If more than one assailant is involved, it is usual for one of them to deploy the victim with distracting dialogue whilst the others move to your off side. Whilst the victim is distracted by the questioner, his accomplices attack. This was one of the most common attacks in the nightclub when I worked as a doorman and is a common, though, unbelievably, innate, ploy of gang robbery or rapes.
The reason that so many people seem to get glassed or stabbed in the side of the face or neck, is because they are not attacked by the person in front that they are arguing with. Instead, they are attacked from the side by someone who they do not see, because of their adrenal-induced tunnel vision.
As stated earlier most aggression In society Is probably due to displacement. It's not personal so don't let it become personal. Similarly, there is no room in any kind of life-threatening situation for ego -all the ego will do is get you into trouble. I had a friend who was out in the park with his wife and baby daughter. The child was in a pushchair. It was a lovely summer's day and there were a lot of people wandering around the park. Just a normal Sunday afternoon really. He didn't even notice the three skinheads sizing him up about 100 yards in front (avoidance) and by the time he was fully aware of their presents they already had the Stanley knife out and were threatening to 'cut' his daughter if he didn't hand over his wallet. He told me that, about a minute before they initiated their threat, he had noticed them approach and had the chance to make a hasty retreat in the opposite direction, he actually felt like grabbing his family and running away but thought that cowardly. No, he couldn't allow himself to do that. Why? Because his ego wouldn't allow it. He felt that he had to stay put, like the hunter-gatherer he was conditioned to think he was, and protect his family.
By listening to his ego he lost any real chance of getting out the situation in tact. Part of the reason the lad had such an over-developed ego was the fact that he was a high Damned martial artist. Physically the lad was a phenomenon, but mentally he was ill-prepared for this kind of confrontation. As he said to me himself, 'my bottle went'. Actually his bottle didn't go. I've never met anyone that ever lost their bottle, just people that were tricked by their lack of adrenal understanding. It is our instinct as human being to run not to fight, unless cornered and left no other option. Do you think our mammalian ancestors would have had any problem running away from a sabre-toothed tiger? Do you think that they may have worried about what their friends would have thought if they didn't defend their honour by standing and fighting? I don't think so. All they would have been concerned about was getting the hell out of there, by any, and the fastest means possible. In fact their senses would have been so honed that they would have noticed the modern day sabre-toothed tiger, the skin head, long before the attack and escaped before there was even a confrontation.
I know that it's easy to say in hindsight, but my friend should have seen the threat and avoided it by over-riding his ego. He should have gone the opposite way, or made a run for it when avoidance was no longer an option, or talked down his attackers if faced with a confrontation. Unfortunately, he couldn't talk it down, he was so unused to the amount of adrenaline that it caused 'freeze syndrome', and he became monosyllabic. He gave his wallet over without an argument because he was lost for words and felt terror like he had never felt it before. All he wanted was for the encounter to end, so that he could be safe again. Afterwards of course he fell into a terrible depression because he felt that he had let his wife and his daughter down by not defending them. He also felt that he had let himself and his martial art down. The lad was carrying the world on his shoulders. He had never let his wife down, or himself, in fact he had never let anyone down before. Although he was unaware of this, his body reacted exactly the way it was designed to react, it prepared him for flight. That was the best option open to him, but contemporary peer pressure, ego, morality don't comprehend this logic and wouldn't allow it. He had to stay and meet this threat.
Our bodies our designed with a survival mechanism that does not take into consideration what others might think about our actions, only what is right for survival of the species. That's why we have the 95% rule. At times of confrontation 95% of us (the other 5% are classed as sociopaths) will have the instinct to run away to protect the evolution of the species. We won't know this on a conscious level of course, we'll only know that we want to run and not why. This is where the downward spiral of self-doubt begins and subsequently, in the aftermath the self-esteem falls flatter than a shadow.
Going back to the pub story with my mate the 6th Dan, escape for him was as simple as walking out of the door to go to another bar where the threat was not so prevalent. But he couldn't do that because he reasoned that he had as much right to stand and drink in that shit hole as anyone else. Anyway, what would his mates think if he backed down from this potential confrontation? They'd think he was scared that's what they'd think. As you can see, this is all ego play. It is not the sign of a mentally developed martial artist, nor is it really his fault because he is no different from many of the other high graded martial artists -it is the fault of a system that teaches only the physical response. It is also the fault of the grading system that elevates the Dan grades to almost God-like status.
Higher grades in most traditional systems are revered, nay worshiped. This reverence doesn't squash the negative emotions in the way that the martial arts are supposed to in fact it does quite the opposite -it enlarges the ego and encourages many of the negatives that we should be driving out like demons. So we end up with a very high graded, very capable (physically) martial artist that is stuck to a pub bar by the superglue of peer pressure and ignorance. If a bar is threatening, go to a different bar and fuck what anyone else might think about it or you. They say it is a strong man that can walk away -there was never a truer statement. Your ippon should never be defending a space by the bar, or a bit of tarmac on the road. Your ippon should be over-riding all the non-starters and escaping if the circumstances allow. If you can't escape, verbal dissuasion Is the next line of defence and also incorporates escape. We are employing verbal to escape a potentially violent situation.
If you are walking down the street and you sense malice in front of you, walk the other way or cross the street, nip into a busy shop, stop a policeman or knock on a house door and ask them to call the police. If you're in a bar and you sense that there is going to be trouble inform the doorstaff, escape out the back exit, phone the police etc. If you are forced into verbal dissuasion, then communication is of the utmost importance. You have to be able to talk your way out of conflict. This is not so easy when you consider that a great deal of blood is drawn away from the brain during fight or flight and pumped to the muscular areas involved in behavioural release (physical action). This lack of blood in the brain often leaves the recipient unable to talk in sentences and often unable to talk at all. Not good if you need to employ verbal dissuasion. Even for those that do manage to talk the voice often quivers fearfully for all to hear, this is not good if you are trying to convey a message of confidence. The only way to overcome this disability is to practice by placing yourself in fearful situations, ones manufactured in the controlled arena or life confrontations, and practice speaking whilst under the influence of adrenaline.
Before my students took place in animal day sessions I would get them to converse with each other so that they can learn to raise their voices above the voice tremors and practice voice control. It works. If you want to get used to the water, get your trunks on and get wet. Hypothesising for an eternity won't get you used to the feel- you get used to the sensation by 'feeling' .
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