That’s the number one self defense question I get from people who still don’t understand what we’re up to in TFT.
Invariably at a seminar (and at least 10 times a week via email) someone will pose this question to me:
“Tim, (then he describes how some jerk is pushing this guy’s buttons, then says) …I don’t want to kill the guy… but… can’t I just hit him to shut him up?“
Then the guy goes on to ask what targets are “safe” to hit to “hurt but not kill him.”
Well, I guess all my writing and speaking on the subject just isn’t getting through to these people. So I’m gonna share 2 videos with you now that I think will help graphically illustrate my answer. Hopefully this will do the trick.
“If you have the nose for it, it’s more obvious than cartoon stink lines.”
One of our Master Instructors, Dave S., just got back from a vacation in San Francisco. A great thing about that city is that unlike most west coast cities, it is almost entirely walkable. He spent a week there with his wife, sans car or cab. It was all feet and open air.
This is a very different way of life for those of us down here in southern California. The San Diego/LA metrosprawl requires a car to get anywhere and so we spend most of our transit time alone and isolated from those around us.
Dave’s experience walking around a city where everybody walks means he saw lots of people every day–a tableau writ full of information for those who can read it. Gait, body language, the way people move when they come into close contact with others. These things tell the story of that person’s interior life, their secret fears and intentions.
In short, who’s a victim and who’s not.
The first words out of his mouth when I asked about his vacation were:
“Walking the city you could see the victims. It was really sad. You could scan the crowd and count them off: victim, victim, not a victim, victim. Some people I wanted to grab and shake them and scream, ‘Don’t walk like that! Don’t stand like that!’”
The other day I posted this video on my Facebook page and got some interesting responses to it. First off, watch the video for yourself:
I posted this video because it showed excellent examples of strikes that cause injury… as well as punches and kicks that are ineffective. That alone was all I wanted people to comment on and learn from this video.
Most, however, focused on the fact the video showed security guards using excessive force against drunken thugs.
I got loads of private messages as well as comments to this effect. In fact, others reposted the video on their FB pages, decrying the fact this was outrageous behavior on the part of security and explaining how it would never fly in their country.
The general point they drove home was this type of response would land security personnel in their country in jail for excessive force. There were calls for better training for supermarket security personnel (really?).
I found this outcry humorous due to the fact that this was CCTV footage from Siberia… yes, Siberia. That part of the world has quite a “different” view on “excessive force”. As one of my Russian friends noted, he thought the security personnel were rather “restrained” in their response. Gee, maybe the world isn’t so black-and-white when it comes to violence like so many well meaning North American’s wish it were. read this entry »
The title refers to the way I like to answer questions that have nothing to do with the needs of violence — questions about legality, appropriateness, blocking, defending against this or that attack, “but what if he–”, etc.
I’m the first to admit it’s snarky and over-the-top — racing straight to an extreme to make the point. But the point stands:
The worst among us are the best at violence; they are feared because they are socially unencumbered and shockingly direct in their action.
The winners in violence aren’t thinking in terms of what their victim will do, or about protecting themselves. They just hurt people.
The losers (and potential losers) in violence are preoccupied with a whole host of things that just don’t matter.
…Or, another way to look at it, anything that doesn’t result in an injury is a waste of your time.