Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by Tom bayley, Jul 29, 2021.
Is there some sort of formal qualification needed you become an expert?
I see MAP hasn't changed.
I came back to help Tom and I have done that privately.
I'm sorry weren't you the first person to question others credentials when they posted advice.
You called yourself an expert in self protection I just wondered what your experience is considering you were saying it to someone with 40 years of experience fighting in and out of the ring and who was the senior student of a someone responsible for training troops to defend themselves in wartime and also the head coach for a national police academy for over three decades.
And if you wanted to help Tom privately why not simply message him, you know, privately
It's always a good idea to allow different opinions in a forum.
Many years ago, I was homeless in NYC. I had to work 2 jobs in the summer to earn enough money to pay my next semester tuition of $650. During the daytime, I worked in the Zabars Deli. During the night, I worked in the Ideal Toy Co. Both jobs paid me $2 in hour. From my night shift job. I got $62 a week after paying my tax and union fee.
One night when I walked from the E-train station to the Ideal Toy Co in Queens Jamaica, 2 guys tried to rob me. I was really mad. At least those 2 guys had a bed to sleep. I had to sleep on the grass in the Riverside Park for the whole 3 summer months. I fought back. Next day, I took a Greyhound bus to Houston and made sure that those guys and their friends could not find me.
I was homeless because I needed to save money to pay my tuition (I was a student in the Univ. of Kansas at Lawrence). I was along in US. No friend and no relative could help me. If I died, nobody cared, and the world would still be the same. I just could not give up my $47 that I had worked so hard for.
When I was in the survive mode, life and death make little difference to me. This is why I asked, "Is money important to you?"
One area of improvement in self defence training (or clubs that say they offer self defence training) is them paying lip service to "escaping" or "running away" without putting the work in that requires.
People say "run away" like it's easy and will come naturally but wouldn't dream of saying "hit him in the head" in the same simplistic way. Often I think this is because they don't know how to train it (I know I don't fully) and want to get onto the juicy fighting stuff that they do know.
Escaping can, and should, be trained and practiced although I know that's a weakness of mine so not something I can give real solid advice on.
There are general pointers such as escaping "to safety" rather than just running "from danger". No point running away down an isolated dead-end when, with some additional awareness, you could have run to a local pub or a busy area or one covered by lights and CCTV.
Making a tactical considered withdrawl, while checking your blind spots for other attackers and potential escape routes, rather than just turning and running.
Making sure any techniques you have thrown have done the job before making your escape rather than turning to escape and exposing your back to an attacker who is still very much mobile and dangerous.
So in terms of handing over a wallet I'd probably hand it to them at as long a range as I could manage, completely switched on that they cold still attack even with compliance, and then back away, keeping them in vision and then when I felt I had a good enough reaction gap turn and leg it. I think throwing it at them or at the ground could be seen as "disrespectful" by some (ridiculous I know) and perhaps prompt an attack or anger?
As much as he's gone all QAnon lately Lee Morrison has this down to a fine art. If someone approaches from the front, circle around them and pass them so you can see if an accomplice is behind you as they try to engage. Or if someone is following you (or appears to be following you) step off to one side of the pavement, start to turn round, pat your pockets like you've forgotten your keys/phone and then walk back the way you came like you're going to get them. If it's an innocent person, who just happens to be walking behind you, they will understand this every day occurrence and carry on walking. But if it is someone targeting you, you are now facing them and more aware of their presence and actions. If they bar your way or try to engage they are up to no good.
Or do the systema trick of throwing your wallet like a Frisbee into their throat and then slapping them silly while they look surprised.
Smitfire, you make a good point, this is a justifiable concern. I have thought about this. In my opinion physically handing something to the attacker has two significant potential disadvantages. You must be close to the attacker and physically handing over the wallet might be seen psychologically as an act of submission/ weakness and encourage a violent attacker. Lightly tossing the wallet to the feet of the attacker ( rather than throwing it at the attacker) could be seen as a provocation by some. But it allows you to maintain distance. it gives the attacker two things to think about (you and the money), and the action provides a brief distraction where you can begin to increase distance.
On balance the better of two bad choices ?
I think a lot depends on the nature of the encounter and the predator. Are they mugging for cash, or is this a different situation where they are seeking status/dominance? Understanding this is part of situational awareness IMO.
I think you're coming at it from the former angle Tom? I have personally never been in that situation, and I think others have raised a lot of good points already.
If the object of their actions is only your cash, the range of the encounter is surely important? Have I got a reaction gap to throw a wallet and run in the split second of distraction that causes? Is whatever's behind me going to trip me up if I back up?
It may be something you already do, but I often get people on courses to think of their stereotypical "baddy", think of an encounter with that person, think of where and when it takes place, etc etc. Then we go through information about reported crimes and their locations etc to look at the reality.
Edit: sorry Tom, you posted as I was typing and covered some of this anyway.
Generally, I think you're spot on and closing range is a mistake unless you are aiming to get physical, and not in an Olivia Newton John way.
Assuming a predator motivated by money, they have the wallet and the encounter has completed according to their preconception. You removing yourself from it, either quickly or slowly, does not change that.
If the predator is motivated by dominance/status, meaning there are likely others present (which in itself alters the situation), then it could be seen as provocative. So understanding the nature of the the opponent is important; in the latter case you're in a very different situation than a solo mugging.
I do think these days that there is a certain type of mugger where the violence and the robbery are all part of the "buzz" of doing it. They want to beat someone up and they might as well rob them while/after they do it.
They'll hit first and rob later rather then use the threat of violence to force compliance. Or they threaten violence, rob you and then still attack you for the hell of it just because they can.
I don't think "give them what they want" stands as quite the good advice it once was.
Or maybe I'm just doing some sort of false nostalgia for a time when you could trust an honest mugger!?
I think you're right, but again, that's part of situational awareness isn't it? Understanding the nature of the situation?
As someone who has lived in a number of urban areas, I've always doubted this kind of "general" advice, only because it belies the reality of situations like this.
When someone decides to accost you at seemingly random for any reason, the first thing I think you should accept is they are desperate, hungry, angry, drunk, high...but whatever it is, accept you are dealing with someone who is not in a reasonable mode.
So, any idea that playing nice, passive, non combative is moot. That's your reasonable self trying to rationalize a safe way out, but already you are in danger and the time for reason needs to be balanced with survival instincts.
For this reason, I think it's safe to say running at top pace is always going to be a good option if available, before trying to play niceties with a potentially deranged human being. Especially if they have a weapon. The sad reality of crime is that many people get assaulted or strangled anyway even if they give up a wallet or purse...doing so is essentially passing power to once again, a desperate and probably mentally imbalanced individual.
So, I'm not a big fan of theories of what to do in XYZ order. People should follow their gut, if their gut says RUN, you run. HIDE, you hide. If your brain is screaming "how do I talk this nutcase down" you're probably wasting precious time.
And IF fight comes to be, chances are your options to avoid it has passed anyway, but running and hiding are key to survival in all species, so humans are no different. Fight with the goal of running away and hiding, rinse, repeat.
So to be blunt, I think talking or de-escalating these types of situations are errant, and more applicable to things like social violence, bar encounters, random street aggression, etc. Non criminal stuff. Those are cases where a joke or a smile or a relaxation of aggressive posturing make sense. But somebody bum rushes you violently? I don't know if talking or playing along is my go to self defense posture quite frankly. In those cases my guard is already up.
Of course if a firearm is involved it changes things again, but even then running away might still be your only option, because some people will just kill you and then take the wallet. They don't give a damn if your tomorrow never comes.
We weren't talking about being bum rushed out of the blue, which leaves you no option but to fight, but being asked for your money/valuables.
It's all entirely context dependent. A lone 7 stone heroin addict poses a different set of problems to a group of fit and healthy teenagers looking for a fight to impress each other.
People aren't any different, no matter how much self defence marketing might try to sell you the idea that we are faced with a new generation of feral ne'er-do-wells, worse than any before them.
Just the other day I overheard two old boys next door talking about going to dances in neighbouring towns in the 60s, town rivalries, and how it wasn't a good Friday night unless you got in a fight.
Not to mention razor gangs of the interwar years, post war armed robberies, etc. etc...
I saw a concealed razor blade used in a fist fight in Liverpool in the late 80s/early 90s, it was far from uncommon then.
Crime stats are interesting to look at, though fraught with all the challenges of interpreting stats of course.
One thing that often gets overlooked, or possibly deliberately omitted if being cynical, is the difference between crime rates and the number of reported crimes, and how stats can change with changing reporting practices and changes in legislation and crime classification.
For instance, no women were ever raped by their husband in England or Wales before 1992... because in the eyes of the law it was impossible for a man to rape his wife, as she gave her consent to his conjugal rights when they exchanged vows.
Or how Derbyshire, Dyfed-Powys, Greater Manchester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, London, Northamptonshire, South Wales, South Yorkshire, West Midlands and West Yorkshire have seen a bigger proportional increase in knife than other areas... because they are part of a pilot scheme to change and improve police recording of "knife enabled crime".
Anyway, getting into the weeds with this. The UK is a less violent place than it was when my parents were a similar age to me, and when my grandparents were a similar age Germany bombed their house while hundreds of thousands of British men died in war, so things do seem to be improving.
It's hard to add statistics from my memory, but I would say it was half and half in my encounters in the 90s, a good amount of the interview stage started the same asking for money. Giving up money wasn't enough to stop the violence, and from others who came across the same people, it was clear they just were after committing a violent act.
Recently the statistics in the UK certainly show an increase, but this was certainly after a decrease in previous decades.
I don't doubt that the types of violent encounters and go through "fashions" which mirror previous decades.
I recall early 90s in my region being on the up in violent crime, then the of the 90s into 00s it eased up.
I expect that the statistics also fluctuate in regions also.
Some stats for England and Wales: The nature of violent crime in England and Wales - Office for National Statistics
This also makes me wonder when I look at statistics, in part based on my experiences.
First time I was assaulted, we reported to the police, nothing came of it, the group were known.
For context 4 boys (my friends and I) aged 11-13 playing in the park, 8 boys about the same age came over and attacked us, no verbal interview, just straight in and attacked, starting with me being hit around the back of my head with a plank of wood.
I've been attacked many times since, including multiple instances of mugging or attempted mugging, but I didn't bother reporting any of it, I know this was the same for my friends who experienced it.
More recently I've had very few instances which I did report to the police.
I later reviewed statistics in my region as I often do, and observed that none of those I reported were in the statistics.
I do wonder which reports get filtered out of statistics for whatever reason, and how many incidents are never reported as they are considered a waste if time for the police.
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