and a pistol, he stabs his opponent repeatedly to end the fight as well.

    I wonder then, do we have some inbuilt, very strong restraint against attacking people's eyes? It might make sense from an evoloutionary stand point.

    I also wonder if anyone else thinks they could bring themselves to gouge out someones eyes after hearing this story? I know I don't think I can but what are other people's opinions?
  2. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    He'll stab a man in the groin, but not stick his fingers in someones eyes. You see, I'd be closer to the opposite.
  3. CosmicFish

    CosmicFish Aleprechaunist

    As an individual, he might just be squeamish about eyes?

    Another factor is that we all (well almost all) have an inbuilt inhibition against hurting other human beings too much. Obviously this can be, and often is, overcome. AFAIK, when male mammals of various species compete for dominance they also have inbuilt inhibitions against hurting their rivals too much. My understanding of this being that to kill or maim others of your group, tribe or whatever too readily would weaken the overall group and be detrimental even to the survivor.
  4. callsignfuzzy

    callsignfuzzy Is not a number!

    Well, psychologically, in the Western world, we're not accustomed (generally) to thinking it's OK to maim someone. I'd imagine it takes an awful lot of intense, specific training to make it OK in the minds of your average Joe that scooping someone's eye out is an acceptable act.

    I think it's also possible that it's easier to maim or kill with a weapon than your own bare hands. Even a knife provides a bit of distance in the form of steel than crushing someone's throat.

    Could I do it? Wouldn't be my first option, and I'm not in a big hurry to be pushed into the possition where that becomes an option.
  5. estranged13

    estranged13 ex video game freak

    doesn't that cause the jaw to clamp down permanently? or is that an urban myth?
  6. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Soldiers are taught to depersonalise the enemy. Take out the X ray (not KILL the son, brother or fathr of someone) Stich him (not empty a mag into him) Double Tap (two to the head scattering brains)

    MAN down (not mate had his legs blown off) Friendly fire (Not your allies massacring your mates) Kick Off (a fight beginning where you may be killed NOT a football match)

    Up close and personal may just be that bit different particularly if it a sustained "empty hand" fight.

    regards koyo
  7. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    I think the story touches on something that soooo many people don't want to admit. They couldn't anymore gouge someones eyes out than they could club someone from behind with an axe handle. There are a ton of reasons... everything from psychological to emotional... and everything in between.

    This is why when muppets who train in arts that are seemingly founded on t3h d34d733!! eye gouge are not fooling us and not fooling themselves.
  8. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    in the heat of battle things are so much different, and all the sofa martial artists will never admit that they would not use their deadly technique even if they trained how to use it properly.
  9. Sweeper

    Sweeper Banned Banned

    There was a show on A&E or Discovery or something, I think it was called "The Science of Killing" or something like that, can't recall exactly.

    I'm not sure if this was just WWII/ Korea era, but the show went into detail about how only 10% or some low number of soldiers actually kill. Most of them shot into trees, or kept "busy" lugging amunition, loading other's guns, digging fox holes, or whatever to avoid shooting.

    The gov't had to develop new training methods to de-senthesize people, I think one thing they did according to the show was go from bullseye type targets to human manequins for target practice.

    The book "Attack Proof" talks about eye gouging (I don't agree with a lot of the book). In it they mention how difficult it is to bring yourself to gouging someone's eyes out. You have to drill it, just like the snipers. They use a hockey goaly mask on a focus mit. THe trainer moves it around and you jab your fingers deep into the mask eye sockets (I think they call it The Jason Drill or something).

    In a self defense class I took, the instructor talked about a soccor player getting a finger accidently jabbed all the way into his eye. The eye turned black for a few weeks, but it healed fine. You have to really jab in your thumb or finger, and rake it out the socket. Ugh.
  10. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    Many times, when there are discussions about whether a technique--- or even an entire art--- is "combat worthy" or "will work on the street" I come back to this very theme. For many of the reasons already given, including education, culture and instinct, we Humans are often heavily conflicted about maiming and killing even when our own lives are in obvious jeopardy. Its not just that a Human being must be taught how to perform an act from a technical aspect. That person also needs to have developed a mindset that gives them "permission" to actually execute what they have been training at. Even the acts of cold blooded murder that we hear about in the media are rarely the sorts of "spontaneous" execution. Most often, the individual who commits the crime has "rehearsed" it in their mind over and over again over a long period of time.

    Now, please understand, I am not talking about an individual with a mental or emotional disorder. Different situation altogether. What I am talking about is a reasonably healthy and well-adjusted individual who finds themselves in an extraordinary situation. As a Hapkido teacher I can report that one of the single most difficult things I have to help my students overcome is the reluctance to actually inflict pain or injury to another person. To put it in a nutshell there are usually three major themes that come to the surface during this process.

    a.) "Why fight back? Let him do what he will and I will pick-up my life afterwards."

    b.) "Don't fight back. I'll just **** him off and he will hurt me worse."

    c.) "Its not nice to hurt another person. Regardless of what he is about, I am suppose to be above such things and need to take the 'High Road'. "

    Now, I know as people are reading these themes they may be thinking that they would have no such inhibitions in a combat situation. I can tell you that investigations into the use of personal weapons during WW II revealed that 50% of the American soldiers were found to have NOT used their weapon against the enemy (see: Grossman. "non-firers"). We are talking about very strong inhibitions here. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  11. Cathain

    Cathain Lily Lau Gar

    I don't think it would.
    All other things being equal, the person likely to survive the encounter and go on to reproduce would be the person with no qualms about ramming their fingers into an opponents eyes.

    So it would make more evolutionary sense to not have some restraint against doing such a thing.
  12. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    I would tend to agree except that there is a high emotional factor attached to the use of the eyes. Statistically speaking some 80-85% of the information about the environment comes through the eyes. The loss of such an important source of data regarding our environment is readily reflected in the number of times people report preferring the loss of a limb, hearing and even death to the loss of their vision. This importance can also play out in the fear of guilt that might attend taking such an important sense from another person as well.

    Best Wishes,

  13. Bowed-N-Bloody

    Bowed-N-Bloody New Member

    From an early age we as humans are taught "equivalent exchange". A father tells his son if someone hits you hit them back. One person threatens to beat up a person and the other person threatens to knock them out.

    No one says "I'm gonna beat you up." and the other person says, "I'll get a gun and blow your head off." We are just not taught to exceed the other person in that aspect. The law enforces this thought of "equivalent exchange"...If two people get into a fight they may pay a fine...If someone gets slapped and then that person stabs the other person then they have exceeded the actions of the other person and therefore are sentenced to time in jail.

    It has nothing to do with the crackpot of a theory of evolution. It is the teachings of society that tells you not to exceed a certain level. The teachings of society that tells you that these things are wrong. When the soldier was fighting he thought of the insurgent as a "person"..., and he thinks to himself that it is inhumane for him to harm someones son, father, or husband...But when he got the knife he saw him as a target not a person and that is what allowed him to kill the insurgent.
  14. Topher

    Topher allo!

    What? There are probably very good evolutionary explanations for why we refrain from hurting people.
  15. Bowed-N-Bloody

    Bowed-N-Bloody New Member

    Oh...I used the term "crackpot of a theory" because, (to me) evolutionary theory makes no sense, and I was implying that evolutionary theory is crazy. But of course these are just my thoughts and you do not have to believe what I believe.

    It is known that micro/macro-organisms do not have the ability to change. Humans/animals being micro and plants being macro. (or is it the other way around?...) anywho...sense the begining a rose has always been a rose, it has not changed over time. Sense the begining a caterpillar has always changed into a butterfly, there has been no change. Knowing this I do not believe in evolutionary theory.

    Although I do believe in adaptation of a group. That is, a certain situation or environment causes a group, as individuals, to change in order to survive. Take for instance the thickness of the skin of those in Siberia compared to the thickness of skin of those in the Western world. The extreme low temperatures in Siberia have caused their skin to be slightly thicker than ours, as we do not need this adaptation to survive.
  16. adouglasmhor

    adouglasmhor Not an Objectivist

    Roses change all the time, new varieties are bred every year but they all descend from wild roses like briars. I can see crackpot thinking here and it is not from the evolutionists. Humans and plants are both macro (exept things like alagae which can be micro), so we have someone who hasn't a clue about even basic terminology pontificating on a subject he knows nothing about. Good one. Also caterpillars can turn into moths as well as butterflies, so they haven't SINCE the beginning always turned into butterflies. And some humans have even evolved to use primitive tools, sticks, levers, spellcheckers, that sort of thing.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2008
  17. Bowed-N-Bloody

    Bowed-N-Bloody New Member

    Lol!..."I can see crackpot therory here and its not from the evolutionists." hahahaha...

    I think you may have missunderstood me on the roses thing. When I said a rose has always been a rose. I meant that a rose has not "evolved" into anything other than a rose. Sure there are different pigments. But it remains a rose.

    Also the caterpillars that turn into moths are not the same as the caterpillars that turn into butterflies. If they were the same the end result would be the same, whether it be a moth or a butterfly.

    P.S. Thanks adouglasmhor, it hadn't occured to me that I had misspelled "since"...:D
  18. Topher

    Topher allo!

    Well this is nonsense! What are you basing this on?

    Neither are. Micro- and macro-evolution are redundant creationists terms to describe change within a species and change across species (speciation).

    This is precisely what evolution is! Small gradual changes. But what do you think happens when these small gradual changes take place over millions and billions of years....
  19. adouglasmhor

    adouglasmhor Not an Objectivist

    I haven't misunderstood you, you are talking nonsense, there are other members of the rose family, blackthorn and madder for example, so they share some but not all DNA with a rose but were not bred by humans from roses are they a rose or not. So far you haven't given any theory to support your non belief in evolution, just an uniformed opinion so far.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2008
  20. Bowed-N-Bloody

    Bowed-N-Bloody New Member

    Science claims that micro/macro-organisms cannot change. Sure there may be different types/species but it is all the same thing. i.e. humans are humans no matter ethnicity, roses are roses no matter what species.

    Why are these terms redudant?

    No...The changes that these individual ppl have will be specific to them. Their children will not be born with these adaptations as evolution predicts, though throughout their lives they may aquire these skills/adaptations through their different situations.

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