Using your mouth in self defense.
I'm not talking about biting here, i mean fast-talking your way out of fights.
I know this forum is about self-defense, but i kind of consider this a pretty important part of it. i.e not getting in a fight to start with.
Everyone's been in these situations sometime, either someone who's dead drunk doesn't like your face in a bar, or you accidentally tip your Coke can on the head of the bodybuilder sitting in front of you on the bus. Or something. As a tall, skinny loudmouth with the spatial awareness of a dead codfish i'm a prime target for both demographics, and i've become quite adept in solving these situations. And i'd kind of like to know what your experiences are in similiar situations? Or do you just floor your opposition at the first sign of conflict?
Myself, i've noticed a few good habits:
1a. If it was you who screwed up, apologize sincerely.
1b. Remember to listen what he has to say, even if it's completely unintelligible. Just be very understanding at his predicament. Even if you just look like you're listening and reply something noncommittal the Drunk Idiot sometimes considers it a victory and leaves.
2. Don't be overly defensive. "Don't feed the troll" in INTERNET SPEAK.
3. For the love of sweet zombie christ do NOT tell you're awesome at martial arts and could kick his ass even if you could. Seriously. There is nothing as self-confident as a man with a head full of beer.
4. Don't mention that you're armed, even for bluffing purposes. see above.
5. If he doesn't calm down, and you can, just leg it.
6. If you can't and the situation escalates, this is a good time to actually start the fight. Cheap as hell, yes. But being 60 pounds lighter and a head smaller than your opponent, you're going to need that.
7. This is usually the point where i either a)Getting viciously beaten or b) Running for it. Searching of a makeshift club might be topical.
I usually carry a knife for self defense, but i've never even pulled it. Closest to being hurt (apart from a few glancing fists) i got when i tried to break up a fight between 2 guys in a club's waiting line when the other mook pulled a knife at me. The bouncer tackled him before he could shank me though :zicon_ram
I hope this helps you people, and i hope you've got some ideas for me too.
Smile. Smile when you're talking to the guy. Crack a joke (not a mean one at him). Be friendly. If he gets pissy, keep being friendly.
I've talked guys down in the bar after some other loud mouth doorman gets him all pissed off before sending him to me at the door. Don't get angry, don't take anything personally, and dont respond to his attempts to piss you off. Very few guys just attack you suddenly. They like to jack up the situation first, by getting you pissed off. If you don't get pissed off, they don't (usually) get violent.
When in doubt, smile, laugh, apologize, and walk away. For some reason, guys dont bother pursuing the issue when you seem like it doesn't bother you. Assholes looking for a fight are looking for other assholes.
I got out of a fight in Mexico city buy doing this! I didn't even speak the language :D
Also, look up the book "Verbal Judo" on amazon.
1. "I do apologise, I didn't quite catch what you said". with courtesy.
2. Recognising that the Doughnut was about to Headbutt me in the Dancehall, I stepped back. He said, "What did you do that for?" Conversation, you see, the spell was partly assauged. "Cos you were going to Headbutt me" Reply, "No I wasn't". Crisis over, he was no longer 'coiled' and he was speaking. I was Right, I'm 5ft 7ins. He was same height but was in Beer-Mode and FTW so he was looking for an outlet/target. I didn't even know the bloke, he was the friend of the friend to whom I was talking.
3. Speak quietly, the other bloke will have to drop his volume 'cos he can't hear your reply (which he wants to stoke his temper).
This is %100 bang on. Most of a fight occurs before any kind of physical contact. If you can manage the set-up of the fight well you will avoid most fights, because the person trying to start a fight with you will recognize that you are aware that he is trying to pick a fight with you and you are neither A) about to TRY and get in a fight B) Not really phased by him.
If you say and do the right things it's rare to get into a fight you wanted to avoid.
Hey OP, you are dead on!
Interpersonal and de-escalation skills are very important. I work with a very difficult population and these skills are something we train on whenever we do unarmed self defense. It is always best to avoid being physical if you can. Because the reality of fighting is that people get hurt. I have won fights but still come out hurt in some way. Even if you win you still may have a black eye or fat lip to deal with. And in today’s world a lot of people are armed. You never know who may pull a gun. You can have the best MA training in the world, but if you get popped in the chest a few times with a .45ACP then your just screwed. It is always best to avoid fighting.
I also carry a weapon, I carry a .45ACP nearly all the time. I have never had to even un-holster it let alone actual use it, and I hope I never have to. I have been in situations where I have been armed but have been able to talk my way out of it, and the other guy never even knew I had a firearm.
Talk softly, carry a big stick!
Last edited by AMH; 9/12/2007 9:46am at .
That's how I've gotten out of every fight I was going to get my ass kicked.
Good point. And even if you win, it's never nice hurtin' people :5headset:
Originally Posted by AMH
Where DO you work btw?
Consequences. Mr Carlsberg/MillerTime/Becks (edit to suit) never thinks this far. When Beered-Up, and frustrated through Work/Girlfriend/Wife etc, he will likely look for an argument and someone he can batter (if he can get away with it).
Originally Posted by illegalusername
It's not really normal behaviour to hurt someone; it is for sociopaths and their ilk but only because they want something from you. These are people you probably should be aiming to fight and hurt but usually a show of quiet determination will make them realise that they are likely to get injured. They won't be too keen on that and will likely withdraw and go for a softer target.
When watching a brewing argument (pun intended), one option is to monitor and either try to defuse or allow one strike each. "Honour" is saved and usually the protagonists will start shouting (usually "Let me at him!! but really thinking "Don't let me go, FFS!"). Yes, emotions will stay high owing to the adrenalin overload but will hopefully dissipate leading to an apology then or afterwards when sobriety returns.
Most people will know this instinctively 'cos you learn this behaviour in the playground.
Consequences. Do you really want to put someone in hospital or the grave? Most don't and for those that do, there is usually some form of contrition "I didn't mean it".
Sociopaths would only worry about their loss of freedom. They only cry for themselves in prison.
Sorry to ramble.
Some strange part of me enjoys talking someone down. Its kinda like outsmarting them.
Most fun I ever had with it was when I was in college. It was in the mid 80's, just after the US sailed into the Persian Gulf.
2 smirking drunks, let's call them Dumb and Dumber, approached me in the street and asked me "Hey, where are you from?"
Now, you could tell these guys had maybe a double digit IQ when sober and added together. When drunk, their collective IQ was cut in half. So the look on their faces was a thing to behold, when I said in unaccented mid western English
Dumb and Dumber were clearly taken aback. Then they rallied and asked
"No. Where are your parents from?"
I got another blank look when I replied
But, Dumb and Dumber were persistent. They really wanted an Arab to kick the **** out of. So they tried again
"So you ain't from the Middle East?"
"And your parents aren't either?"
"Oh. Well. Uhhhh. Sorry to bother you."
It wasn't until they asked me if I was from the Middle East that I realized what they were looking for. I suppose if I had any common sense, I would have been scared shitless. But the two of them - drunk, stupid and completely caught off guard by my answers not being what they expected - were more comical than threatening.
I think probably the best advice is to avoid venues where there are large amounts of both alcohol and testosterone. If you want to drink socially invite your friends over, fire up the grill and char some meat. Good times for all.