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illegalusername
9/11/2007 3:51pm,
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.

elipson
9/12/2007 12:11am,
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.

Eddie Hardon
9/12/2007 7:09am,
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).

Heffy
9/12/2007 8:24am,
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.

AMH
9/12/2007 9:43am,
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 todayís 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!

:new_2guns

Packinghouse Du
9/12/2007 10:16am,
That's how I've gotten out of every fight I was going to get my ass kicked.

illegalusername
9/12/2007 10:36am,
Hey OP, you are dead on!
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 todayís 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.

Good point. And even if you win, it's never nice hurtin' people :5headset:
Where DO you work btw?

Eddie Hardon
9/13/2007 7:48am,
Good point. And even if you win, it's never nice hurtin' people :5headset:
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).

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.

juszczec
9/13/2007 8:23am,
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

"Cleveland"

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

"Poland"

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?"

"Nope"

"And your parents aren't either?"

"Nope."

"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.

M1K3
9/13/2007 8:42am,
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.

AMH
9/13/2007 10:25am,
Where DO you work btw?

I am a Psychology Technician for the U.S. Department of Defense. I work primarily with new basic combat training soldiers who are mentally ill. These new soldiers are young, impulsive, aggressive, and very well conditioned. Many of the patients are actively suicidal and homicidal, and our interpersonal and de-escalation skills are the primary way of dealing with potentially dangerous situations. I get paid to get people to change the way they are thinking, this comes in handy during any situation that could become violent.

I donít carry my sidearm at work because concealed weapons are prohibited on the military base. But when I am not at work than I am always armed.

Eddie Hardon
9/14/2007 10:14am,
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

"Cleveland"

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

"Poland"

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?"

"Nope"

"And your parents aren't either?"

"Nope."

"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.

Good post. Thanks for sharing.

Distraction is quite useful. A chappie spoke to me in the Pub (I was on the, er, Tonic Water) and opened by saying "So, you're one of these JJ types, are you? Well what would you do if you were threatened by someone?"

Interlude: I am short, bald, speccy and no longer Young. Perfect target for the ne'erdowell.

I told him that I would probably just try to distract the malcontent. He wanted to know how I would achieve this so, I said: "Where did you get those shoes?"

He said: "What?"

"There, you see that's Distraction"

"What? [Pause] Oh, yeah, yeah, that's clever that!(Laughs)"

BTW, I was part of JJ group on tour [and a very junior one] and he and others, non-MA, were invited by the group organiser to make up the numbers so there was no threat, just curiosity unlocked by a Light Ale.

Slainte

notafighter
9/14/2007 2:14pm,
I worked as the lone bouncer in a crowded bar (300+) for a couple of years. I'm not an exceptionally large guy (6' 225 lb at the time) so, I learned that a well timed smile is a multi-purpose and very useful tool. A pleasant smile while talking in a calm voice can bring down the most determined would-be brawlers. On one occasion a drunk that I had turned away from the door came back minutes later charging at me and hurling obscenities. Without adjusting my reclined stance I laughed at him (he did look awful silly) and it stopped him dead in his tracks. He left without another word and was not seen again for the rest of the night.

Heffy
9/14/2007 2:46pm,
A lot of the instructors I know have done security and bouncing at a number of clubs and bars. In fact my current instructor is working a second job at a really rich club right now.
The other weekend he had some guy who is a real estate bigshot in the city come in, and get into an argument with one of the other bouncers. He went over and said "get out of my club", guy said "this isn't your club you aren't the owner", he said "I'm in charge get out". When he said that the dude's bodyguard tried to grab my instructor, so he just wrenched his arm real quick, and they all left, shocked that their huge bodyguard was unable to do anthing. Later that night the owner of the club let them back in, and they all apologized to my instructor.

I remember my first instructor talking about how occasionally people would get way out of control and he would have to choke them out. Afterwards he would take them out into the alley and wake them up, and tell them they couldn't come back into the bar that night. He said nobody was ever really angry after they woke up, and he was always polite. He even had some people apologize to him for bein such dicks.

I think the way you talk to, and use body language towards a person, when you think they want to fight are the most important things. Otherwise no matter how well trained you are, it's easy to find yourself confused and overwhelmed.

elipson
9/14/2007 4:36pm,
Hehehe this reminds me of a story.

It was the john fogerty Concert here in July. Some really big guy was trying to get up to the stage and he got REALLY pissed when I told him no. He started swearing and yelling and **** at me. The guy was 6'6 and maybe 260+, so I knew it was gonna be a war. I talked to him for like 10 minutes at stagefront when I decided to take it off the floor. I told him "Lets go talk in the hallway, I can't hear you."

His reply was "**** you you can't hear me, we've been talking for 10 minutes!"
To which I responded "what? Lets go in the hallway"

So the dumbass follows me into the hallway where I call for assistance. At this point its me, my partner, and my boss watching while this guy yells at me. I was waiting for one more guy and then I was gonna drag him out. and it was gonna be fun, he was huge! The guy continued yelling at me for 10 minutes, the whole time im not even listening to a word he said. I just said enough to keep him yelling at me, but I never really said anything important. After a few minutes of this, two cops came around the corner. It was then I decide to tell him to leave, immediately. With the cops standing right there, he decided to leave without a fight. It was fucking hilarious. I actually thought to myself while he was yelling at me "I wonder how much longer I can keep him yelling at me? I wanna find out."

We followed him outside, hoping he would try to come back in. He didnt :(

Afterwards my boss said to me "I have to commend you for that, I don't think anyone else would have taken all that yelling so calmly."

illegalusername
9/14/2007 5:25pm,
I am a Psychology Technician for the U.S. Department of Defense.
I would be too goddamn scared to hold your job. Even being a medic NCO in a peace-time army was stressful for me. (Nutjob conscripts, ahoy!)



I'm not an exceptionally large guy (6' 225 lb at the time)
You're a colossus compared to me. I'm 6ft and 142 pounds.
And when i hit the town with buddies coming mostly from rural backgrounds (i.e built like brick shithouses), imagine who is the prime target there.:dead: