Rules of Engagement : preemptive counter violence
The morality behind preemptive counter violence
To say that you have the moral high ground to hit someone first and continue to hit them until they can no longer move is hard to articulate to anyone. If you were to ask my opinion on how to win a real violent altercation, my answer would be simple. Distract him with dialogue, hit him while he’s unaware, grab a hold of the guy and continue to hit him until he is unable to pose a threat to a kitten. If you do that, you will have the highest probability for success. That seems to make sense, at least, that’s why criminals are good a violence. So why doesn’t anyone teach that method? My guess is because it’s morally repugnant. Guess what most teachers of defensive systems don’t tell you? Violence is repugnant. Violence by its very nature is antisocial and ugly. So then, must be the answer to it.
To maintain a moral high ground you must start by living an avoidant life style. I don’t drive aggressively, I don’t speed up if someone wants to enter my lane, I don’t mouth expletives to motorist who piss me off in traffic, I don’t use my horn as an extension of my middle finger, and if someone is driving aggressively I allow them the space to pass. I never argue over trivial things like who’s first in line or a parking space. I try to be cordial to my annoying neighbors despite their frequent transgressions on my peace and tranquility. I don’t loudly protest things like barking dogs or loud cars. If you’re annoying but are going to be out of my life soon, I let you go as fast as possible. I don’t frequent bars where fights are common and I would always give a face saving out to a guy who’s misguided attempt to be tough has caused him to splay his arms, puff out his chest and ask me “what I’m looking at?”
The second step is good awareness skills. This is an article unto itself so I won’t go into awareness here but the simple truth is this: put down your phone because you can’t avoid what you don’t see. Don’t be afraid to cross the street, take the next elevator, or simply wait an extra few minutes to let a potential threat pass. If a predator see’s you as aware, energized, and ready, he will likely let you pass without incident.
Third, if you are caught unaware by someone who is potentially violent, run. That’s a technique as far as I’m concerned. I train to run, and at my age I can out run most guys far younger than me. Put as much space between you and the threat as possible. This works great if it’s a wrong place wrong time situation. Meaning, I happened into this guy’s hunting ground, and he saw me as a potential target. If I run, he will likely see chasing me as more trouble than it’s worth. This technique does not work well if you were personally targeted for some reason. If you run and the threat jumps in a car and runs you down or follows you until you run out of steam, you now have to fight winded. You would have been better off fighting where the incident began.
Fourth, if you can’t run because you are in a confined space like a moving train or you have people with you whom you can’t leave, you have to control space. Control space by using your hands as a barrier between you and the threat. Talking with your hands is a great way to do this. Another thing that is useful is to constantly move off line as you speak. This forces the threat to adjust to you. Don’t let him line up an assault by staying still. If you can, put a structure between you, something like a car, a table, or a chair, works well here.
Fifth, if you are dealing with a social incident, deescalate. Sometimes a simple apology is all it takes to calm someone who feels wronged by you in some way. Whether it’s a coworker who misunderstood something you said, or a fat idiot who claims you took his parking spot, simply say you’re sorry. It really can be that simple. Even if that fat guy in the parking lot backs down to you, you took away his power, and he will get it back. Maybe not from you, but he may go home and hurt is wife or children. So give him a face saving out and walk away.
If you adhere to these rules, and you find you still need to go hand’s on, don’t hesitate for a second. Destroy the threat because he will likely not give you an ounce of compassion. Now when the police come, and they will, you can say something like the following:
This man (the threat) approached me and my children in the parking lot. I immediately tried to move away from him but he followed us. He kept asking for a dollar and I told him I didn’t have any money. I tried to run to a store but with both my children he easily blocked my escape. I tried to move away again, loudly asking him to leave us alone; I even tried to use a parked car as a barrier between us. Finally I saw his hand disappear under his coat. That’s when I hit him and ran with my children.
Never allow the potential consequences of your actions to slow your response. Never apply force slowly to see if it has a deterrent effect. If he gets it, he gets all of it, explosively.