Intimidation ( The oh S**T Factor)

Discussion in 'Other Martial Arts Articles' started by Darren Laur, May 17, 2003.

  1. Darren Laur

    Darren Laur New Member

    Intimidation (aka the “oh ****” factor):


    This weekend was the Nanaimo Chapter of the Hells Angel’s annual ride into Victoria to commemorate the death of one of their leaders several years ago. One of the first things that I noticed, was that several members of the group were wearing full-face helmets that were designed to look like human skulls. I noted that several people upon seeing these helmets (both LEO’s and civilians), immediately succumbed to their implied intent…… INTIMIDATION !!!!!


    Throughout the ages; groups, organizations, gangs, armies, and individuals have used the art of intimidation to their advantage. Through clothing, jewellery, make-up, body tattooing, and other accessories, people are hoping that the “visual” impact of their presence, will illicit the “shock and awe” needed to psychologically intimidate (control) their intended target(s). For those who use this tactic, the fight has already been won way before the first strike is even launched. Remember, the mind guides the body. If your threat can cause you to go into a state of hypervigilance because of the way they look, then they are in control.


    Not only can intimidation be visual, but it can also be audible, and physical in nature. It should also be understood that it is not uncommon for an aggressor to utilize all three forms of intimidation at once, thus overwhelming one’s senses in a coordinated psychological and physical barrage.


    Intimidation, either real or implied, is a tool that many have used (including myself in my job as an LEO) quite successfully to win the fight. Knowing this, how can we as instructors, teacher, coaches, and students best prepare ourselves for dealing with intimidation ????

    · Understand intimidation for what it is; a psychological tool designed to elicit the “negative” fear emotion in you, the intended target

    · Understand that you, the intended victim, can control the negative consequences of the fear emotion that intimidation is designed to elicit, thus being able to use the emotion of fear in a positive rather than negative way. Please refer to my article on using fear as your ally located at:

    http://members.shaw.ca/tmanifold/fear.htm


    · Design scenario based training sessions that utilize all forms of intimidation thus creating a “psychological inoculation” to its intended purpose and effects.


    · Do some soul searching. What forms of intimidation have you faced in the past, or are most frightened of, that have caused you to go into a state of hypervigilance. Use Combative Based Action Imagery to visualize yourself confronting these situations in a positive (desirable) way. Please refer to my article on Combative Based Action Imagery located at:

    http://members.shaw.ca/tmanifold/combative_based.htm

    To me, the Angels that wore these masks were not the real physical threat that most believed they were. Yes, given their association to their club they warranted closer scrutiny and heightened awareness, but like a dog, their bark was worse than their bite. IMO, the real dangers were from those members who blended into the crowd, kept a low profile, and did not hide behind a mask. To me, the masks showed a sign of weakness rather than a sign of strength or intimidation.



    Strength and Honor

    Darren Laur
     
  2. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Good stuff Darren - that last paragraph summed it up nicely. Many martial artists too hide behind a mask - and those masks come in many forms.
     
  3. Adam

    Adam New Member

    In my experience, the truly dangerous people don't draw very much attention to themselves on purpose and may actually seem less intimidating than the boasters. If you truly ARE a scary person, then you won't need cheap gimmicks like skull masks to show it.

    A point I fell has been neglected in the first post is that the angels also have the advantage of their reputation as badasses.
    Reputation should not be underestimated as a psychological effect, as most people would flinch from having Mike Tyson charging them, not only because of his size but because of his reputation as a fighter and an ear-loving maniac.
    Also if you know that the huge guy threatening you is actually a real coward and weak fighter, you're bound to feel more confident.
    I didn't have to fight anyone in my last years in primary school, since I had early on gotten a reputation for being a strong, brutal fighter and I was also shown a great deal of respect. It was an extreme surprise to me when I moved to high school and was surrounded by strangers who showed me NO RESPECT AT ALL! I didn't have a reputation there, so people didn't feel intimidated by me as they did in the last town.
    Reputations are usually very exaggerated though, so don't believe everything you hear.
     
  4. Mo Lung

    Mo Lung Hard work!

    You know, the bagpipes were originally designed for intimidation. The sound was supposed to imitate the wailing of demons running into battle and scare the bejesus out of the enemy. It still works to this day. Coupled with skyclad warriors (i.e. burly Scotsman with fiery red hair, totally naked and painted with blue woad) it made for a fearsome combination. Most well bred Englishmen, hearing the ear curdling noise of the bagpipes and seeing a naked and blue Scotsman running at them with an axe, would quit the battlefield before a blow was struck! ;)
     
  5. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

    Thanks Mo lung a mental pisture I did not need :p

    BUt I agree about the intimdation. My last year and a half of HIgh school I hung out with drama people and in my town they are mostly Goths. The area that they ate as a group was avoided by the populus of my school because of the rp taht they had of being 'weird' like witchcrafty like stuff it sacres the mosdtly conservative town in which I still live. MAny of these 'dram freaks' as they are called ara also the same people I spar with in a park not to far away from the school however there people are more likey to watch and ask questions of the nuts swordfighting than avoid us.
    Strange isnt it how things that scare highschoolers dont faze adult.



    Sorry I jsut realized that its 4 am and I am ou tof it. My post prolly makes no sense
     
  6. shinto\shuri117

    shinto\shuri117 New Member

    You have some really good, usefull points. Yet, it's important to note that tattoos and jewelry are usually just another form of art and\or self-expression, rather than intended intimidation. Unfortunately, many people think the same way about martial artists. Although this wasn't the point of your article, it was worth mentioning.
     
  7. Syd

    Syd 1/2 Dan in Origami

    Most well bred Englishmen, hearing the ear curdling noise of the bagpipes and seeing a naked and blue Scotsman running at them with an axe, would quit the battlefield before a blow was struck!

    Nobody likes a good Braveheart more than me but the truth is the Scots got their bottoms caned more often than not, such is the relationship between Scotland and England to this day; a testament to who was boss.

    The Picts were the only ones who wore blue paint and these warriors were thr true indigenous peoples of Scotland that predated the times that you are talking about by many, many hundreds of years. Funnily enough it was these Blue Painted Picts who were invaded and driven from their lands by Irish pirates from the north of Ireland known as the Scoti, which is where the Scottish today get their name!

    Still to this day you have fierce rivalry in Scottish football between the Irish invaders (Celtic) and the Scottish natives (RANGERS) and this goes very deep indeed. it is commonly understood that the Highlanders are the true Scottish these days and the lowlanders are the mixture of invading parties from Irish to Norse and English and Welsh.

    Stories are fun but the realities are often something quite different. Yes the Romans built Hadrians Wall to keep the Barbarians out (I've been there myself) but they built the wall so they didn't have to bother with them raiding. If the Romans had felt the Scots had anything of value up that way you can bet your bottom dollar they would have been set to the yoke. It requires a bit of understanding of Roman World Politics and what counted as financial and strategic power in those times.

    Best, Syd
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2004
  8. David

    David Mostly AFK, these days

    I was a punk/goth type and it annoyed the hell out of me that people were intimidated by it. I understand it now but still it riles.

    Anyway, good article.

    rgds,
    David
     
  9. Syd

    Syd 1/2 Dan in Origami

    Hey David,

    We cross over again mate, I myself was a Punk/Goth/PsychoBilly type and to be honest I haven't changed that much in regard to the Punk/Psychobilly ethos!

    Bloody hell mate HKP and now this! We'll have to have a few Snakebites one of these days and have a listen to Siouxsie & the Banshees, some Damned, Bauhaus etc ;)

    I know you know what I'm talking about ya bugger you. *L*

    Best, Syd
     
  10. Guerilla Fists

    Guerilla Fists New Member

    I know this isn't about history but I thought given the topic it could fit in context. The Spartans trained heavily on physical conditioning and because of their physical prowess they would run a mile into battle clanging their shields against their swords yelling into the fray. If that alone wasn't enough to scare the crap out of their enemies then their confidence was.
    They were so bold that they believed the only true way to fight was sword and shield, no long distance weapons such as the bow and arrow. I remember reading of an instance of a general writing to a Spartan leader saying, "my enemies volley will be so numerous in arrows that they will block out the sky," to which the Spartan leader Lycan replied, "good, my men would enjoy in a battle in the shade," thus coining the term lyconic humor. God bless the Spartans, terrific race they are.
    As far as personal forms of intimidation I've experienced I would have to say my most antagonizing that I've done was put out cigarrettes on my toungue when I'm talking mess to someone I'm about to fight (that is when I used to smoke anyway) or breaking a beer bottle on my knee making a stabbing weapon (when I used to drink anyway). Funny, the only thing that I have found truly intimidating is when a person considerably smaller than myself has the balls to try and start something. I think, "wow this guy is either really stupid or a damn good fighter, one way to find out." But that's an old part of my life, I don't fight these days unless I have to.
    8
     
  11. Shade

    Shade New Member

    Interesting about the Spartans. My brother has a book about them that I am going to borrow shortly, so look forward to reading all about it :)

    I havent ever been into intimidation, but have to say seeing someone stubb cigarettes out on their own tongue would make me think they were a bit strange rather tha intimidating, but thats just me.

    Good to hear you dont drink anymore Eightfold, what with you being only 19 in a country that doesnt allow it until 21 ;)
     
  12. shuyun3

    shuyun3 Shugyosha

    the outward appearances help IF you have something real to back it up.

    but then intimidation informs your enemy that you're a threat. that's minus one on surprise.
     
  13. enlwlffo

    enlwlffo New Member

    one big intimidation factor from me was me taking off my jacket
    i never like bragging about my physique, but I'm about 5'9" 200 pounds waist line 31" shoulders 55", ive always looked more like a wrestler than a tkdoist and i used to have like 5-7 percent body fat
    so i'd be wearing a big baggy jacket, and when someone starts shiet i'd just take off the jacket revealing a tight-fitting wifebeater or tshirt and trainer pants,
    this always seemed to scare people a little before the fight
    then i clench my fists, revealing the scars that are all over my knuckles
     
  14. eckythump

    eckythump Valued Member

    SYD
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    "The Picts were the only ones who wore blue paint and these warriors were thr true indigenous peoples of Scotland that predated the times that you are talking about by many, many hundreds of years. Funnily enough it was these Blue Painted Picts who were invaded and driven from their lands by Irish pirates from the north of Ireland known as the Scoti, which is where the Scottish today get their name!

    Still to this day you have fierce rivalry in Scottish football between the Irish invaders (Celtic) and the Scottish natives (RANGERS) and this goes very deep indeed. it is commonly understood that the Highlanders are the true Scottish these days and the lowlanders are the mixture of invading parties from Irish to Norse and English and Welsh."
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    No offence but this is nonsense
    Strathclyde(Glasgow area where Celtic and Rangers do there thing nowadays) was an area occupied by "britons" ,the picts were more based on the North and east of Scotland ,(moray ,aberdeenshire ,angus ,perthshire)
    The disappearance of the picts was as a result of integration of Scoti and picts following inter marriage (after the majority of fighting had taken place with no outright victors)
    The Rangers/ Celtic thang relates to Celtic being formed to aid the children ,orphans etc of Irish stock (Catholic)who emigrated to the west coast of Scotland in late1800's.The Rangers (protestant) Scottish rivalry with Celtic (Catholic)Irish linked to religious bigotry and more recently the troubles......sadly!
    This REALLY was HUNDREDS of years after the picts!!
    All of the nations in Ireland,Wales Scotland and England are mongrel races
    be they, "originally" Picts,britons Scoti....you then add some Vikings,Normans,Flemish mix them around a good few times and there you are!
    Then theres the Orkneys,shetland ... still dress up like Vikings to this day :) ,a gift from King of Norway when his daughter came to scotland to marry the king ,unfortunately the princess died on board her ship so never got married but scotland kept the islands anyway.
    The Highlanders are no more Scottish than anyone else ,for example "Highland" Mclaughlan linked to Irish Mclaughlins .....name means "son of the land of the lochs "(fjords) ....Norway ! yup your true Scottish highland Irish "Viking" hows that for a pure breed, A lot of the Highland people have Irish ,scandinavian and Norman ancestry.

    Lots of the wars were not Scotland V England but politically or religiously based There were probably more Scots at Culloden fighting against Bonnie Prince Charlie than for him .
    Sorry for the rant but this "highland" real scot thing really does annoy me
    I remember in inverness being in a tartan shop where an assistant asked my daughter ( who was about aged 4) her surname to check her tartan and than told her she didnt have a scottish name and no tartan.
    I told the assistant that in fact my surname was noted in the dundee area in the 11 century when records began in scotland (by the Normans ) and as I didnt have a norman name and she did (a Fraser) it was CLEAR that my family were in scotland long before her johnnycome lately Frasers came over from france
    (didn't tell her my granny was a fraser too of course :D )
     
  15. Hindu Warrior

    Hindu Warrior New Member

    Good post Darren Laur, very interesting.

    The ancient Hindus had a more direct form of intimidation... when two opposing armies met, a warrior might burn himself to death to show his fearlessness of death. Alexander the Great recorded the astonishment of his army, at a Hindu Yogi who burned himself alive in view of the entire Macedonian army without changing the expression on his face.

    :eek:
     
  16. Kenpo Kicker

    Kenpo Kicker New Member

    I was goth/metal in highschool. Some ppl were so afraid of me that they would touch my chains (when i was sitting at a desk) for a thrill, lol. It obviously annoyed me, and I would get up and they would run. I also had a rep of being a very good fighter. One of my friends choked somone with his chain and they made the chains against the rules but we still all wore em.
     
  17. LeadLegger

    LeadLegger New Member

    so YOU are the reason why we can't wear chains to school! lol
     
  18. Kenpo Kicker

    Kenpo Kicker New Member

    Nooooo my friend is for strangling ppl (at least for my old middle/high schools). I just kept wearing my chains until I got to college. Then I got rid of my piercings for sparring! I miss them but they are a weakness in fighting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2004
  19. LeadLegger

    LeadLegger New Member

    yeah, that would suck if you got, for example, a nipple ring torn off in a fight lol
     
  20. Kenpo Kicker

    Kenpo Kicker New Member

    Sure would one of my friends has one in tkd. I bet in a few months it will be gone lol. He started not too long ago.
     

Share This Page