For all the talk of prevention of violence in today's world, I wonder how many of these prevention measures have been real world tested.
We live in a world of have and have-nots, and one thing that rings true is that misery loves company. If someone is twisted and hateful and they decide to target you, all the prevention in the world isn't going to disuade them. Prevention concepts and verbal diffuses work on individuals who are somewhat rational. I personally never liked verbal diffuses too much because they interfere with the thought process of physical reaction. You can get caught up playing diplomat when you should be focused on your surroundings. Awareness should play a part in your everday life, not just in self defense situations. Be aware but don't focus, or you may miss something and become aware that you're getting your butt kicked.
The reality is that once someone has engaged you, there's little choice. There's a 3 foot rule that applies: If a man has crowded your 3 foot diameter, he has invaded your personal space. Once you sense something may be amiss, inform him of this FIRST, THEN take a step backwards. If he steps towards you after you step backwards, you now have your answer as to what situation you're in. At that point, its up to your discretion whether to go offensive or defensive. If the guy is clearly showing signs of aggression and intimidation, I say take it to him. If he's just arguing and being annoying, I say go defensive, but non-threatening. But whatever you do, don't mix thoughts. Be clear about what you're going to do before it even escalates. If you second guess yourself, that second may cause you alot of pain or worse: no pain ever again.
In a world filled with gangs, too many of you pretend that violence is only something you see on the news. And gangs are growing fast. Here in NY, we didn't have too many gangs since the 60's. Now, we have Bloods and Crips. Our hispanic population is growing rapidly, and so are the numbers of their gangs like Latin Kings and MS13. I'm talking an age group that ranges from 10 to 40 years old. Box cutter incidents. People getting jumped by multiple gang members. Rapes. Muggings in broad daylight. Its not just a night thing anymore. People are carrying weapons. People are still committing hate crimes. People are victims of road rage nearly everyday, and some of those incidents end up in fist fights, whether only one party or both wanted it that way. This is not limited to NY, but in every city. Its in the suburbs too. Violence will always be where there are people.
Bouncer usually consider themselves experts on violence. They feel that because they've won a few bar fights that they have intimate knowledge of street violence. That couldn't be further from the truth. I've been a bouncer. For some years at night clubs actually. Normally, there are so many other bouncers working with you that you never experience the "blood freeze" that you'd feel when facing danger alone. Also, its easy to be brave in a club if you've patted the patrons down. I've seen some guys go overboard and unnecessarily beat some club goers bloody. I've seen those same guys pussy up outside the club when someone who wasn't afraid was ready to hand their asses to them. They(the bouncer) didn't back down because they were using "prevention" techniques. They weren't being noble. Inside the club with 20 other bouncers he would have tried to beat the guy into a coma knowing he had backup. But outside in the street on his own, he was just another big guy who was scared because he didn't have an equalizer. Bouncers don't know that much about street violence if most of their experience comes from the bar/club because they're two different things. Two very different things. Its not only that most of the attacker's a bouncer will face are drunk, but they also usually aren't fighters. Just drunk aggressors.
I've seen throughout the years that not even policemen know as much about violence as correction officers do. Being locked in Riker's Island with the worst of the worst everday for 12 hour shifts is where its at. You don't know who's armed. You don't know who's plotting. All you know is that in that uniform you're a potential target everday for NY city's worst and most violent criminals. They sharpen tooth brushes. They fashion weapons out of glass and plastic. And they can strike any day, any time that they're not in cages. You never know. I've come to respect the many masters who do that job most because they have seen violence on a scale that most will never see it. Riots break out. They've been there. Stabbings and rapes. They've been there. They deal with men who are animalistic with rage everyday, so they know the reality. Many have been stabbed or cut on the arms, abdomen, face and neck. So when I've trained with them and they've explained why they use certain techniques, I listened closely.
A huge question asked in the martial art world is "How do you know if your life or death techniques work? Have someone tried to kill you?" I have been fortunate to learn from many men who have faced those odds way before I ever had to. I was lucky enough to have teachers who taught from trial and error that came from reality. So my schooling came from a different direction than the usual. Most people haven't been blessed to have this experience, so most don't know just how far violence can go. I'm not saying that you have to be stabbed or shot to have been through stuff, but you learn and grow from pain and necessity, not from theory and bravado.
Another misconception is that attackers on the street aren't trained. I personally know that that isn't true. The most common style you'll see in the street is boxing, but its isn't the only one. I can't understand why some of you think that a criminal can't have trained. Why is that so unbelievable? Learning to fight doesn't make you a better man or citizen. It makes you a better fighter. And assuming that the other guy isn't trained is a fool's mistake. You should always train and fight like the man in front of you knows just as much. That way if he is just as good he won't get the initial jump on you because you never underestimated him. So that's a question that many of you should ask yourself: Are you training to beat up guys who can't fight? Or are you trying to be ready for anybody and anything? If you are going to assume, you'd better assume the worst case scenario, because that kind of mindset will force you to prepare for whatever you may fear.
So in closing, the probability that you may be chosen as a victim is very possible. Very high indeed. But only you can prepare yourself to show the attacker that he was dead wrong. Find yourself a teacher who has experience with more than just drunks and homeless people. Someone who has experience with more than just other schoolmates and affiliates. When you want to kick a habit like drinking or drugs, your sponsor is a former addict or drunk. They wouldn't send you to someone who never got high or drunk and couldn't relate to what you're going through for good reason: They couldn't teach or help you to overcome because they lack the REAL EXPERIENCE. Same with an instructor.